The Council of General Synod identified five new pieces of work for special attention at its recent meeting here.
One of them, “intentional listening” designed to find out the will of the Anglican grassroots for the future life of the church in Canada, was handed over to CoGS at General Synod in July. Findings from the new process, which now has specific timelines and an action plan approved by CoGS, will be used to develop a vision and plan for the next General Synod in 2004 and beyond.
Another area involves the creation of a small task force to move the church’s new statement of principles on how the church treats parishioners and staff, Dignity Inclusion and Fair Treatment (DIFT), into active policy. (Each diocese is expected to implement the principles and report back to General Synod in 2004.)
The first two members of the task group will be prolocutor Dorothy Davies-Flindall and youth delegate Alison Bent. Members of the group that first drafted DIFT will be approached to sit on the task force.
Clergy and staff wellness will get new attention in a study led by Bishop Fred Hiltz, the newly-elected diocesan bishop of Nova Scotia. The group will report at the next CoGs meeting in May.
A task force was also struck to study direct indigenous representation in national church governance.
CoGS also approved an Indigenous Issues Binder. The binder, chosen instead of e-mail or fax so that remote indigenous communities can participate, will include resources and information to help bridge the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Anglicans.