Bishop Frame presented a report from his Committee, the bishops in British Columbia. (See Appendix A for Recommendations). There was some feeling that what was recommended was already being done so far as additional ministries are concerned. The possibility of introducing "eucharistizers" was discussed at some length. In summarising the Report, the Primate said it picks up the focal point of episcopacy and affirms "oversight" as the work of the bishop. While the traditional concept is that the Ordained Ministry is life-long, there may be need for greater flexibility required by commissioning people for specific tasks for a specific time. This commissioning comes from the Bishop. There was evidently not enough consensus for a decision at this time on this issue.
"That the Report on the Wider Ordained Ministry (Frame) be received.
That we take note of its appended recommendations and
That we ask the Committee to continue its work and report at our next meeting." CARRIED
Report of House of Bishops' Committee on the Wider Ordained Ministry (December, 1972).
That this House of Bishops, appreciating the traditional understanding of Ordination in the Catholic Church and yet realizing the need for making available the fulness of Christ's ministry in and by the whole Church, authorizes and empowers the Bishops of the Church to commission persons to supplementary ministries for specific tasks and for limited periods of time after due inquiry and proper preparation of those to be commissioned.
In this way, the whole Laos of God may be seen to share more fully in such ministerial functions as the following: liturgical, educational, administration, evangelistic, pastoral, healing, etc.
The establishment of such supplementary ministries does not in any way limit the present authority of a Bishop to ordain as Deacons or Priests postulants for specific, permanent ministries who will continue in secular callings.
The House had been given copies of a Report issued by the House of Bishops (PECUSA), but in view of the inclement weather and the importance of the subject it seemed advisable to leave it for the next meeting in Lumsden.
"That in view of the weather making adequate discussion impossible, the issue of the Ordination of women be referred to the next meeting." CARRIED
Copies of the PECUSA report to their House of Bishops were circulated.
Bishop Seaborn introduced an interim report and asked for further direction as the Committee had not had sufficient time to consider services from other areas such as Calgary and Winnipeg. It was felt the report should be received and the Committee continue its work.
"That the Report on Institution and Induction Services be received." CARRIED
At the request of the Primate, Bishop Valentine then read a paper asking the Doctrine and Worship Committee for some picture of what they see as a result of the introduction of the new rite into the life of the Church. He was not asking for anything in canonical form, rather a picture for bishops, clergy and laity of what this part of the Church's life would be like. (See Appendix D).
"That the essay produced by Bishop Valentine concerning the proposed Initiation service be sent to the Committee on Doctrine and Worship." CARRIED
A STATEMENT AND A REQUEST
(The Rt. Rev. Barry Valentine)
One of the functions of liturgy over the centuries has been to express the needs and aspirations of society and, in doing so, some of the styles and assumptions of the contemporary People of God.
It has also been true, however, in a complex dialectic, that liturgy -- embodying the essential truths of Our Lord's redeeming Life and Presence -- has constantly shaped and informed the ideas and life patterns of the community.
Liturgy has, then, always been both symbolically expressive and powerfully shaping of contemporary Christian society.
In studying this liturgy for initiation, we perceive, and express our gratitude for all the careful, thoughtful and challenging work that has been done. The form has an attractive simplicity, a demanding personal dimension and a strong assertion of the sacramental gifts of God's Holy Spirit. In these things and in many other ways, we see a most helpful expression of the needs and perceptions of people today.
We would find it helpful if the Committee could, in addition, provide a picture of the custom and practice which they envisage and intend will sooner or later emerge in the Church as the formative impacts of the liturgy take effect. We do not suggest that this should be done in a canonical shape or even in formal notes and preambles. But if, in a somewhat narrative and discursive style, the Committee could sketch in a picture, for bishops, clergy and laity, of what this part of the Church's life would be like, it would guide us among the several interpretations of which this rite is patient. Thus, for instance, would baptism "normally" take place in infancy, at age 6-8, at puberty, or in late teens and early adulthood ? Would communicant status depend upon it and, if it did not, at what age and with what preparation and in what circumstances, would communicant status be granted ? Would there be some Service for adult commissioning in the Church ? What roles must or might the bishops play ?
We seek, that is to say, not only a form of Service -- which you have admirably provided, -- but a somewhat clearer picture of what you anticipate as the custom and prescriptive rule of the community of our people.
Bishop Valentine expressed the feeling that more clarity was needed in the procedures and accountabilities of the General Synod Committees particularly those concerned with "Doctrine and Worship" and "Ministry" as they related to the House of Bishops. Only so could the House of Bishops' discharge its responsibility in these areas. He presented a motion seconded by Bishop Goodman but it was moved that this be tabled until the following day. The motion to table was lost (Moved by Bishop Robinson, Seconded by Bishop Clarke), and the following motion was put:
Moved by: Bishop Frame (Yukon)
Seconded by: Bishop Robinson (Ottawa)
That Bishop Valentine's motion be passed to an editorial committee. CARRIED
Bishops Valentine, Goodman and Somerville were asked to form the editorial committee. They produced the following motion on Friday morning.
"That in view of the responsibilities of the bishops, particularly in matters of Doctrine and Worship and Ministry, the Organization Committee be requested to explore, and recommend, on alternative possibilities for the procedures and accountabilities of the General Synod Committees in these fields in order that the responsibilities of the House of Bishops' in these areas may be discharged more effectively. CARRIED