The seminary community was thrilled to witness the ordination of student Paul Luth as a priest in the Reformed Episcopal Church on Sunday, 11 February. Here’s the back story to this unusual event.
Representatives of Lutheran Church–Canada and the LCMS have been participating in ecumenical dialogue with conservative Anglicans grouped together into the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA). The talks, which began in 2010, have demonstrated considerable theological agreement, as has now been summarised in an interim report entitled On Closer Acquaintance. ACNA consists of churches that, for the most part, have severed their ties with the worldwide Anglican communion because of its growing theological apostasy.
One ACNA church participating in the dialogue, the Reformed Episcopal Church (established in 1873), has a congregation in Hamilton, just down the road from our seminary. Under an agreement with their seminary in Blue Bell, PA, Concordia agreed to take in as a pastoral student Deacon Paul Luth, who was serving St George’s REC Church under the supervision of her retired priest. For five years Paul has studied part-time at Concordia towards the MDiv degree. Recently he passed examinations set by the REC leadership and was commended for ordination to the priesthood.
Concordia faculty and students were overjoyed to attend the service in which Bishop David Hicks ordained Paul. Paul’s wife Tina and their four children sang in the service, together with other members of the family.