General Convention finalizes new full communion agreements

By Melodie Woerman
Posted Jul 11, 2022

[Episcopal News Service — Baltimore, Maryland] Adoption of resolutions by the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies has finalized full communion agreements between The Episcopal Church and two other churches – the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Church of Sweden. “Full communion” means clergy of one church are eligible to serve congregations of the other. In addition, bishops of both churches are to be invited to participate in each other’s services of ordination and consecration.

Resolution A092, “Churches Beyond Borders,” amends Canon I.20.1 to include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada as one of the churches with which The Episcopal Church is in full communion.

“Churches Beyond Borders” is a four-way joint agreement between The Episcopal Church, The Anglican Church of Canada, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. The Episcopal Church already is in full communion with all other Anglican Communion provinces, including Canada, and in 2001 it entered into full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America through “Called to Common Mission.”

Resolution A137 places full communion with the Church of Sweden in the canons.

In 2018 the 79th General Convention acknowledged and affirmed the existence of a full communion relationship with the Church of Sweden and called on the 80th General Convention to present a memorandum of understanding setting forth the terms and procedures of that full-communion relationship. That memorandum was finalized by both churches on Jan. 15, 2022.