Friday morning’s plenary session included the Report of National Church Council, including the recommendations from the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission (JALC), which came in the form of three motions in the Bulletin of Reports.
Rev. Jeff Smith, Eastern Synod rostered member of the NCC, and Pat Lovell, Eastern Synod Lay member of the NCC, presented the motions – all of which were carried by delegates.
The motions – found on page F-33 of the Bulletin of Reports – are as follows:
Motion 2 – Report of the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission
That the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada accepts the Report of the Joint Anglican- Lutheran Commission (JALC) with deep gratitude for JALC’s witness and initiative and that this convention renews the JALC mandate to 2022 for a commission of similar size and composition which includes some new and some existing members and that the commission shall host a joint meeting of the Commission and the Lutheran-Episcopal Co-ordinating Committee once in the triennium.
Motion 3 – A Common Word
That the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada expresses its gratitude for, and accepts the gift of, A Common Word between Us and You. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada joins other national and international Christian churches and leaders as signatories to A Common Word between Us and You and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, in partnership with the Anglican Church of Canada, will jointly initiate a program of resourcing and supporting Christian-Muslim engagement in receptive communities across Canada, based on the model of A Common Word and the various expression of it.
“Muslim leaders and scholars have invited Christians into a process of Muslim-Christian dialogue and engagement, which is based on love of God, and love of neighbor,” said Pat Lovell. “This motion builds on the actions of our 2015 convention, where we adopted Welcoming the Stranger, and honours our witness to the Muslim community in our Statement to Muslims in 2017. Further, it helps us to live into our own Interfaith Guidelines, approved at the same 2017 convention.”
Motion 4 – Affirmation of Relationship of Full Communion
Based upon the witness of the Memorandum of Mutual Recognition of Relations of Full Communion (Niagara Falls ON, 2018), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada affirms that a relationship of Full Communion exists among the four churches governed by either Called to Common Mission (USA, 1999 & 2000) or the Waterloo Declaration (2001) and that this affirmation shall have full effect upon the completion of a similar action in each of our three partner churches.
Eastern Synod Bishop Michael Pryse (former Co-Chair of the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission and past Co-Chair of the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee) spoke in affirmation of Motion 4, while praising the work done by the JALC.
“This is truly an historic recommendation to our respective churches. This is a movement that is being observed globally. It is giving much encouragement and putting much wind in the sails around full communion relationships globally and ecumenical relationships globally. I hope the delegates recognize that we have done something truly historic.”