An unofficial digest of the proceedings of the First Joint Assembly of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the 40th Session of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Joint Session #3 Thursday morning
1. Opening and Greetings
The morning began with devotions, led by Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori, the Episcopal Church, and National Bishop Mark Hanson of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, leading into a time of Bible Study in table groups
Greetings were brought by the Reverend Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director of Unity, Faith, and Order for the Anglican Communion, the Reverend Canon Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, and the Reverend Martin Jonge, of the Lutheran World Federation. Each told stories from the recent life and mission of the Anglican Communion and of the Lutheran World Federation, held up the promise of ecumenical witness in God’s mission of reconciliation, and celebrated the gift of this Assembly as witness to the world. Of particular note are the strong ways in which Canadian Anglicans and Lutherans are serving their Communions internationally, and playing leading roles in global ecumenical life.
2. Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission
The Very Reverend Peter Wall and Bishop Michael Pryse introduced the Report of the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission with a quiz to see how much Assembly members know about full communion. They reported on the wide range of initiatives undertaken by the Commission, which include a Directory of Waterloo Ministries, ongoing relationship with the U.S. Lutheran Anglican Coordinating Committee, encouragement of full communion relationships in the Holy Land, joint meetings of national staff and of the ACC Council of General Synod and the ELCIC National Church Council, a national Joint Cycle of Prayer, and work towards common understanding of diaconal ministry. Members offered reflections on the Commitments of the Waterloo Declaration, now twelve years on, and encouraged both churches to deepen joint work in national and local ministries, youth ministries, worship, theological education and in justice, witness and advocacy, and to do more to share resources. Several members shared “good news full communion stories” of local Anglican Lutheran ministries. The Assembly jointly passed a resolution to confirm and support the work of the Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission and affirm its continued work, with size and membership to be determined by the two churches.
3. Responsible Resource Extraction
Sarah Stratton and Jennifer Henry, from KAIROS, challenged the Assembly to think about the objects they carry on their persons and where these come from. Whether jewelry, watches, cell phones, clothing, what were the contexts of natural resource extraction that produced them, and what are the effects on the peoples of those source communities? Can we be porous to the stories of pain, injustice, the degradation of human rights and of the environment, and even destruction of human lives and of creation, to which we are connected through our ‘things’? Responsible resource extraction must uphold compliance with environmental protection and the safeguarding of human rights. It is of critical and direct concern for the lives of Indigenous peoples. It calls us all to account: consumers, citizens, mining companies, churches and governments. The Joint Declaration on Responsible Resource Extraction will be presented at tomorrow’s session.
Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori brought greetings from the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. She spoke of their intentional fellowship and partnership domestically and globally for the healing of God’s world. Together for the Love of the World means honouring the gifts that God has already planted, that they may flourish in ways that will bless the world. We need partners of all sorts, conditions and cultures. She prayed that the missional ‘virus’ will continue to spread across all borders, and change our DNA. We need to get out of our selves to lose ourselves for the sake of the world.
Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson brought greetings from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He challenged us to ask what is holding us back from engaging more, and more deeply, together in mission. Will the Church become stuck in nostalgia, and become a monument to the past, or can we become living stones gathered around Jesus as cornerstone, pointing to a future breaking in upon us? Will we show up as people who proclaim and embody the form of the crucified gospel, or do we leave it to those who preach deism or a false gospel of prosperity?
First Session of General Synod Wednesday Afternoon
Archbishop Hiltz opened the meeting with prayer. Following the report of the Credentials Committee that quorum had been reached, the Fortieth Session of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada was declared in session.
The Primate introduced the head table: General Secretary, the Venerable Michael Thompson, Prolocutor Canon Bob Falby, Chancellor David Jones and Recording Secretary Josie DeLucia. Chairs of Sessional Committees, Honorary Secretaries and Assessor were also introduced. Special welcome was given to partners from the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, and from the Episcopal Church.
A motion that the floor of General Synod be rearranged to sit in diocesan table groups, rather than the mixed seating arrangement, was defeated.
The opening procedures concluded with the approval of the Orders of the Day and the Minutes of the 2010 General Synod and with Receipt of Reports in the Convening Circular.
A005, a motion to permit suspension of the rules of order to allow flexibility in certain areas was carried.
A070, regarding resolutions with Financial Implications, setting forth a process for review of resolutions with financial implications for follow up and decision making, reporting to the Council of General Synod was also carried.
3. No Debate List
The following are proposed to be on the No Debate List:
- A140 Final Report of the Primate’s Commission on Theological Education and Formation for Presbyteral Ministry
- A141 To Love and Serve the Lord
- A142 The Church: Towards a Common Vision
- 170 Supporting creation care across the church
- A171 Jerusalem Sunday
- C001 Baptismal Covenant addition
- C002 Joint Anglican Lutheran Commission
4. Nominations for Prolocutor
The following were nominated for the office of Prolocutor: Mr Rob Dickson, the Venerable Harry Huskins, the Very Reverend Peter Wall.
5. Presidential Address
Archbishop Hiltz highlighted the many and varied ministries that he has witnessed through his visits to parishes and dioceses across the country. From urban ministries of service to the Inuktituk translation of the Bible, from dioceses reshaping their structures for mission to youth gatherings, he upheld specific examples of what he has seen, vast and very diverse witness of the one Gospel. Hope is springing forth in healing and reconciliation in Indigenous communities, and new structures honouring the desire for Indigenous self determination are emerging. He reflected on the growing embodiment of the Marks of Mission and the discernible shift from a culture of membership to one of discipleship. He highlighted the context of the North, where that discipleship is costly, and leadership undertaken under challenging circumstances, with low or no stipends for clergy.
The Primate reminded members that 2013 is the 20th anniversary of the Apology. A Commission has been asked to be established by the Primate to enable our Church to follow through on the actions associated with The Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, addressing the question of “What is reconciliation?” and strengthening the church’s commitment to addressing longstanding injustices borne by indigenous peoples in Canada.
The Presidential Address gave witness to an overwhelming number of stories of hope, and examples of missional engagement: in companion diocesan relationships, dialogues, servant leadership in the ministries of General Synod, partnerships with the ministries of dioceses and networks and between the General Synod and its related entities the Anglican Foundation and PWRDF, in Global partnerships with the Church in Cuba and the Diocese of Jerusalem. The address concluded with the hymn He came singing love
6. Election of the Proloculor
The Venerable Harry Huskins was elected Prolocutor on the second ballot.
7. Nominees for Deputy Prolocutor
8. Voting for Deputy Prolocutor
Ms Cynthia Haines-Turner was elected Deputy Prolocutor on the first ballot
9. Vision 2019
The Venerable Peter John Hobbs and Ms Melissa Green presented the Report of the Vision 2019 Implementation Team. They highlighted the processes by which they have been tracking the work of the Priorities and Practices of V2019, and shone a spotlight on several key initiatives under each of the Priorities. A video presenting Marks of Mission “Champions” was shown, celebrating in story the ways in which the Marks of Mission are being lived out in local communities across the country. More than 80,000 bookmarks of the Marks of Mission have been distributed, and several contests have led to creation of photographic, musical and curricular materials celebrating the Marks. They introduced the Marks of Mission Champions initiative. As the new mission focussed church emerges, the vision is catching on through the sharing of stories.
10. Structures, an Introduction
Vision 2019 called for the General Synod to work on structures that work for now and well into the future to move us into God’s mission. In January 2013 a symposium was held, to reflect on work specific to the Anglican Church of Canada. It was a widely representative and diverse gathering, which took as its ground the context in which we find ourselves as being post Christendom and post denominational. A small structures Working Group was established after the Consultation, which took Embodying God’s Call along with recommendations to the Council of General Synod.
Over a dozen recommendations are being proposed toward new structures, requiring different levels of decision making. Under the heading of streamlining and effectiveness, the General Synod is called to make better use of communications technology, partnerships, and to have more task forces and smaller standing committees. A number of reviews are proposed, of our communications and other areas in our ministries, to look for partnerships, and to find new ways of working. Building leadership capacity, celebrating our life in Christ, enhancing discipleship, and other areas of ministry are critical, but we spend most of our money in governance. Four speakers shared stories of where they have been involved in ministry and mission experiences sparked through General Synod partnership work: Stronger Together, a youth mission to Cuba, a conversation about mission and ministry sparked in a diocese, and the Government Relations partnership with the Diocese of Ottawa.
11. Governance Working Group
A030 Second Reading – Amendments to Sections 3, 4 and 5 of the Declaration of Principles (A019 R1) Membership in General Synod was carried.
12. Provincial Caucuses
Members of General Synod met in Provincial Caucuses following dinner.
The following Resolutions were carried:
- A040: Amendment of Constitution
- A060: Confirm the adoption of changes made by the Council of General Synod to Standing Committees
- A050: Canon XIX Relinquishment of Abandonment of Ministry – Forms
- A051: Canon XXII The National Indigenous Ministry
- A052: Canon XXIII The Bishop Ordinary to the Canadian Forces
- A041: Standing Committees of General Synod
14. Night Prayer
The work of the day concluded with Night Prayers.