Citing crucial church issues that need to be dealt with, the officers of General Synod have instructed Archdeacon Michael Pollesel, general secretary, to reiterate the request made last fall by the Council of General Synod (CoGS) for dioceses to contribute at least $2,000 each to cover the cost of the governing body’s meeting in May.
Only about $20,000 was raised out of the needed $75,000 as of Jan. 30, the deadline set by CoGS to determine whether it could hold a spring meeting.
Earlier, the financial management and development committee (FMDC) and the management team of General Synod, the governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada, recommended that all national church committees cancel at least one meeting to help prune the national church’s budget deficit. But CoGS members argued that they needed to have face-to-face meetings in order to govern.
With not enough money raised, Archdeacon Pollesel recommended that the CoGS adopt the initial proposal put forward by FMDC for committees to consider a teleconference in lieu of a face-to-face meeting. However, officers decided to ask the dioceses one more time, citing the importance of a spring meeting since CoGS has a host of issues to deal with in the lead up to General Synod in June 4 to 10, 2010 in Halifax. The issues include proposed changes in church governance and structure, the church’s strategic plan for the next triennium, a discussion of the report of the primatial task force, as well as the General Synod budget. Traditionally, CoGS receives the national church’s audited financial statement in spring. Another issue that CoGS needs to discuss is the faith, worship and ministry committee’s response to a request made by General Synod in 2007 to review the church’s marriage canon (church law) to see what changes might be required to allow priests to marry all legally qualified persons. General Synod 2007 also asked CoGS to consult the church on the Christian perspective of sexuality and to produce a report for the 2010 General Synod.
Suzanne Lawson, chair of the planning and agenda team and lay representative to the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) which is scheduled to meet in Jamaica in May, said the church’s representatives to that assembly also needed to get some guidance from CoGS “about what messages to carry,” said Archdeacon Pollesel.
Dioceses have been asked to respond to the request for funds by Feb. 28.