The spring meeting of Council of General Synod (CoGS), which was nearly cancelled due to a lack of funds, will take place as planned in May, dealing with a wide range of issues as it prepares for General Synod in June 2010. CoGS will meet May 8 to 10 at Queen of the Apostles retreat centre in Mississauga, Ont.
“We managed to get promises of not all of the funding we needed but a good portion of it,” said Archdeacon Michael Pollesel, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada. Last fall, CoGS asked dioceses to contribute at least $2,000 each to cover the cost of the governing body’s spring meeting, but by the end of January only about $20,000 of estimated cost of more than $70,000 had been raised. Mr. Pollesel suggested that the meeting take place by teleconference to comply with a previous request from the financial management and development committee and the management team of General Synod, the governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada, that all national church committees cancel at least one meeting to help prune the national church’s budget deficit. CoGS members argued that they needed to have face-to-face meetings in order to govern properly and asked Mr. Pollesel to repeat the request for funds for the spring meeting. This second request yielded more funds from the dioceses and others, he said. The cost of the meeting was also “whittled down” to about $55,000, primarily by cancelling the meeting of the planning and agenda team, Archdeacon Pollesel said. General Synod will also try to reallocate some resources for it as well, he added. “We still need to ‘find’ about $6,600,” he said.
Officers of General Synod said this meeting was especially important because CoGS has a lot of work to do to prepare for General Synod in June 2010 in Halifax. The issues to be addressed 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. CoGS also needs to discuss 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. Representatives attending the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Jamaica in May will also ask CoGS for guidance about what messages to carry with them.
This story has been revised. New information has been added.