UPDATE (April 23, 2012): The Anglican Church in North America and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod released a joint statement addressing areas of theological agreement, unique challenges faced by both churches today, and ways in which the churches may work together in the future. Statement here: LCMS-ACNA_Joint_Statement.pdf.
A first meeting of representatives of the Anglican Church in North America and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) was held Tuesday, March 27, at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA.
This gathering included representatives from the two denominations, including the leaders of both groups: Archbishop Robert Duncan and Bishop John Bradosky (NALC). The Anglican Church in North America was formed in 2009 as a new Anglican Province in North America. The NALC was formed in 2010 as a reconfiguration of Lutheranism in North America. Both bodies represent a biblical, confessional expression of their respective historic traditions.
The group was hosted by Trinity School for Ministry, a biblical and orthodox Christian seminary which trains men and women for lay and ordained ministry. A presentation was made by Bishop John Rodgers on historical Lutheran-Anglican dialogue. Bishop Rodgers was a regular participant in this work at both the international and national levels from 1969 to 1990.
Bishop Bradosky and Archbishop Duncan affirmed that it is our mutual commitment to pursue the development of ecumenical relationships between the Anglican Church in North America and the NALC on the basis of Holy Scripture. Jesus’ prayer “that they all may be one . . . so that the world may believe” (John 17:21) calls us to give expression to our unity in Him as a vital part of our witness to the world and an expression of the power of the Gospel. It is further our commitment to pursue this relationship on the basis of strengthening the capacity of both church bodies for mission and ministry; strengthening both pastoral leadership and congregational outreach.
The joint group agreed to meet again for reflection on prior Lutheran-Anglican ecumenical work and the study of both groups’ foundational documents: the Lutheran Augsburg Confession and the Anglican 39 Articles. They will also explore opportunities for joint mission and service work through Lutheran and Anglican relief agencies.
In addition to the leaders of both groups, participants included Bishop Ray Sutton and Pastor David Wendel, ecumenical officers of their respective bodies; along with Bishop Win Mott, Bishop Paul Spring, Pastor Mark Chavez, Canon Jack Lumanog and the Rev. Dr. Travis Boline.
Photo caption (from left to right): Canon Jack Lumanog, Bishop Win Mott, Bishop John Rodgers, Bishop Ray Sutton, Dean Justyn Terry, Bishop John Bradosky (NALC), Pastor David Wendel (NALC), Archbishop Robert Duncan, Archdeacon Mark Stevenson, Pastor Mark Chavez, Bishop Paull Spring, Rev. Dr. Leander Harding, Rev. Dr. Travis Boline, Dr. Theresa Newell (Credit: Trinity School for Ministry).