National Lutheran and Anglican leaders invite reflection, prayers and conversation as Canadians prepare for federal election

Dear Friends,

On October 21, 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.

On the one hand, an election provides an opportunity for citizens to reflect deeply on the values we hold dear, on the common good, and on the promises that candidates and parties make as they seek our vote. On the other hand, an election can focus on fear and on appeals to apparent self-interest. Decisions based on fear are often flawed, even dangerous, and what appears to be our self-interest may be so detached from the common good that, in fact, it does everyone harm.

In the midst of the exile, when it would perhaps seem quite normal to be driven by fear and self-interest, Jeremiah utters these words on behalf of the God of Israel: “Pray for the city into which I have sent you in exile, and seek its welfare, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” As Lutheran and Anglican Christians, we receive this as lively counsel from the living God.
What might that look like as we prepare to vote in October? How might we reflect on key elements of our churches’ public witness as Election Day approaches?

Along with a broad base of faith communities, our two churches share a deep sense of call to actively work for the common good. In 2013, our two churches made particular commitments to encourage each other in addressing issues of Reconciliation, Climate Change, Responsible Resource Extraction, Affordable Housing, and “free, prior and informed consent” for Indigenous peoples.
An election campaign is a good time to think about these issues, pray about them, talk about them in our churches, and ask about them in town hall meetings and to campaigners at the door. Both The Canadian Council of Churches and KAIROS  have prepared ecumenical resources to encourage discussion and reflection on various issues. We commend them to you for your consideration.

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, 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.

Yours in the Spirit of Full Communion,

The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

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

+Linda Nicholls
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Primate, Anglican Church of 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.”