Barb Wirsta
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New Covenant between Anglican, Lutheran, Ukrainian and Roman Catholic bishops in Saskatchewan A message to our churches from the bishops of Saskatchewan, Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles: “I leave you peace, my peace I give you.” Look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace and unity of your kingdom where you live for ever and ever. Amen When the Anglican Diocese of Qu’Appelle and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Regina entered into a covenantal relationship in 2011, they recognized already then that it would be a blessing if our respective full communion partners would be included in an expanded covenant. For many years, the Anglican, Lutheran, Ukrainian and Roman Catholic bishops have met, twice a year, to share concerns and build relations. Two years ago we began working on a draft of an expanded covenant that would include all of our churches in Saskatchewan, with the help of an expanded implementation committee with all of our churches represented. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented an in-person meeting in mid-March, but we met through electronic means to finalize the covenant which we now rejoice in signing and making public. This is an historic event in the life of our churches. We hope and pray that this covenant brings as much joy to our people as it does to us as your bishops. Encl. The LAURC Covenant, April 2, 2020 It is our hope that the signing and release of this covenant will be a source of encouragement at this difficult moment in time, and a life-giving enrichment of our churches moving forward. While there are many proposed initiatives in the covenant, our hope is that our communities in their local settings might begin with one or two joint actions that would enliven their parishes and congregations. As we approach holy week, we do so mindful of the great suffering, disruption and isolation that many are experiencing at present. We bring all those negatively impacted by the pandemic before the cross of Christ. And we join the whole Christian community of Saskatchewan in calling down God’s grace as we prepare to celebrate the redemptive death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we sign this covenant, we pray: God and Father of us all, we give thanks for the spiritual unity which is already ours as believers in the one Lord and members of the one Body. We pray that this spiritual unity may, by your grace, increasingly become a visible unity, so that your Church in every place may demonstrate the healing and reconciling power of the gospel and be an instrument of your peace in the life of the world, to the praise and glory of your name. Amen. (Prayer by Frank Colquhoun. New Parish Prayers, Hodder and Stoughton, ISBN 0 340 27237 6)