Following is the viewpoint of Andrews, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon, Halmarson, Bishop of the Saskatchewan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and LeGatt, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon.
We address this to our faith communities and to all persons of goodwill, confident that the concerns raised will resonate with your desire to create a society where human dignity is respected and public safety is ensured.
We are conscious that advocacy on behalf of the voiceless can quickly become a platform for those who wish to gain a political advantage. So it’s vitally important to state that we approached this issue in humility and resisted every attempt to lay blame.
A new response to the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission IARCCUM report entitled “Growing Together in Unity and Mission: Building on 40 years of Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue” has been published by Ruth Reardon from the Interchurch Families International Network IFIN. Reardon’s response is published in the October issue of the IFIN newsletter, “Issues and Reflections.”
The recent agreed statement between the two churches represents the first practical results of the Mississauga meeting in 2000 that charged the new commission with the task “to oversee the preparation of a Joint Declaration of Agreement, and promote and monitor the reception of ARCIC agreements, as well as facilitate the development of strategies for translating the degree of spiritual communion that has been achieved into visible and practical outcomes.” (#12) In Reardon’s response, she assesses the new statement in light of the mandate issued to IARCCUM by the bishops meeting in Mississauga.
The Ecumenical Health Care Network of the Canadian Council of Churches invites every congregation and community across the country to join in a time of celebration and renewal of Canada’s commitment to ensuring the preservation and strengthening of its universal public health care system, better known as Medicare. To this end, we have named the week of November 18th “Celebrate Medicare Week.”
We believe that someone who is suffering from an illness, needs advice from a medical doctor, or is suffering serious injuries resulting from a negligent driver causing an auto accident, that they should not be denied the benefits of healthcare based on financial status.
In the past, Canada’s churches have played an invaluable role in defending access to care based on need not on ability to pay, and as a living statement of how we care for one another in Canadian society. In the words of a former vice-president of the Canadian Council of Churches, Karen MacKay-Llewellyn, “Defending public health care in a system that promises accessibility to all Canadians at the same level of quality, is a matter at the heart of our Christian confession, and this must rest at the heart of our public witness.”
Women in ministry, both lay and ordained, are invited to a retreat at Queen’s House in Saskatoon. “Women in Ministry: Naming, Claiming and Celebrating” will be an ecumenical gathering of women in ministry to share and celebrate our journeys of faith and of call, to learn from one another, to become friends and to support each other. Ministry commitments and responsibilities can have a way of insulating us from one another if we are not intentional about making connections and encounters happen. The team of facilitators includes two Roman Catholic women in pastoral ministry, a recently retired Lutheran pastor, and a Presbyterian minister.
When I teach my students about the ecumenical movement, I tell them that the establishment of the World Council of Churches in 1948 is an historic achievement. It is historic because the WCC is the principal instrument of the ecumenical movement in the 20th century. It is historic because it sets a benchmark in church history for the commitment of the churches to walk together. It is an achievement of unparalleled importance because it brought together the historic churches of the Reformation together with the Eastern churches in a commitment to seek visible unity and common witness. However, even in 1948 there was an awareness that there were essential voices missing from the ecumenical table.