The opening worship of the 110th Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster got off to a rousing start , Friday evening, May 27th thanks to the St Alban’s, Burnaby, African Voices
who began the worship with two joyful songs of praise. Following this ‘Introit,’ the African Voices introduced the congregation to the opening Hymn and the 300 present picked the tune up quickly and joined in as the Bishop’s Procession moved from the narthex to the chancel at Christ Church Cathedral.
Following the reading of the Gospel, John 17:6-19
, 2011 Synod Partner, Bishop Greg Mohr of the BC Synod of the ELCIC preached. He began his sermon with some topical humour when he said “I am particularly delighted that I can be with you here this evening. When I read that the world was going to end last weekend I must admit to being somewhat disappointed. Not only was I on a few days of holiday back at The Farm in Alberta – and who likes having holidays interrupted by the Eschaton – but it also would have meant missing an opportunity to hang out with several hundred Anglicans at a church convention – and who would want to miss that! So here you are and here I am.”
Bishop Greg’s opening paragraph was met with enthusiastic laughter from the Synod congregation. Bishop Greg’s sermon is available in text as a downloadable pdf
and as an audio file
. Please click the links to access.
Following the Prayers for the People, the Crofton House School Chamber Choir under the direction of Kelly Harris performed The Iraqi Peace Song.
The hauntingly beautiful middle-eastern melody and the pure, clear tone of the girl’s voices in different combinations of unison, solo voice and harmony, accompanied by piano and cello filled the Cathedral. The performance will certainly be remembered as one of the highlights of the 2011 Synod.
The internationally acclaimed Cathedral Choir led the music in worship rounding out the diverse elements of the liturgy.
Following the sermon, the five Archdeacons and the Director of Deacons presented the Regional Deans
to Bishop Michael and he re-appointed them to their current positions in leadership.
During the Peace, Bishop Michael Ingham, Father Matthew Johnson and Judy Graves signed a new Covenant in Ministry for The Street Outreach Initiative
. This ministry has been in existence for the last five years and is part of the Diocesan funding for compassionate service, GEM.
It places the Rev. Matthew Johnson on the streets of the Downtown Eastside to minister to marginalized persons struggling with many challenges: addiction, mental illness, poverty, homelessness, disability, isolation, or circumstantial disaster.
Following the worship service, the serving team removed a number of the worship elements, a table was moved to the middle of the platform where moments ago the Altar had been and Bishop Michael and Chancellor George Cadman sat down at the table and began the business portion of the 2011 Synod. Chancellor Cadman verified that there was a quorum present and Bishop Michael officially convened Synod.
Synod accepted the 2011 Agenda, the Minutes of the 2010 Synod the Memorials
read and we were introduced to three new priests and one new deacon who had entered or re-entered ministerial positions in the Diocese of New Westminster in the last year. There were a number of other business items covered in the 30 minute session.
Chancellor George Cadman explained the rules of order regarding resolutions and that turned out to be the final business of the evening.