How old is “youth”? That’s a question that will return to Diocesan Synod next year.

Diocesan youth report on recent mission to Guatemala

Youth delegates as well as others were split on the motion, some arguing that raising the age would eliminate teenagers from delegate status at synods. They said including teens was the point of creating youth delegates about 20 years ago. Others argued that many participants in youth groups in the diocese are in their early 20s.

The synod resolved that in the choice of youth delegates parishes would be asked to give “preference” to teenagers. Exactly how that would be done was left to the Constitution and Canons Committee, which was asked to bring a draft revision of the delegate selection canon to synod next year.

The Synod also accepted the recommendation of a Task Force on Reconciliation within the diocese as delegates agreed individually to write to clergy and wardens of the five parishes that remain within the diocese but are refusing to participate in most diocesan activities – including synods – as they continue to protest the 2002 decision to bless same sex unions.

In other resolutions, Diocesan Synod did the following:

  • Directed Diocesan Council and requested the Bishop appoint a task force to consult with the people of the diocese and report to Synod 2006 with recommendations for diocesan policy regarding allocation of physical resources. This motion was presented by the Task Force on Diocesan Ministry and Outreach.
  • Commended to leaders of each parish in the diocese the value of appointing an Environmental Steward to work with the Environmental Task Force to raise the profile of environmental issues within their respective parishes.
  • Confirmed and adopted the Companion Diocesan Agreement with the Diocese of Taiwan for an additional five years from 2005 to 2010.
  • Instructed the Committee on Messages to convey to the Chief and Council of the First Nation on whose lands Diocesan Synod met its greetings and thanks for their hospitality.

Two items were sent to Diocesan Council for action after time ran out:

  • A request that the Bishop communicate to the House of Bishops and the General Synod the pastoral provision in place to accommodate those of differing points of view on matters relating to the blessing of same-sex unions.
  • A statement that the Diocesan Synod urged the Council of General Synod and the Primate to ensure the continuing participation of Canadian representatives in future meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council.