At its meeting in Auckland, the Anglican Consultative Council commended the new report of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission (ALIC III) to the whole Communion, for study and action.
To Love and Serve the Lord focusses on diakonia (the ministry of service and mission, common to all Christians). Jointly produced by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Anglican Communion for the third phase of their bilateral dialogue the publication offers a diverse array of stories about church ministries that are transforming relations between churches in both communions.
The ALIC III co-chairs Lutheran Bishop Dr Thomas Nyiwe (Cameroon) and Anglican Archbishop Fred Hiltz (Canada) point out that the concluding report of the 2006-2011 dialogue period was intended to highlight what both partners had learned from their growing experience and therefore focus on ‘why growth in relations between Anglican and Lutheran churches is possible.’
In the publication’s preface, Abp Hiltz and Bp Nyiwe say the report presents a new phase in the maturity of relations between Anglican and Lutheran churches. ‘While important differences remain, of course, this third phase of our Anglican-Lutheran International Commission did not need to put these differences at the centre of its work,’ they say.
The Anglican Communion and the LWF commend the report to their respective churches for study, encouraging them to pursue common development of ministries that build up Anglican and Lutheran relationships at all levels of church life and mission.
For this purpose, the report identifies a number of recommendations for concrete diaconal action at local, regional or global level. These include ways in which the churches could do more together at all levels for disaster relief, in advocating on issues relating to climate change, illegitimate debt, HIV and AIDS and other pressing social concerns.
The report reviews developments between Anglican and Lutheran churches in various regions of the world and commends the growth in communion that they represent. It recommends that regions benefit from each other’s experience and find ways appropriate for their own contexts to recognize each other’s ordained ministries.
The modern dialogue between Anglicans and Lutherans on the worldwide level has been in progress since 1972, with joint reports on the different phases.
To obtain a copy of To Love and Serve the Lord report, please go to the online shop at http://shop.anglicancommunion.org/