Welcome from the Primate

May 2023

Dear friends in Christ – delegates, partners, and guests,

In a few weeks we will be gathering at the University of Calgary for the 43rd Session of General Synod. So much has happened since the last General Synod in 2019 including the COVID pandemic that has delayed this General Synod by a full year. Although there is uncertainty and some anxiety about the future for the church and the world, we will gather in the assurance that God is with us and will guide our hearts and minds as we discern what is best for the church for the next two years. Our theme, ‘Let there be Greening’ invites us to imagine a church blossoming with life and new growth in every aspect of our mission and ministry.

Our gathering in 2023 will be an Assembly with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada – the second time we have gathered together to consider common concerns through our full communion partnership. Under the theme of ‘Let there be Greening’ we will consider topics that include a new full communion partnership with the Moravian Church; a renewed statement on Israel/Palestine; creation care and climate change; engaging issues of justice in our context and a celebration of over 20 years of growing into our full communion relationship. We are pleased that Bishop Elizabeth Eaton (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) and Bishop Michael Curry (The Episcopal Church USA) will be with Bishop Susan Johnson and me to share more about our growing relationship as ‘Churches Beyond Borders’.

Each church will also have separate sessions of General Synod and National Convention to consider specific issues and for decision making. We are delighted that Bishop Anthony Poggo, General Secretary of the Anglican Communion, will join us and address General Synod. We look forward to celebrating with the Sacred Circle as the emerging self-determining Indigenous Church takes steps in its establishment. The Strategic Planning Working Group has closely observed the life of the church over the past four years through intentional listening groups. The results of that process will be shared for affirmation and implementation. All of the work of the Standing and Coordinating Committees will be presented for approval including governance, liturgical revisions and offerings and social justice affirmations and commitments. Each ecclesiastical province will elect its members of the Council of General Synod to govern the church until General Synod 2025 and members of the Standing and Coordinating Committees will be elected to serve the whole Church.

We will be working hard through the days of the General Synod supported by daily prayer and worship. There will be opportunities to meet and share with Anglicans and Lutherans from across Canada over meals, breaks and evening gatherings to discover our shared commitments, our unique contexts and our unity in the body of Christ. Come ready to make new friends!

In these last weeks of preparation please take time to pray for the Assembly and General Synod that with open hearts and minds we may gather with joy as the people of God, committed to living into all we are called to do and be by our baptism.

With thanksgiving for your commitment to the gospel and the life of our church,

[signed] +Linda Nicholls

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop & Primate

Matthew 10:40-42


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous, 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”

John 15:12-17

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

John 21:15-19

Jesus and Peter

15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 11:33-36

The Light of the Body

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel basket; rather, one puts it on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but if it is unhealthy, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36 But if your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays.”

Matthew 8:1-4

Jesus Cleanses a Man

8 When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him, and there was a man with a skin disease who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be made clean!” Immediately his skin disease was cleansed. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”