Synod members will chart a new course for Anglican Church of Canada

The Anglican Church of Canada is likely to look quite different in the aftermath of a meeting of its chief governing and legislative body which convenes in St. Catharines, Ont., next week.

Among other things, the 300 synod members will be electing a new Primate or leader.  They must also deal with several contentious issues, among them what to do about the blessing of same-sex unions, and the adoption of a strategic plan to guide the work and mission of the church until the year 2010.

The biblical theme of the synod, chosen to reflect substantial changes the church is facing in both leadership and direction, is, ‘See, I am making all things new’ from Revelation.

The synod, comprised of lay people, deacons, priests and bishops elected from each of the church’s 30 dioceses, as well as visiting partners from Canada and abroad, will be part of a formal installation ceremony for the new Primate to be held at Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton on June 4.  The installation and a formal dinner afterwards will officially close the eight-day General Synod.

There are five major highlights to this 37th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.

–  The election of a new Primate to succeed Archbishop Michael Peers who led the church for 18 years before retiring in February (Monday, May 31);

–  Resolutions on the blessing of same-sex unions (Saturday, May 29, Tuesday, June 1, and Wednesday, June 2);

– A presentation on HIV/AIDS, including an address by Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa (Wednesday), June 2);

– A discussion of a `Framework’ or plan to guide the work and mission of the church between 2005 and 2010 (Saturday, May 29, Monday May 31 and Thursday, June 3);

– A presentation by the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (Tuesday, June 1).

Other highlights include a farewell to Archbishop Peers, the former Primate, which will take place in Niagara Falls, Ont., the evening of May 30, and a presentation by former staff of native residential schools, scheduled for the morning on June 3.

General Synod members will also discuss and debate a host of resolutions and motions dealing with the work of the church.  They will elect members of the standing committees that oversee the work of staff as well as members of the Council of General Synod which governs the church in years when General Synod does not meet.

Among the visitors attending some or all of the General Synod are Bishop Raymond Schultz, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and Bishop Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, who is scheduled to preach at the installation of the new Primate.

The synod opens on Friday, May 28 and closes on Friday, June 4.

Note to news media:

Space for news media representatives is extremely limited.

Journalists planning to attend are encouraged to register with General Synod Communications in advance, by filling in and returning the form found at:

A Media Kit can be found at:

A Newsroom will be set up for the convenience of journalists and will include sound a video monitor.  A list of General Synod contacts for the newsroom can be found at:

Newsroom telephone numbers will be distributed on-site.

The main General Synod 2004 web site is at:

The most recent agenda can be found at:

The Convening Circular which includes all documents before General Synod members, can be found at:

A map of the Brock University Campus can be found at:

This is the last news release in advance of the opening of General Synod.  Previous releases can be found at:

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For more information, please contact:  Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; 416-540-3653 (Cell); [email protected]  OR Josie De Lucia, Assistant to the Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 294; [email protected]


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