Youth prepare to lead on Parliament Hill

Anglican and Lutheran youth delegates prepare for the July 6 prayer event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Photo: Matthew Brown
Anglican and Lutheran youth delegates prepare for the July 6 prayer event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Photo: Matthew Brown
Published July 3, 2013

The 36 youth delegates who have come to participate in Joint Assembly from Anglican and Lutheran parishes across the country will also help to lead a prayer gathering on Parliament Hill on Saturday morning.

The focus will be on the need to provide access to clean water, particularly to aboriginal communities.

Judy Steers, the Anglican Church of Canada’s co-ordinator for youth initiatives, says the event is intended to be prayer rather than protest. “Yes, we are about awareness of social justice issues, but prayer is central to what we do, so to gather together in a very public place and to pray together, I think, is a really powerful witness.” She added that the Right to Water is the current national youth project of the Lutheran and Anglican Churches.

Speaking to the Anglican Journal after a July 2 orientation session and a very rainy walk-through on the Hill, Kayla Fish, 20, an Anglican delegate from Peachland, B.C., said the youth delegates will be on the Hill early Saturday morning to greet participants, gather them into groups of 12 and lead each group through some liturgy and discussion intended to make the gathering a more personal experience. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Bishop Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, will lead other parts of the service in the large group.

Heather Werboweski, 17, a Lutheran delegate from Winnipeg, said that the orientation gave her a sense of solidarity with other youth delegates and helped her feel that she was not “isolated or alone.”

Fish replied that she, too, is interested in learning how the Lutheransdo things, particularly their shorter synods. “Ours tends to run long.We tend to talk more and rehash a lot of the same things, whereas youguys keep things pretty short.”

After a walk-through of plans for the July 6prayer event on Parliament Hill, youth delegates Stephen Warner, HeatherWerboweski, Ian Silk and Kayla Fish told the Journal they look forwardto learning more about their full communion partners. Photo: Leigh Anne Williams

Stephen Warner, 17, from Toronto says what he is hoping to see come out of this meeting is change. “From an Anglican perspective, a lot of our resolutions are dealing with the bureaucracy of the national church as a whole, and so my hope is that a lot of that gets dealt with…. The big thing for me is that there’s a lot of overlapping committees and things and a lot of the resolutions are to get rid of those.”

Ian Silk, 20, a first-time Anglican delegate from Winnipeg, said he’s just waiting to see how it all goes, but he’s looking forward to the Parliament Hill event. “It should be pretty cool.”



  • Leigh Anne Williams

    Leigh Anne Williams joined the Anglican Journal in 2008 as a part-time staff writer. She also works as the Canadian correspondent for Publishers Weekly, a New York-based trade magazine for the book publishing. Prior to this, Williams worked as a reporter for the Canadian bureau of TIME Magazine, news editor of Quill & Quire, and a copy editor at The Halifax Herald, The Globe and Mail and The Bay Street Bull.

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