An unofficial digest of the proceedings of the First Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the 40th Session of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
Sunday July 7, 2013
Joint Session #6
1. Reflections from Keynote Speaker
Dr. Christopher Duraisingh addressed the Assembly, speaking of the need to develop the “Third Eye” – one that views the world through compassion and that sees with the heart. Despite the burden of dwindling resources, a vision has been grown here, together in Ottawa for the love of the world, and commitments have taken place. How are you going to take them home to empower people on the ground?
He challenged each member, upon going home, to get together, Anglican parishes and Lutheran congregations on the ground, to seek together and witness to the ‘already –up-and-active God in that place, by doing a “mission audit.” How is God present and active in your community? What are the human needs and hurts? How is creation bleeding? What gifts do you have together? There is not a single congregation without God-given resources. What is God calling us to do today? He described the five-fold functions of any church: teaching, fellowship, worship, preaching, service and called members to think of them not as things balanced as though hanging on a mobile, but more like a rocket booster, propelling us into the mission of God. We need to be drawn out of our subjectivity – as individuals, as Anglicans or as Lutherans – into the other.
2. Open Mic: Reflections from Participants
Dean Peter Wall and Bishop Michael Pryse introduced a feedback reflection session. Dean Wall remarked that on Tuesday and Wednesday we came together for the love of the world, today we are together for the love of the world. He led the Assembly in expressing deep thanks to the Primate and National Bishop for their leadership, love and service. Members proceeded to use the electronic voting system to answer questions to feed back to the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission. An open mic session followed.
Dean Wall offered special thanks to the co-chairs of the Joint Local Arrangements Committee and to the co-chairs of the Joint Worship Committee.
3. Closing Worship Service
The First Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada closed with a celebration of the Eucharist, National Bishop Susan Johnson presiding. In his sermon, Archbishop Hiltz urged the assembly to get up, get out and get lost in the joys and sufferings of humanity, and to get on with being the church in and for the world. He reviewed highlights of these days and reflected that the Lord’s heart must be beating with joy. The Inukshuk, symbol of the Assembly, speaks to us of the constituent parts of the body, gathered and then dispersed into ministry in service of God’s mission, the body of Christ broken for the sake of the world. As the Seventy were sent out and returned with joy, we now are the current wave of God’s mission.
Elder Annie Smith-St. George, who had welcomed the gathering to the Traditional Territory of the Algonkian people at the beginning of Assembly, led a time of silent prayer for the people of Lac-Mégantic, then offered a prayer of gratitude for the gifts of the Creator, for those gathered in the Assembly and for safe travel.
The ambo, font and altar were re-assembled to create an Inukshuk in the centre of the gathering, as the Assembly was sent forth in God’s mission.