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November 27, 2007

Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission Meets in Toronto; Much to Rejoice as Churches Work Collaboratively in Mission and Ministry

From Nov. 22 to 25, the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission met in Toronto to review the Full Communion relationship between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. The two churches have shared this unique relationship since the Waterloo Declaration of 2001, and now, six years later, they are assessing what they've accomplished and where they can go.

The recent communiqué (available below) gives the broad strokes of a new, exciting vision, which includes shared congregational ministries and training for lay and ordained ministry.

Communiqué from the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission

The Joint Commission of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada meeting at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Bloor Street, Toronto, greets the members of our two churches and sends this message to all.

We have spent three days reviewing the work of the past six years of full communion and planning the work that lies before us during the next six years. We have heard from the Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, and the National Bishop, Bishop Susan Johnson, of their hopes for the future as our two churches continue to grow into the full communion established in Waterloo in 2001. From all these conversations has emerged the realization that we are living into ‘the hope set before us’ when we embarked on this journey in faith. At a time when much of our attention is focused on divisions within the Christian communions we represent, we share with Anglicans and Lutherans in Canada that there is much in which to rejoice and many reasons to look forward to our churches working collaboratively in many areas of mission and ministry:

the public face of our churches, especially in addressing together matters of human need and global concerns
shared congregational ministries
growth in our understanding of diaconal ministry
formation for ministry, lay and ordained

We encourage the congregations of our churches to be imaginative in discovering ways to celebrate and work together. As a Joint Commission we look forward to working with the Primate and National Bishop, the Bishops of both churches, our national councils and with the people of our churches as we ‘build one another up into the fullness of the stature of Christ’ and into the unity for which our Lord prayed.

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada's largest Lutheran denomination with 174,555 baptized members in 620 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches.

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