It was decided to consult the House with reference to a request for support of an ecumenical Pastoral asking that Christian people in Canada, and others, join in a day of prayer and fasting "in order that we might more clearly discern what the Lord would have us do to fashion peace in this troubled world."
That copies of the revised Ecumenical Pastoral be sent to all clergy with full explanation and suggestions for its use. CARRIED #14-2-84
AN ECUMENICAL PASTORAL LETTER
March 1, 1984
Amid the fear and anxiety created in the hearts of many people by the threat of nuclear war, Christians are called to bear witness to a hope that is firmly rooted in their Faith. This hope is not founded in some naive optimism, but in God revealed in Jesus Christ.
God in Christ encountered the tragic and sinful forces present in our world. These same forces continue to be sources of violence and oppression, immorality and injustice, but we do not despair. The eyes of faith which saw the Resurrection of our Lord discern the Spirit of God at work as a life-giver and as peace-maker among us. We believe the madness of the arms race can be stopped; the hearts of men and women can be changed from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh; we can beat our swords into ploughshares; we can choose life over death. But for this to happen we must not only speak about the "peace of God"; we must also work for peace.
If we dare to speak and act for God, we must be attentive to the word and wisdom which God is addressing to us. In this regard the Scriptures say that in prayer and fasting we grow in our knowledge of what God wills for us. Today we have great need to listen with care to our God.
At this time, therefore, when people everywhere are seeking the way to peace, we invite Christian people in Canada, people of other faith communities, and all men and women of goodwill to participate in a special day of prayer and of fasting. We suggest that this day be Friday, 13 April .
For Christians, the Risen Christ has made peace available in a special way in the community that is the Church. To all humanity, the Creator God gives the precious gift of life. We invite all to celebrate this gift and to share in our hope for peace. We especially invite Christians to reflect on the hope that the Gospel makes possible as we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord during Easter.
May men and women everywhere be touched by the Peace of Christ and offer it one to another as a sign of hope in our troubled times.
The Bishop of Ottawa read the following statement prepared for the Committee on Ecumenical Affairs concerning "Advance in Mission" and for the information of the National Executive Council. "That the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., realizing that the Christian Church's outreach into society has not been effective in recent years, believes that consideration should be given to a program of 'Advance in Mission' in the 1970's. It had accordingly presented such a proposal to the National Council of Churches of Christ, U.S.A., and to the member churches of the Canadian Council of Churches. Specifically, the churches are invited to join in planning and interpreting such an Advance in Mission program. This would require consultation among the churches to determine the specific areas requiring attention, the degree to which any progress could be coordinated, and how the program of each church might complement the program of other churches."
He then presented the following resolution which had been approved by the Committee on Ecumenical Affairs:
"That the National Executive Council be asked to appoint one or more persons to consult with representatives of member churches of the Canadian Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches, U.S.A. about the proposals for an Advance in Mission program; and that a full report of such a consultation be considered by the National Executive Council before consideration is given to full participation of the Anglican Church of Canada in the planning and carrying out of the proposed Advance in Mission program in the 1970's."
That this National Executive Council gives its approval to this resolution. CARRIED
Moved by the Bishop of Ottawa, seconded by Dr. E.W. Balcom,
That the General Secretary of General Synod, the Executive Officer for Program, Planning and Research, the General Secretary of MSCC, the General Secretary of CSS be appointed by the National Executive Council to look into this matter. CARRIED