Stewardship education is not well anchored in the Anglican Church of Canada and in the mindset of many Anglicans, said Monica Patten, chair of the Resources for Mission (RfM) committee.
Speaking at the Council of General Synod’s (CoGS) first meeting of the triennium, Nov. 14 to 17, Patten also stressed the importance of leadership concerning stewardship across the church. Leaders “need to step upfront and speak about the importance of the work,” she said.
Patten said these were among the things that the RfM department learned from Together in Mission (TIM), a national fundraising initiative that involves a partnership between General Synod and dioceses.
They also learned that “each diocese has its own rhythm and we need to be in tune with those,” said Patten, who reported on behalf of the RfM committee.
But the campaign has also reaped a number of benefits, said Patten. “I’m hearing from parishes about how much they have learned [about stewardship] and how they’ve discovered incredible new insights about themselves and their capacities,” she said. “[The church has] found new leaders.” The campaign has also helped develop new tools and resources and has helped dioceses identify potential donors.
TIM has conducted 11 information sessions and seven feasibility studies with dioceses; two dioceses are moving into fundraising campaigns, said Patten.
In other news, CoGS also:
- Heard about what the church has done so far with regard to the Joint Assembly resolution on peace with justice in Palestine and Israel. During his visit to Ottawa in October, Diocese of Jerusalem Bishop Suheil Dawani-accompanied diocese of Ottawa Bishop John Chapman-met separately with Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and representatives of the Office of Religious Freedom. Dawani had an opportunity to talk about the situation of Palestinian Christians and the peace efforts in his region, said the Rev. Lynne McNaughton, a member of the Partners in Mission co-ordinating group. Andrea Mann, General Synod’s global relations co-ordinator, gave an update on dialogues that have continued between churches and Palestinian and Jewish groups. She also said plans are underway for the development of resources that will help Anglicans study the different theologies and beliefs around anti-Semitism, Christian Zionism and islamophobia.
- Listened to National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald report how mining and resource extraction was a major issue at the recent World Council of Churches’ pre-assembly indigenous meeting in Busan, Republic of Korea. He spoke about how Canada’s reputation has been tarnished because many Canadian mining corporations have been responsible for the displacement of indigenous communities, the destruction of ecosystems and the violation of human rights. Canada is home to 75 per cent of the world’s mining and mineral exploration corporations, and the Toronto Stock Exchange trades 40 per cent of the world’s mineral exploration capital, he noted.
- Passed a resolution stating that “to the greatest extent possible,” General Synod resources should be sourced in a socially, environmentally and ethically responsible manner.