It is my joy to welcome you to the General Synod meeting in Halifax next month. Some of you may be thinking…”Me? The Primate’s inviting me to General Synod? I am not a delegate. I am not an observer and I am not a guest.” No, but you are a faithful parishioner, a member of your diocesan family, and a contributor to our church’s commitment to God’s mission in Canada and throughout the world.
While some 500 of us will be engaged in the day to day deliberations of this General Synod, you can follow the story online, and you can pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit in the Synod. Yes, you can-you and every Anglican from coast to coast to coast.
Of utmost importance in the work of this Synod is Vision 2019. In sharing your hopes and dreams for our church, many of you have a voice in shaping this vision. Priorities within it reflect our commitment to be a people seeking to know, love and follow Jesus in serving God’s mission.
Our conversations regarding sexuality will reflect what I believe to be a genuine desire for dialogue and discernment and a sincere effort to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
Governance, the Primacy and a Covenant for the Anglican Communion will be major agenda items as well. Special celebrations include the 300th anniversary of worship in the diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, exciting developments in indigenous ministries, and the 50th anniversary of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.
Synod will welcome many guests, including a member of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the bishop of Cuba, the bishop of Jerusalem, the secretary general of the Anglican Communion and the Anglican observer to the United Nations. They will all address Synod and no doubt we will be challenged and inspired to deeper partnership in the gospel.
For this Synod, I am issuing a nationwide call to prayer. I hope every parish will organize vigils, pray daily for our delegates, partners, guests, staff, story-tellers and for me. Pray that our beloved church will be graced in new ways for its service in God’s mission. Thank you for coming to Synod in this important way. Ω
Archbishop Fred Hiltz is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.