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Episcopal Church joins Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Anglican Church in Canada, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada to celebrate 10-year anniversary of full communion on May 1

March 23, 2011

The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America will join with their Canadian counterparts â€" the Anglican Church in Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada â€" to celebrate 10 years of the full communion relationship in an international way on May 1.

Called to Common Mission, for full communion between the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the similar Canadian document, The Waterloo Declaration, between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, both took effect in 2001.

Participating in the May 1 celebration will be the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church; Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; and Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.

“Called to Common Mission has been a remarkable opportunity for Lutherans and Episcopalians to recognize that what we share is far greater than what distinguishes one part of the Body of Christ from the other,” noted Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori. “More and more church members have experienced the grace and blessing of the other tradition, and increasing numbers of congregations regularly share the gift of pastoral and sacramental ministry with a pastor or priest from the other tradition. We are sharing more resources in serving God’s mission, particularly at churchwide levels of staff and program.”

"Our celebration is an important reminder that neither historic divisions between churches nor boundaries between our nations are obstacles for sharing mission and ministry together,” Bishop Hanson said. “We give thanks to God for what has been established through the full communion agreements in our two countries. We look forward to a deeper reception among our four churches, as we look toward the future.”

The May 1 event will feature simultaneous celebrations at 3 pm at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Fort Erie, Ontario and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo, NY (Diocese of Western New York).

Bishop Johnson will preside at St. Paul’s Anglican and Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori will preach. Presiding Bishop Hanson will preside and Archbishop Hiltz will preach at Holy Trinity Lutheran.

Bishop Hanson said, “We have chosen a place near the border between our countries to celebrate our historic agreements, to provide a unified witness to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus, to share our commitment for renewal in Christ's Church and in God's creation, and to serve our neighbor in need."

The celebrations will include elements of the worship services of the four denominations.

“Ten years is only a beginning â€" we are yet young in this work,” Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori continued. “This celebration is especially notable in transcending the national boundaries between Canadian and U.S. churches. God truly knows no bounds. May these words of Morning Prayer take on new significance: “O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and those who are near…” and may we together become builders of that world of peace.”

The Episcopal Church:

Anglican Church of Canada:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada:

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Buffalo, NY:

St. Paul's Anglican Church, Fort Erie, Ontario:

Called to Common Mission:

The Waterloo Declaration:

Related articles:

Anglican Church of Canada: Anglicans and Lutherans celebrate 10 years of full communion

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada: Lutherans and Anglicans Celebrate 10 Years of Full Communion

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Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer