This article also appears in the January issue of the Diocesan Post.
This regular column reports on the activities and decisions of Diocesan Council--the "synod between synods" of our diocese.
A significant portion of the agenda for November’s Diocesan Council meeting was given over to a presentation and conversation about a diocesan-wide financial campaign. Council is preparing a motion that will be brought to Synod in April for ratification. Supporting materials and initiatives will be developed and shared at the upcoming regional gatherings in preparation for Synod. Council also approved a motion to allow parishes invested in the consolidated trust fund to receive a 3% income distribution in 2018. This equates to $0.4485 per unit. A motion passed committing diocesan funding towards costs for 2018 through to 2021 to support the Diocesan Refugee Sponsorship Program.
The diocesan vision team for Engaging God’s World presented project ideas that they will work with Diocesan Council to rollout diocesan-wide to illustrate how God is at work in the life of the diocese. Ideas included island-based pilgrimage walks modelled after the Camino, parish mission exchanges, a special Sunday designated “Back to Jesus Sunday” and a story exchange. At the time of writing, more work was to be done by this team; information will be provided in future issues and on the diocesan website bc.anglican.ca.
In March 2017, the diocesan vision team for Lay Ministry and Leadership Formation distributed a survey to all Anglicans of the diocese through parish communications channels. The purpose of the survey was to gather information about the kinds of ministry happening in parishes. The results of these surveys were presented for consideration; a plan for next steps will be developed in the coming months. The executive summary of the survey results is available online at bc.anglican.ca/resources/faith-in-formation.
The executive body of General Synod is the Council of General Synod (CoGS). The Rev. Clara Plamondon (St John the Baptist, Duncan) is a member of CoGS and reports regularly to Diocesan Council about the activities and actions of CoGS. The following is a summary of her report to the November Diocesan Council meeting: At our November CoGS gathering we heard about the Road to Warm Springs: National Consultation on Anglican Indigenous Self-Determination. The Road to Warm Springs was the theme of the conference, based on the gospel story of the road to Emmaus. Indigenous and non-Indigenous representatives gathered together to imagine a truly self-determining Anglican Indigenous church within our Anglican Church. A report from ACIP (Anglican Council of Indigenous People) was presented. It was encouraging and exciting to see the growing vision of what they hope to achieve as we prepare for General Synod 2019. At every gathering, we continue to work on more effective decision-making models such as consensus-building.
We recently experienced an Appreciative Inquiry process for learning, listening and building relationships. It is hoped that these models and decision-making processes will be encouraged throughout the church. CoGS has encouraged ecclesiastical provinces and dioceses to continue the work of considering the implications of the proposed motion regarding the Marriage Canon that will be brought back for second reading in 2019. If you wish to receive updates on what’s happening across the Anglican Church of Canada and General Synod visit anglican.ca.
A member of Diocesan Council shared that in her parish, every parish council meeting agenda includes a discussion about ways the parish is part of the diocese and the role of the synod office in the life of the parish. Is this happening in your parish? If not, consider asking your leadership team to make it part of your parish’s communication plan.