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Resolution 4 - Anglican-Lutheran Relations

Resolution 4

Anglican-Lutheran Relations

This Conference:

1. Receives with gratitude the "Cold Ash Report" (1983) of the Anglican-Lutheran Joint Working Group and approves its recommendations (see "Emmaus Report," pp 82-84).

2. Welcomes the "Niagara Report" of the Anglican-Lutheran Consultation on "Episcope" (1987), recognizes in it a substantial convergence of views, and commends it to the member Churches of the Anglican Communion for study and synodical reception.

3. Recommends that the permanent body already established by the Anglican Consultative Council and the Lutheran World Federation to co-ordinate and assess developing Anglican-Lutheran relationships (the Anglican/Lutheran International Continuation Committee) be renamed as the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission, and asked to undertake the following tasks in addition to its existing terms of reference:

(a) to integrate in a broader document the theological work already accomplished in international, regional and local dialogues; (b) to explore more thoroughly the theological and canonical requirements that are necessary in both Churches to acknowledge and recognise the full authenticity of existing ministries (see "Niagara Report", para.94); (c) to advise with sensitivity on the actual pastoral practices of our Churches in regard to the celebration of God's word and sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist; (d) to produce a report which will indicate the degree of convergence of views on the ordained ministry of bishops, presbyters and deacons.

4. Recognises, on the basis of the high degree of consensus reached in international, regional and national dialogues between Anglicans and Lutherans and in the light of the communion centred around word and sacrament that has been experienced in each other's traditions, the presence of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Lutheran Communion as our own. 5. Urges that this recognition and the most recent convergence on apostolic ministry achieved in the "Niagara Report" of the Anglican-Lutheran Consultation on "Episcope" (1987) prompt us to move towards the fullest possible ecclesial recognition and the goal of full communion. 6. Recommends to member Churches, subject to the concurence of the Lutheran World Federation, that: (a) Anglican and Lutheran Churches should officially establish and occasions make this appropriate; (b) The provinces of our Communion should make provision for appropriate forms of `interim eucharistic sharing' along the following lines: (i) They should by synodical action recognize now the member Churches of the Lutheran World Federation as Churches in which the Gospel is preached and taught; (ii) They should encourage the development of common Christian life throughout their respective Churches by such means as the following proposals of the "Niagara Report": (a) eucharistic sharing and joint common celebration of the Eucharist; (b) meetings of Church leaders for regular prayer, reflection and consultation, thus beginning joint episcope; (c) mutual invitation of Church leaders, clergy and laity, to synods, with a right to speak; (d) common agencies wherever possible; (e) exploring the possibility of adjusting boundaries to assist local and regional co-operation; (f) covenants among Church leaders to collaborate in episcope; (g) joint pastoral appointments for special projects; (h) joint theological education and training courses; (i) sharing of information and documents; (j) joint mission programmes; (k) agreed syllabuses for Christian education in schools, joint materials for catechesis and adult study; (l) co-operation over liturgical forms, cycle of intercession, lectionaries and homiletic materials; (m) welcoming isolated clergy or diaspora congregations into the life of a larger group (see ALERC "Helsinki Report," 5); (n) interchange of ministers to the extent permitted by canon law; (o) twinning (partnership) between congregations and communities; (p) joint programmes of diaconal ministry and reflection on issues of social responsibility; (q) joint retreats and devotional materials. (iii) They should affirm by synodical action now on the basis of the consensus documents of Anglican-Lutheran International Conversations that the basic teaching of each respective Church is consonant with Scripture and that Lutheran teaching is sufficiently compatible with the teachings of the Churches of the Anglican Communion so that a relationship of interim sharing of the Eucharist may be established between these Churches under the guidelines appended. Interim sharing of the Eucharist Intercommunion Cold Ash Report (1983) Emmmaus Report Niagara Report (1987) GUIDELINES FOR INTERIM SHARING OF THE EUCHARIST (a) The Churches of the Anglican Communion extend a special welcome to members of the Lutheran Churches to receive Holy Communion on the understanding that the Lutheran Churches will do likewise. This welcome constitutes a recognition of eucharistic teaching sufficient for interim sharing of the Eucharist.

(b) Bishops of dioceses of the Anglican Communion and bishops/presidents of Lutheran districts and synods may by mutual agreement extend their regulations of church discipline to permit common, joint celebration of the Eucharist within their jurisdictions according to guidelines established by respective synods.

In this case: When a joint Eucharist is held in an Anglican church an Anglican bishop or priest should preside, using an Anglican liturgy, with the Lutheran preaching; when a joint Eucharist is held in a Lutheran church a Lutheran should preside using a Lutheran liturgy, with the Anglican preaching. This is not concelebration, nor does it imply rejection or final recognition of either Church's eucharist or ministry. The liturgical arrangements, including the position of the ministers in relation to the alter, should take into account local circumstances and sensitivities.

(See further paras 72-78 and para.82b of the Report on "Ecumenical Relations.")

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