The congregations of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church and St. David and St. Patrick's Anglican Church are excited to announce that they have voted to accept a proposed merger agreement that will see a new church born to serve the people of Guelph.
“Moving forward as one congregation, we are excited about the potential for growth in our ministry,” said Michele Altermann. “Utilizing our joint resources both within our congregation and the wider Anglican and Lutheran church will substantially contribute towards realizing our potential to come alongside God at work in our world.”
The vote to merge took place on Sunday April 30 after several years of discernment including a formal two-year Partnership Agreement. During this time, both communities lived, worked, and prayed together with the hope of creating a permanent shared Anglican-Lutheran ministry that would result in a long-term covenantal and legal relationship. This end result represents an innovative expression of the full communion relationship that began back in 2001 between Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
The process for forming the new church, expected to be named in the next couple of months, has been guided by a transition team composed of clergy and lay leaders from both congregations and facilitated with support from both the Anglican Diocese of Niagara and the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
“Although there is much work still to be done, we look forward to working together as one body growing in faith,” reflected Julianna Stephens. The newly merged congregation seeks to be a welcoming Anglican-Lutheran community growing in active faith while striving to serve God through love, grace and outreach.
Worship services will take place on Sunday mornings at 8:30 and 10:00 at 210 Silvercreek Parkway North, where the two congregations have met since beginning of their Partnership Agreement two years ago. The former church building of the St. David and St. Patrick's congregation on Speedvale Avenue was returned to common use in September 2015. The Anglican Diocese of Niagara has not made a decision about the future use of this property.