Toronto, April 29, 1994 -- An Anglican bishop will help to consecrate a bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia Abroad, signalling a step toward full communion of the Lutheran and Anglican churches.
On Sunday, May 1, Dean Elmars Rozitis of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia will be consecrated bishop of that church, to serve in Canada. At the invitation of the Latvian Church, the Rt. Rev'd Arthur Brown, retired Suffragan Bishop of Toronto of the Anglican Church of Canada, will participate in the laying on of hands at the ceremony. Bishop Brown will be representing both Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. The Bishop of Stockholm, of the Church of Sweden, Dr. Henrik Svenungsson, will be the chief celebrant at the service, which will be held at St. Andrew's Lutheran church at 383 Jarvis St. in Toronto.
The participation of an Anglican bishop in the consecration of a Latvian Lutheran bishop marks the recognition of the close relationship which exists between our two churches, since we hold "the most fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith" in common.
In 1939, the Church of England reached an agreement with the Latvian and Estonian churches, which called for, among other things, the mutual participation in episcopal consecrations. Because of the circumstances of World War II and its political aftermath, it was not possible for the agreement to be acted on. In 1989, the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar took part in the consecration of the Archbishop of Latvia. The Anglican Church of Canada is happy to share in the recognition given by the Church of England.
Anglican and Lutheran churches in many parts of the world have been engaged in a process of dialogue and co-operation which is hoped will result in the two churches affirming that they are in full communion with each other.
Although the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada have not yet reached the level of agreement which the Church of England and the Church of Latvia have achieved, a process is underway which calls for full mutual recognition by 2001. The two Canadian churches reached an agreement in 1989 on eucharistic sharing, whereby members of one church may receive the sacrament in the other church. They are currently studying ways of mutually recognizing the ministries of clergy and bishops in each other's church.
Contact: Rev. Alyson Barnett-Cowan Ecumenical Assistant to the General Secretary 416-924-9199 ext. 281 416-924-0211 FAX
That this General Synod warmly welcome the Niagara Report of the Anglican-Lutheran Consultation on Episcope (1987) as an important contribution to the churches' understanding of apostolic ministry, commend the text to dioceses for study and response by December 31, 1991 and request the Inter-Church and Inter-Faith Relations Committee to prepare a study guide to assist in the process of reception. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 77
That the "Report and Recommendations" of the Canadian Lutheran-Anglican Dialogue be commended to dioceses, parishes, theological faculties and relevant national committees for study and comment; responses to be reported through diocesan synods or executive committees wherever possible and appropriate, to the Inter-Church and Inter-Faith Relations Committee, c/o the Ecumenical Officer, on or before September 30, 1988. CARRIED #60-11-86
Vol. 12, no. 1 and 2 (1986) of 'Consensus : A Canadian Lutheran Journal of Theology'.
"Edited by Eduard R. Riegert."
Ten papers presented at five meetings held in 1983-1986 by representatives of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents: Participants in the Canadian Lutheran-Anglican Dialogue -- A Call to Anglicans and Lutherans in Canada / Eduard R. Riegert -- Authority in Anglicanism / John M. Flynn -- The Concept of Authority in the Church / Roger W. Nostbakken -- Ministry in the New Testament and the Early Church / Patrick T.R. Gray -- An Anglican Understanding of Ministry and Church Polity in the Sixteenth Century / Douglas Stoute -- The Idea of Ministry in Early Lutheranism / Joanna Malina and Douglas Stoute -- The Historic Episcopate in Anglican Ecclesiology : The 'Esse' Perspective / M. Ansley Tucker -- Adiaphora / G.W. Luetkehoelter -- Anglican-Lutheran Relations in Canada / Eduard R. Riegert -- Anglicans and Lutherans : The Wider Ecumenical Context / Brian Prideaux.
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.
That this NEC approve the Guidelines for Anglican-Lutheran Worship, within the limits set by the agreement on Interim Sharing of the Eucharist adopted by General Synod, and commend these guidelines to the House of Bishops for consideration. CARRIED #14-11-93