Randy Murray
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The Synod staff of the Diocese of New Westminster met on Wednesday morning, May 6 for the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. This was the second meeting conducted through Zoom, the remote meeting platform that has become such a major part of our lives during this isolation period.

All members of staff were present at the meeting, the majority of staff members were visible on screens, two staffers joined the meeting via telephone and five staff members who were on site at 1410 Nanton Avenue, the location of the Synod offices, gathered in the conference room following the social distancing directives. The Reverend Jessica Schaap was chair.

Items on the agenda included:

  • a look at the recent sick leave policy;
  • a report from Archbishop Skelton with focuses on her current ministry as Priest-in-Charge of Christ Church Cathedral and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC/Yukon where the current or pending retirements of herself, Bishop Logan McMenamie and Bishop Barbara Andrews are definitely part of her workload;
  • a proposal from diocesan communications to source some hardware packages at various price points for parishes who would like to upgrade their online productions as this form of worship is very likely to continue even when in-person worship is restored;
  • some general and tentative conversations about the resumption of in-person worship.

During the “check-in” from staff the general tone was that a significant portion of parishes are continuing some, with some assistance, including many more parishes moving to online giving and online services. All staff members have been busy with creating and assisting parishes on a wide variety of operations and program issues from financial resources and guidance, to ministry webinars and technological support.

Executive Archdeacon, the Venerable Douglas Fenton reported that the April 29 regularly scheduled Diocesan Council meeting took place, it was well-attended and the work of Council scheduled for the evening was achieved. Archdeacon Fenton also informed staff that there are still a number of parishes in transition but some are in the process of interviewing and selection for new ordained leadership.

June 14 remains the date that the Leadership team is hoping that in-person worship in some form may return and at the moment the scheduled Ordinations to the Diaconate are still going ahead June 20 at Christ Church Cathedral.

The birthday celebrations are always a highlight of the monthly staff meetings but alas somewhat curtailed due to the physical separation of the participants. However, everyone enthusiastically sang “Happy Birthday” to Indigenous Ministry Coordinator, Jerry Adams who was about to celebrate a milestone birthday in a couple of days.

The next staff meeting is scheduled for June 3.

IMAGES

  • The Reverend Jessica Schaap on right chairs the meeting
  • The Zoom Room and staff in the Conference Room at Nanton Avenue
  • Archbishop Skelton reports
  • Shailene and Michele in front of the Zoom Room
  • May’s birthday celebrant, Jerry Adams. Sadly no cake during the isolation period.