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Under the capable leadership of Synod Planning Chair, Simon Johnston (member of Holy Trinity, White Rock), preparations for the 116th Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster have begun. Synod is the legislative body of the Diocese. Clergy and lay delegates from the parishes gather to take counsel with others for the governing of our church, to listen to one another and the Holy Spirit and to take a course of action together.

The 2015 Synod, to be held May 22 and 23 at the Italian Cultural Centre, will reflect a number of changes in the Diocese. Notably, as per decisions of Synod 2014, this will be the last annual Synod. After this May, the Diocese will next gather as Synod in 2017. In the alternative year, a Mission Conference, with an open invitation to the whole Diocese, will be held.

Over the two day event, the 2015 Synod’s theme of [be]longing will be explored alongside various business matters of the Diocese. Three elements of [be]longing will be explored on Friday: (1) longing for community, (2) longing for God, and (3) longing for an authentic Anglican expression of Christianity.

Saturday’s focus on the theme includes the longing for a realistic understanding of the Diocese’s current financial circumstances and what might be anticipated for the future. This is critical, in part, because our shared financial life is one tangible way in which parishes and others express their belonging within the Diocese.

Clergy and elected Synod delegates can anticipate further details by email in the next few weeks. Stories and updates for the wider diocesan community will be available on the Diocesan website and in future issues of Topic.

Photo: Bishop Melissa Skelton asks Synod Planning Chair Simon Johnston to proceed with the Synod Planning meeting in the Boardroom at the Synod offices.