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Although Council met in the friendly and familiar confines of the St. Augustine Church Hall on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, the meeting had a very different look. Instead of being set up in a rectangular perimeter around the room with 4, 5 and 6 foot tables placed end to end, groups of chairs were randomly placed in the centre of the room and members of Council were encouraged to help themselves to the salad, sandwich, sweets and fruit spread and spend the pre-Council time in conversation, and remain in that configuration for the first section of the meeting.


The Very Reverend Peter Elliott, Dean and Administrator of the Diocese welcomed Council at 6:30pm, clarifying that Council would meet in a slightly different format. As the agenda contained three presentations and three conversations, the design of the meeting in this less formal setting would be more conducive to Council’s work that evening. Dean Peter said that for the second section of the meeting Council would then move into a large circle to discuss the 7 items for consideration and/or action.

Prior to the Presentations and Conversations the meeting opened with prayers, prayers for Nelson Mandela and prayers for our Bishop-elect and for the Bishop-elect of the Diocese of British Columbia.

The prayer leaders were the Reverend Dr. Richard Leggett, the Reverend Andrew Halladay and the Venerable Dr. Lynne McNaughton. Richard began by offering an expanded version of the Beatitudes which set the tone for the prayer session. Andrew led members of Council singing Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s “Victory is Ours through God Who Loves us “(Goodness is stronger than evil).  Lynne offered a prayer that reflected on the life of Nelson Mandela, asking God that Nelson Mandela’s work and spirit remain alive for us.

Dean Peter then offered a prayer of thanks, thanks for those who offered themselves as nominees for Bishop and prayers for Bishop-elect, the Reverend Canon Melissa Skelton as she moves into transition and into this next stage of her ministry as Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster.

CONVERSATION #1- Reflections on the Episcopal Election

The Chancellor, George Cadman, introduced the first conversation for the evening, a discussion of the Electoral Synod 2013 process. The Search/Nominations Committee is scheduled to report to Council in January and provide an overview of how the Electoral Synod process worked from their perspective. George informed Council that there would need to be a meeting held with the S/N Committee and the dates being explored for that meeting occur in the second half of January. If that plan unfolds as expected the report will come before Council in February. The results of this discussion tonight and the notes generated by the discussion will facilitate the S/N Committee’s discussion.  The two questions asked of Council to discuss were:

1.      Were there things that were done in the process that you think could have been done differently?

2.      Is there anything that you can think of that you would like to share that would improve the process?

These discussions took place in four groups each with a recorder and a facilitator. After 15 minutes, each of the four recorders reported back and although each group had some unique comments in general there was agreement.

Here are some of the ideas that were reported back:

-          Archbishop John Privett’s  chairing of the service was excellent and his leadership contributed to the positive atmosphere of the Synod

-          More information about the nominees including letters of reference from others who know the nominees.

-          A different nomination format perhaps involving more than one Member of Synod needed to nominate.

-          There was a broad spectrum of Member of Synod engagement from those who researched and asked questions of the candidates by email to others who just showed up to vote.  A process that enables more even engagement was suggested.

-          The entire process seemed a bit rushed because of the timeline.

-          Retired clergy who did not meet the eligibility requirements felt that they were disenfranchised.

-          The 2013 nominees might be asked about the content of the Diocesan Profile and whether it gave them the information they wanted to know prior to accepting nomination.

-          Electronic voting and the time taken between the initial results and the sharing of results publicly in order to first inform the nominees was generally considered a good component of the 2013 Electoral Synod process.

-          A different and broader scope of dialogue and wider sourcing of information to build the Diocesan Profile. And begin that process sooner.

-          Increased engagement with the candidates through more exposure, electronic meetings, and town-hall style meetings.

-          Retired clergy should not be voting delegates at Synod.

-          The rules for the Search and Nomination Committee should preclude the Committee screening out or short-listing any nominees that meet the criteria for Bishop of the ACC.


Before Presentation 1 began, Dean Peter thanked the Chancellor for his excellent work on the Electoral Synod. The Dean also welcomed the Reverend Ruth Monette to her first Council meeting after beginning her new role December 1st, 2013, as Director for Mission and Ministry Development (Acting) for the Diocese.

PRESENTATION #1 – Report from Council of General Synod (CoGS)

The Venerable Lynne McNaughton, the priest representative for the Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon to Council of General Synod and Rob Dickson, Business Administrator of the Diocese who is also the Chair of the Finance Committee of General Synod gave a 15 minute combined report about the inaugural meetings of the new Council of General Synod held November 14-17. 

Lynne reported that a good portion of the meeting time focused on the new structures and forms that were adopted by General Synod this past summer. The highlight for Lynne and for many was the 20th anniversary of the Primate’s (Archbishop Michael Peers’ {who was present}) Apology to First Nation’s Peoples. What gave the celebration integrity and validity is that the Church has continued to work toward reconciliation. Lynne also spoke about the new Diocese of Mishamikweesh, formerly an area within the Diocese of Keewatin, the first ever Indigenous diocese and its Bishop, the Right Reverend Lydia Mamkwa. Lynne also spoke of Melissa Green and Bishop Mark MacDonald reporting on their experience at the World Council of Churches Assembly in Busan, Korea and Bishop Mark’s election as the President of the North American WCC.

Rob Dickson was at CoGS, helping present the budget and the National Church is putting forward a budget that is balanced this year. He did make it clear that the National Church shares the same problems of decreased revenues that the rest of the Church suffers but there is a great deal of energy around finding new sources and new strategies to fund ministry.

Both Rob and Lynne spoke about the advance meetings held electronically: internet and telephone conferences that prepared participants for the material that would be discussed at the meetings. The new committee structure is creating a more open and enthusiastic atmosphere and in general their response to the current CoGS was very positive. For more information about these meetings please click the link and access the unofficial CoGS reports on the National Church website


The Minutes of the November 12th meeting were adopted as circulated 


Letter from Canadian Companions of Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem 



Response to the Christian Camping Task Force Report and Sorrento Presentation by MCDC and A&F

These two Presentations referred to in this section took place at the November 12th meeting of Diocesan Council. For background please refer to the Minutes of the November 12th, 2013 meeting or to the Diocesan Council Summary posted on this website. Following the Council meeting these Presentations at the November meeting were brought forward for discussion at the November meetings of the Ministry and Congregational Development Committee(MCDC) and Administration and Finance (A&F).

The Reverend Ruth Monette was tasked with presenting on behalf of MCDC. Ruth said that the group met by phone with reps from the Christian Camping Task Force, had a dialogue with the Task Force Members which was followed by a conversation within the committee.  MCDC members very much appreciated  the work that has gone into the Task Force report and how difficult it must be to craft a piece of work of considerable substance when there is still so much indecision around the issue.  MCDC agreed that there is a vision but not yet a plan for Christian Camping Ministry and a plan is needed.

Treasurer Bob Hardy spoke on behalf of A&F.  It was the view of A&F that the Task Force had underestimated the cost of raising the Artaban facilities and program to a level where it can achieve sustainability.  

The Task Force Report and Sorrento Presentation raised a number of questions for A&F:

  • What does being in the ministry of Christian Camping mean?
  • Will we need full time staff for this?
  • What are the requirements to do this work properly?
  • How can the diocese significantly fund Artaban but not help Sorrento?
Bob told Council that currently A&F have not heard from the Artaban Society.

Rob Dickson pointed out that at the special Synod held November 17th, 2012, there were smaller parishes asking for “help” which is really a “third ask” and that segment of our diocese needs to be considered as well. Bob Hardy reinforced the point very clearly that it would be a difficult decision to give money to one group and not to another. And considering the amounts needed, do we have the resources to really make a difference?

Dean Peter and Chancellor George Cadman reminded Council that there would not be any decisions reached tonight but there would have to be some decisions made in January and that tonight’s conversation about to take place could help reach those decisions.


Affirmations, Challenges and Questions about CCR Report and Sorrento Presentation.

20 minutes were allotted for this discussion.

The recorder for each group reported back:

-          What is the question we are supposed to address?

-          What is the principal issue that this report and this presentation are bringing to the fore?

-          Are we trying to rescue important properties? Is that the goal?

-          Where do these two groups fit in?  We as a diocese are being asked to support something considerable and if significant funds are granted, the diocese needs to exercise some control.

-          The funds needed to support properties/initiatives the size and scope of Camp Artaban and Sorrento are way beyond the resources of one diocese or one denomination or even one faith. Substantial partnerships are a priority.

-          There is a need for a higher standard of programming.

-          Sorrento has a broad program base and potential.  Artaban is youth specific.

-          Youth programming is always at a loss

-          Artaban report was a good report, but we need Christian Camping it to be part of an holistic diocesan youth strategy.

-          Sorrento seems to be working but Artaban is not.

-          The time and energy spent trying to detail with Artaban inhibits our ability to get on with developing a comprehensive program of youth ministry.

-          Whatever we do in implementing the mission and values of Christian Camping it must be done with excellence.

-          Artaban and Sorrento are different types of facilities.

Dean Peter suggested that the Executive Officers of the Diocese meet prior to the next meeting and develop some resolutions as the time has come to make some decisions.  

Resolutions will be coming forward on Christian Camping in the Diocese and The Sorrento Centre Grant Request for January. 


The third Presentation and Conversation involved matters of property so Diocesan Council moved In Camera.



The Chancellor, George Cadman chaired this part of the meeting. He began by asking Council to consider the three items proposed as “No Debate” , St Dunstan’s Aldergrove grant request; St. John, North Vancouver, grant request; Christ Church, Hope, grant request.  

As the grant request from St. Dunstan’s is a request to the Anglican Foundation, George explained to council that the Anglican Foundation allows three Grant requests per diocese per year, that is why the grant requests to the AF come through Council.

The Motion to put the three grant requests on the No Debate agenda was carried.

All three Motions for these Grant Requests were Carried

Boundaries Task Force 

Chair of the Task Force, the Ven. Lynne McNaughton provided a brief update. She informed Council that the previous day, December 9th was the deadline for questions and comments from parishes for the Task Force.  The consensus building component has now been completed therefore decisions will be made by Council on the Boundaries Task Force recommendations at the January meeting.

St Margaret of Scotland/St. John Port Moody Merger  

The Venerable Grant Rodgers, Archdeacon of Westminster and Rector of St. John’s, Port Moody spoke to the status of the merger.  The community of St. Margaret’s of Scotland celebrated the last scheduled public worship in the building on October 24th, 2013, and the majority of St. Margaret’s parishioners began worshipping at St. John, the Apostle, Port Moody, November 1st.  Grant’s letter and Diocesan Registrar Don Paul’s letter in the link lay out the merger process as it will unfold over the coming weeks.

The Chancellor reminded Council that this information is an update and that   formal motions for decisions will come before Council in February or March. 
Grant informed Council that there will be a Special Vestry meeting February 2nd.


North Vancouver Deanery – Funding for Regional Youth Ministry Coordinator for 2014

Regional Dean for North Vancouver, Stephen Muir said that this is a partnership of 7 churches (including two Lutheran Churches) to continue with the Youth Ministry Coordinator position. The current coordinator has been on a four month contract through the fall with plans by all parties to continue the arrangement. This is a pioneering project, a model that could be used by other deaneries and regions. The grant is needed to fund the position through 2014. The North Vancouver Regional Council funded the first four months but need some help from the diocese to continue.

There was a brief discussion about how the first four months have gone and the general result has been positive.

The Motion to approve the grant request was CARRIED. 

The Financial Statements were received by Council

The Chancellor reminded Council that although the Diocese is in a strong financial position, it is important that Council members do their homework, and review the statements.

Council agreed to meet in January 14th at 6:30pm with a sandwich and salad meal available at 6pm.

That concluded the business of Diocesan Council and the meeting was adjourned at 9:35pm.

Images: Top and Homepage, the tables were “tabled” at the December Meeting of Council, here we see Chancellor, George Cadman chairing Part II of the meeting.

  • Members of Council partaking of the sandwich supper and some conversation prior to the meeting.
  •  Phil Colvin, Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator and Anne Kessler, Youth Representative to Diocesan Council.
  • One of the four break-out groups, the Clerical and Lay secretaries are visible on the left.
  • Kathleen Gly-Morris, Capilano-Kingcome deanery rep moves her chair into position for the second half of the meeting.
  • Archdeacon Lynne McNaughton, Chair of the Boundaries Task Force, delivers the update.
  • It’s a little different but everyone seems to be doing okay without the tables.

Diocesan Council is the decision making, governing body of the Diocese of New Westminster consisting of: the Diocesan Officers (Bishop, Dean, Executive Archdeacon, Chancellor, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer) the Archdeacons of the five Archdeaconries, the Archdeacon who is the Director of Deacons, two additional Diocesan Legal Officers, (Registrar and Legal Assessor), a Lay Secretary, a Clergy Secretary, the chairs of the Diocesan Standing Committees

There are two Deanery reps either Ordained or Lay. Sometimes Deaneries have two lay reps and sometimes two clergy reps, sometimes one of each. A Deanery is a group of churches, geographically affiliated and the reps are elected at the Annual Synod Meeting.

Synod Staff also attend meetings but are not members of Diocesan Council. They include: Business Administrator, Stewardship and Planned Giving Officer, Comptroller, Youth Coordinator and Communications Officer (and other staff as required).

Diocesan Synod consists of all the active clergy in the Diocese of New Westminster and 2-6 lay people elected from each diocesan parish proportionate to the size of the parish community.

Diocesan Council functions as the Synod between Synods, it is a representation of the large group that meets annually.

Diocesan Council and Diocesan Synod are both chaired by the Bishop.

Diocesan Council meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month in the evening, usually at St. Augustine, Marpole. Diocesan Council is adjourned for the months of July and August.