Joy to the World: A Christmas message

Continuing a yearly tradition that has become a warm reminder of the full communion partnership enjoyed by their two churches, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), and National Bishop Susan Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) share a joint Christmas video message with Lutherans and Anglicans across the country.

In their 2013 Christmas message, Johnson and Hiltz speak about the connection between Christmas and God’s mission to the world. Hiltz connects the theme of the carol “Joy to the World” to that of this year’s Joint Assembly—“Together for the love of the world.”

Both reflect the core of our Christmas observance, says Hiltz, “that great truth that ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.’” The celebration of Christmas is “a wonderful reminder” that God wills hope, peace, and love for all people.

Johnson shares a Christmas hope for all Anglicans and Lutherans that, as they celebrate with their loved ones, they be “rekindled in love, joy, peace, and hope…and recommitted to share that love, joy, peace, and hope with a world that is so desperately in need.”

The ACC and the ELCIC have enjoyed a full communion partnership since 2001. Each church maintains its own autonomy but cooperates in many ways, including using each other’s liturgies and serving as clergy in each others churches. Several joint Anglican-Lutheran parishes and cooperative ministries have sprung up across Canada.

Watch the Christmas message online. ( and on youtube:
Learn more about our full communion relationship. (

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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