Good Shepherd is affiliated with two larger church groups (also known as denominations): the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada . We accept oversight from both church bodies. This means, we follow the guidelines and regulations set by both churches. We also seek to follow in the type of Christian faith given to us by both church traditions.
The Lutheran Church is named after a very important figure in the history of Christianity: Martin Luther. Luther lived in Germany during the 15th and 16th centuries and advocated much-needed reforms in the church of his day, including a stronger focus on the forgiveness and grace of God, which we receive through faith in Christ. Lutheran churches are Christian congregations who worship Jesus Christ, but which particularly value Luther’s writings and actions. They continue to be guided by his ideas. While there are many different Lutheran churches around the world, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) is an organisation representing most Lutheran churches in Canada. It is guided by bishops (ministers with special authority over churches in an area) and synods (regular church meetings which make decisions on church policy). Good Shepherd is overseen by Bishop Michael Pryse and the Eastern Synod of ELCIC.
The Anglican Church takes its name from its roots in the Church of England. The Church of England was formally established in 597 A.D. by St. Augustine of Canterbury as a result of a mission from the Church in Rome. During most of its history, the church was part of the Roman Catholic Church and remained under the authority of the Pope in Rome. However, in the 16th century a dispute between King Henry VIII of England and the Pope resulted in a break from the Roman Church. That break started a time of reformation in the Church, influenced by ideas coming from European Christians like Martin Luther and Jean Calvin. The result was a church which kept many traditions from the Roman Church, but which placed a stronger emphasis on preaching, Bible study and the importance of personal faith in Christ. As the nation of England expanded into a global empire, it brought the Church of England with it wherever it went. Anglican Churches are now found throughout the world, but most of those in Canada are represented by the Anglican Church of Canada. Like the Lutheran Church, it is guided by bishops and synods. Good Shepherd is overseen by Bishop John Chapman and the Synod of the Diocese of Ottawa.