Assembly considers reconciliation framework and tool to facilitate local reflection and engagement

July 1, 2023

The Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada met today in Assembly, to reflect on the work of building right relations with Indigenous peoples on all efforts. Included in this discussion was engagement around a new tool designed to facilitate reflection and discussion in parishes and congregations.

The discussion kicked off with remarks from National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop Christopher Harper, who shared his thoughts of how Indigenous and non-Indigenous reconciliation can serve as a central framework for work on a wide range of social and ecological justice priorities.

“There are so many justice issues that we need to acknowledge. So many justice issues we need to recognize that are before each and every one of us,” said Archbishop Harper, who also spoke of how small steps can make a big difference—referring t0 how bringing a water bottle to Assembly, or wearing an orange shirt on Canada Day collectively, can be impactful.

“We are one in this world,” he said. “All nations. All peoples. And we need to embrace each other. Celebrate with each other. And stand up for each other. And walk with each other. And support each other. We are in this together. And we need to learn that we need to walk together just a little bit better.”

The Rev. Paul Gehrs and Dr. Ryan Weston introduced the “Parish Engagement Resource for Social and Ecological Justice”. The resource (available as a PDF) seeks to support discernment and action for social and ecological justice in local faith communities, parishes, and congregations. It is an invitation for faith communities to prayerfully consider God’s call to engage in God’s mission to love and heal the world. This tool goes home with Assembly delegates and is available online.

Exercises in the Parish Engagement Resource include:

  • Encountering the Biblical text that inspired the theme for Assembly 2023: Let there be greening.
  • Seeking justice and reflecting on community.
  • Discerned priorities for Anglicans and Lutherans working together.
  • First steps for engagement: including possible actions, a list of partners engaged in this work, a Biblical text, reflection questions, and a prayer.
  • Additional discernment tools.
  • Acknowledging the ongoing prayer, worship and spiritual care practices in local faith communities that contribute to the journey toward healing, justice, and peace.

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.”