Council of General Synod highlights: Nov. 18, 2007

Queen of Apostles, Mississauga, Ont.

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Council convened at 8:30 for Bible study and in plenary at 9:30. Members reviewed the orders of the day.

Judy Darling moved adoption of the 2008 budget (revised) as presented. Caleb Lawrence expressed appreciation for the way the budget was presented and for the flexibility that was shown. There was consensus that the budget is approved. The treasurer asked for a motion to formalize approval of the budget and the motion carried.

Communion Issues
Alyson Barnett-Cowan, director of Faith, Worship and Ministry, introduced the Report of the Joint Standing Committee to the Archbishop of Canterbury on the Response of The Episcopal Church to the Questions of the Primates articulated at their meeting in Dar es Salaam and related Pastoral Concerns. She invited members to discuss the report in table groups and to note what they can affirm, what they find challenging, and what gives them hope. Responses are to be written on cards and given to the Primate.

Archbishop Hiltz said he will formulate a response in light of feedback from the council and from the House of Bishops where a similar exercise was conducted.

Ms Barnett-Cowan reintroduced the response to the Draft Covenant. Council had before it a motion that the document A preliminary Response to the Draft Covenant by the Anglican Church of Canada be forwarded to the Covenant Design Working Group. Council agreed to some revisions to the response and agreed to send it to the working group. 


Council agreed that the membership of the working group should be modified to include Canadian Anglican members of the Anglican Consultative Council.

Council agreed to establish a primatial role task force made up of two members of the House of Bishops, two members of the clergy and two members of the laity to review the duties and functions of the Primate and recommend changes to General Synod in 2010.

Council agreed to accept an invitation to attend and participate in a service marking the 300th anniversary of the celebration of the first Anglican Eucharist in Canada from the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island during the General Synod to be held there in 2010.

Council agreed to determine priorities for the triennium at its next meeting. It also agreed to lead a strategic planning process over the triennium that will guide the work of General Synod from 2010 to 2019.

Council agreed to ask the Anglican Consultative Council to add a sixth mark of mission to its current list that relates to peace, conflict transformation and reconciliation.

Nominating Committee
The committee recommended the election by acclamation of Dorothy Davies-Flindall as alternate partner to The Episcopal Church. There were two nominations to the Canadian Council of Churches: Peter Townsend of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and Jeffrey Petten a youth representative of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador. Peter Townsend was elected.

PWRDF Partner
Ed Lewis offered reflections on behalf of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.

Council recessed for lunch at noon and reconvened at 1 p.m.

Council considered resolutions, including those on a ‘no debate’ list.

Key Messages
The council agreed to the following key messages:

  • The meeting was surrounded by prayer and Bible study
  • We had time to get to know one another
  • We will need to talk about consensus building and decision making processes; we experimented with a consensus model
  • On many important matters we found consensus
  • First meeting addressed by the National Indigenous Bishop
  • We approved the 2008 General Synod budget
  • We made a statement to the church on retired Bishop Donald Harvey relinquishing ministry with the Anglican Church of Canada
  • We approved a motion on youth ministry
  • We approved a task force to review the primacy
  • We agreed to review and set priorities and begin a strategic planning process
  • We approved, through the approval of the budget, the establishment of an office of development

Council adjourned for Eucharist at 2 p.m.

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