The first meeting of Synod Office staff for 2019 took place at 10am on Wednesday, January 9. The chair for the meeting was the newly ordained deacon, the Reverend Tasha Carrothers, Missioner for Congregational Development for our diocese, and currently Honorary Assistant Curate at Holy Trinity, New Westminster. This was the first time Tasha had chaired a staff meeting since her ordination and she modelled some attractive headgear; a combination Fedora/Trilby/Straw Boater featuring a First Nations image.
Tasha opened the meeting by acknowledging we are meeting on the unceded territory of Coast Salish First Nations: Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam; upon which the Diocesan Offices are located.
Much of the session was spent on “check-in”, with each member of staff giving an account of their current work. Among the highlights were:
- the work of Archbishop Skelton and Phil Colvin to implement a new online training system for Safe Church in all 6 dioceses in the Ecclesiastical Province - in our context, replacing the current workshop on the sexual misconduct policy;
- another session of Sharing Stories produced by Indigenous Justice Ministry Coordinator, Jerry Adams featuring outstanding guests with specialized perspectives on Aboriginal issues and Reconciliation, hopefully ready to go as early as mid-February;
- considerable work being done by an adjunct task force of the Canons and Constitutions Committee of Diocesan Council who are doing some extensive re-writing;
- the gathering of a committee on Christian Formation being assembled by the Reverend Jessica Schaap, Missioner for Christian Formation;
- some positive feedback being received regarding the Living in the Edge Advent program;
- a very busy time for Rachel Taylor, Administrative Assistant/PAD administering the Pre-Authorized Donation (PAD) program of the diocese, as the beginning of the year is when many members of our diocese commit to the financial support of their parishes and other organizations, PAD continues to grow as a preferred method of giving;
- continuing work on property development around the diocese which includes the work of the Property Development Committee.
A sad piece of news was the announcement of the resignation of Amy Thorogood, Caretaker/Verger of the Nanton Avenue properties, Synod Office/St. John’s, Shaughnessy. Director of Finance and Property, Rob Dickson described Amy as “more than a property administrator but a property Guru.” Amy will leave her position January 31 in order to resume her studies in architecture and design. She will be missed.
And of course, birthdays were celebrated. The early January birthdays of Executive Archdeacon, the Venerable Douglas Fenton and Administrative Assistant, Reception & Screening in Faith Facilitator, Phil Colvin were marked with a Red Velvet cake from Le Gateau Bake Shop on East Hastings Street.
- The staff meeting
- Meeting Chair, Rev. Tasha Carrothers
- The birthday folks
- Amy Thorogood