Anglicans, Lutherans approve resolution to be in full communion with Moravian church

July 1, 2023

The ELCIC Special Convention and ACC General Synod, have approved motions that will bring the Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Canadian churches of the Moravian Church in North American into full communion.

The resolution, One Flock, One Shepherd – Lutherans, Anglicans and Moravians – Called to Walk together, was introduced during a joint session of Assembly 2023 on Friday, June 30.

During the joint session, delegates heard words of greeting from Rev. Dr. Betsy Miller, president of the Moravian Church Northern Province.

“I’m delighted to share that June 23 our synod unanimously approved moving to full communion relations with the ELCIC and ACC,” she said. “Your Moravian siblings both in the US and Canada join in praying for you. We look forward to hearing how your deliberations lead us forward in the prayer that Jesus offered – that we may be one.”

In the United States, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has been in full communion with the Moravian Church in North America since 1999. The US-based Episcopal Church has been in full communion with the Moravian Church since 2011. In 2019, the conversation began considering a similar relationship between the ELCIC, ACC and Canadian churches within the Moravian Church in North America.

There are Moravian congregations and ministries in Canada, with congregations in Alberta, Ontario, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

To officially pass the motion, the ELCIC Special Convention and ACC General Synod needed to consider and discuss individually. Both churches passed the motion unanimously on Saturday, July 1.

The resolution means that all three churches will now commit themselves to: welcome members of their churches to receive pastoral and sacramental ministrations of one another’s churches with complete hospitality; welcome persons ordained in any of our churches to the office of presbyter/priest/pastor to serve, by invitation of the local ordinary; work towards a common understanding of diaconal ministry; invite one another’s bishops to attend and participate as appropriate in the laying on of hands at the ordination of bishops as a sign of the unity and continuity of the Church, and invite the members and clergy of one another’s churches to attend and participate as appropriate in the ordination services of each church; consult with one another regarding developments in our understanding of the ministry of all the baptized; encourage as appropriate consultation and collaboration among members of our churches at all levels and to facilitate learning and exchange of ideas and information on theological, pastoral, and mission matters; establish a Trilateral Commission, with appropriate Lutheran, Anglican, Moravian and Indigenous membership, to nurture our growth in communion, to coordinate the implementation of this Declaration, and to report to the decision-making bodies of each of our churches; and, continue to work together for the full visible unity of the whole Church of God.

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.”