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Highlights from the second day of Synod

Bishop Jane Alexander speaks to Synod. Photo by Michael Hudson

The 155th Regular Session of Synod is being held Nov. 29-30 at the International Plaza Hotel in Toronto.  Here are some of the highlights from the second day.

Audited Financial Statements
Synod received the Audited Financial Statements for the Diocese, the Consolidated Trust Fund and the Cemetery Fund for the year ended Dec. 31, 2012.

Thanks to Mr. Stuart Hutcheson
Archbishop Colin Johnson thanked Mr. Stuart Hutcheson, who has been the interim director of Finance for the Diocese for the past several weeks. “Stu stepped in at a critical point at the Synod and pre-Synod meetings,” said Archbishop Johnson. The new director of Finance is Ms. Harpreet Wadehra. She succeeds Mr. Michael Joshua, who became the director of Finance for the Bible League in September.

Priorities and Plans
Synod received the document entitled “Priorities and Plans 2013-2015” and the “Financial Budget 2014-2015” and approved the priorities and financial plans contained therein. Diocesan Council will implement and report back to Synod on these plans and take corrective measures from time to time as best serves the needs of the Diocese. As a result, there is no corporate Synod planned for 2014.

In the document “Priorities and Plans 2013-2015,” Archbishop Colin Johnson said the Diocese serves Christ’s mission through compassionate service, intelligent faith and godly worship. “All that we do should enable us, as a Diocese and as parishes and other ministries within the Diocese, to be missionally focused—increasing our capacity to respond as vibrant partners of God’s activity in the world as identified in the Marks of Mission.” See the Archbishop’s Charge to Synod.

Assessment rate
Synod approved a parish assessment rate of 25 % in 2014 and 24.85 % in 2015. More information on the assessment rate can be found in Section E of the Convening Circular.

Missional Moment
The Rev. Dawn Leger and the Archbishop’s Youth Ministry Team made a presentation on youth ministry, one of four such presentations during Synod that showed how Anglicans are connecting with people in new ways.

Military chaplain thanks Synod
Padre Carol Bateman thanked Synod and the Diocese for its support of Anglican chaplains in the Canadian Armed Forces. One of the ways the Diocese supports Anglican chaplains in the military is through the Our Faith-Our Hope campaign. Padre Bateman received a standing ovation.

Order of the Diocese of Toronto
In his closing remarks, Archbishop Johnson told Synod that the first recipients of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto will be honoured at the Archbishop’s Levee on Jan. 1 at St. James Cathedral.

Guest reflection
Bishop Jane Alexander of the Diocese of Edmonton reflected on Synod.

Archbishop’s wrap-up
Archbishop Johnson provided his reflections on Synod.

Thanks to the Rev.  Canon Judy Herron-Graham
Archbishop Johnson thanked the Rev. Canon Judy Herron-Graham and presented her with a gift as she stepped down as Honorary Clerical Secretary of Synod. She served in this capacity since 2007. 

The following were elected Honorary Secretaries for a two-year term:

  • Mr. Chris Ambidge (Honorary Lay Secretary)
  • The Rev. Claire Wade (Honorary Clerical Secretary)
  • Ms. Sarah McDonald (Assistant Honorary Lay Secretary)

Standing ovations
Synod ended with standing ovations for the Diocese’s chancellors and registrar and for Archbishop’s Johnson’s leadership.