Strong sentiment exists in the diocese for creation of a coordinator of youth ministries, especially among youth delegates to Diocesan Synod.

For the second year in a row, Synod requested Diocesan Council and its committees to make provision for a diocesan youth minister – this time at least by 2009. The initiative both years has been led by diocesan youth.

At a meeting with Bishop Michael Ingham at the annual youth luncheon this year, several youth said they felt they needed a staff person at Synod Office focused on youth ministry.

Speaking on behalf of several youth delegates, Meghan Crosby of St. Anselm urges that the diocese hire a coordinator of youth ministries to work out of the Synod Office. (Julie Ferguson photo)

The bishop said that the youth delegates were entitled and encouraged to speak on the floor of Synod if they felt strongly about any issue. A group of them later went to the microphone during the resolutions session to speak or show support for a new youth minister.

A motion urging a staff person for youth had been put by the Rev. Markus Dünzkofer of St. Paul’s and the Rev. Michael Batten of St. David’s, Vancouver.

In debate Batten reminded Synod members that a motion in 2006 had asked Diocesan Council and diocesan committees, “in consultation with the youth of the diocese,” to look into the feasibility of creating a funding a youth coordinator position by the first of this year.

Archdeacon Ronald Harrison told Synod that the committees and the council had examined the feasibility, but found no way to come up with the money immediately for a new position. The consultation with youth, however, had not been carried out.

Earlier in Synod, Batten had attempted to amend the 2008 budget to insert a youth coordinator position, but was reminded by Chancellor George Cadman that under diocesan canons (bylaws) any money motion must go through the diocese’s Administration and Finance (“A&F”) committee before going to Synod.

Then the head of A&F, Diocesan Treasurer Jim Stewart, said it wasn’t possible for his committee to meet till after Synod. (Not all members of the committee were delegates to Synod or present at it.)

At one point during discussion on the matter, Bishop Ingham reminded delegates that since the diocesan assessment rate is fixed that parishes pay to support the Synod Office, adding a staff person to the Synod Office would be only possible if the assessment rate were to be increased, or something cut from the current budget.