We envision a church growing in membership, faith and service in God’s world
Spring, 2005, Mississauga, Ont.
(Queen of Apostles)
Saturday, May 7
Council met for worship at 9 a.m. and convened in plenary at 9:30.
Council voted to accept an invitation from the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island that General Synod in 2010 be held in that diocese.
Council discussed the report of the Financial Management and Development Committee. The report contained several items for information and several for action.
A Statement of Investment Policy and Goals was approved.
Council approved the financial statements.
Council approved the appointment of auditors.
Council approved revisions to the 2005 budget as recommended by Management Team. Treasurer Peter Blachford explained what led to the required reduction in the budget and the process that was used to cut $415,000. Mr. Blachford answered questions.
Rod Andrews announced that because of two significant gifts, the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad will be able to continue for at least another three years. He said the college is still on shaky ground but that it can continue for the time being.
Council discussed a report from the Pension Committee. Linda Barry-Hollowell discussed a letter received from the dioceses of Toronto, Huron and Niagara dealing with changes to the long-term disability plan. A number of other motions were also discussed and approved. A number of items were received for information.
Chancellor Ron Stevenson referred to the procedure at General Synod in accepting or rejecting the recommendation of the report from the Primate’s Theological Commission. He said such a motion could be handled by a majority vote. He noted that the report must be read very carefully and expressed the hope that a consensus can emerge between now and General Synod.
The Primate introduced Canon Geoff Jackson who has been appointed to the staff position of Senior Financial Development Officer. Canon Jackson reported on the implementation of Letting Down The Nets. He reported on a gift of $320,000 from New Westminster and said that to date, LDTN had generated a base of about $500,000. Mr. Jackson reviewed progress in each of the four streams planned for implementation.
Jim Cowan reported to Council on the Framework and on Youth Work in dioceses. 21 dioceses responded to a CoGS request to report on ministry they do for and with young people. 18 dioceses have places on their web sites for youth ministry.
Council heard from Gloria Moses and Sid Black (co-chairs) on behalf of the Anglican Council of Indigenous People. Both affirmed the commitment to communications and community building that the Primate has said are key to his ministry.
Council adjourned for lunch at noon and reconvened at 2 p.m.
Council discussed a report from the Faith, Worship and Ministry committee. The report contains a number of items for information. Council approved Propers for Florence Li Tim Oi and for Emily Ayckbown. Other resolutions will be brought forward under other items in the agenda.
Council discussed a report from the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. The report contains a number of items for information, including the Tsunami response. The process for hiring a new Executive Director continues. Council approved in principle a “Partnerships for Life Consultation” and asked the acting General Secretary to enter into discussion with PWRDF to enable the consultation to happen.
Council discussed a report from the Eco Justice Committee. The report contains a number of items for information. Council approved a motion entitled ‘Response to the Anglican Communion’s Trade and Poverty Task Group Questionnaire.’
Council heard a report from the Anti-Racism Working Group. The report contains a number of items for information. Council approved a motion that it participate in anti-racism training at its fall meeting if funding can be found. This will require the meeting to begin a day earlier. Council was also asked to ensure that the ARWG have a full complement of members. Council approved in principle a funding proposal for anti-racism training.
Council dealt with the request from the Primates’ Meeting as contained in their communiqué – that the Anglican Church voluntarily withdraw its members from the Anglican Consultative Council.
Archbishop Finlay led Council in prayer.
Allen Box summarized discussion in table groups yesterday.
Peter Wall, chair of the Resolution Committee, presented a resolution for the consideration of Council. He suggested the resolution be dealt with paragraph by paragraph. Mr. Wall moved that the Council go into Committee of the Whole. Carried.
Committee of the Whole
The resolution contains six paragraphs – the most contentious being the second. The committee agreed to consider each paragraph seriatim, coming to the second paragraph last.
The second paragraph says: That the Council of General Synod confirm the membership of the Anglican Church of Canada in the Anglican Consultative Council with the expectation that the duly elected members attend and participate fully in the June 2005 meeting of the Council.
Archbishop Hutchison expressed the worry that if members attend and participate, others may leave the table. He said that he stands by the Primates Communiqué. He said he is the servant of CoGS and that he will present and defend whatever action the council decides on.
Archbishop Lawrence suggested we might consider withdrawing from the table “for pastoral reasons” while affirming that we are and remain full members of the Council.
Bishop Ingham said that he is concerned that if we accede to this request it will not be the last request that is made of us. He said he expects if we do not attend this meeting we will not attend the following one either.
Council moved out of Committee of the Whole.
Council considered a revised resolution:
Paragraph 1: That this General Synod thank our Primate, The Most Reverend Andrew Hutchison, for using his best efforts to explain the reality of the Anglican Church of Canada to the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and to explain the Primates’ Communiqué to the Anglican Church of Canada. Carried
Paragraph 2: That the Council of General Synod affirm the membership of the Anglican Church of Canada in the Anglican Consultative Council with the expectation that the duly elected members attend and participate fully in the June 2005 meeting of the Council.
An amendment was proposed substituting the words but not participate for the words and participate fully.
Archbishop Finlay lead Council in prayer.
The amendment carried by a vote of 20 to 12.
The motion as amended carried.
Council recessed at 5:30 and reconvened at 7 p.m.
Council continued its discussion of the resolution on the Anglican Consultative Council.
Paragraph 3: That the Council of General Synod welcome the invitation to the Anglican Consultative Council in order to explain the current situation, the steps that were taken by the Dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada and the General Synod and the underlying theological and biblical rationale with respect to the decision to bless committed same-sex unions. Carried.
Paragraph 4: That this Council ask the Primate, in consultation with the Windsor Report Response Task Group a) to formulate the presentation to be made to the Anglican Consultative Council at its meeting in June, 2005, as contemplated by paragraph 16 of the Communiqué and b) to name participants in the presentation in consultation with this Council. Carried.
Paragraph 5: This Council encourages the Primate to consider attending the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in June 2005, and to participate in the presentation contemplated by paragraph 16 of the Primates’ Communiqué. Carried
Council discussed the report of the Communications and Information Resources Committee. The report contained several items for information. Council approved a request for a process that would ensure the availability of prompt and accurate financial statements. Council approved a request that in light of financial difficulties, CoGS call on all committees to review the length, frequency venues and amenities of meetings.
Council heard reflections from ECUSA partners, Stephen Lane and Michael Ingham. Bishop Ingham described the January meeting of the ECUSA Executive Council.
Mr. Lane noted that discussions this triennium seem to lack some of the tensions he has felt in previous meetings. Opinions are still strongly expressed, but there is a sense of respect.
Council heard a report from the Anglican Journal Board of Directors. The report contained a number of items for information. Council agreed to waive the annual audit of the Journal.
Council discussed the report of the General Secretary. Council approved revised dates for General Synod 2007 of June 19 – 25. There will be a joint meeting with Lutherans on June 21. The report contained several items for information.
Council discussed a report from the Primate in which he recommends that CoGS change its policy and accept a partial release in resolving Indian residential schools claims. Council approved a motion that the Primate consult with dioceses to see if a partial release is acceptable, and that he report to the November meeting of CoGS. Archbishop Hutchison said that the church has met with government officials who assured him that potential liability is minimal.
Council approved a resolution to refer to the Planning and Agenda Team for action a proposal to review the governance of the church.
Council heard a report from the General Synod Handbook committee. The report contained items for information.
The Nominations Committee presented a final report on the election of the Anglican Journal Board of Directors. The report carried.
Council adjourned at 8:30