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Highlights from Day 2 of Synod

Here are the highlights from the second day of Synod, Nov. 14.

Synod opens with worship
Synod began at 9 a.m. on Nov. 14 with worship, which included prayers for the victims of the massacres in Paris. A total of 607 voting and non-voting members were in attendance on the second day of Synod.

Synod receives reports and financial statements
Synod received the following documents:

  • Priorities and Plans 2013-2015 – Report Card. See Section B
  • Financial Report for 2014. See Section C
  • Audited Financial Statements for the Incorporated Synod for 2014. See Section C
  • Audited Financial Statements for the Cemetery Fund for 2014. See Section C

Auditors appointed
Synod appointed the firm of Grant Thornton LLP, Chartered Accountants, to conduct the audit of the Financial Statements of Synod, the Consolidated Trust Fund and the Cemetery Fund for the year ending Dec. 31, 2015, at a fee to be approved by the Audit Committee.

Synod approves diocesan priorities and budget
Synod received the documents Priorities and Plans 2015-2017 and the Financial Budget 2016-2017 and approved the priorities and financial plans contained therein. Diocesan Council will implement and report back to Synod on the plans and take corrective measures from time to time as best serves the needs of the Diocese. See Section D

Missional Moment: Striving to be the Hands, Feet and Voice of Christ in the Community and the World
The Rev. Joan Cavanaugh-Clark from the Parish of Minden-Kinmount spoke about the many activities her parish is doing to engage the communities around it. The parish began many programs to engage with marginalized people in the surrounding communities. It started a thrift shop, which has served 9,000 people in 2015. Ms. Cavanaugh-Clark said the thrift shop is a place of hope where people of all faiths work together for the glory of God. Funds raised at the shop are given to projects in the local community and beyond, to share from the abundance that God has provided. Future programs being considered include a free haircutting clinic, a bicycle clinic, budgeting classes, parenting classes and tutoring.

Parish assessment rate approved
In order to meet the revenue needs of the Diocese for 2016 and 2017, in accordance with its priorities and plans for 2015-2017, Synod approved an assessment rate for parishes of 24.85 per cent for 2016 and 24.70 per cent for 2017. The assessment rate for parishes in 2015 is 24.85 per cent. See Section E

Synod applauds action on environment
Synod passed a motion acknowledging and applauding the efforts being made by its Investment Committee to withdraw from the most environmentally damaging of the Diocese’s investments, particularly those in tar sands oil. Synod encouraged the continuation of these efforts, in co-operation with its ecumenical partners and with national church structures. See Section A – Convening Circular (page 24)

Missional Moment: The Side Door
Elizabeth Aine Achima spoke about The Side Door youth drop-in centre, part of the Church of the Resurrection. She described the challenge of finding and engaging with neighbourhood youth, discovering after several months that she had been looking in the wrong places. Gradually the drop-in’s Friday games night began to grow, and it now has 10 regular attendees. Many of the youth are curious about church and stay for conversation after games night. Ms. Achima said that working with unsupported and struggling youth can be heartbreaking, but it is worth the effort.

Sisterhood invites women to live in ‘God’s rhythm’
The Rev. Canon Sister Constance Joanna Gefvert of the Sisterhood of St. John the Divine made a presentation about the formation of a new monastic community within the sisterhood. The initiative, called “Spend a Year Living in God’s Rhythm: Companions on the Way,” invites up to 10 women, age 22 to 40, to live with the sisters at St. John’s Convent in Toronto, where they will experience the Benedictine life of prayer, study, recreation and service to others. Visit the initiative’s website and read the related story.

Synod marks consecration of former Wycliffe principal
Synod paused to pray as the Rev. Canon Dr. George Sumner, the former principal of Wycliffe College, was due to be consecrated the Diocesan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese Dallas, Texas today.

Synod elects General Synod members

The following were elected to be members of General Synod:

  • The Rev. Riscylla Walsh Shaw
  • The Rev. Canon Jenny Andison
  • The Rev. Canon Susan Bell
  • The Rev. Canon Douglas Graydon
  • The Rev. Canon David Harrison
  • The Rev. Canon Mark Kinghan
  • The Rev. Canon Heather McCance
  • The Rev. Canon Kevin Robertson
  • Mr. Chris Ambidge ODT
  • Mr. Lawrence Barker
  • Mr. Matt Koovisk
  • Mr. Kennedy Marshall
  • Mr. Israel Newell ODT
  • Mr. Ryan Ramsden
  • Ms. Marion Thompson
  • Ms. Laura Walton
  • (Mr. Peter Bennett is the substitute lay member.)
  • (The Rev. David Giffen, the Rev. Canon Barry Parker, the Rev. Susan Spicer, the Rev. Sherman Hesselgrave, the Rev. Jordan Wellington, the Rev. Timothy Haughton and the Rev. Keith Joyce are substitute clergy members.)

Archbishop reflects on violence in wrap-up
In his reflection at the end of Synod, Archbishop Johnson spoke about the massacres in Paris on Nov. 13. “I call on all of us to remember in our prayers those who have been victims of senseless violence. Not to lessen in any sense the violence that has occurred in Paris, but we need to remind ourselves that this sort of senseless violence happens in many places in our world on a daily basis, and to do what we can to lessen those challenges that people act out in violent ways. We’re also called to build communities of reconciliation that would otherwise be communities at loggerheads, to reach out to unlikely people, where we can make connections for the sake of the Kingdom of God. It’s very easy to stereotype all people of a particular class or circumstance. Muslims will be no more happy with being identified with ISIS as we as Christians would be happy about being identified as Nazis or Ku Klux Klan. We’re called to act with reason and compassion.” He read a passage from Second Corinthians.

Chris Ambidge, ODT, thanked
Archbishop Johnson thanked Chris Ambidge, ODT, for his service as the Honorary Lay Secretary of Synod since 2009. Mr. Ambidge was stepping down in that role. Synod members gave him a standing ovation.

Conversation continues on social media
Several members of Synod, along with the Diocese, shared their thoughts on the events of the second day of Synod through Twitter. Read a summary of the day on social media.

See highlights from Day 1.