White Point, Nova Scotia, Canada, 14 to 20 May 2007
The Third Anglican – Lutheran International Commission (ALIC) held its second meeting at White Point, Nova Scotia, Canada between 14 and 20 May, 2007, under the chairmanship of the Rt Revd Fred Hiltz, Anglican Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, and the Revd Dr Thomas Nyiwé, President of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cameroon.
The Commission has been established by the Anglican Consultative Council and the Lutheran World Federation to continue the dialogue between Anglicans and Lutherans on the worldwide level which has been in progress since 1970. ALIC intends to build upon the work reflected in The Niagara Report (1987), focusing on the mission of the church and the role of the ordained ministry, The Diaconate as an Ecumenical Opportunity (1995), and most recently Growth in Communion (2002), the report of the Anglican – Lutheran International Working Group (ALIWG), which reviewed the extensive regional agreements which have established close relations between Anglican and Lutheran churches in several parts of the world.
The Commission first met in 2006 in Moshi, Tanzania where it set up working groups. At the White Point meeting the working groups continued their work and presented papers on a variety of topics, including the following: the status of Lutheran-Anglican relations in various regions of the world, the state of the question regarding the historic episcopate, emerging opportunities for joint mission and diaconal ministry, the state of interchangeability of ministries throughout the world, cooperation in theological education, a critical analysis of ecclesiology and the language of unity. The Commission also explored ways of developing these themes in its future work.
The Commission welcomed the Lutheran World Federation’s recent Lund statement on “Episcopal Ministry within the Apostolicity of the Church”. It views this statement as a useful reference point for its own ongoing discussions on the ministry of episkopé, and commends it for study in the context of Anglican – Lutheran dialogue.
The Commission also had extensive discussions on the proposed draft for “An Anglican Covenant” and offered a response from the perspective of the document’s potential impact on ecumenical relations between the two communions. This response has been forwarded to the Covenant Design Group. The Commission encourages the Lutheran World Federation to respond to the Covenant draft.
As a result of its deliberations on the ministry of diakonia, the Commission plans to include in its future meetings a block of time devoted to strategies that will help our churches work more closely together in common witness to address issues such as HIV-AIDS and poverty.
The Commission took action to enable the All Africa Anglican – Lutheran Commission (AAALC) to move ahead with its mandate, and anticipates a report from the AAALC at its next meeting.
The meeting was hosted by the Anglican Communion in cooperation with Bishop Fred Hiltz. The Commission was welcomed by Bishop Raymond Schultz, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and received a greeting from the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Andrew Hutchison. Commission members visited The Little Dutch Church, the oldest standing building of Lutheran origin in Canada and now associated with the Anglican parish of St. George in Halifax, as well as the Cathedral Church of All Saints of Halifax, and historic St. John’s Church in Lunenburg, the centerpiece of the World Historic District of Old Town Lunenburg.
The Commission is planning to meet next year (2008) in Norway. We give thanks to God for the vocation of Anglicans and Lutherans to bear witness to the love of God revealed in Christ in their common service to the world, and we pray that God will bless and guide the life of both Communions in this work.
The members of the Commission are:
The Rt Revd Fred Hiltz, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (Co-Chair)
The Revd Dr Charlotte Methuen, Hanau, Germany and Oxford, England
The Rt Revd Musonda T S Mwamba, Gaborone, Botswana
The Revd Professor Renta Nishihara, Tokyo, Japan
The Very Revd William H Petersen, Columbus, Ohio, USA
The Revd Dr Cathy Thomson, Brisbane, Australia
The Revd Canon Dr Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Revd Dr Günther Esser, the Old Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht (unable to attend)
The Revd Canon Dr Gregory Cameron, Anglican Communion Office, London, England
Revd Dr Thomas Nyiwe, Ngaoundere-Adamaoua, Cameroon (Co-Chair)
Professor Dr Kirsten Busch Nielsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Revd Angel Furlan, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Revd Dr Cameron R Harder, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Landesbischof Jürgen Johannesdotter, Germany (unable to attend)
Revd Helene Tärneberg Steed, Cork, Republic of Ireland
Professor Dr Kenneth G Appold, Strasbourg, France (Acting Co-Secretary)
Rt Revd Dr Ndanganeni P Phaswana, Soweto, South Africa
Administrative support was provided by the Revd Terrie Robinson of the Anglican Communion Office