Synod to use ‘conversations’ for complex issues

By on April 1, 2007

Mississauga, Ont.
Two blocks of time for “conversations” will be incorporated in the agenda of General Synod this June in Winnipeg, to enable delegates to “experience, learn and discuss” issues affecting their church in “gentle and participatory ways.”

These conversations, similar to focus group discussions, are being envisioned for issues dealing with sexuality, including the Anglican Church of Canada’s response to the Windsor Report and the St. Michael Report; governance, and the reformatting of the stewardship initiative, Letting Down the Nets.

“The complexity of some matters lend themselves so much better to conversation than to a legislative milieu,” the General Synod planning committee said in a report.

Dean Peter Wall, committee chair, also reported to members of the Council of General Synod (CoGS) that the coming Synod meeting, scheduled June 19 to 25, would be greener than the previous one.

“There will be no Styrofoam dishes and cups and we’re hoping, no bottled water,” he said, adding that the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the church’s relief and development arm, would be providing delegates with free fair trade coffee.

The committee also reported that more church partners have signified their intention to attend the triennial meeting as observers, among them: Gail Allan, ecumenical officer of the United Church of Canada; Rev. Petero Sabune, CoGS’ new partner from the Episcopal Church; Rev. Gregory Straub, executive officer and secretary of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention; and a representative from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Also confirmed are:  Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, from the Church of England; Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion; Bishop Pie Ntukamazina, of the diocese of Bujumbura, Church of Burundi; Bishop Patrick Mwachiko, diocese of Masasi, Anglican Church of Tanzania; and Malcolm Naea Chun, an aboriginal partner from Hawaii.

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori, will also attend the installation of the new primate on June 25, at St. Matthew’s church, in downtown Winnipeg.

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