Whether Lutherans are many, as in parts of the west, or few, as in the east, many Anglicans heeded the call from the two churches’ leadership to use the time near Reformation Sunday and All Saints to celebrate a new relationship.
In a letter signed by the Anglican primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, and former Lutheran National Bishop Telmor Sartison, the national councils of both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the Anglican Church of Canada suggested the week of October 28 to Nov. 1 to celebrate the new relationship. Both the Anglican General Synod and the Lutheran national convention approved full communion in Waterloo, Ont. last summer.
However, Oct. 28 also corresponded with the Edmonton meeting of the Anglican house of bishops, so dioceses found themselves without a bishop to celebrate a special service.
The diocese of Algoma held a service on Oct. 14 at Zion Lutheran Church in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Bishop Michael Pryse of the Eastern Synod of ELCIC presided, and Bishop Ron Ferris of Algoma preached.
The church was so full that chairs had to be placed in the aisles to accommodate the overflow, said Archdeacon Susan DeGruchy, executive archdeacon to Bishop Ferris.
The service followed the format of the historic celebratory service at the Waterloo recreation complex on July 8. The diocese of Algoma also planned another joint service for Thunder Bay, Ont.
The opportunity to hold joint services or joint deanery meetings in the diocese of Brandon was bypassed because of the election of new bishops in October. However, Mike Lowry, administrative assistant for the diocese of Brandon, noted that in Brandon three Anglican parishes held an early outdoor summer service with Redeemer Lutheran church in a local park.
There was a large celebratory service between St. Barnabas Anglican and Hope Lutheran churches in Calgary on Oct. 28. St. Barnabas has 400 families on its parish roles and Hope Lutheran “is pretty big as well,” said Rev. Grant Rodgers, rector of St. Barnabas. Mr. Rodgers preached the sermon at that service, and the following Sunday Stewart Miller, pastor at Hope Lutheran, preached at St. Barnabas. Lutherans also celebrate Reformation Sunday.
In the diocese of Toronto, the Anglican churches and Christ Lutheran church in Peterborough, Ont. held an evening “cluster service” to celebrate All Saints day at St. Alban’s Anglican church.