Bishop Wyatt reviewed the present situation and outlined the steps required prior to the Ordination of Women to the priesthood. Bishop Valentine reported that the Task Force on the Ordination of Women will circulate study materials, to the House, and requested that the members be prepared for in-depth discussions at the December meeting. It was agreed that the Church-at-large should be informed of what the Bishops are doing now in the way of program and study, and that there will be further information following the meeting of the House in December.
"That this House asks the Chair to appoint a Task Force to prepare a report for distribution to all Bishops in advance of our December meeting, outlining the essential steps which would make possible implementation of the General Synod approval of the Principle of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood, and that our December meeting accept and/or reverse this report for distribution to the whole Church. CARRIED
It was agreed that the report which is prepared for eventual presentation to General Synod should have appended a bibliography, and the Primate agreed to have circulated to the Bishops a list of appropriate study materials.
"1. That this House regards further study of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood as a Diocesan responsibility;
2. That this House endorses the Revised Diocese of Huron Study Guide on the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood as the Committee on Ministry has, and commends it to Dioceses for wide study;
3. That this House asks the Committee on Ministry to prepare and distribute to Dioceses immediately a bibliography of study materials on the nature of priesthood as requested by General Synod Regina." CARRIED
Bishop Frame and Bishop Wyatt were requested to prepare a resolution re principle and practice, Ordination of Women to the Priesthood. The Primate invited Bishop Valentine to continue as Chairman of the Task Force on the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood, and the Bishops agreed to send materials to Bishop Valentine.
Bishop Bothwell noted that General Synod is to be held from 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 12th until noon, Thursday, June 19th, 1975, at Laval University, Quebec City. He expressed the hope that the Bishops would all find it possible to participate in the cross-cultural weekend which is being planned, and reported that a special Seminar is to be held at Laval University Sunday, June 15th. This is to include leaders of government and church, theologians and sociologists. Bishop Bothwell said that there is to be a dinner for Synod delegates at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday evening given by the Province of Quebec followed by a Service in the Great Seminary Chapel at which it is hoped that Cardinal Roy will preach. The Theme for the Synod is to be "Together in Christ", and some of the main issues are Christian Initiation, Ordination of Women, Church Union, the new Pension Canon, re-structuring of the Diocese of Newfoundland and Program Policy.
Archbishop Davis described facilities available at Laval, and expressed the opinion that they would prove most satisfactory. He said that the Local Arrangements committee is very anxious to help and co-operate in any way possible. It is expected that many of the Bishops and delegates to General Synod will attend Mass on Saturday afternoon with their hosts, and this will enable people to accept preaching invitations for Sunday morning.
Archdeacon Light said that he would be writing to all Bishops and Diocesan Secretary-Treasurers within the next two weeks requesting that he be informed, as soon as possible, of the names of youth delegates. The nominations are to go before National Executive Council in February for voting. He also requested that he be kept informed of Memorials to Synod, names of delegates, and the names and biographies of deceased members. He said that the Convening Circular will be circulated at least six weeks prior to General synod.
"That the Report of the General Synod Planning Committee be received." CARRIED
The Primate noted that samples of the 1974 PWRDF Christmas card were available, and that quantities could be ordered through the Reverend Robert MacRae, Church House.
"That this General Synod commend the Report on Spirituality to the House of Bishops and to the Doctrine and Worship Committee for study and especially to consider whether new programs should be initiated to strengthen and increase the life of prayer and scripture study of Canadian Anglicans."
Bishop Payne spoke on behalf of Eastern Task Force of L.R.P. It was noted that the Doctrine and Worship Committee has also considered this Act and has set up a Sub-Committee for further discussion. The Long Range Planning Committee sent a message to say that the compilation of the survey on Spirituality is still in the computer at Dalhousie University, and it can be called up, in its entirety or in part, upon request. It was noted that a group at St. John's College, Winnipeg, is preparing Bible Study based on the new lectionary.
"That this General Synod affirm the importance of Evangelism in the life of the Church and request the National Executive Council and the House of Bishops to ensure that the ministry of Evangelism be emphasized throughout the Anglican Church of Canada.
And further that the necessary financial and human resources be made available
- to initiate appropriate expressions of Evangelism consistent with the witness of the New Testament as received by the Anglican Church;
- to encourage those ministries already under way;
- to provide training and materials;
- to coordinate and monitor the exercise of this ministry throughout our Church.
Bishop Conlin introduced Act 68 and addressed the House. (Appendix C).
That this House of Bishops establish a Task Force to be centred in Sault Ste. Marie; including Bishop Nock, or his representative; a representative from the Anglicans in Mission Committee; and one other person to be named by the Chairman, to consider the General Synod reports on Spirituality and Evangelism, and after consultation with the Doctrine and Worship Committee, to present to this House a plan for creative discussion leading to action. CARRIED
The Task Force was asked to use imagination in dealing with this resolution and the Agenda Committee was requested to give adequate time to take action on the findings of the Task Force. A design for achieving this was also requested from the Task Force.
Where Do We Go From Here in Evangelism? - Comments by Bishop Conlin
One of the Church's first tasks is to spell out in simple terms what we mean by the word "evangelism." We wrestled with that in our paper which we presented at Synod, and hoped that we might get a clearer picture from the church in the group reports. Frankly, we were disappointed with what came out of the groups. On reflection, we feel that the fault lay with us in that the question we asked about "style" led people off the track, somewhat. What I gleaned from the report leads me to raise some questions which might be useful to the House in helping us to respond to the General Synod resolution.
How Do We Define Evangelism for the Church?
It is clear that any definition of evangelism must be "holistic" - the whole gospel for the whole man and the whole of creation. We would not sit comfortably in our church with anything that would reduce the gospel to a one-dimensional, fragmented view of man, who has been created in the image and likeness of God. Man must be addressed in the totality of his being and in context - individual and social, physical and spiritual. This I believe is what we tried to do in our Paper when we described our style as balanced, pastoral and centred in community, engaged in the culture.
Such a holistic approach will, as well, bring us back again and again to the roots of evangelism, confirmed in the New Testament and centred in Jesus. The roots of evangelism focus in on metanoia (repentance), conversion and incorporation into the Community of Faith. The final goal of such proclamation or kerygma is the reconciliation of all men and all things in Jesus Christ - the shalom of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Moreover, returning again and again to the proclamation helps us to steer our attention away from the "fruits." The group reports displayed what happens when we start talking about evangelism, and that we concentrate first of all on the fruits of evangelism. We can easily get sidetracked when we concentrate on such fruits. For some, it is scalp collecting (saving souls); for some recruiting new members for the institutional church; for some, social service; for some socio-political involvement; for some, evangelism is the new joy and high feeling of an intense inner experience. If we concentrate on such fruits, then we are putting the cart before the horse. Evangelism produces all such fruits at one time or another. These are the efects of a prior cause; that prior cause Gabriel Fackre describes as, "The flinging of the seed of the Word into the air so that it may settle on good soil." "Evangelism," he says, "is first and foremost the 'scatter-act.' It is getting news out. What happens after that is determined by the Spirit at the seed's core. Authentic evangelism trusts that 'the Word will do it,' without attempting to arrange the Spirit's schedule and without prescribing its routes. It blows where it will. The task of the evangelist is to get the story straight and to get it out."
Trying to piece together a picture of what is said in the group reports prompts one to urge the development of a Theology of Evangelism for the whole church.
It is evident from the group reports that there needs to be more work on the theology of evangelism. The theme of salvation must be related to a doctrine of sin. The Gospel convinces man that he is a fallen creature. What does this mean in a world where man obviously does not see himself as a sinner. The theme of salvation must be related to the theme of creation. The Gospel is world affirming. Christ is the world's creator and in Him, it is brought to its true destiny in the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. What about an Incarnational Theology? How does what God has done in Christ affect the actual, material, collective and cultural context in which we live. The theology of the Cross and Resurrection must be reckoned with (the cost and the joy of discipleship). We cannot invite people to accept the promises and blessings of the Gospel without facing up to the demands of the Gospel. If we do, we are doing what Jesus explicitly asked us not to do. A good deal more reflection, I am sure, is needed on a theology of the Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven in the context of evangelism.
It was clear from the group reports that the word "evangelism" has a negative connotation for many Anglicans. The words, "fear" and "lacking confidence" and "not articulate enough," describe an attitude towards evangelism. People are turned off by the word and are critical of both evangelists and evangelism. Would not Anglicans be more comfortable with "storytelling." Gabriel Fackre, you will remember, said "Evangelism is getting the story straight and getting it out." The story, of course, is about what God has done, is doing and will do. The emphasis is on "our learning the story afresh, getting it straight, that is, as we prepare to share it with others, and on our becoming the people of God as we invite others to join God's people." Now the storytelling is there. It is the stuff of which preaching, nurture, teaching and worship are made. But "story-hearing" is what is lacking. A cousin of mine and her husband, living here in Toronto, have just become ardent Christians. Two years ago, they were far removed from Christian concerns in their world of accountancy. Now they are both convinced, articulate and ardent Christians, because they had an opportunity to get involved and in a United Church's Enquiry Class, using the guide, "Telling My Story, Sharing My Faith" (a kind of action-reflection model). The change that I see in them has convinced me of the validity of this relational, non-manipulative, non-imperialistic approach to evangelism. Louis Almen, a Lutheran, describes storytelling a follows: "Evangelical outreach centres around the telling of the story. They are actually three stories. The central story is the story of Jesus, the Christ. This is 'His Story.' But my story is also important, particularly as it relates to the person to whom we are witnessing (their story), is crucial. Effective witnessing is my telling Jesus' story in a way which is relevant to the listener."
Need for Action Centred Models to Assist Us in Our Quest
Action centred evangelism is needed. Many are asking "What do we do and how do we start?" Of the making of many words and books about evangelism, there is no end, but "By their fruits, ye shall know them." Fackre talks about "engaged" evangelism or "action" evangelism. Word and deed together - it is only the incarnate word in action that is effective. Fackre goes on to describe such action centred models - action agent evangelism, issue evangelism, vocational or occupational evangelism, presence evangelism, service evangelism, barricade evangelism, and celebration evangelism. If you want to know a little more about what those mean, I can give you information on them.
The group responses indicated, again and again, the need for (1) training of clergy in evangelism, and (2) training of laity. There is, of course, an enormous amount of material written and tapes available for workshops. Quite a bit of material is available from England, produced by David Watson and others. A guidebook (300 pages), has just been produced by Wayne Schwab, the Director for Evangelism, Renewal and Church Growth in the Episcopal Church. The guidebook covers three years of work. There is always a propensity, however, to program the Spirit, and it would be important to sit loose with packaged programs, learning from a variety, rather than getting caught up into one or two particular programs. In addition, we would also do well to look at some of the church growth material available - even though the theology of the church growth school, and particularly its ecclesiology is not something we would sit easy with in our church. There has been considerable research in the past decade into the principles which govern growth and decline in congregations. One of our urgent concerns ought to be the training for evangelism in small churches. Perhaps congregations of 150 families or less are the norm for a large segment of our Church. The small congregation represents a model for the "covenant community," yet with the growing threat of inflation, how do we train our people in such a way that a spirit of "ministry" must replace a mentality of "maintenance" and "servanthood" must replace "survival" so that outreach shatters the walls of the stayed Anglican Club. Unfortunately, there seems to be little material available for "youth" and the "family" when it comes to the question of evangelism.
Finally, what should be the shape of the structures of the National, Diocesan and Parish levels for evangelism, in order to ensure, as our report on evangelism requested, that the ministry of evangelism be emphasized. When the Western Task Force appended its resolution to its report to General Synod, it was deliberately directed to the House of Bishops and the National Executive Council, and not to the Program Committee. We really felt that the place to start is in the diocese, with the bishop's blessing. For example, a diocese could start with a day-long presentation on evangelism, starting with those interested. You won't get, and you don't need all the clergy. The leader should have sufficient training in this field. Another way is to have an interest group - clergy and laity - encourage them to meet regularly for study and listening, using materials and cassettes. Perhaps another way would be to send teams from dioceses to a provincial conference on evangelism, and it would seem that the province would be the logical structure to monitor and support and promote evangelism. Could not a person be released part time from a parish to coordinate and promote such work? Such a person could be supported and encouraged by a task force with representatives from each diocese. Such a person could monitor and share what is happening across the national scene.
As for the parish, Schwab's guidebook on Evangelism, Renewal and Church Growth, contains a number of models for training in the parishes. Such models have been tested and are being tested presently in the Episcopal Church. The material may be had from the Episcopal Church Centre in New York. Other information is available from dioceses across our country.
That this House of Bishops has received a draft of the report on Continuity and Planning produced for the National Executive Council by Community Charitable Counselling Service, and notes the gratitude felt everywhere for the success of Anglicans in Mission.
We note, too, the great concern in most Dioceses that top priority be granted now to:
- developing lay leadership
- evangelism and outreach
- increasing operating income
- expanding mission projects on the local level
We commend to the National Executive Council the recommendation in the Community Charitable Counselling Service Report, and pledge our support, individually and collectively, in their implementation. We are convinced that strong diocesan and regional initiatives (as outlined in the Report) which are both supported and challenged by national structures is the best way forward for our Church at this time. CARRIED #4-10-84
It was recognized that the triennium appointment of the Agenda and Continuing Education Committees was drawing to a close and the necessity to elect new Committees for the upcoming triennium was noted.
That the Primate appoint a Nominating Committee to recommend names of people to serve on the Agenda Committee and the Continuing Educarion Committee for the 1986-89 triennium. CARRIED #16-6-86
The Primate suggested that a triennium appointment of the Secretary of the House would preclude the possibility of one person having to carry the responsibility for several years. There was general agreement with this suggestion.
The Primate agreed to appoint a Nominating Committee to make recommendations to be brought forward later in the meeting.
On behalf of the Nominating Committee, Bishop Robinson put forth the following nominations:
Secretary of the House: Bishop Clarence Mitchell
Agenda Committee: Bishop L. Peterson (Convenor), Bishop A. Read, Bishop J. Fricker
Continuing Education Committee: Canada - Bishop R. Hatton; Ontario - Bishop J. Baycroft (Convenor); Rupert's Land - Bishop B. Curtis; British Columbia - Bishop R. Shepherd.
In response to the request of the Anglican Consultative Council that each Province in the Anglican Communion examine authority in the Anglican Communion, a task force was established in Canada. The members are: Bishop John Baycroft representing the House of Bishops; The Reverend Michael Ingham representing the National Executive Council; and Mrs. Patricia Bays who is a member of the Anglican Consultative Council. The report of the Canadian Church is to go to the Anglican Consultative Council before the end of March.
Mrs. Bays, Bishop Baycroft and Mr. Ingham each addressed the House.
Appendix A [Appendix A consisting of 7 pages of text is NOT included in the electronic database.]
Mrs. Bays distributed a summary of the Bishops' discussions of the previous day. Questions and discussion followed on what should be done with the document.
These centred on the following issues:
1. Economic considerations - if the structures are increased, then increased costs will ensue. What then, can be subtracted from the structures and still maintain the work that has to be done ?
2. Some discomfort was felt about the possibility of "drifting into Primacy".
3. Should we increase the complexity of our structures ? Could areas use their own moderator ?
4. Where does this document go ?
It was pointed out that National Executive Council asked the House of Bishops to look at this issue, and the Anglican Consultative Council asked the same of Synods and Standing Committees.
That we receive the document "Authority in the Anglican Communion" developed through discussion and consideration, and offered as an expression of the opinion of the House of Bishops on this subject;
That it be forwarded to the National Executive Council and, if appropriate, to Lambeth as a contribution to the continuing dialogue on the whole subject of authority. CARRIED
AUTHORITY IN THE ANGLICAN CHURCH
A. The issue of authority in the Church impinges on us as bishops in several ways. We are called upon to exercise authority in the ordering of ministry, in ordaining and licensing clergy, in the sacraments of Christian Initiation, in shaping the liturgical life of our dioceses, and in preaching and teaching the Gospel. The Church's authority has its source in God who calls us into unity with each other under the lordship of Christ. Episcopal authority is grounded in, and expressed through, the Koinonia of the Church.
B. If the true purpose of authority is to unify, in practice the exercise of it becomes the occasion for diverse reaction. The recent activity of some bishops within the Communion acting outside their diocesan jurisdiction has raised questions about episcopal collegiality. Liturgical renewal has generated hostility and fear of change in some quarters, resulting in a challenge to episcopal authority itself. Theological development which has evolved new images of the nature of God has produced new models of authority which challenge our present structures. Political and economic changes in society have generated individualistic concepts of authority which seem to be in conflict with the Church's understanding of Koinonia.
C. Within this context, we are compelled to ask about our identity as members of the Anglican Communion. The issue of authority raises the question of identity. Our tradition has been that of a family of autonomous Churches united by our common desire to belong to one another. We affirm that tradition precisely because it is conciliar rather than legislative. We would like to see the instruments of unity strengthened in the Communion, but in such a way that their authority remains consultative and persuasive. We have no desire to see an Anglican "Curia". The following are ways in which the centre of authority in the Communion might be developed.
D. We affirm the special role of the Archbishop of Canterbury as a personal symbol of unity with the Communion. Some of us wish to affirm the role as it presently is. But the office is developing into a more international role, with the Archbishop visiting other provinces and asked for comments on their situations. Some therefore would prefer to see the role enhanced in order to allow the effective functioning of the office. There is value in the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury as diocesan bishop, in rooting this office in the particulars of a place. A primacy of honour might be exercised by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself, but another person might serve as moderator of a conference or president of the Anglican Consultative Council.
E. The Lambeth Conference brings to the whole Communion a sense of unity and common purpose. We recognize that the Lambeth Conference is becoming unwieldy in size and cost, and we suggest that other structures, processes, and alternative venues be explored. We cannot describe at this time what these structures might be. Regional meetings, to include both affluent and less affluent provinces, would build better communication and mutual understanding.
F. We believe the meetings of Primates should be held in conjunction with those of another group -- either the Lambeth conference or the Anglican Consultative Council -- again in order to foster communication and interdependence.
G. The Anglican Consultative Council is an important vehicle of unity since it expresses the synodical model of the Church by its inclusion of priests and lay people as well as bishops. We are agreed that it is important to develop the representation of the laity on the Council, particularly in the area of women and youth. Regional meetings and the more frequent convening of an Anglican Congress could promote this greater involvement. It is important to provide adequate staff and financial support to the work of the Council. We are undecided, however, as to what authority the statements of the Council should have. There is an optimum size for Council and staff and it ought not to grow too large. There is a danger in building up structures. The demands on time and money are great, and the purpose of the structures needs to be remembered.
H. We recognize that our history and geography in Canada have helped us to understand the concept of unity in diversity. We affirm the necessity for interdependence in this large country. All dioceses have gifts to share, and needs which can be met by the gifts of others. In our Canadian experience a number of models have developed which illustrate this unity in diversity. The Council of the North is a good example of the concept of partnership expressed through transparency and mutual accountability. The ecumenical coalitions provide a model of effective planning for social concerns. Decision making by consensus in the House of Bishops requires a high level of trust. We have learned a great deal about regional consultation through our experience in ACNAC [Anglican Council of North America and the Caribbean].
I. We recognize the importance of giving assent to structures of authority. We choose to remain in communion with each other. As issues arise in the Communion on which we have differing views, it will be important for provinces to commit themselves to work together to seek ways of expressing our unity in diversity. We need to listen to each other prayerfully and with sensitivity, recognizing that there must be in the Anglican Communion a tolerance for diversity and a reluctance to define every issue too closely. Our involvement in international structures needs to be communicated clearly to the local congregations, so that they can be aware of the importance of maintaining these links within the Communion.
That the House of Bishops, having noted the memorial from the Diocese of Calgary regarding the Anglican Catholic Church and the proposal for dialogue, requests General Synod that this Memorial be forwarded to the House of Bishops for action at its Fall meeting, 1980. CARRIED
That this House receives the seven principles in the report of the Joint Task Force on Christian Initiation (January 1982), as an important statement of the theological principles underlying the new Alternative Christian Initiation Rites and commends them for study. CARRIED 6-2-82
"Some Basic Principles" taken from pages 4-5 of "Christian Initiation : Our Present Situation : A Report of the Joint Task Force on Christian Initiation of the House of Bishops and the Doctrine and Worship Committee of General Synod, dated 21 January 1982. [From hard copy of report in General Synod Archives]
The joint task force proposes the following principles as worth considering in our present situation:
1. Baptism in water in the name of the Trinity is both the essential and the sufficient sacramental sign of incorporation into the Body of Christ, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The full meaning of Christian conversion, discipleship, and life is expressed and, in principle, conveyed, in this sacrament.
2. As the one sacramental sign of incorporation into the Body of Christ, Baptism is the sole sacramental condition of admission to Communion. Consequently, no separate sacramental/liturgical actions should be interposed between Baptism and Communion.
3. The primary and essential condition of Baptism, in the case both of children and of adults, is the living reality of the church as the community of grace and faith. Adult candidates are rightly expected to affirm their personal allegiance to the church's common faith, while children are accepted in expectation of their nurture in the same faith. But both are received on an equal footing, as recipients of the grace which the church confesses and accepts in faith. Consequently, all the baptized, both adults and children, are eligible for admission to the Lord's table; indeed, their Baptism demands such admission.
4. Granted that Baptism implies profession of, or promise of nurture in, faith, the necessity of catechesis obviously follows. Those who are received into the community of faith must be helped to enter into the community's faith, at their own level of receptivity. It is therefore improper to administer Baptism apart from catechetical instruction -- of the individual, in the case of adult Baptism, and of the parents and other sponsors, in the case of infant Baptism.
5. Supplementary ritual actions, such as post-baptismal unction, should be seen as explicitations of the content of Baptism, rather than as separately meaningful sacramental signs. They should not, therefore, be imposed as conditions of admission to Communion, over and above baptismal initiation.
6. "Confirmation," in the sense of a rite separate from Baptism, and therefore extrinsic to the basic sacramental action of Christian Initiation, belongs in the context of ongoing catechesis. It should be construed and practised as the affirmation and consecration of renewed and enlarged commitment.
7. Neither the basic initiatory rite of Baptism nor the punctuation of catechesis by "Confirmation/Affirmation" requires, in principle, the presence and action of the bishop. While the bishop is the supremely appropriate minister of word and sacrament in the church, his one indispensable role is the ministry of Ordination. Consequently, presbyters, as well as bishops, may baptize, anoint, and impose hands, as the church in its discretion determines.