For the first time in years, Diocesan Synod dealt with all the resolutions put before it. They passed them all - sometimes with amendments.

Usually leftover resolutions go for decision to the Synod’s executive, Diocesan Council, but this year all 13 submitted were dealt with on the floor.

It helped that only a few were at all contentious. Motion 11, that the Synod affirm part of a statement of the House of Bishops, which relating to homosexuality, caused some argument, but a near unanimous Synod wanted to state that in this diocese the major sacraments of Baptism and Communion, and the minor sacrament of will never be refused on the basis of sexual orientation to gay or lesbian parishioners, or their children. (See separate story).

A motion expressing regret that the Archbishop of Canterbury failed to invite Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire to the 2008 Lambeth Conference passed without debate. Robinson is a gay man in an open homosexual relationship.

There was some concern about mandatory anti-racism training for diocesan clergy, and a proposal that all clergy be required to learn a contemporary language not their first. But Synod agreed that these measures should be studied by diocesan committees.

The resolutions, which all passed (some after amendment), are the following:

1. That this Synod receive “Making Ministry Happen,” the report of the Diocesan Task Force on Physical Resources.

2. That this Synod

a) Adopt the Ministry Assessment Process (MAP) as presented in Appendix 1 of the report;

b) Direct Diocesan Council to:

i) Appoint an interim steering committee to implement the MAP;

ii) Make such regulations and establish procedures as are necessary for implementation of the MAP; and

iii) Develop a diocesan vision and strategic plan on a priority basis, and that the MAP be amended to incorporate the diocesan vision and strategic plan once completed.

3. That this Synod call upon each parish to create an Energy Label documenting energy consumption, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and targets for energy reduction, and that these labels be publicly posted on church property and on church websites.

4. That this Synod:

i. Request the Ministry Resources Committee, in collaboration with diocesan Units and our ecumenical and inter-faith partners, to make available suitable educational and theological materials regarding the Millennium Development Goals for diocesan, parish or regional use;

ii. Request the Bishop to write to the Prime Minister calling on him to honour Federal Government commitments made to implement a plan, including budgetary measures, to achieve the UN target of 0.7% of Gross National Income for Official Development Assistance by 2015.

5. That Synod accept the recommendation of the Ministry Resources Committee (MRC) to adopt the Street Outreach Initiative, the 127 Society for Housing, and the Coming Home Society for inclusion and support in Going the Extra Mile (GEM) for 2008 and 2009.

6. That this Synod:

i.indicate its commitment to ending homelessness in Canada by supporting the development of a national social housing action plan to provide housing for those with low income who have special needs, are homeless or unable to afford market housing;

ii.ask the Bishop to write the leaders of the political parties currently represented in the House of Commons urging their support for the creation of a national social housing action plan with appropriate funding; and

iii.send this motion as a memorial to General Synod.

7. That this Synod:

i. strongly affirm the need for an independent gambling research institute in British Columbia to determine the nature and extent of individual, family and social problems related to gambling addiction ;

ii. call upon the Bishop to convey to the Province of British Columbia our concerns about social issues related to gambling, and to urge the provincial government to establish an independent gambling research institute; and

iii. relay its concerns to the Provincial Synod of British Columbia and Yukon and to urge the Provincial Synod to take up these matters on behalf of the Anglican Church in this Province.

8. That this Synod request the Human Resources Implementation Task Force to develop guidelines for mandatory anti-racism training for all diocesan clergy, diocesan employees, churchwardens, and members of Diocesan Council by Synod 200

9. That this Synod recommend to Diocesan Council to formulate a plan and allocate resources to engage intentionally in developing multicultural ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster on both diocesan and parochial levels, and that this plan and resources include the development of a program to assist clergy in acquiring proficiency in a contemporary language other than their first language, by Synod 2009.

10. That this Synod regrets Archbishop Williams’ decision not to include Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, USA in the invitations to attend the 2008 Lambeth Conference and instructs the Secretaries of this Synod on its behalf to write to the Archbishop and respectfully request that he reconsider that decision and include Bishop Robinson in the invitations.

11. That this Synod affirm that in the Diocese of New Westminster:

• No one will be denied Baptism on the basis of their sexual orientation or marital status, or the sexual orientation or marital status of their parents; and

• No baptized Christian will be denied Communion or Confirmation because of being in a committed homosexual relationship or because of their marital status.

12. That this Synod encourage all Christians to prepare a Will reflecting their gratitude to God for the gifts they have enjoyed, making prudent provision for their dependents and leaving bequests for religious and charitable purposes as a final act of faith and thanksgiving.

13. That this Synod request Diocesan Council and the relevant Standing Committees to implement motion 10 of the 105th Session of Synod, and to make provision for a Diocesan Youth Minister in the 2009 Vision Budget.