By Kirk Petersen
The four North American heads of the Episcopal/Anglican and Lutheran churches have issued a joint statement endorsing the “Arusha Call,” named for the city in Tanzania where the 319 member churches of the World Council of Churches met last year to explore ways of strengthening mission and evangelism in a troubled world.
“The Call provides a common touchstone in the continued shaping of our full communion efforts in mission and evangelism across the national border which separates us,” said the statement, signed by Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, The Episcopal Church; Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Archbishop and Primate Fred Hiltz, Anglican Church of Canada; and National Bishop Susan C. Johnson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
The text of the Arusha Call, issued from the March 2018 conference, highlighted a dozen imperatives for Christians of all denominations, including commitments to be faithful followers of Christ; to focus on forgiveness rather than violence; to care for God’s creation in the face of climate change; and to renounce “the false god of the market system.”
The four North American leaders did not mention the environment or global market system, focusing instead on “seeking racial justice… [and] strengthening our support for the displaced and dispossessed seeking new beginnings in our midst.”