Ecumenical Greeting Delivered by the Representative of the Lutheran World Federation, Bishop Walter Jagucki on behalf of the Secretary, The Revd Dr Ishmael Noko, to the 13th ACC Meeting
Most Honoured President, Chairperson and Secretary General, dear friends,
It is a privilege and joy for me to send you a word of greeting through Bishop Walter Jagucki of the Lutheran Church in Great Britain, representing the Lutheran World Federation at your meeting. I do this as I gratefully remember the time I spent with you in Hong Kong three years ago. Since then, the relationship between the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran World Federation has remained close and stable. We are in so many ways sister communions, with family bonds of many kinds binding us together.
The strongest ties between us are the committed forms of church communion that Anglican and Lutheran churches have entered into in Europe and North America. It remains a major opportunity and challenge to stimulate similar agreements in other parts of the world.
But we are also bound together in many other ways. One of them is the strong commitment we share for the inner unity of our communions. There are those who see our efforts to uphold the integrity of our communions as a form of confessionalism. I believe, as I know you do also, that nothing could be farther from the truth. Our commitment to unity within our families is one very important way in which we participate in, and contribute to, the ecumenical movement. This is, or course, on the basis that we are at the same time ecumenically open and ready to recognize other churches as true churches of Christ and enter into communion relations with them whenever possible.
I have been graciously invited by the Anglican Communion to be an ecumenical participant in the Reception Reference Committee pertaining to the Windsor Report. This is also one expression of the way we are involved in each others’ life and each others’ concerns as world communions.
Secretary General, John Peterson and I enjoyed a close and trusted relationship and I am confident that such a relationship will continue also with Secretary General, Kenneth Kearon. Let me take this opportunity to wish you once more, Canon Kearon, God’s blessing in his new, present calling.
The Anglican Communion and the LWF can always rely on each other to be represented at important ecumenical meetings and events. We look to each other as do siblings, for mutual comfort and joy.
We meet annually in Joint Staff meetings, where we usually process quite a long agenda of ecumenical issues of common concern and interest. It is this Joint Staff Meeting that also decides, with approval of our governing bodies, on matters concerning the official dialogue between our two families. A new Anglican-Lutheran International Commission (ALIC) will begin its work in January 2006 with a meeting to take place in Moshi, Tanzania. The mandate agreed on for this commission is an interesting and promising one. We shall also do what we can to ensure that the All Africa Anglican-Lutheran Commission can continue its work with a view to reaching a communion agreement between the Anglican and Lutheran churches on the African continent.
Let me assure you of my sincere good wishes and prayers to God for this meeting of the ACC. May the Holy Spirit be your strength, your guide and your hope – for each one of you, for your Council, and for your Communion. In Christ Jesus, our Lord.