Ten priorities were overwhelmingly adopted by Synod to lead the Diocese of New Westminster into the next decade.

Archdeacon Stephen Rowe leads a group considering how to implement the priority, "Nurture Spiritual Journeys" at Diocesan Synod. (Julie Ferguson photo)
The culmination of a year’s work by the Diocesan Council’s Strategic Planning Working group, the priorites were based on information gathered in regional meetings which involved hundreds of Anglicans from across the diocese.

Consideration of the priorities was the chief business of the 107th session of the annual synod, which met at Capilano University's Sportsplex building May 30 and 31.

The ten priorities adopted are the following:

 - Nurture Spiritual Journeys - Support people in their personal spiritual development.

- Support Christian Education - Enhance our understanding of the Christian faith.

- Deepen Anglican Understanding - Learn more what it means to be Anglican.

- Renew Anglican Worship -Provide Anglican worship that is relevant to people of all ages, at all life stages and from diverse communities.

- Care for God’s Earth - Engage in and initiate environmental action.

- Nurture the Parish Community - Nurture our parish communities, large and small, to ensure that they remain sustainable.

- Build a Community of Parishes - Build stronger connections between parishes, and among parishes, the Synod office, and the wider Church.

- Participate in Local Communities - Participate in local initiatives and partnerships that bring to life the social mission of the church.

- Cultivate Interfaith Understanding - Work towards greater harmony and respect.

- Address Issues of Poverty - Engage the issues of poverty, homelessness, addictions and mental health

The show of hands approving the strategic plan appeared to be unanimous, despite some criticism in the debate over the some of the language of the priorities. The Rev. Clarence Li of St. James questioned whether they would  inspire people.

The Rev. Richard Leggett of Vancouver School of Theology said that next year Synod had to come up with specific action plans, which he warned might result in some “very difficult decisions.” “Otherwise it will remain a very pleasant document, but not a plan.”

For a special synod edition of TOPIC (in pdf form) please go here.