A letter from Anglican, Lutheran leaders about the 2021 federal election

On September 20, Canadians will vote in a federal election, electing Members of Parliament who will help shape the life of our country for the next four years. We give thanks for each candidate and their willingness to offer their vision, gifts and service for consideration for leadership in public life.

Over the last two years, many events have pushed for deeper reflection on the kind of Canada we desire.

Finding the remains of more than 1,300 Indigenous children who were buried in unmarked graves at the sites of several former residential schools is traumatic, heart-wrenching and profound. Many more sites have yet to be investigated. The call for healing, reconciliation and renewed relationships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples is a fundamental element of work for social and ecological justice in the Canadian context today.

The murder of George Floyd in particular, along with many other incidents in Canada and beyond, have called attention to anti-Black racism and other expressions of systemic racism. In March 2020, the Anglican Church of Canada’s Council of General Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada’s National Church Council participated together in a session of anti-racism training. This was one step on a multi-faceted journey of working to dismantle racism and to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in all areas of life.

The recent report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  highlights the need to address the climate crisis. This election takes place during the Season of Creation, when we are invited to reflect on our relationships with Creation and our impact on our shared home. Indigenous wisdom and relationships with the land need to inform individual, community and societal choices for healthy relationship with the Earth.

Human trafficking affects millions of people around the world. Children, women, and men are being trafficked across Canada. Certain groups are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Through a joint National Youth Project, Anglican and Lutheran youth have committed to being be agents of change in their own lives and community.

Over the last two years, our churches have also spoken together for global access to vaccines, affordable housing, Guaranteed Basic Income, justice in Palestine and Israel, human rights in the Philippines, and the dignity of human beings of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.

Several of our partners are publishing election resources and we commend them to you for prayer and reflection: The Canadian Council of Churches, KAIROS Canada, Citizens for Public Justice, Vote Housing, and Basic Income Now.

What kind of a Canada do you desire? How is that desire rooted in your spiritual convictions as a follower of the way of Jesus Christ? Let’s talk about that in our churches, discuss it with candidates in our ridings, pray about it in the deep longing of our hearts, bear witness to it in our public discourse, and seal it with a vote that thoughtfully considers what will make our country a good place for all, and therefore a good place for each of us.

Let us pray together:

Creator, we give you thanks for all you are and all you bring to us for our visit within your creation. In Jesus, you place the Gospel in the centre of this Sacred Circle through which all of creation is related. You show us the way to live a generous and compassionate life. Give us your strength to live together with respect and commitment as we grow in your Spirit, for you are God, now and forever. Amen.
(The Gathering Prayer, Gospel Based Discipleship)


Yours in Christ,

+Mark MacDonald
The Most Rev. Mark MacDonald
National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

[signed] +Susan C Johnson
The Rev. Susan Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

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.”