Church Leaders Talk Full Communion. (Canada)

Article excerpt

The Lutheran World Federation Assembly, which meets in Winnipeg from July 21-31, is expected to draw more than 1,000 Lutherans from around the world, and Anglicans are helping in a significant way.

Among the 500 guests and visitors to the conference will be the primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, who will speak to the international crowd on how the Anglican-Lutheran partnership in Canada is working.

Both the Anglican and Lutheran churches in Canada voted in 2001 in favour of full communion, whereby the two denominations maintain their identities but recognize each other's rites, ministries and sacraments.

Based in Geneva, the LWF represents 63 million Lutherans and holds international assemblies every six years to set future policy and elect people to key positions. The July assembly will mark the first time it has met in Canada. Anglican volunteers are helping to plan the conference.

The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in ecumenical. relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communications and mission and development work.

Archbishop Peers and Bishop Raymond Schultz, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, met recently in Winnipeg and discussed full communion in Canada and their hopes for the upcoming assembly.

The following are some excerpts from that conversation, which was moderated by journalist Michael McAteer.

McAteer: How is full communion working?

Bishop Schultz: I think it's working very well. When I visit my colleagues in the United States, where the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is in full communion with the Episcopal Church in the United States, they look at us with considerable envy because the relationship that we have is so amicable. It also has a great deal of flexibility compared to the U.S. relationship where everything is kind of nailed down from the beginning and is a much more rigid process.

The most obvious examples of how it is working are that our two churches are exchanging clergy so that clergy for each denomination are serving congregations in the other. …