The National Anglican and Lutheran Worship Conference in Canada, which will take place in July, is to center around the theme of responding to natural and manmade disasters. Organizers cite a lack of appropriate liturgical response and the rise in such disasters as the reasoning behind the theme. “There seems to be not a year that goes by that there isn’t some kind of devastating national disaster,” says the Very Rev. Ansley Tucker, Anglican co-chair of the conference and dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, diocese of British Columbia. “We began to ask, ‘How does the church respond?’ We don’t have liturgical resources ready to hand to deal with these kinds of disasters, and it leaves clergy and worship leaders making it up as they go along.”
Tucker pointed to the liturgical movement of the 1960s that drew the church away from what was felt to be “dour and sombre.” She mentions that even a funeral is really called a “celebration of life.” “I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have done those things, but I am saying that in our liturgical resources, we lost access to means of lament.”
The conference was originally a conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and they invited the Anglican Church of Canada in 2002. The conference is held every two years. It is open to “anybody who has an interest in how the church worships.” This year’s conference will feature a panel of first responders and workshops including on the use of art therapy and reaching across faith lines in times of disaster. More about the conference can be read here.