New Church Born through Merger in Guelph
Posted May 1, 2017
The congregations of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church and St. David and St. Patrick's Anglican Church voted on Sunday, April 30 to accept a proposed merger agreement that will see a new church, All Saints Lutheran Anglican 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 parishioner 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 after several years of discernment. "A growing friendship between the clergy, the Reverend Tom Vaughan and the Reverend Jeff Smith, created space for a conversation about new ways to do church together for their two congregations and so began this journey," reflected Canon Christyn Perkons, who was instrumental in guiding the discernment process in her role as director of congregational support and development.
Eventually the conversations led to a formal two-year Partnership Agreement between the two churches. 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. "Both congregations, through the leadership of the transition team co-chaired by Sandra Christie and Deborah Szymanski-Potts, took great care to educate one another about their respective cultures, and to thoroughly discuss their differences," added Canon Perkons.
The merger represents yet another innovative expression of the full communion relationship between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada that began back in 2001 with the Waterloo Declaration. 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. No decision has been made about the future use of this property.