"An Apology for Spiritual Harm"

Screen Shot 2019-07-12 at 8.12.08 AM.png

“An Apology for Spiritual Harm” offered by the Primate on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada

For a number of years, since the Indigenous Covenant of 1994, there has been a call for an apology for spiritual abuse endured by Indigenous Peoples through the era of colonial expansion across the Land, and particularly through the era of the Indian Residential Schools.

In the Apology to survivors of the Residential Schools delivered on August 6, 1993, Archbishop Michael Peers expressed his remorse on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada that “we tried to remake you in our own image”.

Today, I offer this apology for our cultural and spiritual arrogance toward all Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Inuit and Métis – and the harm we inflicted on you. I do this at the desire of many across the Church, at the call of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, and at the request and with the authority of the Council of the General Synod.

I confess our sin in failing to acknowledge that as First Peoples living here for thousands of years, you had a spiritual relationship with the Creator and with the Land. We did not care enough to learn how your spirituality has always infused your governance, social structures and family life.

I confess our sin in demonizing Indigenous spiritualities, and in belittling the traditional teachings of your Grandmothers and Grandfathers preserved and passed on through the elders.

I confess the sin of our arrogance in dismissing Indigenous Spiritualities and disciplines as incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus, and insisting that there is no place for them in Christian Worship.

I confess our sin in acts such as smothering the smudges, forbidding the pipes, stopping the drums, hiding the masks, destroying the totem poles, silencing the songs, stilling the dances, and banning the potlatches. With deep remorse, I acknowledge the intergenerational spiritual harm caused by our actions.

I confess our sin in declaring the teachings of the medicine wheel to be pagan and primitive.

I confess our sin in robbing your children and youth of the opportunity to know their spiritual ancestry and the great wealth of its wisdom and guidance for living in a good way with the Creator, the land and all peoples.

For such shameful behaviours, I am very sorry. We were so full of our own self-importance. We followed “too much the devices and desires of our own hearts” (Confession, p. 4, Book of Common Prayer). We were ignorant. We were insensitive. We offended you. We offended the Creator.

As we look to you today, we have come to acknowledge our need to repent.

As we turn to God, we say: “We have offended against thy holy laws, We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, And we have done those things we ought not to have done…” (Confession, p. 4, Book of Common Prayer).

I know that an important part of repentance is sincere lament, and that an important part of lament is our intention to “lead the new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in God’s holy ways…” (Invitation to Confession, p. 76, The Book of Common Prayer).

With humility, I ask our Church to turn to the Creator seeking guidance and steadfastness of will in our efforts to help heal the spiritual wounds we inflicted. Let us commit ourselves to learning how traditional Indigenous practices contribute to healing and to honour them.

I remind our Church of our solemn responsibility to honour the Calls to Action from Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, notably, Call #60: “We call upon leaders of the church parties to the Settlement Agreement and all other faiths, in collaboration with Indigenous spiritual leaders, Survivors, schools of theology, seminaries, and other religious training centres, to develop and teach curriculum for all student clergy, and all clergy and staff who work in Aboriginal communities, on the need to respect Indigenous spirituality in its own right, the history and legacy of residential schools and the roles of the church parties in that system, the history and legacy of religious conflict in Aboriginal families and communities, and the responsibility that churches have to mitigate such conflicts and prevent spiritual violence.”

I pray the General Synod will be united in directing the Council of the General Synod to establish a committee to strategize and guide the ongoing work of truth, justice and reconciliation, including the building and supporting of a network of ambassadors for reconciliation from dioceses and regions. Working in consultation with the National Animator for Reconciliation, a significant part of their mandate would be to forge paths for: enabling healing for all who were deeply hurt by spiritual arrogance; helping the whole Church to learn from the spiritual wisdom of the elders and to listen with a heart to the spiritual hopes of Indigenous youth; and restoring spiritual teachings and ceremonies that were lost and celebrating them as a vital part of a gospel-based life.

I also remind our Church of our solemn responsibility to honour General Synod’s 2010 public endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), drawing particular attention to Articles 12 and 25.

Article 12 declares: “Indigenous peoples have the right to manifest, practise, develop and teach their spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies; the right to maintain, protect, and have access in privacy to their religious and cultural sites; the right to the use and control of their ceremonial objects; and the right to the repatriation of their human remains.”

Article 25 declares: “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.”

I call the whole Church to pray for the Vision Keepers, commissioned at General Synod 2016 to hold our Church accountable in respecting the right of Indigenous Peoples to be self-determining.

I call our bishops, clergy and lay leaders to draw elders into conversation regarding the practices of the past.  At one time, we banned expressions of Indigenous spirituality in Christian worship.  Having seen the error of our ways we are now encouraging such expressions.  Many of the elders have followed the former bans out of loyalty to a church they love.  Many of these have, at the same time, kept alive the values, ideals, and teachings of their own elders. Today, they are an essential guide both to the underlying teachings that are embodied in the practices of the past, as well as the teachings of our own faith.  Today, we ask them, with great respect, to help guide us to honour the wisdom and practice of the past and to live into a truly Indigenous expression of our faith in the future.

I have heard a number of elders speak of how the children and youth of this generation, and the seven to come, are in great need of the opportunity to be grounded in a spirituality that is true to their Indigenous identity. Let us stand with the elders in encouraging the youth to lay claim to that spirituality as their right, in their pursuit of health and happiness.

I call the Church, in consultation with the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), to grow the educational resources in A New Agape (2001), a new partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples in the Anglican Church of Canada.

I ask the whole Church to be extraordinarily generous in building up the Anglican Healing Fund, and its support for initiatives that advance the healing of language and culture abuse, oppression and the intergenerational trauma and learning of traditional knowledge and cultures. This is in the effort to further deepen one’s understanding for the spiritual ways – of celebrating Indigenous identity, and embracing the reality that Indigenous Peoples can enjoy everything God created them to be.

I call the whole Church to fully endorse the Anglican Council of Indigenous People’s intention to move forward with their Plan for Ministry shaped by the teachings of the elders, Gospel-based discipleship and a commitment to “Prophetic Pastoral Care” rooted in “wholeness and healing in Indigenous community, freedom and joy”.

Finally, I call us to renew our commitment to our baptismal covenant, especially our vow “to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being”. In living this vow in a good way, let us embrace the Seven Grandfather Teachings: love, respect, truth, honesty, wisdom, courage, and humility.

I offer this apology in the name of Jesus Christ, the great Pain Bearer and Peace Maker. I have hope that through Him, we will be able to walk together in newness of life.

The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz Primate, The Anglican Church of Canada July 11, 2019 General Synod 2019 Vancouver, British Columbia

The post “An Apology for Spiritual Harm” appeared first on The Anglican Church of Canada.

‘We are called to something greater’

‘We are called to something greater’: Church leaders seek discipleship and renewal as 42nd General Synod opens

BY MATT GARDNER - July 11, 201

2019, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald preaches at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver. Photo: Milos Tosic

2019, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald preaches at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver. Photo: Milos Tosic

Vancouver

In a changing world, Anglicans must rise to the challenge and once more become a “community of disciples,” National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald said as the 42nd General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada got underway.

That call for discipleship and renewal suffused MacDonald’s homily at the opening worship service of the week-long meeting. The evening celebration of the Eucharist took place on Wednesday, July 10, at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, blocks away from the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre where the majority of synod would take place in the coming days.

MacDonald’s vision of a revitalized church in part responded to difficulties that the church and the world currently face. In his homily, the bishop cited the Book of Revelations as a “reliable guide to the world we live in today.”

“For all of us, we live in a time when money has overcome the culture to such an extent that life itself has become commodified in ways that even our grandparents couldn’t even imagine,” MacDonald told synod members. “We, all of us, are living in the economy that is described in the Book of Revelations as the prelude to God’s intervention in human history, in a final and definitive way.”

For the most part, he added, the church’s response has been “feeble,” and perhaps disappointing for many Anglicans who are “saying things that an increasing number of people don’t want to hear.” Much of this feebleness, MacDonald suggested, comes from the church’s changing relationship to an increasingly secular culture.

The Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a Dancers perform at opening worship. Photo: Matthew Townsend

The Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a Dancers perform at opening worship. Photo: Matthew Townsend

In the past, the Anglican Church of Canada developed as an institution with a “cozy relationship” to society—a relationship, often referred to as Christendom, that has now disappeared. In such a situation, “it is essential for us to begin to imagine something else.”

In place of resuscitating “the corpse of something that’s passed,” the national Indigenous Anglican bishop called on the church to “look for a resurrection in our midst…to understand and see and believe that God can do something great in the midst of us—and that Jesus can be someone who is alive and living and real for us in a way today that will not only be saving for us, but will be a message that has an important impact on the world that needs it so desperately.”

To move towards this vision, he appealed to Anglicans to make changes in four different ways.

First, as opposed to being merely “members of an institution,” Anglicans must “become once again a community of disciples…. It is necessary for us to be disciplined in how we listen to the word of God, how we interact with one another, how we care for one another.”

Second, the church must be “be a community of openness to all people, in a way that we never have been before”—a product of the love that Jesus cited as the primary output of proper Christian discipleship.

“Christendom, which was good for many people in our church, was not so good for a lot of other people in our church,” MacDonald said. “We were pretty rough on people according to race, according to religion and according to gender. In these three ways, we did not show the kind of love that Jesus showed to us. We may have acted as a good institution. We did not act as a community of disciples, and we are called to something greater.”

Third, the church must renew itself in its love for all of creation. Finally, Anglicans must recover “the presence of Jesus in our midst,” which the bishop cited as the “true glory” and power of the church.

The national Indigenous Anglican bishop’s calls for renewal were echoed by Archbishop and Primate Fred Hiltz, who presided at the opening worship.

In remarks near the end of the service, the primate thanked Dean Peter Elliott and the staff of Christ Church Cathedral for “the privilege of worshipping in this absolutely gorgeous, holy space.” He said synod members would return to the cathedral on Saturday, July 13, for the election of a new primate, and then on Tuesday, July 16, for the installation of the new primate.

Synod members chuckled warmly when the primate quoted Psalm 118:24 in reference to the installation day: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Yet the primate quickly made clear the sincerity of his remarks.

“I really pray that that’s the kind of moment it is for the whole church,” he said, “a moment of real rejoicing as we look to fresh leadership in the ministry of a new primate.”

With the Anglican Foundation of Canada serving as visionary sponsor for General Synod 2019, executive director Judy Rois also addressed synod members and tied the past of the church to its future.

Primate Fred Hiltz presides over Eucharist. Photo: Milos Tosic

Primate Fred Hiltz presides over Eucharist. Photo: Milos Tosic

She said that since its founding more than 60 years ago, the foundation had helped support church ministries with more than $34 million in grants and bursaries for construction projects, theological education, community initiatives, choir camps, arts and children’s programs.

“The tagline for the Anglican Foundation is, ‘Imagine more,’” Rois said. “So for this General Synod, we say: imagine. Just imagine what this synod can do to build up the church in positive and life-giving ways for all people.”

The beginning of the worship service included a land acknowledgement noting that the 42nd General Synod took place on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh nations. Opening music and drumming by the Kwhlii Gibaygum Nisga’a Dancers featured songs of peace and welcome. A hymn played during communion, “I Have Called You By Name,” reflected the theme of the General Synod and was composed to honor the primacy of Hiltz.

Bishop Larry Robertson officially welcomed all members present to General Synod on behalf of Archbishop and Metropolitan Melissa Skelton, who was unable to attend the opening Eucharist due to illness. Hiltz had conversed with Skelton that evening, assuring her of the synod’s love and prayers for her. He in turn conveyed to synod members the metropolitan’s “love and prayers for this holy synod.”

Letter from Bishop Chris Harper Re: General Synod

To the Diocese of Saskatoon,

How do we receive and embrace change when it challenges us to the core? This is our Christian challenge in the Anglican Church of Canada in the present time and the days ahead.

Joshua 1:9 may be helpful for the days ahead as we pray and discern the call and will of God for the church and our faith, for as fear and trepidation came over Joshua who was called to lead the people into the promised land after Moses died, Gods word of encouragement rang in Joshua’s heart, “Be strong and courageous”...

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

On July 10-16 the delegates of the Diocese of Saskatoon will enter the doors of General Synod 2019, representing by your nomination, and election, our Parishes and our Diocese. We will stand with our brothers and sisters across the church and we will vote on changes that will affect the church and our witness to the wider church family.

Before us to vote on will be (succinctly):

1. The Primatial Election: Arch Bishop Fred Hiltz 13th Primate elected in 2007 is retiring and before General Synod 2019 we have five nominees from the House of Bishops:

  1. Bishop Jane Alexander of the Diocese of Edmonton

  2. Archbishop / Bishop Ron Cutler of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince

    Edward Island and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada

  3. Archbishop /Bishop Gregory Kerr-Wilson of the diocese of Calgary and

    Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert’s Land

  4. Bishop Linda Nicholls of the diocese of Huron

  5. Bishop Michael Oulton of the diocese of Ontario

Clergy and Laity vote in the Primatial Election and Bishops do not.


2. Indigenous self-determination in matters of ministry. Noting that this motion is not to walk apart from, but in equality and equity with the Anglican Church of Canada.

3. Changes to the Marriage Canon of the Anglican Church of Canada.

More detail on these prayer/discussion points can be found on the Anglican Church of Canada Website :

https://www.anglican.ca

As bishop of Saskatoon, I ask for your prayers for the delegates of our Diocese, General Synod 2019 as well as the church as family of faith. That we come home from General Synod with New Hope before us in the changes of the church, which may challenge us to the core, in one way or the other, but may so we cross over to change, one in the Body and family of God, prayerfully,pastorally, and faithfully... trusting in Gods will in all things.

So may it ring in our hearts: “Be strong and courageous”...Prayer for Synod:
Book of Alternative Services

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in General Synod for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honour and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

Guide, we beseech thee, Almighty God, by the light of thy Holy Spirit, the counsels of the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity who will assemble in General Synod; that thy Church may dwell in peace, and fulfil all the mind of him who loved it and gave himself for it, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

General Synod Information

The Anglican Church of Canada website has a terrific section covering the upcoming General Synod 2019. There is information for delegates - Convening Circular - you can download the entire circular or just read it online. The schedule below is part of the Convening Circular - scroll down to look at the schedule. Click here to go to the website and check out the information including information of the candidates for Primate.

Screen Shot 2019-06-21 at 2.58.06 PM.png

Indigenous Ministries & General Synod

Screen Shot 2019-06-12 at 10.13.12 AM.png

The great folks in Indigenous Ministries let me know that General Synod delegates (and others!) who wish to better understand the 30+ year path of self-determination in the Indigenous Anglican Church can find a lot of information on the General Synod website. I would recommend starting with the Foundational Documents and A History of Our Work. If you have questions or need some help with them, you can reach out to the Rev. Canon Ginny Doctoror Teresa Mandricks. Please encourage the delegates of your Diocese to have a look at this background material so that they can engage fully in this incredibly important discussion and the resolutions pertaining to them.

Get to know the primatial candidates

Get to know the primatial candidates

BY JOELLE KIDD AND MATTHEW TOWNSEND - June 3, 20191719

According to Canon III, the primate’s role is to “lead the Anglican Church of Canada in discerning and pursuing the mission of God.” Photo: Saskia Rowley

According to Canon III, the primate’s role is to “lead the Anglican Church of Canada in discerning and pursuing the mission of God.” Photo: Saskia Rowley

The five bishops nominated for primate of the Anglican Church of Canada share visions for the future

At the meeting of General Synod in July, the 14th primate of the Anglican Church of Canada will be chosen by votes of the Orders of Clergy and Laity. At their March meeting, the Order of Bishops nominated five bishops to stand for this election.

According to the Canon III, the primate’s role is to “lead the Anglican Church of Canada in discerning and pursuing the mission of God.”

The primate exercises “pastoral and spiritual leadership” throughout the national church by visiting parishes, dioceses and provinces, subject to the invitation of diocesan bishops.

The primate also represents the church internationally and ecumenically, and part of the primate’s ministry is to “speak and write prophetically to the Anglican Church of Canada”—and, on behalf of the church, to the world.

In the March issue of the Anglican Journal, current primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz noted that the primate’s authority is “not based on jurisdiction,” as the primate does not have the power to discipline (this power falls to the diocesan bishops and metropolitans). Instead, the primate is a “first among equals” and acts as a “locus of unity” for the church, Hiltz said.

“People feel like they see in the face and the heart of the primate—one hopes—a visible expression of their belonging to the wider church.”

The primate also serves as president of General Synod, chair of Council of General Synod and chair of the House of Bishops, as well as the CEO of General Synod staff. Primates serve until age 70 unless they resign the position.

The Anglican Journal asked the five primatial candidates to share how they would serve the church, and where they see God leading the Anglican Church of Canada.

To read the candidates’ complete responses to primatial nominee forms, visit the General Synod website.

GENERAL SYNOD - A PRIMER

General Synod: A Primer

BY MATTHEW TOWNSEND - May 30, 2019

Members of the 41st General Synod, in Richmond Hill, Ont., wait their turn to speak July 11, 2016. Photo: Art Babych

Members of the 41st General Synod, in Richmond Hill, Ont., wait their turn to speak July 11, 2016. Photo: Art Babych

More than 350 Anglicans from across Canada—delegates, partners, invited guests, displayers, volunteers and observers—will gather July 10-16 in Vancouver for the 42nd General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. While there, delegates will consider resolutions affecting the whole church.

General Synod is the highest governing body in the church. Although the Anglican Church of Canada is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, it has final authority over its own affairs. It can pass, alter and strike down its own laws—or, in church parlance, canons.

The General Synod meets every three years, unless otherwise determined by Council of General Synod (CoGS), provided such meetings are not more than five years apart.

Who Is General Synod?

General Synod is composed of clergy and lay delegates—who are elected at the diocesan synods of every diocese in the Anglican Church of Canada—and the church’s bishops.

These delegates are divided into three orders: the Order of Laity, the Order of Clergy and the Order of Bishops. The Order of Bishops includes the primate; provincial metropolitans; diocesan bishops; coadjutor and suffragan bishops; assistant bishops who have been designated by the synod/executive of their dioceses and who exercise episcopal duties within those dioceses; the Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces; and the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop.

While members are elected at diocesan synods, they are not considered to be their representatives; they are free to vote however they choose.

General Synod also includes several voting officers: president and chairperson (the primate); prolocutor; deputy prolocutor; general secretary; chancellor; and vice-chancellor. The treasurer is able to participate in discussions but may not vote.

How does General Synod create and change its canons?

The General Synod is a legislative body, which means it has the power to draft, change and enact laws through a process of voting.

For a canon to be changed, a resolution must be submitted to the general secretary of the church. CoGS, a committee of General Synod, a diocese or an individual delegate can initiate a motion.

When a resolution comes before synod, it must be moved and seconded before debate can begin. The mover is given five minutes to introduce the motion, after which each member has a chance to speak on the matter for up to three minutes. Resolutions that come before the synod may be voted upon, but they can also be amended, postponed (to a specific time or indefinitely), referred for study, tabled (ending discussion without decision) or voted upon clause by clause.

Some matters of business only require a simple majority, while a vote to approve or change a canon requires a two-thirds majority in each order (lay, clergy and bishops). If the canon deals with doctrine, worship or discipline, it must be voted on in two consecutive synods before the change can take effect. However, even in the case of simple majority votes, if six members ask for a vote by orders, the synod must vote by orders.

If a motion is defeated, another motion dealing with the same issue can only be brought to the floor of synod if two-thirds of the members vote to allow it. If the motion has to do with a canon, however, it must await the next General Synod.

What about the voting error in 2016?

In 2016, General Synod received international media attention when an error occurred during voting on a first reading of changes to the marriage canon. At first, it appeared General Synod rejected the measure—but closer examination revealed it had passed.

“The error in recording the vote on Resolution A051-r2 came as a result of an error of classification,” says Archdeacon Michael Thompson, general secretary of General Synod. “I was listed among the lay members, rather than among the clergy.”

The result: Thompson’s positive vote was recorded among the laity, where the resolution passed by a substantial margin above the two-thirds required.  “As it turns out, its re-classification as a result of a re-examination of the print-out of the vote meant that the two-thirds margin was realized in the clergy vote, and the resolution was passed at first reading.”

The general secretary says the problem became apparent when members of the clergy reported that their votes, cast in favour of the resolution, were not reported. “This came to light when the synod voted to request immediate disclosure of the record of the vote. In reviewing that record, the mis-classification of my vote was discovered, and the further question of unrecorded positive votes became moot.”

Steps have been taken to avoid this kind of error in Vancouver, Thompson says. “In 2019, the company we have engaged has assured us that they will create a process by which members can confirm that their vote has been recorded,” he says. “In addition, electronic voting will be audited by an external reviewer. The credentials committee has been asked to exercise vigilance with respect to the listing of members by order.”

With thanks to André Forget for his work in 2016, “A General Synod explainer,” the foundation upon which this article was built.

Nominations for Coordinating and Standing Committees - General Synod 2019

Are you interested in offering your skills for the ministry of the General Synod through its Coordinating and Standing Committees? Please read further to see how that may happen.

Nominations at General Synod

One of the triennial acts of the meeting of General Synod is to elect members to the various Standing and Coordinating Committees which oversee the work and planning of the many and varied ministries of the General Synod. A Nominating Committee, appointed by the Council of General Synod, toils away night and day at General Synod, receiving nominations from across the church, and preparing recommendations for the Synod to receive.

It is so important for these Standing and Coordinating Committees to represent the length and breadth of our church from coast to coast to coast. For the most part, those elected by General Synod need not be members of General Synod, so nominations are sought far and wide.

Indeed, the more diverse the membership, the better the work, often! I was lucky enough to be a member of different Standing Committees (as they used to be called) or Coordinating Committees (as they are now called) over the years, and I always found those experiences to be rich and rewarding, – challenging me, and putting to use my good senses and my creativity, such as they are.

So, we invite you to nominate yourself and/or nominate others. Nomination forms along with descriptions of the work of the committees and some of the skills/abilities that would be helpful for committee members, will be available online at gs2019.anglican.ca or from your own diocesan synod office.

Peter Wall, Deputy Prolocutor
Chair, General Synod Planning Committee

The committees that will be elected at General Synod are:

Standing Committees:

Pensions and Financial Management (note: the Pensions Committee is the only committee elected by General Synod solely from among the members of General Synod)

Coordinating Committees:

  • Communications

  • Faith, Worship and Ministry

  • Partners in Mission

  • Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice

  • Resources for Mission

When forwarding a name to General Synod for election, the Nominating Committee will take into account the following:

Geographical representation and reflecting the diverse groups and individuals within the church and society.

Expertise, experience and interest in the areas related to the particular focus of the committee. Knowledge of and commitment to the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Ability to work collaboratively and consultatively.

Committed to full participation in the work of the committees, including being prepared to commit to the meetings of the committees, either face-to-face, by telephone or by video- conference (some committees meet quite frequently by phone or video-conference) and to work on sub-committees or task groups as needed.

Possess gifts in listening and discernment.

Online nomination form for Standing and Coordinating Committees 

REQUEST FOR GENERAL SYNOD 2019 PREPARATIONS AND DISCUSSION

The Road to General Synod - a video talk with Primate Fred Hiltz

A video shared by Bishop John Watton (Diocese of Central Newfoundland) from last week's visit of the Primate in the Diocese. Archbishop Fred Hiltz talks about the Road to General Synod, Indigenous Peoples, human trafficking, environment, eliciting a new Primate, and the marriage canon.
Click here for video

The Article “A Word to the Church” is mentioned in this video - to refresh your memory click here.

Our Delegates

Our Delegates are Bishop Chris Harper, Archdeacon Ken Watts, Dean Scott Pittendrigh, Ruth Skinner, Chris Wood and Alexa Wallace (Youth Delegate).

Our Delegates are Bishop Chris Harper, Archdeacon Ken Watts, Dean Scott Pittendrigh, Ruth Skinner, Chris Wood and Alexa Wallace (Youth Delegate).

Prayer for Synod delegates:

Lord, you have called us by name and given us gifts to love and serve in
your Name. We ask you to be present with all delegates to General Synod.
Direct, govern and guide them by your Holy Spirit as they seek to fulfill
your holy will in all things. Give them the mind of Christ, who loved us
and gave himself for us. Amen.  

Prayer for synod delegates written by The Rev. Amy Bunce

Highlights from the Council of General Synod: March 17, 2019

Photograph from the Anglican Church of Canada

Photograph from the Anglican Church of Canada

Highlights from the Council of General Synod: March 17, 2019

BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON MARCH 18, 2019

Council members gathered after breakfast at 8:45 a.m. at the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga.

  • Orders of the Day

    Dr. Karen Egan and the Very Rev. Peter Wall, co-chairs of the Planning and Agenda Team, read out the Orders of the Day.

    Sessional Committees

    Ms. Cynthia Haines-Turner, prolocutor, presented the proposed list of members for sessional committees of General Synod. The list read as follows:

    • Agenda Committee: Peter Wall (chair), Ian Alexander, Derrick Bishop, Terry Caines, Mel Malton, Alison Falby, Dennis Newhook

    • Certification of Minutes Committee: General Secretary, Prolocutor, Alan Perry (crossover member), Honorary Clerical and Lay secretaries

    • Credentials Committee: General Secretary, Deputy Prolocutor, Clare Burns

    • Nominating Committee: Canada: Bruce Myers, Karen Egan (Chair), Larry Renouf; Ontario: Anne Germond, Bill Mous, Haroldine Neil Burchert; Rupert’s Land: Bill Cliff, Murray Still, Sheila Vanderputten; BC & Yukon: Lynne McNaughton, Sarah Usher, Catherine Pate

    A motion to appoint the proposed members was adopted by consensus.

    Results of Email Ballot: General Synod Archivist

    Haines-Turner also reported the results of the e-ballot on the Primate’s nomination of Ms. Laurel Parson as the Archivist of General Synod. Under Canon V, the Council of General Synod (CoGS) must appoint the Archivist. An email ballot was distributed on Feb. 14, 2019 and voting closed on Feb. 22 at 12 p.m.

    The results of the ballot were 18 votes in support of the Primate’s nomination of Parson for the position of Archivist, General Synod.

    All Parties Lessons Learned

    Ms. Melanie Delva, national reconciliation animator, presented the report One Step on a Journey: The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and the Anglican Church of Canada—Lessons Learned, an exercise to reflect on the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was only one of many different aspects of that agreement, which also included the Common Experience Payment and the Independent Assessment Process. Delva noted that the world was watching the results of the Canadian agreement, which was different from many other agreements around the world related to truth and reconciliation. In South Africa, for example, the agreement included a provision giving amnesty to perpetrators who came forward.

    The summary report on All Parties Lessons Learned that was being presented to CoGS was also submitted to the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), the Vision Keepers Council, the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice, and the Anglican Church of Canada leadership team, and would also be submitted to the next meeting of the House of Bishops.

    Of the contents of the report, Delva noted, “This process was hard … Some of the things I learned were hard.” These lessons, she added, would influence the way she performed her work as reconciliation animator going forward, and she implored council members to read the report. She pointed to the need for the church to do both internal work, in terms of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Anglicans, but also external work, in the form of reconciliation with Indigenous communities who are not connected to the church. She urged members to talk to their bishops about—or if they were bishops, to consider—how their dioceses might carry out the actions laid out in the section of the report “Doing Things Differently.”

    A motion to adopt the report was amended to clarify that CoGS was commending to General Synod, before being adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that:

    This Council of General Synod acknowledge receipt of the report One Step on a Journey: The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and the Anglican Church of Canada—Lessons Learned and its Executive Summary, commend it to General Synod, and encourage the Anglican Church of Canada at all levels to read them and take action on their recommendations for ongoing reconciliation work both within the Anglican Church and more broadly.

    Faith, Worship, and Ministry (cont’d)

    Two further motions from Faith, Worship, and Ministry were brought forward, concerning respectively The Arusha Call to Discipleship and the anniversary of the Canadian Council of Churches.

    National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald spoke to offer background on The Arusha Call to Discipleship, having attended the World Council of Churches’ Conference on World Mission and Evangelism in March 2018 in Arusha, Tanzania, where the statement was drafted. The context of the document, he said, that “we now live in a post-Christendom world”. In light of this fact, he added, “Thanks be to God.”

    The collapse of Christendom has meant bad things for churches at the institutional level, Bishop MacDonald said, but it also creates exciting opportunities. The Arusha conference was designed in large part to address this new era of post-Christendom, an age in which the colonial church is collapsing and a new worldwide reality is developing, one in which local forms of Christian faith are multiplying all over the world that have no connection to Western churches and their histories and issues.

    Chinese Christians, for example, might look at someone with a puzzled look if that person were to identify themselves as “Anglican” or “Catholic” or “Protestant”. Such historic realities that are so much a part of world in which Canadian Anglicans live and move have little bearing to many new converts who think of themselves simply as Christians.

    What is emerging in this new reality, the bishop said, is a renewed focus on discipleship, both individually and communally, as being the essence of what Christians are to be in the world today. In another sign of the move away from the colonial church, Bishop MacDonald highlighted the strong Indigenous presence at Arusha gathering, which included The Most Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit, Primate of Kenya. Archbishop Sapit’s background is Maasai, an Indigenous people from Kenya.

    In Bishop MacDonald’s view, it is clear that our discipleship is not just about returning the health of churches, but that it is also essential for confronting the great moral crisis today: the ways in which money has captured our hearts and every aspect of our lives, including the very climate of the planet we live on. That culture of money is destroying and sapping all of the strength and deforming our discipleship as followers of Jesus, and requires a strong spiritual response.

    Both motions by Faith, Worship, and Ministry were adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General forward to the General Synod 2019 the following motion:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod:

    1. affirm the Arusha Call to Discipleship which emerged from the World Council of Churches’ Conference on World Mission and Evangelism sponsored by the WCC Commission on Witness and Evangelism (March 2018);

    2. encourage programmatic bodies within the General Synod to integrate the Arusha Call to Discipleship into the guiding principles of baptismal living for the shaping of national ministries; and

    3. commend the Arusha Call to Discipleship to dioceses for study and inclusion in their considerations of evangelism, witness and discipleship.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod forward the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that, in this special time marking the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the formation of the Canadian Council of Churches, this General Synod, in a spirit of gratitude, offer congratulations to the President and Executive of the Canadian Council of Churches, and recommit the Anglican Church of Canada in our membership and full participation in the life and witness of the Council.

    Partner Moments

    Ms. Pat Lovell, partner to CoGS from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), offered the first of two partner moments, sharing details of what was discussed at the ELCIC’s most recent National Church Council.

    Plans are well underway for the ELCIC’s upcoming National Convention in July at the University of Regina. The theme of the gathering is “Call to Journey Together: The Ministry of Reconciliation,” and a number of motions similar to those passed by CoGS will be included.

    The ELCIC practices four priorities at the moment: courageous innovation, reconciled relationships, empowered disciples, and one body working together. Resolutions at the National Convention will embody each of these priorities in different ways. For example, a resolution on single-use plastics will aim to reduce use of plastics and promote sources aimed at local efforts to do so, something the Anglican Church of Canada has also been working on. Lovell also highlighted a resolution to respect LGBTQ2S+ persons, and another to recommend adoption of the Memorandum of Mutual Recognition of Full Communion to bring the ELCIC closer to The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in addition to the Anglican Church of Canada. The document A Common Word is also being presented with the intention of the ELCIC becoming a signatory and promoting closer relations between Christians and Muslims.

    Lovell paid tribute to Archbishop and Primate Fred Hiltz as well as Prolocutor Cynthia Haines-Turner, who has been present at the ELCIC National Church Council for years as the Anglican Church of Canada representative. She praised the relationship between ELCIC National Bishop Susan C. Johnson and Archbishop Hiltz as an example of what it means to be real partners, noting the two liked to consult on a regular basis.

    The entire process of the Anglican Church of Canada pondering proposed changes to the marriage canon met with admiration from Lovell. She praised the church’s approach that began with listening conversations right after the 2013 General Synod, and was followed by an in-depth study in the form of the report This Holy Estate and further conversations throughout dioceses. “No matter where it ends, you have done great due diligence,” she said. “I admire and applaud you for that, because it’s not an easy task. The greatest test will come at the convention, and I know that God will be with you.” Lutherans, she added, would also be present at General Synod, and their prayers would always be with their Anglican partners.

    Canon Noreen Duncan, recently re-elected as representative of The Episcopal Church (TEC) to CoGS, provided the second partner moment. She highlighted the pride of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in the connection between TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. Since the presiding bishop took on his current position, the work of TEC has focused around three pillars: caring for creation, evangelism, and racial reconciliation.

    In her time at CoGS, Duncan said, she had learned much about reconciliation from the Anglican Church of Canada. She highlighted the ways in which the church had walked together with Indigenous sisters and brothers and with ACIP, and the way that it saw racial reconciliation as structural to the church—not an issue in the past, not limited to residential schools that are now gone, but rather in terms of the “continuing sin of racism.” Anti-racism would be central to Duncan’s mission over the next three years serving as liaison to the Bishop’s Joint Standing Committee on Racial Reconciliation.

    While the Anglican Church of Canada moves towards the second reading at General Synod of its amendment on proposed changes to the marriage, Duncan said that in the case of TEC, “We have been through our same-gender issues.” Since 2015, TEC has formally allowed same-sex marriage. Looking “as siblings” at the process of their Canadian counterparts, Duncan too affirmed, “You have done your due diligence.” She wanted Canadian Anglicans to know that Episcopalians would be with them in July in Vancouver. She thanked CoGS for having her present and for welcoming her to Vancouver, and expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to be welcome during this important part of the church’s life in Canada and for sisters and brothers in Indigenous communities.

    Anglican Award of Merit Committee

    General Secretary Michael Thompson presented a resolution from the Anglican Award of Merit Committee, which included the names of six people to receive the award in 2019: Mr. Robert (Bob) Boeckner, Ms. Debra Gill, Ms. Melissa Green, Mrs. Anne Patterson, Mrs. Dorothy Russell-Patterson, and Mrs. Susan Winn. Council voted to adopt the resolution.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved:

    That this Council approves all six recommended names to receive the Anglican Award of Merit in 2019.

    Members took a break from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

    Prolocutor Reflections

    As she prepares to step down from her role as prolocutor, Haines-Turner offered some reflections from her tenure at CoGS. Among her observations, she noted the decrease in size of the council and expressed her belief that a smaller council worked better in carrying out its work. At the same time, she noted a large number of absences at the current council, which has an effect on the remaining members who have to dig in and do the work.

    Though the current meeting was the last meeting of the present council, the prolocutor reminded members that their term continues until a new council is elected at General Synod, and that there are still a number of ways they can contribute to the leadership and ministry of the church. Only 11 people present, she noted, would be in a position to be elected to the next council. As a result, she urged members upon their return home to talk about the work of CoGS and the importance of people allowing their names to stand in nomination for it. In light of the commitment required to serve as a member of CoGS, she noted that nominees with that skill would be particularly helpful.

    Highlighting the good work and ministry of the committees and CoGS as a whole, Haines-Turner thanked the council for the privilege of serving as prolocutor, which she called “the funnest job ever.”

    Heartbeat of the Church Feedback

    Karen Egan presented some of the results of the Heartbeat of the Church exercise that council members took part in earlier in the meeting, when they responded to three questions and then offering heartfelt prayers.

    In response to the question “Describe a time when our church made your heart glad,” council members pointed to moments such as Archbishop Michael Peers’ apology, the establishment of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh, the Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue, the declaration of full communion with the ELCIC in 2001, resolutions towards Indigenous self-determination, and the feeling of worship when people sing and pray together.

    In response to the question “Describe a time when our church made your heart ache,” members cited attending regional and national TRC events and hearing the testimony of those who had been damaged by the church; the voting error at the 2016 General Synod in regard to the amendment on proposed changes to the marriage canon; hearing a negative reaction from one bishop to the 1993 apology; moments when Anglicans do not trust each other; and church failures to identify its own role in creating division and pain, even in the light of good intentions.

    In response to the question, “Describe a time when our church gave you hope,” members highlighted Indigenous ministries; the ministry of Archbishop Fred Hiltz; seeing new generations of theological students and bishops; anticipation of participating in the Anglican Consultative Council; the way the church responds to incidents such as the recent shooting in Aotearoa-New Zealand; and accepting the risks of walking towards reconciliation with Indigenous Anglicans, not knowing exactly where that road may lead, but knowing that God is leading us.

    Heartfelt prayers from the members conveyed feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving, as well as petitions to God for strength heading into the future.

    Financial Update and Risk Management (cont’d)

    Ms. Hanna Goschy, treasurer and CFO, responded to questions about the financial update and put forward a resolution on the process by which dioceses make and fulfill financial commitments to the ministries of the General Synod. During a subsequent discussion, council members asked Goschy questions about the resolution, specifically involving the issue of penalties in connection to dioceses that do not fulfill financial commitments.

    General Secretary’s Report

    In response to these questions, the Ven. Michael Thompson, General Secretary of the General Synod, expanded the discussion of the church’s national planning process from one focused on General Synod to engaging the church national in a conversation about the contribution that each of us can make to the ministry of the church. Though the word “penalty’ had come up, Thompson suggested that what members were really talking about was partnership, and a planning process that engages members of the church as partners in outcomes that can change and renew people’s lives.

    A resolution on the church’s strategic planning process was put forward, but debate over its precise wording compelled members of the Resolutions Committee to work together over lunch to present a reworded version. A different resolution on the 2022 Joint Assembly was put forward and adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod direct the General Secretary to accept the offer of the Diocese of Calgary to be host diocese for the meeting of the General Synod in 2022.

    Members broke for lunch from noon until 12:45 p.m.

    Further Motions

    After lunch, three more resolutions were put forward, including the revised motion on the strategic planning process. All three were adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that:

    The General Synod direct the Council of General Synod to develop and initiate a process to re-examine the mission of General Synod in relation to the dioceses, provinces, including the self-determining Indigenous Church, with a goal to allow the structures of General Synod to best enable and serve God’s mission.

    Resolution

    That the Council of General Synod commend to General Synod 2019 that the Synod direct the Council of General Synod in partnership with the entire church to prayerfully undertake a strategic planning process that will lead to the presentation of a proposal to the 2022 meeting of the General Synod for our ministry and mission with the General Synod.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved:

    That this Council of General Synod strongly recommend to the incoming Council of General Synod that it examine the process by which dioceses are invited to make and fulfill financial commitments to the ministries of General Synod.

    Closing Eucharist

    Council members received certificates prior to the Eucharist that would close out the final meeting of CoGS for the 2016-2019 triennium. Archbishop Hiltz served as preacher during the service.

    In his sermon, the Primate reiterated calls for a church that is Christ-centered and gospel-centred, to be a servant church, to live a “cross-shaped life” and to bear witness in the world. He believed that in its present meeting, the council had offered “a word to the church” not just about marriage, but about self-determination, about safe church, and about many other resolutions commended to General Synod. Council members celebrated the Holy Eucharist and then departed for home.

    The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

    Interested in keeping up-to-date on news and information from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts and get our stories delivered right to your inbox.

Highlights from the Council of General Synod: March 16, 2019

Highlights from the Council of General Synod: March 16, 2019

CoGS-table-groups-FB.jpg

BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON MARCH 17, 2019

  • Council members gathered after breakfast at 8:45 a.m. at the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre in Mississauga.

    Morning Eucharist

    Bishop-Elect Lynne McNaughton presided at the morning worship service. National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald preached.

    Orders of the Day

    Dr. Karen Egan, co-chair of the Planning and Agenda Team, read out the Orders of the Day.

    General Synod 2019

    The Very Rev. Peter Wall, co-chair of the General Synod Planning Committee, discussed some of the details of General Synod 2019. He described the benefits of the hotel as venue and the proximity of nearby Anglican churches for worship—noting that the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop would be preaching at the Sunday worship service—and the agenda for the event. In planning the Vancouver gathering, Wall said that the committee had been very sensitive to what they had heard about General Synod 2016 in terms of the ways members talk and listen to one another.

    After answering some questions from the council, Wall put forward a motion that was adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that the Council of General Synod approve the draft agenda outline for the forty-second session of the General Synod.

    Wall went on to describe other aspects of General Synod 2019, including sponsorship and displays. The Anglican Foundation of Canada is the lead sponsor of General Synod, and Wall praised the generosity of the Foundation’s support.

    Putting forward another motion related to electronic voting, Wall said that the General Synod Planning Committee had discussed this issue thoroughly and was confident in its support for electronic voting at General Synod 2019. Among other benefits, electronic voting allows affirmative votes to be cast first and avoids a secret ballot which is generally not allowed by the rules of Synod.

    Problems with the voting process in 2016, Wall said, were due to registration errors and not due to electronic voting clickers or the company who supported them. Members of General Synod 2019 will have clickers, and in addition this year, external monitors (auditors) will be present. Paper ballots will be used for the election of the new primate, since it would be logistically difficult to have electronic voting at the cathedral where the election will take place.

    Council members adopted the next resolution by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod authorize electronic voting at all sessions of the forty-second session of the General Synod, at the discretion of the Chair, except for the election of a Primate, at which election voting shall be on paper ballots.

    Wall put forward a third motion on seating arrangements, which was also adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that the forty-second session of the General Synod have two seating arrangements: one, for Bible study and for learning session—which would allow and encourage Synod members from across the country, from coast to coast to coast, to meet at table groupings which include as much of the diversity of our church as possible—and another, open seating at which Synod members will be encouraged to sit where they wish.

    During a subsequent discussion, Wall answered any further questions members had related to General Synod 2019.

    Members broke for coffee from 10:20 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

    Marriage Canon Working Group/Canon XXI

    Continuing work from the previous day, council members took several minutes to read over the third draft of the document A Word to the Church on proposed changes to the marriage canon. A discussion followed in which members suggested changes to the precise language of the document. Archbishop and Primate Fred Hiltz suggested that council return to the resolution on the document when the Marriage Canon Working Group was able to incorporate their suggested changes into the fourth and final version.

    Chancellor David Jones presented motions from the Governance Working Group regarding proposed amendments to the marriage canon resolution A051-R2. The resolution was adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    That Council of General Synod commend the following amendment to Resolution A051-R2 to General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that Resolution A051-R2 be amended as follows:

    Renumber paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 as paragraphs 3, 4, and 5, and add as paragraph 2:

    1. Add the following at the end of the Preface to Canon XXI:

    1. Faithful members of the Anglican Church of Canada have different understandings and teachings about the nature of marriage. Some accept that the essence of marriage is between a man and a woman; others accept same sex marriage. Members are entitled to hold and exercise either view provided they recognize and respect that others may with integrity hold a different view. All Anglicans accept that marriage is a sign of God’s redeeming purpose to unite all things in Christ. We are committed to graceful walking together in a spirit of generosity as part of the same Christian community. 

    1. General Synod recognizes that Indigenous communities have particular understandings about the nature of marriage as well as their own ways of making decisions—both of which are protected in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples—and will continue to discern whether same sex marriage would be acceptable in their communities.

    Faith, Worship, and Ministry

    The Rev. Dr. Eileen Scully put forward a number of motion from Faith, Worship, and Ministry. A motion on the Safe Church Charter was amended, at the suggestion of a council member, to include a commitment to CoGS discussing safe church policy each triennium. The amended motion was adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod forward the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod

    1. adopt The Anglican Communion Charter for the Safety of People and the Protocol for the Disclosure of Ministry Suitability Information between the Churches of the Anglican Communion;

    2. commend the Charter to dioceses and other bodies of The Anglican Church of Canada for use in the revision and creation of policies and training materials for safeguarding and right conduct;

    3. engage a self-study of the conduct policy base of the corporation of The General Synod in light of the Charter, reporting back to the General Synod of 2022 on developments and with revised policies;

    4. offer its gratitude to the Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission for its work in creating the Charter for the Safety of Persons and its Protocols;

    5. direct the Council of General Synod to spend some time in the agenda of each triennium to discuss safe church policy and practice.

    Scully put forward a number of other motions that were adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod forward the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod authorize for use Alternative Collects for the Revised Common Lectionary, where permitted by the Ordinary.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod forward the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod authorize for use Gathering Rites for Paschaltide for use where permitted by the Ordinary.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod forward the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod authorize for use Thanksgivings over the Water where permitted by the Ordinary.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod approve for Trial Use, Evaluation, and Feedback, Rites for the Catechumenal Process where permitted by the Ordinary.

    A motion on providing an Inclusive Language Liturgical Psalter prompted one council member to ask for further discussion in light of major concerns about excising the word “He” in the psalter to refer to God. The member chose not to vote and the motion was adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod commend for use the Inclusive Language Liturgical Psalter and the Inclusive Language Liturgical Psalter (pointed).

    Members broke for lunch from noon until 1:30 p.m.

    Bible Study

    The Very Rev. Peter Elliott led Bible study after work, which centred on Luke 13:31-35. Following reading of the gospel passage and table group reflections, Elliott closed out the study with a prayer.

    Marriage Canon Working Group/Canon XXI (cont’d)

    The Primate asked council whether they might next look at the fourth draft of the Word to the Church document before moving to the remainder of the resolutions, to which council members answered in the affirmative.

    Members read the final draft of the Word to the Church and then voted to adopt and commend it by consensus. Following the vote, however, one council member expressed concerns over the language of the document. In an emotional moment, the member wondered how the text might be received in the LGBTQ2S+ community—specifically by referring to “gay and lesbian persons” in its introduction rather than LGBTQ2S+, with  the possible result that it might make the document feel less inclusive.

    Council earnestly listened to the member’s concerns, and the Primate asked whether inclusion of the word “LGBTQ2S+” in the Lament section might resolve the issue. The concerned member suggested that including the word “historically” in the introduction would be a significant improvement. CoGS voted to add the word to the introduction, and the revised document was adopted and commended by consensus.

    Resolution

    That the Council of General Synod adopt and commend for consideration by General Synod the document A Word to the Church concerning the proposed amendment of Marriage Canon XXI.

    Faith, Worship, and Ministry (cont’d)

    After taking a five-minute break to stretch their legs, members returned to vote on more resolutions related to Faith, Worship and Ministry. Each was adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod forward the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod authorize for use Seasonal Forms for Daily Office for use where permitted by the Ordinary.

    The Rt. Rev. Bruce Myers spoke briefly on the background behind the next motion, recounting the history of efforts to change the Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews in the Book of Common Prayer to the Prayer for Reconciliation with the Jews. The motion was adopted by consensus.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod send the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod give first reading to the addition of the following section to Canon XIV:

    1. Prayer number four in “Prayers and Thanksgivings upon Several Occasions” is to be deleted from use and future printings of the Book of Common Prayer and replaced with a prayer entitled “For Reconciliation with the Jews” as follows:

    O GOD, who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance: Have mercy upon us and forgive us for violence and wickedness against our brother Jacob; the arrogance of our hearts and minds hath deceived us, and shame hath covered our face. Take away all pride and prejudice in us, and grant that we, together with the people whom thou didst first make thine own, may attain to the fulness of redemption which thou hast promised; to the honour and glory of thy most holy Name.

    The next two motions were also adopted by consensus. Bishop-Elect Lynne McNaughton briefly spoke on the latter motion by describing the background behind the Anglican-United Church Dialogue.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod forward the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod:

    • express its gratitude for, and accepts the gift of A Common Word Between Us and You, offer by Muslim leaders via the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, Jordan;

    • that the Anglican Church of Canada join other signatories to A Common Word Between Us and You via the signature of our Primate; and

    • that the Anglican Church of Canada, under the direction of the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee, and in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, jointly initiate a program of ecumenical Christian-Muslim engagement in receptive communities across Canada, based on the model of the A Common Word initiative in its various local expressions.

    Resolution

    Be it resolved that this Council of General Synod forward the following motion to the General Synod 2019:

    Be it resolved that this General Synod:

    Receive and affirm the Statement of Mutual Affirmations and Commitments produced by the Anglican Church of Canada-United Church of Canada Dialogue.

    Members broke for coffee from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Financial Update and Risk Management

    Ms. Hanna Goschy, Treasurer and CFO, briefly discussed the finances of the General Synod. The majority of her report focused on explaining the concept of risk management, and its value as a way of avoiding vulnerabilities in an organization, identifying potential financial problems before they occur, and improving sustainability. Goschy identified five main kinds of risk—failure to comply with the law, governance, operational, financial, and external—and various strategies for avoiding them.

    In an exercise, she assigned one of each kind of risk to different tables, and asked them to brainstorm the risks their group feels are relevant to General Synod in their category. Next, she asked them to choose the risk they felt had the greatest impact and highest likelihood. Roughly 10 minutes of discussion followed, after which each table reported on what they had discussed. Among the risks identified by table groups based on category:

    • Operational: Supervision of staff and volunteers, management of assets, inadequate record-keeping.

    • Financial: Inadequate cash flow and limited income sources; most of the church’s income flows from dioceses, raising questions of church growth and how that impacts finances.

    • Governance: Potentially unskilled or inattentive boards of directors, since many directors are volunteers; could become extreme risk if paired with another governance issue such as ineffective senior staff or poor board staff relations.

    • External: Loss of key funding sources; declining proportion of giving; secularization and competing with other religious groups; government creating hostile education environment for Christianity.

    Prayers

    Peter Elliott closed out the afternoon session by leading a prayer for the church, for the ministry and leadership of Archbishop Hiltz and Prolocutor Cynthia Haines-Turner, and for the upcoming General Synod.

    Reception

    An evening reception featured a surprise (for Archbishop Hiltz) musical performance by jazz combo The Nathan Hiltz Trio, a band led by the Primate’s son.

    Banquet

    Council enjoyed their last dinner at their last meeting of the triennium in the form of a banquet, during which they honoured two departing council members: Archbishop Fred Hiltz, who will be stepping down as Primate at General Synod 2019, and Cynthia Haines-Turner.

    Numerous speeches were made to pay tribute to the two members, who each also spoke in glowing terms about the other. While their individual qualities were praised, common to both was a tireless work ethic, strong faith, and devotion to the church. Much of the Primate’s closing speech focused on praising the work of Haines-Turner, General Secretary Michael Thompson, Chancellor David Jones, outgoing deputy prolocutor Lynne McNaughton, Planning and Agenda Team co-chairs Peter Wall and Karen Egan, Worship Committee chair Peter Elliott, and others.

    The Primate noted that upon the election of his successor, he would hand the Primatial Cross—which “belongs to the whole church”—to Haines-Turner as Prolocutor, who in turn would hand it to the new primate. Speaking of his departure and his eventual plans to return to parish ministry, Archbishop Hiltz said, “I’m leaving the office of primate happily. It’s time for change … It’s time for new leadership.” He expressed confidence in the Holy Spirit guiding the Anglican Church of Canada into the future, and thanked the council for their work over the course of the triennium. The Primate ended by leading council in a prayer.

    Gospel Jamboree

    National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald and Indigenous Ministries Coordinator Ginny Doctor led the evening Gospel Jamboree.

    In his introduction, Bishop MacDonald spoke about the role of music in Indigenous spiritual practice, and how potlucks and gospel jamborees became ways of resistance to colonization. Many hymns associated today with conservative Christianity were in fact the most popular tunes sung by Indigenous people at gospel jamborees, which often attracted hundreds of people and would last for hours.

    Participants were seated for most of the proceedings. The gospel jamboree typically started and ended with hymns sung a capella in an extremely slow manner. Those in attendance would stand only during the last verse of the first hymn and the last hymn. Music was interspersed with traditional stories and Bible stories. Bishop MacDonald described these events as a “uniquely Indigenous tradition borne out of necessity.” Even today, travellers in northern regions will often hear gospel jamborees on the radio during the evening.

    The CoGS Gospel Jamboree drew inspiration from this proceeding, opening and closing with slow hymns sung a capella. Throughout the evening, Bishop MacDonald and Doctor led the singing and energetic musical performance of favourite hymns, inviting others to join in on guitar, drum, tambourine, and egg shakers while all present sang along. In between, council members told personal stories and displayed a variety of other talents, from presenting a puppet show to singing songs in their traditional language.

    Participants enjoyed an evening social from 9 p.m. until 11 p.m.

    Interested in keeping up-to-date on news and information from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts and get our stories delivered right to your inbox.

House of Bishops - a Call to Prayer

A CALL TO PRAYER from the House of Bishops

BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON MARCH 29, 2019

Freedom Studio/Shutterstock

Freedom Studio/Shutterstock

General Synod 2019 will bring three important issues before the Church:  The proposed revision of the marriage canon; a primatial election; and indigenous self-determination, in addition to other areas of our common life together.

We know that the consideration of same-sex marriage has been painful and caused deep concern across our Church. Although we are not of one mind on this matter the House of Bishops, in Christian love, affirms:

  1. That Indigenous Peoples will seek God’s direction on these matters in their own way and in their own time.

  2. That we have two views of marriage that are held by the faithful of the Anglican Church of Canada.

  3. That clergy be protected for holding, teaching and, with permission, exercising either view of marriage.

  4. That we commit to remain in communion, living together with respect.

In light of these affirmations we invite the Church to join us in prayer for the work of General Synod 2019 that we may bear with one another in unity and love under the guidance of God the Holy Spirit.

Prayer for Synod:

Book of Alternative Services

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel in General Synod for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honour and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord.    Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

Guide, we beseech thee, Almighty God, by the light of thy Holy Spirit, the counsels of the Bishops, Clergy, and Laity who will assemble in General Synod; that thy Church may dwell in peace, and fulfil all the mind of him who loved it and gave himself for it, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.    Amen.

Interested in keeping up-to-date on news and information from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts and get our stories delivered right to your inbox.

Bishops nominated for the election of the 14th Primate are...

Canadian Anglican House of Bishops nominate bishops for next Primatial election

BY GENERAL SYNOD COMMUNICATIONS ON MARCH 27, 2019

IMG_0049-2.jpg

The Canadian House of Bishops has nominated five bishops from among their number to stand for election as the next Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, who was elected the 13th Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada in 2007, announced his resignation effective July 16 at the end of the meeting of the General Synod. The General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s national governing and legislative body, will choose the next primate in Vancouver this July.

To fulfill the requirements of Canon III on the Primate and Appendix A on the Guidelines for the Conduct of the Primatial Election, the bishops must nominate three candidates, but may nominate up to five, at their last meeting before a General Synod.

The Canadian Anglican House of Bishops is meeting in Niagara Falls, ON from March 25 to 29. Prior to the nomination process, the bishops were led in a prayerful and grace-filled retreat by Archbishop John Holder, the retired Primate of the West Indies and bishop of Barbados.

Bishops nominated for the election of the 14th Primate are:

  • The Right Reverend Jane Alexander of the diocese of Edmonton;

  • The Most Reverend Ron Cutler of the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada;

  • The Most Reverend Gregory Kerr-Wilson of the diocese of Calgary and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert’s Land;

  • The Right Reverend Linda Nicholls of the diocese of Huron; and

  • The Right Reverend Michael Oulton of the diocese of Ontario.

The Anglican Church of Canada’s 42nd General Synod, which convenes at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre in downtown Vancouver from July 10 to 16 is made up of more than 250 delegates, including lay people, youth delegates, deacons, priests and bishops from across the church. The General Synod meets every three years. The Primate is elected by clergy and lay members of the General Synod and is the senior Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada. Bishops do not vote in the primatial election.

The primatial election will be held at Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver, BC on Saturday, July 13. The new Primate will be officially installed in office the evening of July 16.

-30-

Media contact:
Meghan Kilty
Director, Communications
The Anglican Church of Canada
416-924-9199 ext. 230

Interested in keeping up-to-date on news and information from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts and get our stories delivered right to your inbox.

General Synod Information and Registration

General Synod 2019

The 42nd General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada will be held from July 10-16, 2019 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia in the Diocese of New Westminster. The theme of the synod is “I Have Called You By Name” (Isaiah 43:1).

Delegates to General Synod may register online.

Questions about General Synod 2019 can be directed to Shannon Cottrell, Executive Secretary for Governance for General Synod at gs2019@national.anglican.ca.

Information for Delegates

General Synod 2019 Planning Committee

(front row, left to right):  Ms. Cynthia Haines-Turner The Very Rev. Peter Wall The Rev. Dr. Lynne McNaughton Ms. Heidi Wilker Ms. Becky Boucher  (not pictured):  Ms. Lisa Barry Ms. Josie De Lucia    (back row, left to right):  The Rt. Rev. Sidney Black Ms. Meghan Kilty The Very Rev. Peter Elliott The Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson Ms. Shannon Cottrell The Ven. Douglas Fenton Ms. Angela Chorney Ms. Siobhan Bennett The Rev. Martha Tatarnic Ms. Laura Walton    Header photo by  Thom Quine   CC BY 2.0  / Wikimedia

(front row, left to right):

Ms. Cynthia Haines-Turner
The Very Rev. Peter Wall
The Rev. Dr. Lynne McNaughton
Ms. Heidi Wilker
Ms. Becky Boucher

(not pictured):

Ms. Lisa Barry
Ms. Josie De Lucia

(back row, left to right):

The Rt. Rev. Sidney Black
Ms. Meghan Kilty
The Very Rev. Peter Elliott
The Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson
Ms. Shannon Cottrell
The Ven. Douglas Fenton
Ms. Angela Chorney
Ms. Siobhan Bennett
The Rev. Martha Tatarnic
Ms. Laura Walton

Header photo by Thom Quine CC BY 2.0 /Wikimedia