The new Council of the Diocese of New Westminster elected at the 109th Diocesan Synod met for the first time on Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 at St. Augustine’s in Marpole.
Bishop Michael took some time at the beginning of the meeting to welcome new members and offer a brief orientation. He advised the group that Diocesan Council is the “Synod between Synods, the Agent of Synod when Synod is not is session.”
Dean Peter Elliott was next to speak to the members and he summarized his understanding of Diocesan Council in three points:
  1. DC has responsibility for the legal and canonical aspects; finances, property and incorporation. It is a sounding board for governance of the diocese.
  2. Visioning and strategic planning for the diocese. DC assesses priorities as they pertain to how we carry out God’s Mission.
  3. The life of the diocese as it is represented through the standing committees. As part of the agendas at each meeting we learn from those committees about the work being done in the Diocese of New Westminster and where we are going as we help to do God’s Mission in the World.
Following Peter’s brief address, Council members and support staff were asked to turn to the person closest to them and discuss their expectations for this term of council.
Following this interactive section the Business Meeting began.

Council Business Excerpts
  • Planned Giving and Stewardship Standing Committee Chair, Liz Cullen spoke to council about the Month of Service proposed for October, 2010.
  • Bishop Michael asked Members of Council who are also General Synod Delegates to offer a reflection on their experience at General Synod in Halifax June 3-11, 2010. He reminded the council that the General Synod Delegates will gather to report to the diocese on Tuesday, June 29th at 7:30pm at Christ Church Cathedral. The recurring theme in each reflection recognized the excellent leadership of the Primate and that all of the discussions and the events acknowledged the diversity of our church. The atmosphere was positive and by all accounts the best General Synod experience in many years.
  • The Reverend Dr. Lynne McNaughton was recognized and congratulated for her election to Council of General Synod and to the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee. Although not a member of DC, Lynne has agreed to attend meetings on occasion and report on her experiences. Diocesan Business Administrator Rob Dickson was acknowledged for his appointment to the newly established National Church Philanthropy Commission.
  • There was an election to select a Lay Secretary to Diocesan Council. The two candidates were: Stephanie Williams of St. David, Delta and Andrea Gailus of St. John, Squamish. Andrea had held this office previously serving the 2007-2008 Diocesan Council, however, Stephanie was the successful candidate.
  • The Grants and Loan Request for St. Laurence, Coquitlam to repair and upgrade washrooms and kitchen was passed unanimously. St. Laurence parish leaders are eager to pay back the loan amount ($190,000) within 24 months and St. Laurence Incumbent, the Rev. Trudy Lebans was pleased to report that $70,000 toward the capital campaign goal of $200,000 has been raised since March of 2010.
  • The parish of St John, Squamish has some issues with a poorly constructed roof and in order to borrow money from a financial institution to do repairs, the parish needs to incorporate so that the rector and trustees of the parish do not have to co-sign for the loan. Council voted unanimously in favour of approving St. John’s request to incorporate.
  • The final item was a letter read by the Reverend Dr. Richard Leggett sent to council by the Point Grey/Granville Deanery listing a number of concerns and criticisms about the format and duration of the last two Diocesan Synods. Bishop Michael suggested that the letter be forwarded to the Chair of the Synod Planning Committee for consideration.
    The next scheduled Diocesan Council meeting will be Tuesday, September 14, 2010

During the coffee break new deanery rep., Jack Blachford (South Fraser on left) meets returning deanery rep., Bob Tipping (East Van)