By Marites N. Sison - Anglican Journal
In an historic move, the Anglican diocese of Rupert’s Land has appointed a Lutheran pastor – the Rev. Paul Johnson – as dean of the diocese and incumbent for St. John’s Cathedral in Winnipeg.
This is the first time that a Lutheran-Canadian pastor has been appointed dean in an Anglican cathedral in Canada. A dean is the priest in charge of a cathedral (“mother church”) and occupies a senior position in a diocese.
The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) have been in full communion since 2001, which means that their clergy may serve in one another’s churches.
In an email sent to clergy Sept. 27, the bishop of the diocese of Rupert’s Land, Don Phillips, informed clergy of Rev. Johnson’s appointment and said that the diocese was “looking forward to this new beginning in the life of our church.”
A rostered (ordained) Lutheran pastor of the Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), Rev. Johnson was previously the assistant to the National Bishop of the ELCIC, Ray Schultz from 2003 to 2007 and to his successor, Bishop Susan Johnson, from 2007 to 2009.
“In addition to being heavily involved in ecumenical work locally, nationally and internationally, Paul served several years as an Honourary Assistant at our Cathedral,” said Bishop Phillips.
Ordained a pastor in the Saskatchewan Synod of the ELCIC in 1987, Rev. Johnson also served pastorates in Regina, Winnipeg, and Emerson, Man.
Rev. Johnson begins his appointment on Jan. 16, 2012. He succeeds Dean Robert “Bob” Osborne, who retired last year.