On Friday at the Anglican Church of Canada’s national convention, those in attendance representing their local dioceses from across Canada gathered to further the work of our church.
On Friday morning the delegates approved and authorised a separate and equal Indigenous Diocese to be created in the Anglican Church of Canada. This effort helps our church to move beyond our colonial past and allow our Indigenous brothers and sisters in Christ, an opportunity to guide and shape their spiritual and religious lives without requiring approval from other bodies within the church. Please see below the picture of our outgoing Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, present the national Indigenous Archbishop Mark MacDonald with a processional cross to symbolise the beginning of this new ministry.
Also on Friday, later in the evening, the delegates continued their work as they debated and prepared to vote on a motion to expand the definition of Marriage within the church’s teachings to allow for same sex marriages. The night was long with many speakers speaking passionately for an inclusive extension of marriage to all, and others conveying deep and heartfelt understandings that they had misgivings about altering a biblical teaching like marriage to something that has not already been clearly and explicitly articulated as sanctified by scripture. The vote came in very late at night and was defeated by one vote among the bishop’s. All three groups at Synod (Bishop’s, Clergy & Laity) needed a 2/3rd’s majority for adoption of this resolution. Many people across our parish and diocese are feeling unsettled by the anxiety around this conversation.
Our new Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil issued a pastoral letter to all Anglicans in our diocese on Saturday morning to speak to the concerns and emotions that have come out of this discussion. Please click on this link to find a copy of the bishop’s pastoral statement.
If you would like to stay on top of all the proceedings at General Synod, please click the link below and you can watch live the proceedings or catch up on the work and votes that have occurred.