Four Churches Gather to Renew Ecumenical Covenant
By: Nicholas Jesson
Lutherans and Ukrainian Catholics joined the annual celebration of the Anglican and Roman Catholic ecumenical Covenant on Sunday afternoon, May 26. The Covenant began in 2011 between the Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina. In recent years, the Covenant partners have been working towards a renewed covenant which will include the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Ukrainian Catholic Church. This year's annual covenant service was an opportunity to give thanks to God for drawing the four churches towards this renewed relationship.
The annual service was a Byzantine Vespers held at St. Athanasius Ukrainian Catholic Church in Regina and led by Fr. Vasyl Tymishak, who is the new priest at this parish, but is also the Ukrainian Catholic representative on the Covenant Implementation Committee. Bishop Sid Haugen of the Saskatchewan Synod ELCIC preached on Ezekiel 37: 1-14, the valley of the dry bones. In his sermon, he invited us to recognize the Spirit of God blowing into the dry bones of our churches and ministries and revitalizing them, bringing them back to life. He encouraged us to see the covenant as a means that God's Spirit is using to breath new life into the church in Saskatchewan.
The draft LAURC Covenant, named for the Lutheran-Anglican-Ukrainian-and-Roman-Catholic churches, is in a study phase right now, but it is hoped that it will be inaugurated around Pentecost in 2020. The covenant identifies considerable agreement in faith and life between our churches and encourages us at all levels to find ways to live out the degree of communion that Christ has already given to us. The covenant offers a series of practical commitments that local parishes, schools, religious orders, and the diocesan offices can undertake. The draft text can be found online at https://bit.ly/2V5vQQy
Photo caption: Archbishop Donald Bolen, Bishop Sid Haugen (ELCIC Saskatchewan Synod), Bishop Robert Hardwick (Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle) and Fr. Vasyl Tymishak (St. Athanasius Ukrainian Catholic Church) after the Covenant Vespers on Sunday, May 26. Photo: Nicholas Jesson.
Page URL: http://archregina.sk.ca/news/2019/05/30/four-churches-gather-renew-ecumenical-covenant