Memorials to General Synod 2013

Ecclesiastical Provinces

Province of Canada

Province of British Columbia and Yukon

Province of Ontario

Province of Rupert’s Land


Diocese of Athabasca 

Subject: Covenant for the Anglican Communion

Be it resolved that:

  1. This Synod endorse and accept the proposed Covenant for the Anglican Communion, in the form forwarded to provinces for their consideration
  2. We commit ourselves to the process of consultation and study proposed by General Synod, in order to understand more fully the implications of the Covenant for our shared life and mission
  3. A copy of this resolution be forwarded to the General Secretary of the General Synod.

Diocese of British Columbia

Subject: Common Standards

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

A prerequisite to undertaking mission and evangelism is ensuring that the church is a safe place for children and vulnerable persons. Our leadership, both lay and ordained, must adhere to the highest standards of conduct.  Where individuals in leadership have failed in these matters we must acknowledge our shortcomings, carry out the just administration of discipline, and seek to right wrongs.

To that end, we request that all dioceses and ecclesiastical provinces in of the Anglican Church of Canada, as well as the General Synod itself, work towards common standards of these things, namely,

  1. A national Code of Conduct for clergy (perhaps similar to the one in the Anglican Church of Australia);
  2. A national screening policy, based upon the one used in both the Diocese of Huron and the Diocese of British Columbia

As well, we request that there be a historical survey of sexual misconduct within the dioceses and ministries of the Anglican Church of Canada, as was done recently in the Church of England.  We therefore request that a motion covering these matters be considered at the next General Synod (2013).

Subject:  Partnering  Resources and Growth

That this Synod show its support for partnering in resources and growth by faithfully studying, discussing and, where appropriate, supporting initiatives generated in the Provincial Synod of British Columbia and Yukon and the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Diocese of Rupert’s Land

Subject:  Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery

Be it resolved that this Synod of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land:

  1. Repudiate and renounce the Doctrine of Discovery as fundamentally opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and our understanding of the inherent rights that individuals and peoples have received from God;
  2. Request that our diocesan bishop, as requested by our General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, cause this declaration to be proclaimed in every parish;
  3. Commit to undertake a review of our Diocese’s policies and programs with a view to exposing the historical reality and impact of the Doctrine of Discovery and eliminating its presence in its contemporary policies, program, and structures;
  4. Encourage all members of the Diocese to seek a greater understanding of the Indigenous Peoples with Canada and to support those peoples in their ongoing effort s for their inherent sovereignty and fundamental human rights as peoples to be respected by understanding the reality that we are all Treaty People;
  5. Request that our Bishop take the following actions:
    1. Inform all municipal, provincial and federal representatives within our diocesan boundaries and the Government of Canada of this decision and request that they conduct a similar and equivalent review of historical and contemporary policies that contribute to the continuing colonization of Indigenous Peoples,
    2. Write to Queen Elizabeth II, requesting that her Majesty disavow, and repudiate publicly, the claimed validity of the Christian Doctrine of Discovery, and
    3. Share this declaration with the United Nations.

Subject:  The Covenant for the Anglican Communion

RESOLVED That the Synod of the Diocese of Rupert’s Land forward to the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada the following memorials, stating that this Synod:

  1. Does not recommend to General Synod the adoption of “The Covenant for the Anglican Communion.”
  2. Has determined that the matters this Covenant was intended to address – diversity of belief, doctrine and practice in the Anglican Communion; the desire of Anglican Provinces to be both autonomous and interdependent; and the difficulties of establishing processes to support and preserve autonomy and interdependence across the Communion – remain crucial issues that need further attention.
  3. Urges the Anglican Church of Canada and the wider Anglican Communion to address, as a matter of highest priority, all matters outstanding with regard to the relationship between the four instruments of Communion. In particular, this Synod urges that:
    1. The Anglican Consultative Council clarify and communicate its role in promoting autonomy and interdependence among the Member Church of the Anglican Communion.
    2. The Anglican Consultative Council, in consultation with the other Instruments of Communion, clarify that being a Member Church of the Anglican Consultative Council means that as such, the said Church is also a Member of the Anglican Communion.

Diocese of Toronto

Subject:  Canon XXI

Whereas all the sacraments are for all the baptized, be it resolved that the Synod of the Diocese of Toronto memorialize the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada to amend Canon XXI “On Marriage in t he Church” to allow marriage of all persons legally qualified to marry each other.

Diocese of Yukon

Subject:  Canon XXI

Be it resolved that the Synod of the Diocese of Yukon, meeting Whitehorse, October 12-13, 2012, and in response to the gospel of Jesus Christ, memorialize the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, 2013, as follows:

  1. That we, the Synod of Yukon, welcome and offer pastoral care to all people, married and single alike, regardless of sexual orientation, affirming God’s compassion and love for them;
  2. That we, the Synod of Yukon affirm and uphold the current Canon of Marriage of the Anglican Church of Canada, and the biblical understanding of marriage, as a lifelong union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others;
  3. That we, the Synod of Yukon, take with utmost seriousness our ministry to teach on and celebrate the biblical vision of marriage and the Christian family, rooted in God’s created order and endorsed by our Lord.

Diocese of Qu’Appelle

That this Synod requests the General Synod to make such changes as required to ensure that the next Primate of Canada remains a Diocesan Bishop.

That this Synod request General Synod to amend the Calendar of the Church Year in the Book of Alternative Services by raising the status of St. James of Jerusalem (October 23) from “Memorial” to “Holy Day”.

That this Synod memorialize General Synod expressing its strong support for the continued publication of Anglican Journal in print form as a particularly important vehicle for getting news to lay people though distribution of diocesan newspapers, especially Saskatchewan Anglican.


Anglican Communion Alliance

We urge General Synod not to proceed toward any revision of Canon XXI, the Canon on Marriage.  Canon XXI upholds the received teaching of the Christian church that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.  The Preface to Canon XXI refers us to the Form of Solemnization of Matrimony in the Book of Common Prayer:  “Matrimony was ordained for the hallowing of the union betwixt man and woman…”(p. 564).  The Preface also affirms that in the apostolic Church as recorded in the New Testament, a “new standard of reciprocal love between husband and wife was introduced.”(3)

The fact that a memorial urging revision of the Marriage Canon from a Synod of the Diocese of Toronto passed by only a slight majority (257 to 229) demonstrates how truly divisive such a revision would be. We also urge that this Synod entertain no attempt to bypass the Marriage Canon, on the specious grounds that its definition of marriage simply needs to be understood more inclusively.

We have had no process of serious national study on same sex marriage. No significant biblical and theological rationale has been produced, presented, and accepted by proper canonical authorities.  No Primate’s Theological Commission has been charged with the task of producing such a rationale.  No other national church in the Anglican Communion  has ventured into this area.  The unintended consequences of any move toward canonical revision could be catastrophic in terms of alienation of our native people, loss of membership across the church and accelerated financial decline.