TORONTO, June 3, 1994 -- A group of Canadian Lutherans and Anglicans has called on the two churches to work toward "full communion" -- a state of mutual recognition which does not intend the full merger of the two churches -- by 2001.
The group, members of the Canadian Anglican Lutheran Dialogue, is composed of seven representatives from each of the two churches, and a Roman Catholic observer. It met in Waterloo, Ontario, from May 27-29 .
The Biennial Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, which will each meet in the summer of 1995, will both be asked:
- to endorse a process leading to full communion by 2001
- in the meantime, to allow bishops to permit ordained ministers of one church to serve the people of the other, where appropriate
- to encourage local Anglican and Lutheran congregations to undertake joint projects of education, mission and service
- to authorize a joint working group to implement full communion
The dialogue is not encouraging the two churches to merge and form one corporate body. Rather, it proposes the following definition of full communion:
Full communion is understood as a relationship between two distinct churches or communions in which each maintains its own autonomy while recognizing the catholicity and apostolicity of the other, and believing the other to hold the essentials of the Christian fatih. In such a relationship communicant members of each church would be able to freely communicate (receive communion) at the altar of the other and there would be freedom of ordained ministers to officiate sacramentally in either church. Specifically in our context we want this to include transferability of members; mutual recognition and interchangeability of ministries; freedom to use each other's liturgies; freedom to participate in each other's ordinations and installations of clergy, including bishops; and structures for consultation to express, strengthen and enable our common life, witness, and service, to the glory of God and the salvation of the world.
These proposals are made in a context of increasingly close relationships between Anglicans and Lutherans around the world. There have been various proposals for full communion in Europe, the United States, and Africa.
The full text of the proposals is attached.
Contact: Rev. Alyson Barnett-Cowan Ecumenical Assistant to the General Secretary 416-924-9199 ext. 281 FAX 416-924-0211
The Canadian Lutheran Anglican Dialogue endorses that the following resolutions, among others, be forwarded to the General Synod and the Biennial Convention:
1. Reaffirm and extend the Interim Agreement on Eucharistic Sharing to 2001.
2. Add to section 5 c.iii of the Interim Eucharistic Sharing Agreement: "agreements which permit an ordained minister (priest or pastor) to serve the people of both churches, including presiding at the sacraments of the Church, wherever, and according to whichever rite, the bishops deems appropriate."
3. Implement a policy that each church receive, as full members, baptized persons of the other church by a service of reception without requiring re-confirmation.
4. Request that bishops specifically invite neighbouring congregations (where appropriate) to commit themselves to undertake at least one joint project and celebrate at least one joint eucharist yearly.
5. Encourage continuing work toward entering full communion by 2001.
6. Mandate a Joint Working Group of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada to oversee the process leading to the implementation of the above recommendations.
Dr. J.R.H. Dempster introduced the Doctrine and Worship Committee Resolutions on Christian Initiation.
Moved by: Dr. J.R.H. Dempster
Seconded by: Bishop R.K. Maguire
THAT this General Synod,
1. having considered the proposed Order for Holy Baptism, together with its appended forms for the Re-Affirmation of Baptismal Vows and for the Reception of Persons from another Christian Denomination, requests the House of Bishops to give careful pastoral consideration until the next General Synod to the effects on the life of our Church of using this Order, this consideration to include the possibility of authorizing carefully defined trial use as an alternative to the forms of service of Holy Baptism and Confirmation contained in the Book of Common Prayer;
2. and further, that this General Synod intends, and requests the House of Bishops to declare, that where trial use is duly authorized, persons initiated by the said proposed Order of Holy Baptism shall be firmly recognized as members of the Holy Catholic Church and admitted to Holy Communion (unless ineligible for other cause), and that no supplementary act of Christian Initiation shall be deemed necessary.
It was agreed that all motions relating to Christian Initiation be placed before Synod at this time.
Moved by: Chancellor H.R.S. Ryan
Seconded by: Canon A.G. Baker
THAT sub-sections 3. and 4. be added to the motion as follows:
3. That General Synod request the House of Bishops to give, where necessary, dispensation from the last rubric at the end of the order of Service of Confirmation in the Book of Common Prayer;
4. That Christian Initiation be the subject of intensive study, both from the theological and pastoral points of view throughout the Canadian Church;
and that the responsibility for this study, including the provision of materials, and the initiation and support of specific projects for study be entrusted to the Doctrine and Worship Committee;
and that the subject be on the agenda of the next General Synod.
A long and carefully presented debate followed, with speeches from representatives of many groups in both Orders.
The debate concluded at 10:00 p.m.
THAT the motion be put. CARRIED IN BOTH ORDERS
The vote on the original motion, moved by Dr. J.R.H. Dempster, seconded by Bishop R.K. Maguire, including the addition proposed by Chancellor H.R.S. Ryan and Canon A.G. Baker, which had been accepted by the mover and seconder, was then put, and CARRIED IN BOTH ORDERS Act 53
The session concluded with the Primate calling the members to a period of prayer, followed by the repetition of the Grace in unison.
Moved by Archdeacon B. Hollowell, seconded by Archbishop B. Curtis,
That this General Synod:
1. Reaffirm and extend the "Interim Agreement on Eucharistic Sharing" between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada to 2001.
2. Replace section 5.c.iii. of the Interim Eucharistic Sharing Agreement with new wording: "agreements which permit an ordained minister (priest or pastor) to serve the people of both churches, including presiding at the sacraments of the Church, wherever, and according to whichever rite, the local bishop of each church deems appropriate."
3. Request that bishops specifically invite neighbouring congregations (where appropriate) to commit themselves to undertake at least one joint project and celebrate at least one joint eucharist yearly.
4. Adopt and implement a policy to permit lay people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada moving to the Anglican Church of Canada to be received with the same status (baptized/communicant/confirmed) which they held in the ELCIC. Such a move, with appropriate instruction, could be marked liturgically by a service of reception such as that found on pages 106-107 of the Canadian Book of Occasional Offices (1964) or on pages 161-162 of the Book of Alternative Services (1985).
5. Request dioceses and bishops to develop structures with the purpose of evaluating and improving the bishop's ministry, through collegial and periodic review.
6. Encourage continuing work toward entering full communion, as defined by the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Dialogue, by 2001.
7. Dismiss CLAD II with thanks, and mandate a Joint Working Group to oversee the process leading to the implementation of the above recommendations.
Moved by Bishop J. Baycroft, seconded by Bishop R. Hatton,
That sections 2,3,5 and 6 be deleted and the remaining sections renumbered. DEFEATED
Motion to Table
Moved by Archbishop B. Curtis, seconded by Canon N. Carver,
That the orginal motion be tabled. DEFEATED
Motion to End Debate
That the question on the motion re Lutheran Relations now be put. CARRIED
The motion was then put and CARRIED. Act 25
On behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Bishop Telmor Sartison greeted the members and guests of Synod and introduced that church's Vice-President, Ms. Janet Morley. He expressed thanksgiving to God for the passage of the above resolution, which will be presented to the Lutheran Assembly in July 1995. He also thanked CLAD (the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Dialogue) for its work and spoke about the dialogue between the Anglican and Lutheran churches.
In accordance with recent official statements which have declared Baptism to be the sole pre-requisite for membership in the Church, and admission to the Sacraments:
Be it further established that all persons seeking membership in the Anglican Church of Canada, having been baptized with water, and in the name of the Trinity, under the dispensation of another Christian Church, may be received into the Anglican Communion in the manner used for receiving from the Church of Rome, including:
(a) proof of baptism
(b) the signing of the declaration as presently used for Roman Catholics (excluding the words "and that I have received episcopal communion"), and
(c) under the form of words used publicly for reception.
That this matter be referred to the Sub-Committee on Initiation of the Doctrine and Worship Committee with the request that a progress report be given to the House of Bishops by January, 1991. CARRIED
That the House of Bishops ask the Doctrine and Worship Committee to prepare guidelines concerning reception into the Anglican Church of people who have been baptized/confirmed in other churches, both episcopal and non-episcopal, and that appropriate liturgical rites be prepared.
Following discussion, an amendment was proposed as follows:
That the words "and that appropriate liturgical rites be prepared" be deleted. CARRIED
Bishop Fricker read the following statement from the Doctrine Sub-Committee of the Committee on Doctrine and Worship:
`That all persons seeking membership in the Anglican Church of Canada, having been baptized in another church with water and in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, may be received, with the laying on of hands, into the Anglican Communion, on proof of baptism, in the form provided for Reception on p. 162 and p. 629 in the Book of Alternative Services. The meeting agreed that Reception should be preceded by a declaration of faith (e.g. the Apostles' Creed) and that no other declaration, written or oral, is necessary.'
That the House accept the above statement of the Doctrine Sub-Committee of the Doctrine and Worship Committee.
Moved by: Bishop Ferris
Seconded by: Bishop Read
That the above motion be tabled to the next meeting of the House. DEFEATED
In response to NEC Minute #42-03-89 the Committee adopted a statement on full membership on which the following proposed resolution is based.
That all persons seeking membership in the Anglican Church of Canada, having been baptized in another church with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, may be received with the laying on of hands into the Anglican Communion on proof of baptism in the form provided for Reception on p. 162 and p. 620 in The Book of Alternative Services. Reception should be preceded by a declaration of faith (e.g. the Apostles' Creed) and no other declaration, written or oral, is necessary.
For those persons baptized as infants or younger children who have not made a mature confession of faith, the forms provided for Confirmation may be appropriate. For those persons who have made a mature confession of faith, the form provided for reaffirmation may be appropriate.
Those who have been baptized are recognized as Christians unless they have renounced their baptism. They are therefore full members of Christ's Church.
An active member of the Anglican Church of Canada is a person who has been baptized and is a regular communicant in a parish or community of the Anglican Church of Canada and has not been inhibited in his/her membership by lawful authority.
Regulations which require persons to be of a certain age or to have participated in certain patterns of church life in order to vote or be engaged in certain offices and roles within the order of the church should be specifically outlined in relation to those offices and roles. Such regulations are not included by definition in the term "full membership".
Full considerable discussion, it was:
Moved by: Ven. J. Boyles
Seconded by: Rt. Rev. B. Curtis
That the paragraph regarding "dioceses" be deleted. CARRIED #44-11-90
The amended motion was put as follows:
That this NEC receive with thanks the statement on Full Membership and refer it back to the Doctrine and Worship Committee for study and revision in light of the discussion at NEC; and
that the Organization Committee be requested to reflect and report on the possible status, appropriateness and force of the revised statement, with recommendations on further steps to be taken. CARRIED #45-11-90
That this Council of General Synod endorse the following policy regarding membership in fulfillment of the requirement of Act 25, Clause 4, of the 1995 General Synod:
Lay people of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada moving to the Anglican Church of Canada are to be received with the same status (baptized/communicant/confirmed) which they held in the ELCIC. The intention is to have Lutherans received into an Anglican congregation by a process of welcoming new members. Lutheran pastors would be asked to write a letter of transfer on behalf of a Lutheran who is transferring to an Anglican congregation. The rubrical directions for welcoming new members from "Occasional Celebrations" would be appropriate. The rite of reception, including laying on of hands [as on pages 106-107 of the Canadian Book of Occasional Offices (1964) or page 161 of the Book of Alternative Services] would also be appropriate if requested by the individual.
Confirmation by episcopal laying on of hands is not normally appropriate for those who have been confirmed, but may be done at the request of the individual.
Those so transferred would be eligible for voting in church meetings, serving on church bodies, attending synods, etc. subject to operative standards regarding age and communicant status.
It is appropriate for those moving to a congregation in the other's church to receive instruction in the polity of the receiving church. [Such books as "This Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ours" and "This Anglican Church of Ours" would be helpful.] CARRIED #19-05-97
"(1) that this General Synod, having considered the proposed Order for Holy Baptism, together with its appended forms for the Re-affirmation of Baptismal Vows, and for the Reception of persons from another Christian Denomination, requests the House of Bishops to give careful pastoral consideration to the effects of using this order on the life of our Church until the next General Synod, this consideration to include the possibility of carefully defined trial use as an alternative to the Forms of Service of Holy Baptism and Confirmation contained in the Book of common Prayer.
"(2) And further, that this General synod intends, and requests the House of Bishops to declare, that where trial use is duly authorized, persons initiated by the said proposed Order of Holy Baptism shall be fully recognized as members of the Holy Catholic Church and admitted to Holy Communion, (unless ineligible for other cause), and that no supplementary act of Christian Initiation shall be deemed necessary.
"(3) And further, to facilitate the convergence of our present and proposed practices, that this General Synod requests the House of Bishops to give, where necessary, dispensation from the last rubric at the end of the Order of Service of Confirmation in Book of Common Prayer." CARRIED
The Bishop of Saskatoon reported on behalf of the Committee appointed by the Primate in 1966 (Minutes, page eleven) submitting a new form of Declaration to be signed by former Roman Catholics prior to admission to the Anglican Communion, and a slightly changed Office of Reception. Following discussion, the House agreed that the Declaration submitted should be withdrawn and replaced by the following:
"I declare that I have been baptized with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and that I have received Episcopal Confirmation.
I desire to enter the Communion of that part of Christ's Holy Catholic Church known as the Anglican Church of Canada, to which I pledge my loyalty."
It was moved by the Bishop of Ottawa, seconded by the Bishop of Niagara and carried:
"That the present Office of Reception be changed as follows;
1. In the initial question the term 'Holy Ghost' be changed to 'Holy Spirit' and that there be added at this point the words 'and have received Episcopal Confirmation'.
2. That the material on the back page be replaced by the following: "The Bishop may authorize a priest to use this Office in his stead. Before this office is used, the candidate shall sign a written profession of allegiance to the Anglican Church of Canada. It shall be attested by the Incumbent and two members of the congregation.'"
"That the Declaration and Office of Reception as revised be approved."