Friday May 14th, 2010
The 109th Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster opened on Friday evening, May 14th with worship at Christ Church Cathedral. 147 Lay delegates and 76 Clergy delegates registered prior to the liturgy and the convening of the 109th Synod.
Bishop Michael accompanied by Chancellor George Cadman informed the congregation that they were no longer Synod Delegates but Members of Synod and as Members of Synod their charge is to listen to the Holy Spirit and listen to one another.
The music in worship was led by Christ Church Cathedral Organist and Director of Music Rupert Lang. Rupert conducted the Cathedral Choir which was supported by The Touch of Brass Quintet. Click on the link to download Bishop Michael’s May 14th, sermon
Synod reconvened at 9am on Saturday morning, May 15th.
Alex Starr stacking the pads at registration
After opening worship, Synod welcomed this year's Synod partner, Rabbi Dr. Robert Daum, an Associate Professor at VST and the Director of the Iona Pacific Inter-Religious Centre
Dr. Daum focused on his particular journeying "out into the neighbourhood" today manifested by his participation in this Anglican Church event.
He told the congregation of rumours that had gone through his circle prompted by past involvement in Inter-Religious dialogue that he was becoming an Anglican, rumours that he thought he had dispelled. However, he mused that his presence today means he may have to do that again.
Rabbi Daum said that we "peoples of the book" need to do some work on how we read the scriptures before we go out into the neighbourhood. He presented biblical examples of Old Testament stories that on cursory reading present "terrifying tales." Many people in our "neighbourhood" believe that religion breeds violence based on the contents of the scriptures we read
Rabbi Daum reflected on Alan Roxburgh's teaching to go out into the neighbourhood and the Rabbi wondered what he will need to take with him for that journey or maybe and more importantly what he should leave behind.
Rabbi Daum's command of history and his ability to both juxtapose and to connect religious culture of 2000 years ago with the Missional Church paradigm of today made for a fascinating and thought-provoking address.
He did however take issue with Roxburgh's reference to the Jewish Temple Box
and worries that this does not nurture understanding between faiths which we all need as we, "People of Faith" go out into the neighbourhood. To download a text copy of Rabbi Dr. Robert Daum’s address
please click on the link.
2009 Financial Statements
Diocesan Treasurer Ian Robertson assisted by Business Administrator, Rob Dickson, Assistant Treasurer Jim Stewart and Diocesan Comptroller, Mark Beley led the Synod through the Financial Statements for 2009. These audited statements and the audited report were supplied to Members of Synod in hard-copy form.
Rob Dickson read the Auditors Report to the Synod as a way of introducing the current diocesan financial situation to the Bishop and Members of Synod.
He pointed out that it was a “Clean Audit.”
Rob directed Members of Synod to some of the more important line items, including the accumulated budget surplus for 2009.
The surplus reflects the turnaround by the financial markets following the 2008 financial crisis, stewardship of diocesan resources by Synod staff, and the reduction in Synod staff of four part-time positions. The decision to move Synod from the Cap College gym to St. Mary's Kerrisdale in 2009 and cut the length of Synod by one day saved in excess of 25,000.
The 109th Synod unanimously received the 2009 audited statements as presented.
Our Diocesan Budget – 2010 Revised Budget & 2011 Vision Budget
Treasurer Ian Robertson then took the podium to guide Members of Synod through the budgets.
He led Members of Synod through a power point presentation offering an explanation of the Budget for 2010 and the Vision Budget for 2011 as background information prior to presenting a motion to Synod to receive the two Budget proposals.
One of the highlights of the 2010 budget is a new position in Rev. Paul Borthistle's Parish Support Ministries department. The budget allows for the hiring of a new part-time staff member to assist in the field, helping to guide parishes engaged in MAP
(the Ministry Assessment Process) and PMR (Parish Mission Reviews).
Ian also explained that there have been funds put aside to deal with the three deficit budgets:
· 2009 - $27,000
· 2010 - $91,000
· 2011 - $37,000.
As 2009 is now completed, the expected deficit of $125,000 due to the instability in the money markets turned out to be greatly reduced thanks to the concentrated efforts by the Business Administrator's office and the fact that equity and money markets did bounce back in Canada in 2009.
In the above image - Treasurer - Ian Robertson
Questions and comments from Members of Synod.
1. It was suggested that diocesan funding for the Education for Ministry program be moved from Outreach and Mission to Program.
2. Two members commented on reinstating Continuing Education funding for Clergy and Synod Staff.
3. A Synod Member commented that the part-time Synod position to support Eco-Justice ministry had been eliminated but that a new position was being added in the Parish Program department. The question was "Does this indicate a change in direction?"
Synod voted that the 2010 revised budget be approved as circulated.
Two Synod Members spoke to the 2011 Vision Budget:
1. A Synod Member suggested that D of NW finance people look at re-establishing a curacy program in the diocese and also plan to put money aside to provide relief for seminary students who are spending huge amounts of money pursuing their call to ordained ministry.
2. Another Synod Member congratulated the finance team on a clear and well crafted presentation and then voiced her hope that Diocesan Synod return to its 2 day format that was reduced to 1 day in 2009.
Synod also voted that the 2011 vision budget be received as circulated.
Click NARRATIVE BUDGET to download a copy of the 2010 document
Diocesan Council’s Strategic Planning Steering Group (SPSG)
Diocesan Council's SPSG put forward a presentation in power point and film (the film was an address from Dr. Alan Roxburgh the principal speaker at the April 17th pre-Synod Conference "Moving Back into the Neighbourhood" and his video address
was viewed in two sections).
Please click the link to view the film. Above we see SPSG members Liz Cullen and Jeremy Clark-King beginning the presentation.
The SPSG through pictures and stories led Members of Synod through 150 years of Anglican Ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster, punctuating each era by singing a verse of a hymn associated with that particular era.
On right -The Rev. John Sheepshanks, first cleric appointed to New Westminster 150 years ago
At the conclusion of this historical analysis of mission in the D of NW, Bishop Michael contributed to the discussion by offering a personal reflection
. Please click on the link to download a copy of Bishop Michael’s reflection.
Following Bishop Michael, Dean Peter Elliott the Co-Chair of the SPSG instructed the Members of Synod in a pew exercise where the following three questions where discussed.
1. What did mission first mean to you?
2. How has your understanding of mission changed over time.
3. What questions/reflections do you have for the future of mission in our parishes and diocese.
The Dean gave the plenary 12 minutes to turn to their neighbours and discuss the three questions but asked them to be prepared to come up to the microphones and share the experience of discussing question number 3.
For 15 minutes Christ Church Cathedral buzzed with conversation.
More than 2 dozen Members of Synod responded to Dean Peter Elliott's request to respond to question number 3 by stepping up to the microphones and speaking out.
The responses were wide ranging:
· "we must reach out as Christians not Anglicans"
· "we need to look to the global south and we in the north need to listen to the south"
· "it is for us, our job to go out into the streets and talk to people and expand God's Kingdom"
· "faith communities can be forums for dialogue"
· "we need to return to visual representations of our faith communities, seasonal displays, bells, a visual neighbourhood presence"
· "people of faith should become an us and a we, as all people of faith combined are less than half the population of BC"
· "Mission is one of those terms with a lot of historical baggage"
· "be followers of Jesus, not people who tell the world about church dogma"
· "if you want true dialogue with others you must ultimately be completely transformed yourself without an agenda"
· " going out into the neighbourhood in new forms and spaces is not always going to be revenue producing. Are we prepared to face these changes? Part with our buildings?"
· "the ghost of the evangelical past of going out to love people to bring them back instead of just going out to love"
· 'in missional life, listening is key but listening can be terrifying as we may not be prepared for what we hear"
· "it's time to change direction from mission being outward to inward, transformation and dealing with our own woundedness first before we go out into the word"
· "we must go back home and wake up the people we have left behind"
· 'when we do mission in our community we must continue to focus on what is needed now. do mission out of conviction and love and faith and not for what we can get out of it"
Bishop MIchael, Rabbi Robert and Dean Peter discuss mission
SPSG Co-Chair Jane Osler, Archdeacon of Fraser, the Venerable Stephen Rowe and Chair of the Ordained Ministry Division, the Venerable John Struthers communicated a list of achievements, initiatives and events on the horizon that have come to be or have been planned because of Plan 2018.
Please click on the link to download a pdf copy of this segment of the Synod presentation
A great deal of this report encouraged Members of Synod to investigate the Road to 2018 events that have been planned over the next 6 months.
Visit the 2018 webpage
on the Diocesan website or look for Road to 2018 promotional materials in parish mailings.
Bishop Michael wrapped up the presentation by thanking Peter Elliott, Jane Osler, Mike Burpee and Marcia Sauder who are stepping down from leadership in this work.
The four outgoing SPSG members received a well deserved ovation by Synod.
Bishop Michael and the Youth Members of Synod enjoyed a luxurious pizza lunch in the boardroom of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Thanks to the brilliant negotiating of Synod Planning Committee member, Jane Dittrich, the meal was drastically discounted by the Hotel as a courtesy to the Cathedral and the diocese. After the lunch break Bishop Michael reconvened Synod at 1pm.
Bishop Michael and Rabbi Robert take some time to chat before returning for the afternoon session
Report of the Returning Officer
The first item on the agenda was the report from the Returning Officer, David Rolfe who voiced his disappointment at not receiving a free lunch this year. David reported that all diocesan officers for 2010 were elected by acclamation except for a tightly contested race involving two candidates in South Fraser.
Report of the Returning Officer
Ian Robertson (acclamation)
Clerical Secretary to Synod
Karin Fulcher (acclamation)
Lay Secretary to Synod
DIOCESAN COUNCIL DEANERY REPRESENTATIVES
David Nash (acclamation)
Carol Passmore (acclamation)
Bonnie Paetkau (acclamation)
East Vancouver Deanery
Bob Tipping (acclamation)
Granville/Point Grey Deanery
Elsie Stevens (for two year term)
Richard Leggett (for one year term)
North Vancouver Deanery
Dana Bowman (acclamation)
Roger Farrier (acclamation)
South Fraser Deanery
Roger Cooper (acclamation)
Reinhard Rudersdorfer (acclamation)
Youth Delegate to Diocesan Council
Geoffrey Martin (acclamation)
Anglican Initiatives Fund Administrator (Clergy)
Kelly Duncan (acclamation following the withdrawal of the other candidate)
Anglican Initiatives Fund Administrator (Lay)
Russ Harding (acclamation)
Bishops Advisory Committee on Appointments (Clergy)
Neil Gray (acclamation)
Bishops Advisory Committee on Appointments (Lay)
Moira Morgan (acclamation)
Board of Discipline (Clergy)
Board of Discipline (Lay)
Rosemarie Bundock (acclamation)
Anne Schreck (acclamation)
Monte Worthington (acclamation)
What Happened to the Churches?
After the election results, the next 45 minutes of the afternoon session were dedicated to the story of the selling of two Japanese Canadian Mission Churches by the Diocese of New Westminster: Church of the Ascension founded and built in 1935 in the Pennyfarthing neighbourhood near Granville Island and sold by the diocese in 1945, and Holy Cross founded in 1904 and located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and sold by the diocese in 1949.
Prior to the internment of Japanese Canadians by the Federal Government in 1942, there were approximately 1,500 Japanese Canadian Anglicans worshipping at these churches. The presentation included a short documentary film entitled “Relinquished – Understanding, then Reconciliation.” The film offered an explanation of what happened and provided some context for understanding that the decisions to sell the churches by the Diocese of New Westminster without consultation with the community caused and continue to cause many people a lot of pain. Both the Diocese of New Westminster and the Japanese Canadian -Vancouver Consultative Council (JC –VCC) hoped that bringing this story to light may create an environment where reconciliation with the Japanese Canadian Anglicans affected by these events becomes possible.
The film includes interview footage of members of the Japanese Canadian community telling their stories. Including Joy Kogawa on left and Basil Izumi on right
The Reverend Dr. Cyril Powles responded to the film on behalf of the group formed to support the Japanese Canadian Anglicans, the aforementioned JC-VCC. Please click the link to download a pdf copy of the
Bishop Michael then presented an apology to the Japanese Canadian Anglican Community on behalf of the Diocese of New Westminster past and present. Please click the link to download a copy of Bishop Michael’s Statement of Apology
Whereas we being a Christian Community are obligated to prevent the very public and acrimonious legal dispute between the Diocese of New Westminster and the Churches in dispute from further embarrassing and diminishing the whole Christian Community; and because such disputes are:
- Contrary to Scripture.
- Detrimental to Christs' Salvation Gospel to the world.
- Confuses and saddens our Brothers and Sisters in both the world wide Anglican Church and other Denominations.
- Trivializes our voice in the World.
- Are both irrelevant and counter-productive in a time of actual and planned Church closures in this Diocese.
- Are a total waste of scarce Time, Talent and Treasure, better used in other activities.
Therefore it is moved that the 2010 Diocesan Synod respectfully direct the Bishop to, faithfully and earnestly negotiate a just and timely solution that will allow the Churches in dispute to indefinitely continue Ministry and Worship in their existing Facilities'.
Moved by: George Goater
Seconded by: Lyn Stringer
Numerous Members of Synod spoke to this resolution with the majority speaking against the motion. Two youth members of Synod responded to the motion by suggesting that the motion may open doors to understanding in the future and suggested shifting our perceived focus on buildings to respect for, and acceptance of, the priests who lead the ANiC congregations as they haven't left the "church" but have chosen a different path.
The motion was defeated by a substantial majority.
Whereas a special Synod in 2005 approved the dioceses budgeting to include the cost of much of the work formerly supported by Stewards in Action, thus adding to the basic diocesan assessment plus the Diocesan growth fund assessment.
And whereas such expenditures seem primarily to be in one area of the diocese. And whereas the assessment base of the diocese is shrinking due to a decrease in the number of parishes.
And whereas Synod 2009 affirmed plan 2018 which called upon parishes to be mission minded rather than maintenance minded.
And whereas such focus requires parishes to cooperate with other Christians to impact their communities, which results in the need for funding to support new missions.
Therefore it is moved that the 2010 Synod directs diocesan budget and financial committee members to introduce some radical changes to the current financial administration of the diocese to significantly reduce parish assessments thus enabling parishes to engage actively in mission to their community.
Moved by: George Goater
Seconded by:Tony Houghton
A good number of Members of Synod responded to the motion but the majority spoke against the motion. The majority feeling according to the comments was that the Anglican Church is not a congregational church, but a "family," a diocesan church. Energy should be focused on financial support for churches at the parish level and from that support and growth the work of the diocese can flourish.
There are however concerns in some parishes that paying assessments at the current rates, helping to move mission forward through diocesan programs negatively impacts their ability to do mission and ministry at the parish level.
The motion was defeated by a substantial majority.
RESOLVED THAT Regulation 12 (PARISH ASSESSMENTS AND DIOCESAN GROWTH FUND) Part 4 (DIOCESAN GROWTH FUND) Section 4.2 be amended as follows (new provisions in italics):
4.2 The purposes of the Diocesan Growth Fund shall be [a] for the 2010 to 2013 fiscal years, to provide such financial support to the Diocese as may be approved by Synod in its budgetary approval process and[b] to the support of existing and new Parishes and Missions based on the criteria set by Diocesan Council from time to time. Synod may direct Diocesan Council on appropriate criteria.
• Moved by: Diocesan Council
• Seconded by: not required
RESOLVED THAT the first sentence of paragraph 1402 of the Canons be amended by deleting the words "or mailed" and replacing them with "mailed or sent electronically" so that the sentence will now read (changes in italics):
1402. Meeting of the Vestry shall be called by the Minister or one of the Wardens by notice in writing picked up, delivered, mailed or sent electronically to all those persons on the Membership Roll of the Parish, at least fourteen days prior to the date fixed for the Vestry Meeting.
• Moved by: Constitution and Canons Committee
• Seconded by: not required
That this Synod recommends to the Federal Government that, in a spirit of generosity, that the present requirement for approved refugees to pay back 100% of their family’s air fare costs of travel to this country be cancelled immediately and retroactively.
• Moved by: Rev. Lynne McNaughton
• Seconded by: Alison Watt
That nominations for the position of Lay Secretary be re-opened and remain open to 4:00 p.m Tuesday June 1, 2010, that nomination be made by delivery in writing to the Clerical Secretary, and that the position of Lay Secretary be filled by election by members of Diocesan Council.
• Moved by:Donald Paul, Registrar
• Seconded by:Jennifer Dezell, Legal Assessor
Motions 4, 5, 6, and 7 were passed by a very substantial majority.
Synod Partner’s Reflection
Rabbi Dr. Robert Daum reported that he was inspired by his attendance at Synod and the Synod’s energy and dedication and intention to be a “Missional Church.”
Ordinarily Rabbi Daum leaves his cel phone turned off on the Sabbath but as today was an unusual Sabbath for him he kept his phone turned on and answered a call that came through from a Muslim colleague. He couldn’t help reflecting that, here he was on the
Sabbath receiving a cel phone call from a Muslim while in an Anglican Church.
This experience truly illustrated being in a liminal space.
Rabbi Daum reported on his growing experiences with groups currently forming in Vancouver that promote and nurture Inter-Religious dialogue.
Rabbi Daum told Members of Synod that although it may be a difficult and a somewhat contradictory proposition ours is an “Inter-Subjective” mission, to know the other, to seek the other and to be transformed by the other.
He ended his address by offering a blessing on Synod from “Our Shared God.”
His closing reflection was greeted with a sincere and spontaneous ovation causing Bishop Michael to quip that Rabbi Dr. Robert Daum will likely be the most sought after preacher at Anglican churches for quite some time.
Rabbi Daum’s reflection was followed by: “Thanks” given by Rev. Elizabeth Northcott, the commissioning of the newly elected Diocesan Officers, a hymn and the meeting ended with the Bishop’s blessing at 3:50pm
Rupert Lang accompanying the closing hymn
Many thanks to Martin Knowles and Jane Dittrich for the photographs