Mississauga, Ont. – The Council of General Synod (CoGS) deferred action on whether or not to keep the two-term (six years) limit for membership. CoGS is the governing body of the church between General Synods.
At its spring meeting May 24 to May 27, CoGS was presented with a resolution to delete reference to the two-term membership limit. Members were divided on the matter: some argued that having regular turnover brings “new blood” into the Council; others said the limit deprives the electorate of their best candidates.
In other news, CoGS:
· Approved three policies on sponsorship, displays and sexual misconduct for the 2013 Anglican-Lutheran Joint Assembly. Dean Peter Wall, chair of the General Synod planning committee, explained that since the meeting will be shortened from eight days to five, all worship will be held onsite. There will be no local parish visits and presentations will be shorter. CoGS will see a draft agenda at their November meeting and at the spring meeting in March 2013.
· Heard from Esther Wesley, coordinator of the Anglican Healing Fund, about the Legacy of Hope’s new education package on residential schools. Designed by aboriginal and non-aboriginal educators, “100 Years of Loss,” includes an intermediate and senior class curriculum with lesson plans, suggested activity DVDs and visual aids. The resource can be purchased online for $250 at www.legacyofhope.ca
· Participated in the commissioning ceremony for the Rev. Jesse Dymond, General Synod’s first online community coordinator. Dymond introduced CoGS to The Community, a new online ministry that provides another place for Anglicans to discuss the life of the church. “We finally have an easy way to have conversations and exchange resources,” said Dymond. “We only need to participate.”
· Approved a resolution requesting The Ven. Dr. Michael Thompson, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, to write to the Canadian prime minister as well as the minister of the environment and the leaders of the opposition to express the church’s “disappointment and dismay” that Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto Accord without any clear direction for the future.
· Received the statement of the House of Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and the Yukon regarding the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project. CoGS also asked Thompson to write to the prime minister indicating its support for the statement, which urges integrity and fairness in the National Energy Board hearings about the project.