The General Synod of our Church will be meeting July 10-16, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The theme is drawn from the 43rd chapter of Isaiah, “I have called you by name.” One of the important pieces of work in this Synod will be the calling and installation of a new Primate.
In the Church’s discernment of who will be called, there are several periods for which I earnestly ask your prayers.
In the first period, bishops are nominated for this office. This is the responsibility of the members of the National House of Bishops. I ask you to pray for those who are invited to let their names stand. Pray for those who wrestle with an invitation and for those who accept it.
In the second period, there is a balloting process which takes place at the next meeting of the House of Bishops in March. Balloting continues until a minimum of three or up to five bishops have been named. I ask you to pray for them, for their families, and for their diocesan families.
In the third period, which takes us to General Synod, there is conversation throughout the whole Church, not only about the nominees, but about the nature of primatial ministry. It is, as we all know, one of huge responsibility in:
- leading our Church in God’s mission in these times;
- visiting all of our dioceses and territories;
- pastorally caring for our bishops and nurturing them for their apostolic leadership;
- working in a particularly close relationship with the National Indigenous Bishop, with respect to the emerging of the self-determining Indigenous Church;
- representing our Church throughout the Anglican Communion;
- strengthening our relations with other Churches, particularly in Canada;
- writing and speaking prophetically to the issues of our times, and
- forging relationships with people of other faith traditions and all people of good will dedicated to the building of a truly just, healthy and peaceful world.
I ask that your conversations be grounded in prayer.
In the fourth period, the General Synod meets. The election will be held in Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday, July 13th. Following a celebration of Holy Communion, the lay and clergy delegates commence the work entrusted to them. The proceedings are chaired by the Prolocutor Ms. Cynthia Haines-Turner. As the bishops do not vote, they meet apart from the session to uphold the delegates that they may know the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Once an election is declared, the bishops join the delegates in welcoming the Primate-elect.
In that short span of a couple days between the election and the installation, the new Primate will be asking for our prayers. In my own experience, it is heartening to know that one is remembered daily by name and for need of grace, strength and wisdom in the exercise of this ministry.
I pray that for our new Primate such respect, good intent and care on the part of the whole Church will be a blessing beyond measure.
The Most Rev. Fred Hiltz
Primate, Anglican Church of Canada
“Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, look on your Church with grace, and guide the minds of those who shall choose a Primate for our beloved Church, that we may receive a faithful servant who will care for your people and support us in our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
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