The first formal ecumenical meeting between the Anglican Church of Canada and Mennonite Church Canada took place in Waterloo, Ont., 2-3 February 2018. "The dialogue took place following the approval of a resolution by General Synod in 2016" (p. 10). "Stating that the Anglican Church of Canada no longer holds the 'privileged' place in Canadian society that it once did, the resolution suggests that through dialogue with the Mennonites, the church might learn 'about living faithfully as disciples on Jesus on the margins of society'" (p. 10). The Rev. Scott Sharman, the Anglican Church's animator for ecumenical and interfaith relations, noted that "the Anglican church has historically aligned its closer to the state, having served as the 'establishment church' in many countries and expecting to have a role in the shaping of policy. For their part, Sharman says, Mennonites expressed interest in what they perceived as an Anglican ability to hold together despite differences of opinion. 'They see in Anglicanism .. how to be a church that is comfortable with reconciled diversity, that allows for healthy disagreement or good disagreement within a big tent'" (p. 10). "Dialogue members also discussed the possibility of partnering in reconcilation initiatives with Indigenous communities" (p. 10).
"The Rev. Scott Sharman, currently interfaith chaplain at the University of Alberta, and also the diocese of Edmonton's ecumenical officer, has been named as the church's animator for ecumenical and interfaith relations, the office of General Synod announced July 18 . Sharman, who will work out of Edmonton, will begin in his new role September 1 ." "'I believe God has created the church as a place where we are called into relationship with difference for the purpose of modelling a different way of being -- a way of dialogue and learning rather than rivalry and tension', he said". "Sharman also teaches church history and Anglican studies at Newman Theological College in Edmonton, and serves as director of Ascension House, a small-scale intentional community for young people in Edmonton".
"A Vancouver rectory is set to become one of the newest of a number of intentional communities recently planned or launched by Anglicans in Canada. This September , St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage, an Anglican church in East Vancouver, will launch its first 11-month spiritual program at Hineni House, a small spiritual community intended for young adults". "The idea for Hineni House arose about five years ago, [program director Anita Laura] Fonseca says, when St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage was pondering what to do with its rectory". "In support of the project, St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage received a grant of $10,000 from the Anglican Foundation for youth leadership development projects, says Anglican Foundation executive administrator Scott Brubacher". "Hineni House will join a number of new Anglican-originated intentional communities for young people in Canada. In 2014, the parish of Christ Church in Edmonton and the diocese of Edmonton jointly launched Ascension House, a six-person community for people 18-25. The Companions on the Way program, an initiative of the Sisters of St. John the Diving (SSJD) in Toronto aimed at women, ages 22-40, is slated to start this September . The Rev. Scott Sharman, director of Ascension House, "says its too early, however, to say how successful this movement will be. And indeed, both Fonseca and Canon Sr. Constance Joanna Gefvert, co-ordinator of SSJD's program, say response to their programs has not been what they would have hoped".
In the face of violence, 'A Common Word' sows common ground : The Anglican Church of Canada could soon join a global movement on Christian-Muslim dialogue -- but 'A Common Word' has already brought Albertans together
"For the Rev. Scott Sharman, animator for ecumenical and interfaith relations for the Anglican Church of Canada, such incidents [as the March 2019 Christchurch] underscore the need for Christians to take a stand against hate and promote dialogue between the world's two largest faiths. At the November 2018 meeting of the Council of General Synod (CoGS), Sharman presented a resolution calling for the council to affirm efforts by the department of faith, worship and ministry to support Christian-Muslim dialogue under the banner of 'A Common Word Between Us and You', working in parallel with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) as a full-communion partner project. A global initiative inspired by a letter signed by 138 Muslim leaders in 2007-2008 -- subsequently endorsed by more than 200 Christian leaders, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams -- 'A Common Word' invites Christians and Muslims to come together for open dialogue and seek common ground to work towards peace" (p. 1, 12). "Incidents such as the [March 2019] New Zealand massacre, the acts of intimidation targeting Edmonton mosques, and the two-year anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting 'highlight again how important that is, and that this isn't just a problem that exists in other parts of the world', Sharman adds" (p. 12). "'One of the unique things about 'A Common World Alberta' is that it is an annual event that brings in the same people over and over again', says Ibrahim Long, a Muslim chaplain and teacher who has attended the dialogue for five years" (p. 13). "Jane Samson, an Anglican lay reader at Holy Trinity Old Strathcona and a history professor at the University of Alberta, describes growing hate crimes as the result of complex global processes and events, from 9/11 and the Syrian refugee crisis to economic and technological changes" (p. 13).
"The LAURC Covenant, signed by the heads of 10 dioceses and other church bodies of these four denominations [Lutheran, Anglican, Ukrainian Catholic, Roman Catholic] in Saskatchewan, and released April 2 , pledges them to shared life together under five broad headings: prayer, study, action, social life and ecumenical leadership. They commit to six practices, including an annual 'service of reconciliation' with participants from all churches, joint justice-related initiatives; and meetings with Indigenous elders and communities aimed at responding to the 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission". "The Rev. Scott Sharman, the Anglican Church of Canada's animator for ecumenical and interfaith relations, said the covenant was possibly the only one of its kind and might serve as an example for others to follow". Michael Hawkins, Anglican bishop of Saskatchewan, "one of the covenant's signatories, says the covenant is 'in part the fruit of a long history of ecumenism in Saskatchewan and of the extraordinary good will, support, honesty and friendship that exists between the bishops'. This week's agreement builds on a covenant between the Anglican diocese of Qu'Appelle and the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Regina made in 2011. Bishops from all four denominations have also been meeting quarterly in Saskatchewan for a number of years".
"One challenge now facing merged Anglican and United congregations ... is that they lack an agreement allowing the interchangeability of ministries. Clergy of one church have been allowed to serve as clergy for the other only in circumstances regarded as exceptional, such as in ecumenical shared ministries, for which special permission needs to be granted by authorities of each denomination". "United Church ministers cannot preside at an Anglican Eucharist. 'A United Church minister cannot currently celebrate the Eucharist for Anglicans, according to the Anglican liturgical rites for the Eucharist', explains the Rev. Scott Sharman, the Anglican Church of Canada's animator for ecumenical and interfaith relations. 'But a United Church minister who is serving as the pastor of an ecumenical shared ministry, which includes an Anglican parish, can celebrate communion, according to the United Church liturgical rites for communion, and Anglicans can receive that communion from them'." "Under a plan now before the United Church's governing body, the church's four levels of governance -- pastoral charge or congregation, presbytery, conference and General Council -- would be reduced to three. The idea is that presbyteries and conferences would be replaced with regional councils". "The possible impact of the restructuring was one of the areas dialogue members discussed when they met November 27-30, 2017". "Sharman says there are upwards of 44 Anglican Church of Canada-United Church of Canada ecumenical shared ministries, or joint congregations, in Canada".