In mid-August, I attended the first ever Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) gathering in London, Ont. National Bishop Susan Johnson was there along with all five of the synod bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada (ELCIC). Bishops Sue Moxley, Bob Bennett, Don Phillips and Barbara Andrews represented the Anglican church.Most of the 1,000 young people were Lutheran. That statistic reflects the ELCIC’s abiding commitment, since 1970, to host a biennial conference for youth. About 100 of the participants were Anglican. That reflects the deep desire of our churches to continue growing together in full communion.Through drama, music and teaching based on several of the parables of Jesus, we were challenged to think about how “hands on” God is in the world–renewing creation day by day, season by season, year by year; how “hands on” God is in the ministry of Jesus loving, healing and reconciling us; and how “hands on” God wants us to be in working together in the interests of compassion, justice and peace for all people. I have a vivid memory of some 2,000 hands in the air waving to the songs of this gathering. One of the songs, written by Jason Gray and Jason Ingram, was entitled “Fade with Our Voices.” It explores the relationship between our worship and our witness in the world. The chorus reads,
Let it have feet
Let it stand tall in the face of injustice
Let our worship bow down
Let it run deep
It’s more than a song
And it won’t fade with our voices….
That’s good theology for the dismissal of the eucharist. Hands lifted on high become hands reaching out to help and heal the world. Beautiful song becomes loving service in the name of Christ whose body we are. Thank you, Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth, for your “hands on” approach to living the faith we share. God bless you. ΩArchbishop Fred Hiltz is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.See video footage of Archbishop Hiltz grooving to the music at CLAY. Go to videos at anglicanjournal.com