In other business:
? General Synod asked for a task force to examine the role of the primate during the current triennium, including such issues as whether he/she should retain his/her diocese upon election. The task force is to submit a report to General Synod 2010.
? A resolution failed that would have banned tobacco use, except in ceremonies, in and around all venues for national meetings of the Anglican Church of Canada. Dr. Randall Fairey, an oncologist from the diocese of Kootenay, said he was concerned with the physical well-being of Canadian Anglicans. Arguments against the motion included concerns about whether Synod has any power to curb people’s behaviour, and whether a ban would impinge on some communities’ social traditions.
? Synod agreed that the faith, worship and ministry committee may prepare principles and an agenda for revision of contemporary language worship texts and the creation of fresh liturgies. “This is not a resolution for (Book of Common Prayer) revision,” said Rev. Richard Leggett, explaining that a variety of liturgical practice exists in the Canadian church and the committee wants to start a conversation on the principles of worship.
? Synod also agreed to commit the church to the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, which include ending extreme poverty and hunger and combating HIV/AIDS and malaria and promoting gender equality. Rev. Antonio Osorio of British Columbia said he wished he could see the same passion for the development discussion that he saw concerning same-sex blessings and noted that the church’s national office has cut the budget for its partnerships department.
? Delegates recited a “Litany of Commitment to Journey Together,” that affirmed that the Anglican Church of Canada would strive to be a church that is “free of racism.” The pledge came after a dramatic presentation that included voice-over reflections on racism experienced by aboriginal people and non-white Canadians. The Council of General Synod at its spring meeting approved a Charter for Racial Justice, which serves as a guide for General Synod’s ongoing work on racial justice.