That this Council of General Synod recommend the following resolution to General Synod 2013:
That this General Synod receive the Jerusalem Report of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission (To Love and Serve the Lord) and refer it to the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission to coordinate a process of study and response.
Dean Peter Wall and Mr. Angus Sinclair led the bishops in music from the Evangelical Worship Book. Dean Wall reminded the bishops that the Waterloo Declaration stated that the Anglican and Lutheran churches were free to use each other's liturgy. He reviewed sections in the Worship Book that included liturgy and hymns. Dean Wall informed the bishops that the Evangelical Worship Book was a collaboration of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCiA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCiC). The bishops then sang some hymns from the Worship Book.
Bishop Pryse introduced Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan (Anglican) and the Rev. Paul Johnson (Lutheran) who staff the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission.
Questions and comments were invited from the floor.
That Evangelical Lutheran Worship be included in the list of liturgical resources authorized for use in Anglican Church of Canada. CARRIED HB Res. 07-10-07
Bishop Cowan said that at ecumenical gatherings hosted by Anglicans, Lutherans are (with Anglicans) not ecumenical guests.
That this General Synod affirm the Resolution from the Joint Assembly about confirming and supporting the continued work of the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission, and delegate to the Council of General Synod the decisions on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada about its size and membership.
Be it resolved:
That the Council of General Synod commend for consideration to the General Synod:
That the General Synod affirm the ongoing work of the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission in recognition of our full communion relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
ADOPTED #CoGS 009-03-19
The Very Rev. Peter Wall, Co-Chair of the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission (JALC) presented his report to Council members, noting that a report would also be given at General Synod 2019.
Dean Wall remarked that it was a great pleasure to be the co-chair of JALC and to be involved in the work of deepening the full communion relationship between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). He thanked the Anglican members who worked hard over the last six years.
The deep relationship between the two churches is healthy, mutually supportive, and growing. The Commission is delighted, that, at this stage of our life together, we are moving from a role which has primarily been of monitoring and developing relationships, to one of animating and encouraging programmes, patterns, and mission opportunities.
One of the prime responsibilities of the Commission is to encourage, support, and monitor the important relationship between the two churches. It is a relationship that is born out of a deep commitment on our part of both churches to real ecumenism and to the profound partnership that we have as churches in full communion.
That the Council of General Synod receive the Response of the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission to the WCC Faith and Order Paper The Nature and Mission of the Church and adopt it as the response of the Anglican Church of Canada. ADOPTED BY CONSENSUS (WITHOUT DEBATE) #011-05-09
That the Council of General Synod direct the Handbook Concerns Committee and the Governance Working Group to propose the necessary canonical changes to allow for the full voting participation in the Council of General Synod by the representative of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. ADOPTED BY CONSENSUS (WITHOUT DEBATE) #13-05-09
That the Council of General Synod receive the Executive Summary on Confirmation, and refer it, with the complete report and further resources, to appropriate decision-making bodies in the churches. CARRIED #26-03-07
[From Document: 025-04-07-03 : Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission Report to the Council of General Synod, page 3-5]:
CONFIRMATION MINISTRY IN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA AND THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN CANADA
Questions for Consideration from the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission
As part of its mandate to help our two churches to coordinate their ministries and mission, and support shared ministries, the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission studied a sample of Anglican and Lutheran confirmation ministries. The study identified resources, formation strategies and liturgical approaches presently being used by parishes recommended by their bishops as having strong confirmation ministries.
The study is not a fully representative sample of what is happening in Anglican and Lutheran churches. However the participants raise some important questions that our two churches may want to consider. They have implications for shared ministries and for the renewal of our own confirmation and formation. The full report is available from the national offices of the ACC and the ELCIC or from the Joint Commission.
A QUESTION FOR ANGLICANS: Can the pastoral rite of confirmation be delegated to a presbyter ?
The BAS suggests that the bishop's role is best expressed in his or her presiding at the sacraments, because the sacraments are signs and means by which the church's unity is established and maintained. In relation to Holy Baptism, the BAS says, p. 147, that it is best celebrated "with the bishop present" and on p. 163 "It is recommended that, as far as possible, baptisms be reserved for those occasions when a bishop is present."
The BAS also identifies the liturgy of baptism as "the primary context in which renewals of the baptismal covenant [confirmation, reception and reaffirmation] take place." P. 149. This suggests that renewals of baptism would also be appropriate, if somewhat less important, occasions for the bishop to be present.
Additionally BAS makes provision for baptism to be conducted by a priest: "In the absence of a bishop, a priest is the celebrant." (p. 153)
The questions then:
- If baptism itself may be delegated to a presbyter, what is to prevent confirmation or affirmation of baptism from also being delegated ?
- Is there value in lifting up the primacy of baptism itself and having consistency in the way the bishop is involved in all liturgies related to baptism ?
- Are there ways in which these ministries might be multiplied if the bishop's delegates could also be involved in presiding when the bishop is not able to be present ?
Ruth Meyers in "By Water and the Holy Spirit: Baptism and Confirmation in Anglicanism" 1 [1 Anglican Theological Review, Summer 2001, Vol. 83, Issue 3], notes that other denominations with historic episcopacies have moved away from the bishop's role in confirmation. She says,
- Anglicans must consider how important it is to require Christians to receive laying on of hands by a bishop. Eastern Orthodox baptismal rites have historically included chrismation by a presbyter, and no ritual action by a bishop, at baptism or in some subsequent rite, has been expected or required. Increasingly in Roman Catholicism, confirmation -- laying on of hands with prayer for the sevenfold gift of the Spirit, followed by chrismation -- is administered by presbyters when adults are baptized at the Easter Vigil. In the Lutheran churches with which Anglicans are now in full communion, confirmation -- laying on of hands -- has historically been administered by presbyters. The 1991 Anglican Liturgical Consultation encouraged a broader view of the bishop's ministry: as chief pastor, the bishop expresses the unity of the Church by presiding at baptism and the eucharist and by delegating or presiding at other rites of commitment, such as confirmation.
Furthermore, Principle 9 of "Growing in Newness of Life: The Toronto Statement on Christian Initiation" of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation 1991, states that 'the pastoral rite of confirmation may be delegated to a presbyter'.
Recognizing the value of having the bishop present at all baptisms and renewals of baptism, one respondent said, "Episcopal administration [of the confirmation service] would always be a desirable possibility while not being a necessity."
A QUESTION FOR BOTH LUTHERANS AND ANGLICANS: Does there continue to be value in confirmation as a unique, unrepeatable ministry to young people ?
On the one hand the new Lutheran Worship book makes no distinction between Affirmation of Baptism and confirmation. "Confirmation" is simply what Affirmation of Baptism may be called when it is "part of a process of formation in youth or adulthood". There is not separate action or section for confirmation in the rite of Affirmation of Baptism. The laying on of hands is offered to anyone affirming their baptism. The traditional confirmation prayer "Father in heaven for Jesus' sake ..." is included as one of the options for praying for the person but is not restricted to "confirmands" or even mentioned as specifically applying to confirmation.
Certainly some of the key benefits of confirmation are available in other ways. Children confess their faith publicly as they say the Apostles' Creed in worship each Sunday using the same words as confirmands do. Sunday School, youth and adult Bible Study, prayer and service groups provide training in spiritual formation and mission just as confirmation does. The basics of the faith are learned across the ages. And opportunities to affirm our faith do not have to be restricted to a single opportunity, usually in adolescence.
On the other hand, respondents to our study indicated that confirmation continues to be a blessing in their congregations. It ensures that at least at one point in their life parishioners have an intense experience of Christian study and formation. It gives young people an opportunity to have the congregation's attention and approval, not only during the rite, but also during the confirmation training. The rite provides an opportunity to thank parents and baptismal sponsors. And it is a chance for young people to express their faith in a personal way.
So the question: Can the benefits of confirmation be gained without implying that it is a "graduation: from Christian formation, or an unrepeatable experience of spiritual growth and experience ? If so, how might confirmation be more deeply integrated with other formation ministries of the church ?
That this General Synod receive the Jerusalem Report of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission (To Love and Serve the Lord), and refer it to the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission to coordinate a process of study and response.