Council of General Synod highlights: March 14, 2010

Queen of Apostles, Mississauga, Ont.

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Council members began the last day of their spring meeting with Bible studies at 9:00. At 9:45 they met for business.


COGS returned to discuss a resolution in support of a nation-wide fundraising initiative.


By consensus, COGS adopted the following points in carrying forward the work of the Department of Philanthropy in regard to a national fundraising effort and the department’s collaboration with diocesan fundraising efforts.


  1. That the Department of Philanthropy develop a case for national support.
  2. That we encourage diocesan campaigns that include support for the national church case.
  3. That the Department of Philanthropy will support dioceses doing feasibility studies that include components of the national church’s ministry in their case for support.
  4. That feasibility studies will come to COGS, not for approval, but to assess the capacity of the national church to support the diocesan campaigns.

The second part of this resolution was to rescind the previous motion on this matter. The wording of the previous motion was “That the Council of General Synod ask the Philanthropy Committee to draft a recommendation to the COGS on the issue of how and when recommendations based on feasibility studies might be considered and bring their recommendations to the November 2010 meeting of Council.”

The resolution also included this note:

“The Philanthropy Committee and the Department of Philanthropy will bring to the November 2010 Council of General Synod meeting a comprehensive plan for the nation-wide fundraising initiative that will include:

  1. A national case for support
  2. A progress report, including volunteer development and the work of the M & M International (and its cost) in the feasibility study
  3. Which dioceses are currently committed and are considering collaborating with the national initiative
  4. An update on the pilot campaign in Ottawa,
  5. And whether there is adequate capacity to do this work at the national church level.”

Seating at General Synod

Council members returned to an earlier discussion of how members will be seated at the General Synod meeting in Halifax. At previous General Synods members have been seated in diocesan groups. At this General Synod it is proposed that members will be seated for part of the time with mixed “galley groups.”

The Ven. Harry Huskins proposed a resolution that members should be able to sit with diocesan groups during the consideration of certain legislative matters.

Canon Barbara Burrows, chair of the General Synod Planning Committee, responded first by quoting from the recent communiqué from the dialogue of African and Canadian bishops. She noted that these bishops valued “holy listening” and that this was a priority at General Synod as well.

Canon Burrows reviewed the General Synod agenda and showed that members would be meet in both galley groups and diocesan groups. Council learned that members would be in diocesan groups during the discussions the Ven. Huskins was addressing, so he withdrew his motion.

Key messages

COGS members brainstormed key messages to take back to their communities. These included the following

  • We are prepared to refer the Anglican Covenant to General Synod.
  • The proposed Vision 2019 is a vision for the whole church and not just for General Synod.
  • We approved a way forward for a national fundraising effort in collaboration with diocesan efforts.
  • We came to a new place in partnership by recommending voting privileges to partners from the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC)
  • We rejoice with our Indigenous partners in how far we have moved in walking together.
  • We support the direction of the proposed canonical changes to National Indigenous Ministry.

11:00 Council members celebrated a final Eucharist together. The Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, presided and preached.

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