In a new online video, National Bishop Susan C. Johnson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC), offer a joint Holy Week and Easter message to the two churches.
The two leaders share their reflections as they attend the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Alberta National Event, March 2014.
The TRC gives survivors of the residential schools an opportunity to share their stories. Most of these stories are of pain, loneliness, and years of lost love.
The TRC also provides an opportunity for the churches and others to offer an expression of reconciliation and a commitment to healing and reconciliation. “We enter this Truth and Reconciliation work with heavy hearts but there certainly are indications that change is about to happen,” says Archbishop Hiltz.
“Holy Week is all about reconciliation,” continues Archbishop Hiltz. “As we make that journey to Good Friday and we see our Lord with arms outstretched on the cross, those are arms of reconciling love, bringing us all into relationship with one another in God who loves each and every one of us.”
Bishop Johnson notes that this year the two leaders will be especially mindful entering into Holy Week and journeying on to Easter because of the stories they experienced at the TRC. “As we celebrate our Lord’s passion and remember his death, we will hear the cries of pain and loss that we have heard these few days,” she says.
“As we prepare to celebrate the joyful celebration of Easter [we will] count on our Lord to bring us a new dawn, a new hope of a future that will take away this pain and lead us into right relationships,” says Bishop Johnson.
The ACC and ELCIC have enjoyed a full communion partnership since 2001. This relationship is lived out in many ways, including using each other’s liturgies and serving as clergy in each other’s churches. Several joint Anglican-Lutheran parishes and cooperative ministries have sprung up across Canada.
In July 2013, the ELCIC and ACC gathered together at a Joint Assembly of the ELCIC National Convention and the ACC General Synod in Ottawa, Ont.
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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