Anglican-Lutheran Joint Assembly to meet in Ottawa

More than 800 Anglicans, Lutherans, and partners will gather at the Ottawa Convention Centre July 3 to 7, 2013, for a historic joint national meeting.

Inspired by the theme “Together for the love of the world,” members of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada will gather for worship and decision-making on areas of shared work, including mission and development.

Several key events will highlight the churches’ commitment to God’s mission in the world. Anglicans and Lutherans will be invited to make statements on two priority social justice issues: affordable housing and responsible resource extraction. On July 6, Anglican and Lutheran youth from Ottawa are to lead people at the assembly to Parliament Hill where they will participate in an act of public witness and worship.

The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada share a unique “full communion” relationship. In the 2001 Waterloo Declaration the churches recognized their shared heritage and future. They share in the Eucharist, use each other’s liturgies, and Anglican and Lutheran clergy may serve interchangeably in either church.

In a welcoming letter on the Joint Assembly website,, the co-chairs of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission, the Very Rev. Peter Wall and Bishop Michael Pryse, celebrate the Anglican-Lutheran collaboration that has happened in the 12 years since the Waterloo Declaration:

“Our bishops meet together regularly; congregations, conferences, deaneries, dioceses, and synods all live out our Lord’s fervent wish ‘that they all may be one.’

“It is therefore with a real sense of excitement that we approach this first-ever joint national gathering.”

Select parts of Joint Assembly will be held separately, including elections and discussions about specific church business such as governance. Both churches will use electronic voting technology for on-the-floor elections and polls.

Guests at Joint Assembly include keynote speaker the Rev. Dr. Christopher Duraisingh, Episcopal Divinity School; the Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches; the Rev. Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation; the Rev. Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director for Unity, Faith, and Order, Anglican Communion; the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion; Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

All are asked to remember Joint Assembly with this special prayer written for the occasion.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 145,376 baptized members in 594 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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