Lutheran-Anglican Pact OK'd in Canada
Anglican and Lutheran churches in Canada have approved a full communion agreement modeled on a similar accord drafted by their sister churches in the United States. Delegates of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada overwhelmingly endorsed the new relationship July 6 while meeting at adjacent college campuses in Kitchener-Waterloo. The two churches have a combined membership of about 879,000.
The agreement was modeled in part on the Called to Common Mission agreement between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that went into effect this year. Like the U.S. agreement, the Canadian pact is not a merger but allows both churches to recognize each other's clergy and sacraments.
Similarly, Lutherans agreed to the Anglican practice of ordination by a bishop, not a pastor. That provision continues to stir dissent within the ELCA, and delegates to August's Churchwide Assembly will be asked to approve exemptions to the merger.
"For myself, this is a moment of great rejoicing," said Anglican Archbishop Michael Peers, the primate, or presiding bishop, of the Canadian church. At their meeting, the Lutherans elected Ray Schultz as their new national bishop. …