Lutheran, Anglican church leaders celebrate gift of music

In their 2010 joint Christmas video, National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), celebrate and share the gift of Christmas music.

“The gift of music is that when we join our voices together in common song, we act out being the body of Christ,” says National Bishop Johnson in the video. She and Archbishop Hiltz then offer an a cappella rendition of the carol “Silent Night.”

The ACC and ELCIC have been full communion partners since the 2001 Waterloo Declaration, which acknowledged the churches’ historic similarities and encouraged more cooperative work. Led by the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, the two churches have worked closely on many fronts, including action against homelessness, and campaigns in support of the Millennium Development Goals.

At a local level, many Anglican and Lutheran churches are joining together for worship and action across Canada. Resources are available to support this local work, including an Anglican-Lutheran prayer cycle [PDF] and guidelines for common worship.

In 2010, Anglican-Lutheran cooperation was highlighted at several national meetings. National Bishop Susan Johnson addressed the ACC’s General Synod in June 2010, and in August 2010, almost 1,000 youth gathered for the first-ever Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth Gathering in London, Ont. Preparations are now underway for a July 2013 joint meeting of the ACC General Synod and the ELCIC National Convention in Ottawa, Ont.

Both Archbishop Hiltz and National Bishop Johnson have made the full communion partnership a priority of their national church work. These annual joint Christmas videos highlight their friendship and remind Anglicans and Lutherans to seek opportunities for unity. Watch the Christmas video online, or download to share with your church family.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 152,500 baptized members in 607 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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