Report Number: 006 document 7
Towards a Renewed Ecumenical Strategy
Late in January, 2003, Faith Worship and Ministry sponsored a gathering with representation from across Canada to reconsider the ecumenical strategy of the Anglican Church of Canada. This was in part responding to the results of a survey of ecumenical relations undertaken by Faith Worship and Ministry in August of 2002.
The findings of the January gathering resulted in a renewed awareness of the unity of the church as a divine gift waiting to be discovered. This fundamental realization engendered and energized a new sense of what it means for the Anglican Church of Canada to work and act strategically in ecumenical relationships. The gathering suggested concrete expressions of this strategy in the following ways:
- A more effective use of existing church networks, from parish to diocesan, provincial and General Synod levels, to make and keep members of our church aware of ecumenical initiatives and resources.
- To affirm and deepen the awareness of members of our church of the richness and diversity of our Anglican heritage and identity, so that our involvement in ecumenical relationships is offered from the heart of who we are as a church
- To affirm the inherent goodness of the ecumenical manner in which much theological education and clerical formation is offered in Canada. We also encourage those whose ministry is to offer theological education and clergy formation to use every opportunity to enhance this marvellous gift.
The gathering further recognised the need for a vision statement which was so crafted as to validate and enable local, even individual, ecumenical encounter, relationships and partnerships with Christian groups with whom we do not presently have formally established dialogues.
With these findings we offer the following vision statement for adoption by our church.
As members of the Anglican Church of Canada we believe that we are called:
- To celebrate God’s self-giving grace, by which all people are offered healing, reconciliation and new life;
- to continue the ecumenical faith journey, in which we discover in sign, symbol and practice God’s presence in ourselves and in others, at the same time learning afresh from the living heritage of our Anglican identity;
- to encourage and equip all in the church to walk the way of ecumenism, so that all will come to know the hope for the restoration of the full visible unity of Christ’s Church; and
- to recognise and respond faithfully to those moments when God in Christ reveals to us our mystical unity as one Body and calls us to act in solidarity with others in resistance to the forces of death and darkness, in affirmation of life and light.