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Eighth Biennial Convention
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario
July 4 - 8, 2001

In Christ, a future with hope

Celebrating Full Communion,

October 28 - November 4, 2001,

Worship Planning Resources

Notes for a Service of Celebration of the Waterloo Declaration

It is most appropriate that this celebration take the form of a Eucharist, using form IV from With One Voice p.23, or the Book of Alternative Services Prayer 3, p. 198. The hymns, readings, and prayers which follow were used at the synod/convention service on July 8. Selections may be made from this list, or from the prayers and readings of the day. Intercessions based on the commitments in the Declaration are included in the bulletin insert, along with additional material to be used in conjunction with the recitation of the Creed.

Hymns

CP = Common Praise
WOV = With One Voice
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (CP 384)
  • Lord of This Moment
    (The text of this hymn, found on the bulletin insert, was composed for this celebration, and permission is granted for use on this occasion. The tune is "Fairest Lord Jesus" / "Beautiful Saviour")
  • As the Grains of Wheat (WOV 705)
  • Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (CP 48)
  • Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ (WOV 754)
  • One Bread, One Body (WOV 710)
  • Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love (WOV 765)
  • Come and Journey with a Saviour (CP 482)

Readings

Genesis 12:1-9
Psalm 133
Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16
John 17:1-6, 11, 17-26

Collect / Prayer of the Day

Loving Source of all creation, in Jesus Christ you have united heaven and earth. Grant that we who share in the first fruits of that union may work for its fulfillment in the power of the Holy Spirit. We ask this in the name of the Incarnate Word, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns now and for ever. Amen

Sermon suggestions

Part or all of the following may provide a framework for sermon preparation. The material comes from members of the Joint Working Group, reflecting on the themes they encountered in doing their work.

  1. Both our churches count it important that we are apostolic in our witness, and this idea forms part of the basis of our recognition of each other. What does it mean to be apostolic?
    • we are sent out by Jesus Christ to proclaim his gospel, so we are called to look ahead at the world into which we are sent. To the extent that we look back, it is to see Jesus in our histories and traditions
    • as the church we are the authoritative witness to the reality of God's love incarnate in Jesus Christ. Like the apostles, we have heard and seen and felt the Word of life among us, so we have something to say to the world
    • we are first of all learners of the grace of God in Christ, but we are also called to be more than disciples: having experienced new life in Christ, we can find the confidence to communicate what we experience to others.
  2. As churches of the Reformation, we share an emphasis on the ministry of all the baptized. Many of the commitments in the Declaration invite us to find new ways of expressing the conviction that all are called to serve, to share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and to represent the unity and continuity of Christian witness. How do your communities embody this truth? How could they learn from each other? What gifts can they offer to the wider church, and how will they do that?
  3. At every stage of our growing together, we have experienced the work of the Holy Spirit: in friendship and openness to dialogue, in mutual support during moments of institutional crisis, in the sharing of the Eucharist together, and in the powerful sense of God's presence when historic decisions were made in Waterloo. What does this mean for our future in a relationship of full communion?
    • we will be given the time and the grace to live into a deeper relationship with one another, if that is what we seek. We don't have to "make this agreement live" - God will make it live; it is up to us to do the living.
    • like partners in a marriage, our churches reveal the grace of God to each other. How can we continue to build the trust which will allow us to receive gifts of challenge and affirmation, from each other, as from God?
    • "Behold, I am doing a new thing!" As we confess the divisions of the past and hear God's forgiveness, we are being prepared for amazing new possibilities. As churches together, we can proclaim the good news without having to defend and protect our denominational boundaries. Signs of the Spirit will continue to bloom as we celebrate, and God will continue to do unexpected things in our midst. Are we ready for that?
In full communion with The Anglican Church of Canada
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