An invitation to prayer with our sister churches during their church-wide gatherings
Last summer during The Episcopal Church’s 79th General Convention, an invitation was shared with our American and Canadian sisters, brothers, and siblings in the Lutheran and Anglican/Episcopal tradition to pledge their prayers for our church as we gathered in Austin, Texas to deliberate over matters of concern unique to The Episcopal Church and those common to all of us.
This summer the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America each gather for their respective Conventions, Synods and Assemblies. The presiding bishops of these churches, along with Presiding Bishop Curry again invite members of these four faith groups to share the following statement of mutual concern before or during this summer’s church-wide gatherings.
Statement of Mutual Commitment
As sisters and brothers in the Lutheran and Anglican/Episcopal traditions and in the spirit of full communion between our respective Churches in Canada and the United States, we the Presiding Bishops are happy to say that in the last ten years we have intentionally deepened our own partnerships. We have done this through our annual “4 Way” meetings, Advent and Lenten devotions, and shared public statements on issues that concern the human family and our common home, the earth itself. We rejoice in our genuine friendship and are grateful for the mutual support and encouragement we enjoy in the exercise of our ministries.
Our Churches are all holding their respective Conventions, Synods and Assemblies during 2018/2019. We pledge our prayers as bishops, clergy and laity come together to deliberate over matters of concern unique to each Church and those common to all of us. We pray that in the midst of all the demands on our attention to matters domestic we not lose sight of our calling as the Church to be “in and for the world” (W.C.C. Document, The Church Towards a Common Vision, 2013).
We invite the members of our Churches to join us in prayer during the periods of these churchwide gatherings:
Anglican Church of Canada General Synod: July 10-16, 2019
Vancouver, British Columbia
Decisions include: Election of new primate
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada National Convention: July 11-13, 2019 Regina, Saskatchewan
Election of a national bishop
“The Call to Journey Faithfully with Those Who Are Dying” and related motions
“Reimagining Our Church: Public Ministry in the ELCIC” and related motions
Signing on to “A Common Word Between Us and You” Initiation of a joint ACC-ELCIC program of Muslim-Christian engagement
Adoption of Memorandum of Mutual Recognition of Relations of Full Communion
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly: August 5-10, 2019 Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Elections for presiding bishop and for secretary
- “Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment”
- “Faith, Sexism, and Justice”
- “Declaration to Persons of African Descent”
Celebration of 50th anniversary of decision to ordain women
Almighty and ever-living God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We pledge not only our prayers, but also our continued commitment to explore more deeply how to live into our communion partnerships and our common witness to Jesus Christ whose prayer is this, “that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:21)
About the “4-Way” meetings
For 10 years, the Presiding Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and The Episcopal Church have been meeting in person on an annual basis to discuss issues of common concern. Colloquially referred to as their “4 Way” meetings, this group has issued joint statements and provided shared devotional materials for the four Churches.
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