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Saturday Morning Synod Highlights

(In order to download the PowerPoint links you will need to have PowerPoint loaded on your computer)

Christ Church Cathedral was a busy place at 6:45am, Saturday morning as Building Administrator Gordon Macdonald and Synod Planning Committee member, Dr. Anne Anthony met McCann’s caterers and helped load in many trays of fruit and goodies. Synod reconvened at 9am with Opening Worship designed by RAWWG (Renewing Anglican Worship Working Group). The music in worship led by St. Mary’s Kerrisdale, Director of Music, Brigid Coult and St. Philip’s Director of Music, Michael Murray was perfect for morning worship.
To symbolize Synod delegates meeting at the Cathedral and joining together from the four corners of the diocese, four Youth delegates each in turn, brought pitchers of water decorated with coloured cloth to pour into the Font during the singing of the hymn, Wind Upon the Waters.
The Opening Worship concluded with Bishop Michael’s address to Synod, please click the links to download the TEXT and/or AUDIO.
Next on the Synod 2011 Agenda was a presentation from internationally known stewardship expert, Terry Parsons. Click the link to read Rod Mackin's coverage of Ms. Parson's presentation.
Next on the agenda, Plan 2018 Action Group Chair, the Rev. Andrew-Wilhelm Boyles introduced the premiere showing of a documentary film profiling three missional initiatives in the Diocese of New Westminster: Ministry Assessment Process (MAP) progress and implementation in the North Vancouver deanery,the compassionate service ministries of St. Alban’s, Richmond and Messy Church at All Saints, Ladner.
The film was well received and the film is now available in three sections on youtube. Click the links.
Section three should be available soon. Click the links to view
Following the film, Andrew spoke to Synod for a few minutes about the Plan 2018 Action Group and its vision for the future based on the statement “Growing communities of faith in Jesus Christ to serve God’s mission in the world.” Click to download Andrew's Address.
Sherry Taylor of the Communications Committee took to the platform to offer a presentation based on the Website Tips document developed by Communications Officer Randy Murray and CommComm member, Rod Mackin. This document was distributed in the registration packages for the pre-Synod day, May 7th.
Sherry highlighted the Wordpress platform website recently launched by St. Thomas’, East Vancouver and illustrated that a small to medium-sized parish with limited resources was more than capable of establishing an excellent web presence. Sherry’s PowerPoint presentation is available by clicking the link. Sherry also urged Synod delegates to submit their entries for the Moving Forward in Mission Caption Contest. Loosely based on the back page of the New Yorker magazine’s cartoon caption contest, each delegate received a single sheet of printer paper with four images. These images depicted some “fairly well-known individuals with strong ties to the Diocese of New Westminster” in potentially amusing situations. Submissions were accepted up until the lunch break was called at 11:50am.
Bishop Michael, Bishop Greg and the youth of the diocese went off to the fourth floor of the YWCA building on Hornby Street for the annual “Synod Pizza Lunch” with the Bishop(s) and the CommComm members caucused and went through the 40 caption contest submissions.
After lunch, five members of CommComm gathered at the lectern with Synod Planning Committee Chair, Rev. Steve Bailey and announced the winner of the contest and four honourable mentions.
These five slides in PowerPoint format are available by clicking the link. Congratulations to Paul Woehrle, Incumbent of St. David’s, Delta who won the 1st place prize, a brand new copy of Facebook and Twitter for Seniors for Dummies.
Saturday Afternoon Synod Highlights

The afternoon business of Synod got underway with the Report of the Returning Officer, David Rolfe. David ruefully reported that he was under-employed. This year there was no need for balloting as all the nominees were elected by acclamation. Click the link for the report.
Following the report, Brand Architect and Communications Committee member Rod Mackin led Synod through a presentation related to Motion #2:

Motion: THAT the Ministry Resources Committee requests the Synod of the Diocese of New
Westminster to approve the change in name of the Diocesan Voluntary Outreach Program
from “Going the Extra Mile (GEM)” to “care ╬ share” under ‘An Initiative of the Bishop’s Fund
for Local Mission’ and, further, to implement a re-branding strategy to reinvigorate interest
and wider participation in this important initiative.
Moved by: the Ministry Resources Committee

Rod’s presentation was fast-paced, funny, thoughtful and well-constructed. A number of Synod delegates approached the microphones to offer their opinions both for and against the motion. When Bishop Michael called for the question, Synod voted and the motion was passed by a considerable majority. Rod’s PowerPoint is available by clicking the link.
Next was the Youth Presentation. Diocesan Youth Coordinator, Phil Colvin made reference to Synod 2008 and in his PowerPoint he used images from that Synod in conjunction with current images from more recent diocesan youth events to help tell the story of the recent history of the DYM (Diocesan Youth Movement). And illustrate the growth and development of the Youth Coordinator’s role in the diocese and current levels of youth ministry and involvement. After a moving and inspiring presentation, Phil reminded us that we are all youth ministers and delegates should take that message back to their parishes.

Diocesan Treasurer Ian Robertson began the Finance portion of Synod by pointing out that Synod delegates would be looking at three principle items:
Audited 2010 Financial Statements 2011 Budget approved in principle by Synod 2010, then revised and subsequently accepted by Diocesan Council in March of 2011 2012 Vision Budget
Ian Robertson introduced Michael Ashby who spoke briefly about the Audited financial statements. Michael had five minutes on the agenda to review 23 pages of financial statements and he did an excellent job. The Treasurer then went through the other two components of the financial report.
In very brief summary, for 2010 there was an estimated $90,000 deficit which turned out to be an $18,000 surplus. In 2011 the diocese is looking at a $6,000 deficit but given what happened in 2010 we may experience a more positive result. In the 2012 there is a projected deficit of $35,000 and after that the financial future becomes more difficult to predict. 
Ian pointed out that five year forecasts are becoming more and more problematic largely due to the instability caused by the 2008 World financial disruption and the ongoing financial uncertainty in the European Union.
The good news for the diocese is that Canada enjoys a relatively stable economic climate, diocesan parish assessments are stable at a growth rate of 1%, there is a thirst for spirituality and a potential for growth.
Shrinking congregations can certainly be considered a negative factor. In 1985, 15% of parishes were considered small parishes (under 50 members), currently that percentage is 23. But Ian reminded Synod that small parishes can be strong parishes, viable and sustainable.
Prior to the vote on the Motions before Synod:

• “That the 2010 Financial Statements, together with the Auditor’s Report, be received and approved as circulated.”

• “That the Revised 2011Budget be received as printed and circulated.”

• “That the 2012 Vision Budget be approved as printed and circulated.”

the Reverend Paul Woehrle went to the microphone and congratulated Ian, and Business Administrator Rob Dickson on the excellent work they’ve done in helping to organize Richmond faith communities. The faith communities successfully lobbied Richmond City Council, preventing that body from imposing draconian re-zoning changes that would’ve resulted in the devaluation of church properties up to 90% of their current values.
The three motions were carried.

Resolutions Summary
By Len Dyer

Motion #1
Motion THAT the Ministry Resources Committee recommends to the Synod of the Diocese
of New Westminster the following programs receive funding through “Going the Extra Mile
GEM” for the period January 1, 2012 through to December 31, 2013:
• Coming Home Society – Transition Worker
• Garden to Table Ministry
• Our House West Coast Society
• Street Outreach Initiative (continuance)
• West Point Grey Neighbourhood Ministry
Moved by: the Ministry Resources Committee
Motion #1 was originally the only motion on the No Debate List but it was removed from the list in the morning. Bishop Michael informed Synod that the change in status was due to a desire to discuss the motion and the initiatives seeking access to GEM funding.
Diocesan Director for Ministry and Mission Development, Rev. Douglas Fenton went to the microphone and delivered a brief but comprehensive summary of each of the initiatives recommended by MRC.
There were no further speakers.
The Motion was carried.
by Brian Walks, St. Mark's Ocean Park
The members of the 110th Synod were introduced to a re-branding of the GEM program that has been our diocesan flow through outreach initiative over the last 6 years following the wrap-up of Stewards in Action (SIA). Diocesan Communications Committee member Rod Mackin told the Synod about the importance of "branding" in this day and age. Although familiar brands such as Wal-Mart, McDonald's and Starbuck's are very familiar to us, Christians have the most identified brand on the planet--the cross.
The use of the cross with the words "care" and "share" gives a strong message of what we are do and care about as Christians. " It is about what we think" said Mackin. Mackin repeated many times over: "The cost of not giving is far greater!" Among the strong values in the re-branded "care+share":
*participation by everyone
*volunteer based front-line ministry
*100% pass-through of donations are given to people in need
*honours our values
*suggests action
*creates emotion
*consumer appeal
*there is no ambiguity
*program name is a slogan
*semantic versatility
*"The cost of not giving is far greater!"

The name change from GEM (Going the Extra Mile) to "care+share" will take place in early 2012. Although some parishes had already ordered their 2012 giving envelopes with GEM marked on them, there will be a marketing campaign to educate Anglicans of the name change. One speaker mentioned that he had never heard of GEM and said that he was looking forward to the change.

Synod passed Motion #1 which recommends that your voluntary contributions for the re-branded "care+share" will support:

*Our House West Coast Society: a recovery house that promotes a program based upon mutual self-help and self-awareness. Our House West Coast Society attempts to address these problems of addiction and homelessness as they are found in Vancouver. The program was initiated in 2006. The program requires addicts to take responsibility for directing their own recovery through a supportive framework of other addicts seeking the same objective, all of whom face and are familiar with the underlying problem. The program is one of self-help and mutual help. They live in a home of 14-15 people who live in a family setting where they meet each morning to talk about and reflect upon their personal problems and circumstances so that they may recognize and face up to the factors that led them into addiction and life on the street. The residents are encouraged to make use of spiritual resources and to choose a church of their own choice. St. Paul's in the West End is a partner with this mission.

*West Point Grey Neighbourhood Ministry: A collaborative ministry of St. Anselm's, St. Helen's and St. Philip's serving the homeless of west Point Grey and Kitsilano. Sixty volunteers from the three parishes distributed over 1500 packets of food, clothing and other necessities twice a week 52 weeks a year to those in need. The volunteers also distributed 35 gift packets last year in the second annual Christmas Eve blitz. Recipients received warm blankets, jackets and lots of hugs. Some homeless men receive communion. This ministry also helps homeless neighbours get connected to medical services, arranging for appointments, serving as contact and providing transportation. A key project for the Neighbourhood Ministry was to advocate for the homeless in our community to be housed in new government housing build in the area. They have also help their homeless neighbours complete government forms, arrange for interviews and been advocates in tenancy decisions and as contact for 35 homeless or poorly housed 40-67 year old men who have no fixed address.

*Coming Home Society Transition Worker: The care+share monies will help to fund a transition worker for this organization which Operates in partnership with Urban Native Youth Association, Young Wolves Lodge--the Society's residential alcohol and drug recovery home. During their four-month stay, their goals are to help the young women deal with their substance abuse and acquire tools to manage their lives; to strengthen their identities as Aboriginal women and their sense of spiritual and cultural belonging; to teach self-care and practical life skills; to introduce healthy forms of recreation, and to give counselling and support. If they are mothers, the goal of the Young Wolves Lodge is to help them to stay connected to their children and prepare to resume parenting them. One of the graduates of the program of the past year is now in an Office Administration training program. Another graduate is now a youth representative on the Urban Native Youth Association Board of Directors. The Coming Home Society is based at St. James Church. The Parish has gained knowledge of the issues these women face through presentations to Parish Council, Education and Formation sessions and articles in PAX, the parish newsletter.

*Garden to Table Ministry: St. Dunstan's Aldergrove Garden-to-Table Ministry provides food, food skills and companionship to hundreds of people in Aldergrove. Together, members of the parish and of the broader community will grow food in the community garden, cook food in the community kitchen and share food with others in the community. This ministry shares skills in gardening, composting and planning, cooking, nutrition and organizing. In addition to regular donations to the Aldergrove Food Bank the parishioners make and serve soup at the weekly soup kitchens. Every month, some of the parishioners have been delivering "Harvest Box" fresh fruits to families in need. St. Dunstan's hosts two free meals a month at the month which gives young families a chance to get together and socialize and participate with Messy Church. Together with other community churches including St. Andrew's, this ministry has served the wider communities of Langley and Aldergrove. This works toward the Diocesan Strategic Priorities of Building a Community of Parishes.

*Street Outreach Initiative: Father Matthew Johnson continues his ministry working with the homeless and the poor on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. His ministry over the last five years has given a strong Anglican presence as well as much needed support to the people that desperately need our help. This is a continuance of a ministry that G.E.M. has supported and is a call to serve the needy of our community.

And remember: "The cost of not giving is far greater!"

Motion #3
That the 2011 Diocesan Synod respectfully directs Bishop Michael to faithfully and earnestly
negotiate a just and timely solution that will allow the churches in dispute to continue
ministry and worship in their existing facilities and to settle any other matters that need
Moved by: George Goater
Seconded by: Darren Jespersen

Mover George Goater rose to support the motion. His assertions included that current actions of the diocese were not in accord with scripture, caused delays in worship, and that the Diocese of Ottawa had negotiated settlements with two parishes regarding the same issue. The question was raised by the mover as to why the diocese would want to continue to pursue recovery of the buildings when it could not support them after their return to the Diocese of New Westminster. The mover suggested joint use of the properties.
George Cadman, Chancellor, rose to clarify issues regarding the mover’s assertions. Numerous speakers rose to discuss the Motion, with the majority being in favour of defeating the motion.
The Motion was defeated.
Bishop Michael then spoke to emphasize the point that the Diocese has always welcomed parishioners of dissident parishes to re-join us, but the clergy of these parishes had relinquished their licences in the Anglican Church of Canada and had affiliated with other jurisdictions outside the Diocese.

Motion #4
That Synod
a) supports the initiative of those Anglicans within the Diocese of New Westminster,
including Ven. John Stephens and Rev. Patrick Blaney, who are examining and
exploring the possibility of creating a school which is identifiably Anglican and which
has a relationship with the Diocese of New Westminster; and
b) requests Ven. John Stephens and Rev. Patrick Blaney or others named by them to
provide to the 2012 regular Synod a report and a presentation regarding the
possibility of creating such a school.
Moved by: John Stephens
Seconded by: Patrick Blaney

A large number of speakers rose to support the Motion. Main points in favour were that other faith-based schools exist for students wishing to be taught with a background in Christian values; that there should be an integration of education and faith, in spite of the awareness many would still have of our own past unfavourable involvements. Others spoke in favour with a view to variable modalities being incorporated in the educational experience enhancing wholesomeness of the students. There were those who supported at least an exploration into the concept.
Negatively, some spoke against the concept, citing the need to maintain our values and be present in order to facilitate change in the public system.
The Motion was carried.

Motion #5
THAT Synod requests the Diocesan Council to cause a review to be carried out for the purpose of:
a) considering the real impact of our current assessment formula on our parishes; and
b) determining whether the current assessment formula should be changed to make parish assessments reflect only the ordinary revenue stream from congregations without rolling over special gifts and bequests or capital dispositions into the three-year assessment average,
with a view to completing the review in time to submit any necessary resolutions arising from such review to the 2012 Synod.
Moved: Peter Buurman
Seconded: Allan McDowall

Peter Buurman spoke to his Motion. He emphasized the effect of ‘spikes’ in income causing skewed parish assessments over a period of three years, which he considered not equitable.
Rob Dickson, Diocesan Business Manager agreed that the Motion was entirely in order, and further that the issue should be examined. He clarified the effect of large monetary inputs being held in reserves such as in capital campaigns until redirected into operating accounts, and then they are assessable.
A number of persons rose to support or further discuss the matter.
The mover suggested the possibility of the assessment percentage rising if proper controls not put in place.
The Motion was carried.

Synod Partner Bishop Greg Mohr’s Reflections
Bishop Greg began by saying that “Lutheran’s and Anglican’s share a love of coffee.”
Bishop Greg encouraged Synod to consider longer Synod meetings of two or three days so that we can spend more time together enjoying an extended “coffee time.”
He went on to speak about the issues facing the ELCIC and the similarities with the ACoC. He asked for the prayers of Synod in support of the ELCIC moving forward with some of their issues.
He thanked Synod again for the hospitality he has been shown and made reference to the recent 10 year anniversary of Full Communion between our two churches.
Bishop Greg paused and thought for a moment and then he said,
“There is a fair amount of hope in this room.” Our future is assured in the love of Jesus Christ.”
He went on to say that he was impressed with Synod’s ability to laugh and to laugh at ourselves and he guarantees that the next Lutheran Synod will contain a caption contest.
Bishop Greg was impressed that we look ahead in mission and ministry and he has encouraged the Lutheran Church to consider seriously programs like the Ministry Assessment Process (MAP).
He is impressed that we are working on Plan 2018 implementation as many are just planning for 2012.
When he encounters youth, both Anglican and Lutheran youth he is confident that the future of our churches is in good hands. The churches may be smaller but they will be committed, engaged and active.
Bishop Greg encouraged Synod to elect and involve young people to leadership.
He spoke of examples of youth being in positions of responsibility and of intergenerational engagement in the Lutheran church.
One area that he didn’t hear about at Synod was the need to engage young families in our neighbourhoods. Lutheran churches in neighbourhoods with lots of young families need to look at hiring pastoral personnel who are willing to “drink a lot of coffee” and “drink a lot of beer,” move out of the churches and minister in places like coffee shops and pubs where people gather.
Bishop Greg observed that we both have a love of acronyms even though it has taken him a number of years to be comfortable with Anglican jargon.
Bishop Greg finished with a story and the message to be taken from that story was this “when we are assembling committees to help do the work of the church we should make it a priority to establish a Committee of Joy.

In Conclusion
Prior to the closing worship the Reverend Stephen Bailey announced that the 111th Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster would take place May 11th and 12th of 2012. Friday the 11th the Synod will convene mid-morning then continue on Saturday the 12th for the day long business meeting.
Bishop Michael presided over the Synod Commissioning Rite. Following the Commissioning of New Ministries a hymn was sung and the Oils for baptism and healing were distributed. Bishop Michael adjourned the 110th Synod at 4:50pm.
Images: Top left, pouring water from the four corners. Middle right, the officer's and secretary's table.
Middle right, Michael Ashby. Lower left Rev. Douglas Fenton speaks to Motion #1. Below, Bishop Greg Mohr's reflections.