Please find a copy of the Resolutions (1-12) approved, withdrawn or referred attached below. As of this date only Resolution 1 has received official assent from Archbishop Skelton.
We hope you find this brief summary helpful, however you are encouraged to download the document for further study. Many thanks to Chair, the Venerable Kevin Hunt and the Resolutions Committee for assembling these motions.
The 119th Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster with the theme, Love One Another: Christ’s Body, the Church had a very full agenda. Much of the agenda involved consultation and the sharing of information about the important topics that would be the subject of Resolutions brought before Synod.
Resolution Number 1 addressed the Diocesan Constitution and Canons revision. The revision journey began over a year ago in April of 2018, with the commissioning of a Working Group. The Group worked very hard and put in long hours culminating with the creation of a draft that was brought to the diocese through two information sessions in March of 2019 and a short film that featured working group member, Kevin Smith pointing out the highlights of the revision with a focus on the rationale and the revised content. On Day 1 of Synod, May 24, members of the working group addressed Synod, asking for feedback from the members. There were a number of thoughtful and insightful questions and comments brought forward during this plenary session. Notes were taken by the 3 of the 4 presenting members: Archdeacon Alan Perry of the Diocese of Edmonton, Archdeacon Richard Leggett of our diocese and the aforementioned Kevin Smith, a lawyer by profession who worships and is in leadership at Christ Church Cathedral.
Members of the Working Group caucused that evening and in a working session the questions and comments were collated in a document and addressed by the Working Group. The assembly of that document for print and distribution the next day was quarterbacked by Working Group and Diocesan Council member Jane Hope.
On Day 2, Archdeacon Douglas Fenton, Executive Archdeacon of the diocese and the principal staff support for the project went through the report. His examination was punctuated by additional information from the other three reporting members and their finding was that none of the comments or questions rose to the level of substantive change needed. So after about 30 minutes the question was asked and Resolution 1 was carried by a large majority of Synod Members. Chancellor George Cadman, QC, ODNW informed Synod that with this motion carried and the assent of the Archbishop the new Constitution and Canons would become active as of 12:01am May 26. The archbishop gave her assent, a standing ovation was given to the Working Group and all the members of the Group present at Synod stepped up on the dais to be acknowledged.
Resolution Number 2 and Number 3 were motions that had been approved at the 117th Synod in 2017 and required second reading. They were approved.
In a nutshell, Resolution Number 4 is about what kinds of revenue are exempt from Diocesan Assessment. The resolution proposed excluded from parishes’ Operating Receipts (which is an amount used to calculate the parish’s assessment amount), any grants or allocations received from the diocese. During the discussion time, the Rev. David Edgerton asked whether this resolution would also exclude from Parish Operating Receipts any grant money received from other organizations besides the diocese. Treasurer Bob Hardy responded that it was not excluded which led to a robust discussion about this resolution and an amendment that added additional exempted revenue sources (other forms of grants) was put forward by the Reverend Lindsay Hills, Rector of St. Mary’s, Kerrisdale. The amendment was passed and the motion carried with a substantial majority.
Resolution 5 moved by the Venerable Al Carson, now Archdeacon of Lougheed and continuing Rector of St. John Sardis and seconded by the Reverend Vivian Seegers ordained leader of the Urban Aboriginal Ministry headquartered out of St. Mary Magdalene was arguably the most compelling of the 12. Following some information given by the Chancellor about how the Resolution would need to be considered in the context of the governance of the diocese, the word “direct” in the original version was replaced with “requests”. Chancellor Cadman made it clear that this motion now approved by Synod will need to go to Diocesan Council and the details discussed and worked out by the standing committees, Management, Finance and Property (MFP) and Mission and Ministry Development (MMD). Not surprisingly there was a good deal of discussion that resulted with the inclusion of Metis and Inuit peoples in the document and this resolution involving the reparations to Indigenous peoples sourced from funds of some past and all future property sales was passed by a strong majority.
Resolution 6 was passed by Synod during the morning session of Day 2. The Chair of Mission and Ministry Development (MMD), the Reverend David Edgerton of St. George, Maple Ridge gave a brief outline of the decision making process that resulted in the committee’s decision to forward the care+share flow-through giving revenue administrated by diocesan staff to Urban Aboriginal Ministry (UAM). UAM will be the solitary recipient of care+share donations in 2020 and 2021. There were four other applicants. The decision to select just one ministry was guided by the reality that care+share giving has dropped off substantially and not splitting up this diminishing pot is the best solution. Speaking to the motion, the Reverend Laurel Dykstra, Gathering Priest of Salal and Cedar Watershed Discipleship ministry, a current recipient of care+share funds said that a good solution to getting more ministries involved as recipients would be to give generously to care+share.
Resolution 7 was another resolution similar to Resolution 1 in that it received substantial advance agenda time during Synod. The resolution involves the affirmation of “A Word to the Church: Considering the proposed amendment of Marriage Canon 21” of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada. This Word to the Church was passed by consensus by the Council of General Synod on March 16, 2019. Presenting on its behalf was the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Most Reverend Fred Hiltz. In a 35 minute address he commended the content of the document to the plenary who were then asked to discuss the document. The table group discussions took place before lunch and prior to Noon Day Prayers, Archbishop Skelton took the metaphorical temperature of Synod, asking the plenary to indicate by a show of hands on a 5 point scale of enthusiasm how they were feeling about affirming the document. The level of affirmation was considerable.
During the scheduled resolutions period on Saturday afternoon, the Reverend Stephen Rowe moved the motion. There was significant discussion, primarily around Affirmation #2 subtitled “Diverse Understandings of the Existing Canon” which is a follows:
We affirm that, while there are different understandings of the existing Marriage Canon, those bishops and synods who have authorized liturgies for the celebration and blessing of a marriage between two people of the same sex understand that the existing Canon does not prohibit same-sex marriage.
A suggested amendment regarding the word “affirm” was moved by the Reverend Karl Przywala, Rector of Holy Trinity, Vancouver which was defeated, however it is important to note that the discussion around the proposed amendment was civil and thoughtful on both sides.
Archbishop Skelton indicated that she was very grateful for the discussion around this resolution, its affirmation and the information shared will help her in her decision making process moving forward.
Fifteen year old Levi Saunders of Christ Church Cathedral moved Resolution 8 which asks the diocese to directly, intentionally and rapidly address Climate Change. Levi had many supporters standing with him and a number of them spoke in support of the motion. There were two wordsmithing amendments that were met with approval. The Reverend David Price of All Saints’, Agassiz offered to withdraw his Resolution Number 10 and include it as a friendly amendment to Resolution 8. That was approved.
Due to the restrictions of time Resolution 9, 11 and 12 were referred to Diocesan Council.
Archdeaconry Representatives to Diocesan Council
Youth Representatives to Diocesan Council (two to be elected)
The Board of Discipline
Clergy Members of the Board of Discipline (three to be elected)
Lay Members of the Board of Discipline (three to be elected)
The Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Appointments
Clergy Members (three to be elected)
Lay Members (three to be elected)
Anglican Initiatives Fund
Clerical Administrators (two to be elected)
Lay Administrators (two to be elected)
Bob Hardy, ODNW will be returning for another term as Treasurer. He will be celebrating 10 years as Treasurer in 2020.
Returning Archdeaconry representatives include: the Reverend Eileen Nurse, the Reverend Robin Ruder-Celiz, Jane Hope, Sharon Grove, Jade Martin Seedhouse and Archdeacons Douglas Fenton and Richard Leggett.
Archdeacons Fenton and Leggett were selected at Synod from the group of nine consisting of the Dean of the Diocese and the eight Archdeacons. Dean Peter Elliott facilitated the selection process with his colleagues.