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
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.
The US Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) entered into "interim eucharistic sharing" in 1982, with the goal of reaching full communion later. The target date for full communion is 1997."
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
That this General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada:
1. Welcome and rejoice in the substantial progress of the Canadian Lutheran-Anglican dialogue and of other national, regional and international Anglican-Lutheran conversations, and look forward to the day when full communion is established between the Lutheran and Anglican churches;
2. Recognize the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada as a church in which the Gospel is preached and taught;
3. Declare, on the basis of the above, a relationship of Interim Sharing of the Eucharist beginning on October 1, 1989;
4. Request that an evaluation of this relationship be presented to the 1995 General Synod together with proposals for future relationships;
5. Encourage the development of a common Christian life and mission throughout both churches by such means as:
- a) The welcoming by congregations of the respective churches of communicants from the other church and the encouragement of their own communicants to receive Holy Communion in churches of the other tradition, both where pastoral need arises and when ecumenical occasions make this appropriate,
- b) the sponsoring of joint celebrations of the eucharist after consultation with the diocesan/synodical bishops concerned, using the eucharistic rite appropriate to the presiding minister (Book of Common Prayer or Book of Alternative Services for Anglicans and Lutheran Book of Worship for Lutherans) with an ordained minister of the other church assisting.
Evaluations of such joint celebrations of the Holy Communion should be shared with the bishops of the diocese/synod concerned, and with the ecumenical officers of the respective churches.
The presence of an ordained minister of each church at the altar in this way represents two churches expressing unity in faith and baptism as well as recognizing that there are remaining divisions which they are seeking to overcome. This implies neither rejection nor final recognition of the other church's eucharist or ministry,
- c) the fostering of:
-- i) regular prayer and intercession for the other church and its leadership,
-- ii) local study groups in which the Holy Scriptures as well as the historical and theological traditions of each church are examined,
-- iii) pastoral agreements which permit a minister of either communion to serve the people of both churches in sparsely populated and isolated areas of Canada,
-- iv) shared use of physical facilities,
-- v) common programs of education and outreach,
-- vi) reciprocal attendance at services of ordination and installation, although not yet participation in the laying on of hands,
-- vii) theological exchanges by invitations to theologians of the other church to make presentations at conventions, conferences and retreats,
-- viii) co-operation in areas of social ministry;
6. Call for the communication of this resolution to the Anglican Consultative Council and the Lutheran World Federation, and to those churches with which each church is in dialogue or communion. CARRIED Act 40
"Prepared by the The Rev. Brian Prideaux, Ecumenical Officer, Anglican Church of Canada."
Includes bibliography: p. 16.
"In the summer of 1989, two Canadian churches took an official action of historic importance. The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada and the National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada approved a series of identical recommendations that altered their relationship with each other. This agreement represents a significant ecumenical step with both present effects and future implications. .... What follows is a point-by-point commentary on the joint resolution adopted by the two churches. Its purpose is to provide guidance to those who wish to understand better this new Lutheran-Anglican agreement and put it into practice". -- Preface.
Contents: Preface and Acknowledgements dated Toronto, Ontario, St. Luke's Day. October 18, 1989 -- Historical Background -- Commentary on the Agreement -- A Note on Concelebration -- The Text of the Agreement -- Suggestions for Further Reading -- National Church Offices.
[Prepared by the Rev. Brian Prideaux, Ecumenical Officer, Anglican Church of Canada.]
"This summer the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada and the National Convention of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada agreed to establish a relationship of Interim Sharing of the Eucharist effective October 1, 1989. This brochure is an attempt to answer some frequently asked questions". -- p. .
Text divided into 12 questions/sections: What is Interim Sharing of the Eucharist ? -- Why "interim" ? -- What are Joint Celebrations of the Eucharist ? -- Isn't this a concelebration ? -- Is every congregation asked to hold one ? -- What does this give us that is new ? -- What other measures are suggested ? -- Are Anglicans recognizing Lutheran Orders ? -- Is there a plan for church union ? -- What about relations with other churches ? -- Is this happening elsewhere ? -- Where is more information available ?
A brief outline and summary based on the more complete document "Interim Eucharistic Sharing: Introduction and Commentary" which OTCH also has.
"Your editorial favoring increased dialogue with the Lutheran church, including possible eucharistic sharing leaves up in the air and avoids one thorny problem that clouds Anglican-Lutheran relations -- namely, the validity of Lutheran orders". "The fact that the Roman Church and some Orthodox churches fail to recognize the validity of our Anglican orders hinders discussion on unity from those churches' side, not ours. The fact remains, however, that at the time of the Reformation Martin Luther ordained ministers outside the apostolic succession. Until the question of the validity of Lutheran orders can be satisfactorily answered, the question of eucharistic sharing must remain up in the air, as it could conceivably recognize the validity of a sacrament consecrated by a minister who has not been validly ordained to the priesthood".
The House welcomed the Reverend Brian Prideaux, National Ecumenical Officer.
Mr. Prideaux said that the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada are now called to develop a common Christian life in the light of their agreement to establish a relationship of Interim Sharing of the Eucharist which became effective 1 October, 1989. This includes eucharistic hospitality to the members of each church. Joint celebrations of the Eucharist are to take place under carefully worked out conditions, with the knowledge and consent of the respective diocesan bishops. There is one president and that president is the priest or pastor of the host church, using the liturgy of that church. Other ordained persons assist with the service and the distribution of the elements.
Ways of developing common Christian life are being explored such as regular prayer and intercession for the other church. Local study groups will be encouraged to examine each other's church.
It is hoped that pastoral agreements will be developed to allow ministers of each denomination to serve in churches of either denomination in sparsely populated areas of Canada, along with ecumenical shared ministries, and the shared use of physical facilities. Common programs of education and outreach are to be encouraged. It is hoped that there will be reciprocal attendance at services of ordination and installation. The exchange of theologians to deliver addresses at major events is to be encouraged. Co-operation is encouraged in areas of social ministry. Mr. Prideaux said that a detailed commentary of the agreement is available through his office, on request.
It was agreed that practical recommendations regarding the eucharist should be made clear in the large commentary.
That work be done locally and jointly on procedures re joint services. CARRIED
It was agreed that the development of common understandings is very important, especially in the area of shared ministries.
It was suggested that diocesan newspapers be sent to each Lutheran clergyperson in each area.
"In September of 1982, four American churches took an official action of historical importance. The Episcopal Church in the United States, The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and the Lutheran Church in America approved by large majorities in their general conventions a series of identical recommendations that altered their relationships to each other. This agreement has been noted by many as a significant ecumenical step with present effects and future implications. .... The purpose of the commentary and guidelines is to provide guidance to those who wish to understand better this new Lutheran-Episcopal agreement and put it into practice. Two items follow. First the text of the agreement as approved by the Louisville Convention of the Lutheran Church in America with a commentary on the agreement, Second, a set of guidelines dealing with services of eucharistic sharing or interim sharing of the Eucharist. These guidelines have been reviewed by the Conference of Synod Bishops of the Lutheran Church in America and approved by the Executive Council of the Lutheran Church in America in March 1983 for use". -- Preface.
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents: Preface / William G. Rusch -- Background -- The Agreement and commentary -- Suggestions for further reading -- Guidelines for Interim Sharing of the Eucharist.