Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, speaks to members of the Council of General Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada's National Church Council on November 13.

Highlights from the Council of General Synod: November 13, 2015

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

Eucharist

The first day of the meeting began with a Eucharist service. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada celebrated and Bishop Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), preached. Her sermon highlighted how as Christians, God is calling us to respond to ongoing social justice issues and the importance of reconciliation. The Primate then read out the agenda for the day.

State of the Union Addresses

Reflecting the full communion partnership between the Anglican Church of Canada and the ELCIC, Archbishop Hiltz and Bishop Johnson kicked off the meeting with a State of the Union presentation to members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) and the ELCIC National Church Council (NCC).

From National Bishop Susan Johnson reflecting on the ELCIC

Discussing recent developments in the Lutheran church, Bishop Johnson described the ELCIC as being in a period of upswing, with the spirits of church members bolstered by the success of their latest national convention in Edmonton.

Bishop Johnson invited council members to give thanks and praise to God, whose Spirit had moved through the ELCIC to heal. She noted the progress of the convention in passing resolutions on issues such as climate change, justice and corrections, welcoming the stranger, repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery, and asking her in her position as National Bishop to write to the federal government asking for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women. Each resolution passed with large majorities, reflecting the sense of unity across the church.

ELCIC members, Bishop Johnson said, were blessed to have Archbishop Hiltz present at their convention. She praised his closing address as “one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard him preach,” in which the Primate summarized the accomplishments of delegates over the course of the convention and left ELCIC members on a high note feeling affirmed by the decisions they had taken. “

With the ELCIC having named its four vision priorities—spirited discipleship, compassionate justice, effective partnerships, and healthy church—its challenge going forward is determining how to live out those principles.

Recalling her presence at the Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle in August and how she felt blessed to be there, Bishop Johnson noted the request for a partnership in reconciliation with ACIP she had brought to the gathering.

Bishop Johnson reflected on the discussion around the Marriage Canon in the Anglican Church of Canada. She reiterated the position submitted to the Commission on the Marriage Canon, that whatever decision would be made at General Synod in 2016 would not affect the full communion partnership between the two churches, declaring: “We are your partners and we will continue to be your partners moving forward.”

Archbishop Fred Hiltz reflecting on the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC)

In his own remarks, Archbishop Hiltz compared the wave of enthusiasm in the ELCIC after its last convention to the ramping up of activity in the Anglican Church of Canada as it prepares for the meeting of its next General Synod.

Centred on the theme “You Are My Witnesses,” General Synod 2016 will include a host of resolutions from CoGS and church committees, not least among them the proposed change to the marriage canon that would allow the blessing of same-sex marriages. Noting that the draft resolution would also contain a conscience clause for bishops, dioceses and priests who choose not to participate in or authorize the marriage of same-sex couples, the Primate said that the whole Anglican Communion, not just the Canadian church, would be following developments closely.

Archbishop Hiltz singled out the church’s response to the Indigenous call as a major element of the next General Synod, which would evaluate where the ACoC is more than two decades after the 1994 Covenant as well as its position coming out of the 2015 Sacred Circle, which called for the creation of a fifth ecclesiastical province.

The Primate then acknowledged the various guests that would be attending General Synod 2016. Among the guests is Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio of the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba, which is currently going through major changes following the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. Recalling his recent visit to Cuba with General Secretary Michael Thompson, Archbishop Hiltz pointed to a declaration by the Metropolitan Council of Cuba characterizing the Anglican Church of Canada as being like a mother that had held the Cuban church in its arms during a difficult time—a tribute, he said, to the leadership of former Primate Michael Peers.

Reflecting on the current state of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Hiltz focused on a feeling of “great hopefulness” that he saw manifesting itself in many different ways. Among the biggest sources of hope were the closing ceremonies for Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which took place in Ottawa in June. In the view of the Primate, the final report of the commissioners and its 94 Calls to Action—described as a “road map” for reconciliation—represented great hope for Indigenous peoples and the future of Canada through the formation of relationships grounded in mutual respect.

In mid-September, members of the Anglican Church of Canada and ecumenical partners along with the Rev. Paul Gehrs, assistant to the ELCIC national bishop, justice and leadership, gathered to look into how the church might begin to respond to the Calls to Action. Reading through the recommendations at the meeting proved an exhausting experience.

“No one knew what to say or how to say it, and so we just sat within that silence,” the Primate remembered. “But we all knew deep within that silence was a great hopefulness, a great hopefulness for this country, a great hopefulness for Indigenous peoples” as well as the church itself, which would change as it lived into the Calls to Action on its own and ecumenically.

Archbishop Hiltz said he came out of Sacred Circle 2015 feeling very hopeful. He noted how the 1994 Covenant was followed by a resolution at General Synod 1995 that received and affirmed the covenant and set the stage for new structures to emerge that would express the commonality in Christ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous members of the church.

It was only now, the Primate said, that the tone, spirit and hopefulness in that resolution was coming to the fore as the church began creating the new structures that would allow self-determination for Indigenous Anglicans, such as the call for a fifth ecclesiastical province. A recent conversation with members of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) reiterated that such a province would be “truly Indigenous” rather than simply an indigenized version of existing structures.

The Anglican Church of Canada today is not the same as it was before 1993, the Primate noted. The apology that year for the church’s role in the Indian Residential School system changed everything, as did the 1994 Covenant and the 1995 General Synod resolution. “We are becoming what God intends us to become,” he said.

Discussing the church’s role in the recent federal election, including its online election resource, Archbishop Hiltz pointed to positive signs in the newly sworn-in cabinet, such as the appointment of an Aboriginal woman as the new Minister of Justice. “If that’s not hope, I don’t know what is,” he said. The Primate also noted the government’s pledge to take in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year and the invitation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to bring provincial premiers to the Paris climate conference in December.

Within the conversation of faith, the Primate expressed his hope about the great care that would be taken at General Synod on how it would react to the Report on the Commission on the Marriage Canon. He described the 2010 General Synod in Halifax as a model, where with great intent and careful planning church members listened and learned from each other. The Primate expressed his appreciation for the pledge and commitment of the ELCIC that the decision on same-sex marriage would not affect the full communion partnership between the two churches, while acknowledging that blessing same-sex marriages may risk progress made in Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue of Canada.

While noting a hopefulness in the church over how it can live out the Marks of Mission, the Primate said that while Anglicans had proven effective in the third, fourth and fifth Marks (to respond to human need by loving service; to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation; to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth), they were less upfront about the first two (to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; to teach, baptize and nurture new believers), which remained challenges going forward.

Other hopeful points in the life of the church include ongoing work on the Vital and Healthy Parishes initiative, which held a consultation in May, as well as signs of environmental progress such as more parishes performing green audits and dioceses talking about divestment from fossil fuels. The Montreal and Ottawa dioceses recently passed resolutions to divest from fossil fuels, and the Primate expected that the question of divestment would soon come to the General Synod. He saw much optimism around the upcoming Paris climate conference and hoped that churches would use the “Prayers for Paris” resource available online.

Meanwhile, the church’s global relationships also bore hopeful signs, such as continuing dialogue between Canadian and African bishops (more of whom have expressed a desire to participate). Relationships with companion dioceses continue to grow in strength, enhanced by events such as the International Justice Camp set to take place in Cuba in May.

For its part, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) stands at the edge of new and exciting developments in maternal and newborn child health care. Archbishop Hiltz described a recent $17.7 million financial agreement between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development and PWRDF as an “incredible, excitement development.”

The Primate also said that the Archbishop of Canterbury has called a Primates meeting from across the worldwide Anglican Communion. Archbishop Hiltz highlighted the many healthy signs of life in the Anglican Communion, and said that the rhetoric around the fragility of the Communion was not how he read the current state, and was unhelpful. Noting his close professional relationship and personal friendship with Bishop Johnson, he pointed to the possibilities offered by the four-way meetings between the two Canadian church leaders and the leaders of their counterparts in the United States, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

“I’m personally feeling that we’re living in exciting times in the life of the church,” the Primate concluded. A brief question and comment period followed, during which council members clarified that any changes to the marriage canon would require the consent of all three houses at two successive General Synods.

Community Building

CoGS and the NCC then met separately for a community building exercises. Cynthia Haines-Turner, deputy prolocutor, and Patricia Lovell, ELCIC representative, introduced the exercise as a chance to look at the Anglican baptismal covenant and consider what it means in our lives today.

In table groups, council members introduced themselves to each other. Reading the baptismal covenant, they engaged in a period of individual reflection before reflecting together with group members about the promise and challenge of each affirmation, its meaning in terms of mature Christian faith, how to put the affirmation into practice, and related opportunities to speak on social justice issues.

Council members broke for lunch.

Indigenous Ministries

The Primate began the afternoon session by noting that some CoGS members or their family members were dealing with health issues, while others had recently experienced deaths in their families. He asked council members to take a moment to hold one another in love, the love of God and the peace of God. A prayer followed. Members put forward motions adopting the minutes for the May 1-3 and November 22-23 CoGS meetings, which were carried by consensus.

Describing the eighth Sacred Circle, which took place in August in Port Elgin, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald noted that Sacred Circle had become more and more significant for the Anglican Church of Canada and its Indigenous members since it began in 1988. Drawing on the Indigenous tradition of praying in the four directions, he asked those present who had attended Sacred Circle to briefly share their experiences of the event, with the idea being that one understands something best when viewing it from different directions.

A common sentiment among all was the chance to see old friends, with many likening the experience to being reunited with family. Non-Indigenous CoGS members who attended Sacred Circle expressed their gratitude for the privilege of being invited to participate. Those designated as official listeners described Sacred Circle as a very humbling experience, which encouraged being attentive and having an open spirit.

Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous members highlighted the joyous atmosphere of Sacred Circle characterized by worship, music, and dancing. Having attended five Sacred Circles in the past, the Rev. Nancy Bruyere, newly elected ACIP representative for the province of Rupert’s Land, called the 2015 meeting the “most heartfelt” Sacred Circle she had ever attended and described her joy of seeing bishops dancing onstage on the first night of the Gospel Jamboree.

Indigenous Ministries Coordinator Ginny Doctor noted that the joy of the music co-existed with the healing work necessary to address experiences of trauma among members, whether due to residential schools or other causes. She pointed to the element of learning provided by different talking circles and praised the daily reports compiled by Bev Murphy, senior manager of Communications and Information Resources, as a valuable record of the event.

Fellow ACIP member John Haugen, who represents the province of British Columbia and the Yukon, pointed to the importance of being able to learn about spirituality in one’s own Indigenous language. He highlighted the hope provided by the Primate’s call to action for reconciliation and Indigenous self-determination, with Bishop Lydia Mamakwa of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh also noting the emotional effect of the Primate’s opening and closing statements.

Expressing his own gratitude for being able to attend, the Primate named a few major highlights from the 2015 Sacred Circle that left lasting impressions on him. The youth presentation, he said, made for an “incredible afternoon” as Indigenous Anglican youth spoke with passion, pain and hope about their own lives, the lives of their communities and their relationship with the church, which created the strong sense of a desire to see the church “be what it’s called to be” in their communities.

The Primate also spoke of the power of Bruyere’s presentation, which described her work as the suicide prevention coordinator for Indigenous Ministries in Western Canada and the Arctic. Finally, he described the honour he felt receiving a blanket and cross made from two pieces of tree limbs tied together, which now hang on the wall of the chapel in Church House superimposed over the existing cross as a reminder of the “new and beautiful reality that God is calling us into as we continue to walk together in partnership.”

Council members then viewed a slideshow presentation prepared by Anglican Video of photos from the 2015 Sacred Circle.

Offering some closing thoughts, Bishop MacDonald recalled the common view that with Canon XXII now in effect, the most recent Sacred Circle was the first time that Indigenous organizers and attendees felt that they were truly in charge. Sacred Circle participants received strongly with consensus the presentation of the paper Where We Are Today: Twenty Years After the Covenant, A Call to the Wider Church, believing in some cases that its language could be further strengthened.

One of the most important results of the 2015 Sacred Circle was the proposed creation of a fifth ecclesiastical province. ACIP, acting as executive body for the Sacred Circle, has now taken responsibility for creating an Indigenous working group, while another working group created by the Primate, General Secretary, Bishop MacDonald and Doctor will bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous Anglicans. In terms of its power and structure, Bishop MacDonald compared the proposed fifth province to the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh, which has the authority and status of a diocese within the Anglican Church of Canada while not patterning itself after a traditional diocese.

Council members took a break for coffee.

Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice

The Rev. Andrew Wesley, a member of the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice, took the podium after the break to discuss the recent work of the commission.

The last meeting of the commission took place in Vancouver. After praying in the four directions, discussing the Gospel reading of the day and having a sharing circle, the commissioners began to work out three basic questions:

  • What can we as a church do to dismantle the effects of the Doctrine of Discovery?
  • What are the key elements of reconciliation? How do we reach urban and grassroots Anglicans?
  • What justice issues can the church address among Indigenous peoples today?

In answering these questions, members of the commission drew upon the medicine wheel teachings, which serve as a metaphor for spiritual concepts connected to creation. During their breaks, the commission also discussed the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

When the Commission meets again at the end of November, the commission will attempt to come up with a report or material presentable to General Synod, but such a report will require some time. Wesley’s oral report at the current session of CoGS, he noted, stemmed from the oral traditions of Indigenous culture. Currently attending his own synod, he suggested he might be able to present more information at the next session of CoGS.

The Primate thanked Wesley for taking time out of his synod to offer the update and said the council looked forward to his next report.

Council of the North

Bishop Michael Hawkins, chair of Council of the North and diocesan bishop of Saskatchewan, opened his report with a prayer for people who live in the northern part of the church.

As a ministry of General Synod, Council of the North is the largest single budget item and priority of General Synod at this stage, a group of northern dioceses whose ministries are bound together by a covenant of mutual support and accountability.

The support Council of the North receives through General Synod and its grant equates to almost one dollar out of every $100 put in the plate of the Anglican Church of Canada. The grant given to the council is divided among its jurisdictions based on the recommendations of the Grant Allocations Committee (GAC). Every three years, each diocese is required to apply for their grant, and the council has just finished its first three-year cycle using this process. In its report to council, GAC noted that there had been growth in trust of the council and of the integrity of the process.

Aside from the grants to dioceses, communications is the single largest expense for Council of the North. The council currently has a year-long contract with Hauser Communications. Bishop Hawkins pronounced himself “delighted” by the contractor’s work. The results of a review recommended setting up a committee to supervise communications work by the contractor, and that a review of the relationship and the council’s work with Resources for Mission, church staff, General Synod Communications (including the Anglican Journal and the Anglican Church of Canada website) be undertaken with the goal of improving these relationships and discussing how the work of Council of the North may be communicated more widely in the church. The question of translation has come up and remains a challenge for which the council hopes to make small but symbolic strides in the near future.

Out of $500,000 that the council has received from three bequests, 15 per cent  will be used each year for ministry training. The council has had an opportunity in conjunction with the National Indigenous Anglican Bishop to provide regional circles and gatherings to provide education and renewal to lay and ordained non-stipendiary ministers, funded by a grant from the diocese of Toronto through the “Our Faith, Our Hope” campaign. Meanwhile, over the past year, the council has discussed the possible restoration of benefits and pensions for non-stipendiary clergy with the Pension Office.

Noting he was heartened and challenged by the Indigenous call to the wider church at the 2015 Sacred Circle, Bishop Hawkins acknowledged there was some mistrust of the Council of the North based on distant and recent history, but that there was no way forward without healing and ongoing work to build such a relationship of trust.

He referred to recent meetings at the National House of Bishops to invite all bishops from dioceses outside the Council of the North to make visits to council dioceses over the next two years. By promoting travel and cross-cultural experience, he argued, the council and church would help renew themselves in unity and mission.

Rounding out his report with an account of the response to the Saskatchewan wildfires over the summer, Bishop Hawkins characterized the response as an example of the church at its best. Approximately 40,000 people were removed from their homes during the worst wildfire in the province’s history, but in the end only 10 primary residences and a greater number of cabins were lost, with no loss of life or serious injuries. With a solidary grant from PWRDF and $5,000 donations from both General Synod and the Anglican Foundation of Canada, the diocese was able to work with its partners in the Prince Albert Grand Council to provide $500 to every family that lost its primary home and distribute a tractor trailer full of gifts among other assistance.  He concluded by urging participants to get involved in the Council of the North, noting that northern ministry can be a “life-changing experience.”

Responding to the bishop’s report, the Primate described it as another example of hopefulness in the life of the church today.

Reflections and Table Discussion

In an opportunity for discussion, table groups reflected on three significant parts of the day’s agenda: Indigenous Ministries, the reports from the Primate’s Commission and the Council of the North. Each group answered questions about what they had learned and what their concerns were.

Presenting their responses afterward, groups highlighted the importance of providing the necessary support to Indigenous Ministries, their appreciation for the Council of the North report, parallels between the 1993 apology and the repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, the advantages of having more non-Indigenous Anglicans attend Sacred Circle, and the need to take a time-sensitive approach to the creation of a fifth ecclesiastical province—to avoid rushing, but also not to take things too slowly.

Council members enjoyed hospitality followed by dinner.

Report from Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission

Members of both CoGS and the NCC re-assembled for the evening reports. Prior to the report from the Joint Anglican-Lutheran Commission (JALC), the Primate informed those present about reports of violent attacks in Paris that night, which by that point had claimed at least 40 lives. Anglican and Lutheran council members joined together in prayer for those killed in the attacks, individuals held hostage, and all those affected.

Dean Peter Wall and Britta Chell, respectively the Anglican and Lutheran co-chairs of JALC, provided the report on the recent activities of the commission. Most recently, members of JALC met in Winnipeg at the end of September and beginning of October, during which the Primate and National Bishop were able to attend as special guests and contributed to some significant work focusing on three main issues: authorized lay ministry, transitivity, and a model constitution for joint congregations.

Discussion on authorized lay ministry focused on actions taken by the ELCIC national convention during the summer and explanatory work reflecting those actions and providing theological rationale. JALC crafted a response in the form of a resolution passed around through various places in the church, which received the report Background and Reflections on the Policy Regarding Authorized Lay Ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, expressed its thanks to the authors, commended the report to both the ELCIC and the Anglican Church of Canada with a request that it be made available on both churches’ websites, and affirmed its conclusion that “the ELCIC’s Policy Regarding Authorized Lay Ministry represents an expression of legitimate diversity of practice as envisioned by the Waterloo Declaration” and is consistent with the full authenticity and mutual exchange of ordained ministries provided by full communion.

The subject of transitivity on full communion agreements between Anglicans and Lutherans had come up during the most recent “four-way meeting” among the Primate, Bishop Johnson, and the leaders of the Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. As a Canadian commission, JALC was asked to approach the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee in the United States and Porvoo Communion in northern Europe on the subject of having formal discussions.

A subsequent JALC resolution moved to receive with appreciation the draft proposal Receive One Another and “direct the co-chairs to make a written overture to their counterparts in the Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee and the equivalent body of the Porvoo Communion to begin a discussion on establishing a ‘communion of communions’ that would effectively make the implications of the three regional full communion agreements—including mutual exchange of clergy—operative in all three regions.”

The idea of a model constitution or set of bylaws emerged from Archdeacon Alan Perry of the diocese of Edmonton, who was dealing with a joint parish and approached Dean Wall for advice. The complexity of different jurisdictions, dioceses and synods with different responsibilities rendered such a proposal difficult, but the necessity of providing an agreed format or template would become more important over time as joint parishes became more common.

A JALC resolution recommended establishing a working group to examine existing agreements by current or former joint Anglican-Lutheran congregations, “develop a set of principles and/or best practices for prospective joint congregations that would respect the canonical/constitutional norms of both traditions” and offer a progress report at the spring 2016 meeting of JALC.

Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund/Canadian Lutheran World Relief

Bishop Johnson welcomed the Robert Granke, Executive Director of Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) board of directors, and Adele Finney, Executive Director of the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), to offer a report on the work of the two organizations in providing global humanitarian relief.

Speaking first was Granke, who noted that CLWR has refocused on refugees around the world, particularly in regions such as Jordan, Iraq, and east-central Africa in support of southern Sudanese moving into Uganda and Kenya. In the last 24 months, CLWR has received support from its constituency as well as the Canadian government for more than $10 million in funding. Its current initiatives include providing food for refugees, helping them prepare for winter and construct houses.

CLWR has been involved in helping internally displaced people in Kurdistan and northern Iraq, receiving almost $2 million in funding from the federal government to help sustain the refugees on a day-to-day basis. For south Sudanese refugees it has specialized in resilience programming, which is designed to help families settle down and obtain more permanent housing given the increasing timespan for refugee status in recent years. The Lutheran relief organization has also entered into a new agreement with the Jordanian government to help improve schools in the country, which help many of the new Syrian refugees in the country.

In the face of the growing number of refugees today, many official figures and targets have been modified, with the Canadian government recently pledging to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2015. As a result, CLWR estimates that it will be able to sponsor 250 refugees this year instead of 50.

Moving on to PWRDF, Finney noted that the Anglican relief organization works differently than CLWR in that rather than serving as a sponsorship agreement holder (SAH) for refugees, 15 Anglican dioceses across the country serve as SAHs.

Since 2012, PWRDF has been supporting relief efforts in Syria and surrounding countries. In 2015, it sent $125,000 through the ACT Alliance and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank for programs in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. PWRDF has also sent relief through the ACT Alliance for relief work in Greece, Hungary and Serbia, helping to provide refugees with food, shelter, water, hygiene, sanitation and other basic needs.

For 20 years, it has supported the Well Child Clinic in Cairo, a program by the diocese of Egypt that provides health care, health education and nutrition support to children aged five and under and their families. More than 150,000 Syrians have fled to Cairo since the start of the ongoing war in Syria. With the UN having run out of money for food packets for Syrian refugees arriving in Egypt, in February PWRDF made an additional grant of nearly $40,000 for Refugee Egypt that included food packets for those families.

In Iraq, more than 8 million Iraqis are in need of humanitarian assistance—a figure representing one quarter of the country’s population. With a $30,000 grant through the ACT Alliance, PWRDF has been able to help meet the needs of some 3 million Iraqis displaced within their own country.

While the Syrian refugee crisis has dominated recent headlines, the refugee issue remains a global one. In Indian and Sri Lanka, PWRDF has supported refugees in the Sri Lankan civil war. Meanwhile, in Africa, PWRDF has served as a funding partner to Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya. Home to more than 180,000 refugees from neighbouring countries since its founding in 1992, Kakuma was originally designed to hold only 40,000 people. For several of its early years, PWRDF was the only source of funding.

PWRDF continues to work with the Anglican Refugee Network in Canada, an informal association of volunteers and refugee sponsorship coordinators for the dioceses that serve as SAHs. Finney highlighted the recent commitment of $500,000 by the diocese of Toronto toward refugee assistance and reception within Canada. In addition, PWRDF continues to work with other Christian denominations through organizations such as the Canadian Foodgrains Bank.

Following questions and comments from council members, Bishop Johnson thanked Granke and Finney for their presentation and the work they do on behalf of the churches.

Night Prayer

The Friday agenda concluded with prayer in the chapel at the Queen of Apostles Renewal Centre.


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