That the Council of General Synod suggest the following procedures for dealing with Anglican Church of Canada representation to national or international events/bodies re work which falls outside the current Strategic Plan of General Synod:
- Wherever possible, delegates be named by the relevant network.
- Dioceses be asked to make space/time for delegates to report back to diocesan councils, committees and/or synods.
- Delegates be asked to submit written reports to PIMC, or whichever Standing Committee has subsidized the delegate's travel.
- Delegates be asked to send written reports to the relevant network from whence they were nominated.
- PIMC members be named to liaise with new networks, not to promote or advocate for the work, but simply to keep track of developments.
- Council of General Synod continue to monitor, how well these procedures are working for the church as a whole, with a view to future revisions. CARRIED #14-11-97
That the Council of the General Synod, in solidarity with the Heads of Christian communities of Jerusalem, affirm their statement on the Significance of Jerusalem issued on December 9, 1994, and invite other Christian bodies in Canada, i.e., the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Canadian Council of Churches, to support this statement in whatever way is appropriate. CARRIED #12-03-96
It was agreed that a copy of the above resolution would be forwarded to the Canadian Jewish Congress.
Memorandum of their Beatitudes the Patriarchs of the Heads of Christian Communities in Jerusalem on the Significance of Jerusalem for Christians
[The leaders of all the main Christian communities in Jerusalem, in an unprecedented joint statement, called for a special judicial and political statute for Jerusalem which reflects the universal importance and significance of the city. Ecumenical observers in Jerusalem believe that this is the first time that Catholic, Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, and Anglican and Lutheran leaders in Jerusalem have signed such a statement. The statement was drawn up on 14 November  by the heads of the Christian communities but was only made public, December 9 . Some, but not all, of the leaders have previously issued joint statements.]
On Monday, the 14th of November, 1994, the heads of Christian Communities in Jerusalem met in solemn conclave to discuss the status of the holy city and the situation of Christians there, at the conclusion of which, they issued the following declaration:
2. Jerusalem, Holy City
Jerusalem is a city holy for the people of the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Its unique nature of sanctity endows it with a special vocation: calling for reconciliation and harmony among people, whether citizens, pilgrims or visitors. And because of its symbolic and emotive value, Jerusalem has been a rallying cry for different revived nationalistic and fundamentalist stirrings in the region and elsewhere. And, unfortunately, the city has become a source of conflict and disharmony. It is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab disputes. While the mystical call of the city attracts believers, its present unenviable situation scandalizes many.
3. The Peace Process
The current Arab-Israeli peace process is on the way towards resolution of the Middle East conflict. Some new facts have already been established, some concrete signs posted. But in the process Jerusalem has again been side-stepped, because its status, and especially sovereignty over the city, are the most difficult questions to resolve in future negotiations. Nevertheless, one must already begin to reflect on the questions and do whatever is necessary to be able to approach them in the most favourable conditions when the moment arrives.
4. Present Positions
When the different sides involved now speak of Jerusalem, they often assume exclusivist positions. Their claims are very divergent, indeed conflicting. The Israeli position is that Jerusalem should remain the unified and eternal capital of the State of Israel, under the absolute sovereignty of Israel alone. The Palestinians, on the other hand, insist that Jerusalem should become the capital of a future State of Palestine, although they do not lay claim to the entire modern city, but envisage only the Eastern, Arab part.
5. Lessons of History
Jerusalem has had a long, eventful history. It has known numerous wars and conquests, has been destroyed time and again, only to be reborn anew and rise from its ashes, like the mythical phoenix. Religious motivation has always gone hand in hand with political and cultural aspirations, and has often played a preponderant role. This motivation has often led to exclusivism or at least to the supremacy of one people over the others. But every exclusivity or every human supremacy is against the prophetic character of Jerusalem. Its universal vocation and appeal is to be a city of peace and harmony among all who dwell therein.
Jerusalem, like the entire Holy Land, has witnessed throughout its history the successive advent of numerous new peoples: they came from the desert, from the sea, from the north, from the east. Most often the newcomers were gradually integrated into the local population. This was a rather constant characteristic. But when the newcomers tried to claim exclusive possession of the city and the land, or refused to integrate themselves, then the others rejected them.
Indeed, the experience of history teaches us that in order for Jerusalem to be a city of peace, no longer lusted after from the outside and thus a bone of contention between warring sides, it cannot belong excessively to one people or to only one religion. Jerusalem should be open to all shared by all. Those who govern the city should make it "the capital of humankind." This universal vision of Jerusalem would help those who exercise power there to open it to others who also are fondly attached to it and to accept sharing it with them.
6. The Christian Vision of Jerusalem
Through the prayerful reading of the Bible, Christians recognize in faith that the long history of the people of God, with Jerusalem as its Centre, is the history of salvation which fulfills God's design in and through Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ.
The one God has chosen Jerusalem to be the place where His name alone will dwell in the midst of His people so that they may offer to Him acceptable worship. The prophets look up to Jerusalem, especially after the purification of the exile: Jerusalem will be called the city of justice, faithful city (Is 1:26-27) where the Lord dwells in holiness as in Sinai (cf Ps 68:18). The Lord will place the city in the middle of the nations (Ez 5:5), where the Second Temple will become a house of prayer for all peoples (Is 2:2, 56:6-7). Jerusalem, aglow with the presence of God (Is 60:1), ought to be a city whose gates are always open (Is 17).
In the vision of their faith, Christians believe the Jerusalem of the Prophets to be the foreseen place of the salvation in and through Jesus Christ. In the Gospels, Jerusalem rejects the Sent-One, the Saviour; and he weeps over it because this city of the prophets that is also the city of the essential salvific events - the death and resurrection of Jesus - has completely lost sight of the path to peace (cf Lk 19:42).
In the Acts of the Apostles, Jerusalem is the place of the gift of the Spirit, of the birth of the Church (2), the community of the disciples of Jesus who are to be His witnesses not only in Jerusalem but even the ends of the earth (1:8). In Jerusalem, the first Christian community incarnated the ecclesial ideal, and thus it remains a continuing reference point.
The Book of Revelations proclaims the anticipation of the new, heavenly Jerusalem (3:12; 21:2; cf Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22). This holy city is the image of the new creation and the aspirations of all peoples, where God will wipe away all tears, and "there shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the former world has passed away" (21:4).
7. The earthly Jerusalem, in the Christian tradition, prefigures the heavenly Jerusalem as "the vision of peace." In the Liturgy, the Church itself receives the name of Jerusalem and relives all of that city's anguish, joys and hopes. Furthermore, during the first centuries the liturgy of Jerusalem became the foundation of all liturgies everywhere, and later deeply influenced the development of diverse liturgical traditions, because of the many pilgrimages to Jerusalem and of the symbolic meaning of the Holy City.
8. The pilgrimages slowly developed an understanding of the need to unify the sanctification of space through celebrations at the Holy Places with the sanctification in time through the calendared celebrations of the holy events of salvation (Egeria, Cyril of Jerusalem). Jerusalem soon occupied a unique place in the heart of Christianity everywhere. A theology and spirituality of pilgrimage developed. It was an ascetic time of biblical refreshment at the sources, a time of testing during which Christians recalled that they are strangers and pilgrims on earth (cf Heb 11:13), and that their personal and community vocation always and everywhere is to take up the cross and follow Jesus.
9. The Continuing Presence of a Christian Community
For Christianity, Jerusalem is the place of roots, ever living and nourishing. In Jerusalem is born every Christian. To be in Jerusalem is for every Christian to be at home.
For almost two thousand years, through so many hardships and the succession of so many powers, the local Church has been witnessing to the life and preaching the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ upon the same Holy Places, and its faithful have been receiving other brothers and sisters in the faith, as pilgrims, resident or in transit, inviting them to be reimmersed into the refreshing, ever living ecclesiastical sources. That continuing presence of a living Christian community is inseparable from the historical sites. Through the "living stones" the holy archaeological sites take on "life."
10. The City as Holy and As Other Cities
The significance of Jerusalem for Christians thus has two inseparable fundamental dimensions:
1) a Holy City with holy places most precious to Christians because of their link with the history of salvation fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ;
2) a city with a community of Christians which has been living continually there since its origins.
Thus for the local Christians, as well as for local Jews and Moslems, Jerusalem is not only a Holy City, but also their native city where they live, hence their right to continue to live there freely, with all the rights which obtain from that.
11. Legitimate Demands of Christians for Jerusalem
Insofar as Jerusalem is the quintessential Holy City, it above all ought to enjoy full freedom of access to its holy places, and freedom of worship. Those rights of property ownership, custody and worship which the different churches have acquired through history should continue to be retained by the same communities. These rights which are already protected in the Status Quo of the Holy Places according to historical "firmans" and other documents, should continue to be recognized and respected.
The Christians of the entire world, Western or Eastern, should have the right to come on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. They ought to be able to find there all that is necessary to carry out their pilgrimage in the spirit of their authentic tradition: freedom to visit and to move around, to pray at holy sites, to embark into spiritual attendance and respectful practice of their faith, to enjoy the possibility of a prolonged stay and the benefits of hospitality and dignified lodgings.
12. The local Christian communities should enjoy all those rights to enable them to continue their active presence in freedom and to fulfill their responsibilities towards both their own local members and towards the Christian pilgrims throughout the world.
Local Christians, not only in their capacity as Christians per se, but like all other citizens, religious or not, should enjoy the same fundamental rights for all: social, cultural, political and national.
Among these rights are:
* the human right of freedom of worship and of conscience, both as individuals and as religious communities,
* civil and historical rights which allow them to carry out their religious, educational, medical and other duties of charity,
* the right to have their own institutions, such as hospices for pilgrims, institutions for the study of the Bible and the Traditions, centres for encounters with believers of other religions, monasteries, churches, cemeteries, and so forth, and the right to have their own personnel man and run these institutions.
13. In claiming these rights for themselves, Christians recognize and respect similar and parallel rights of Jewish and Muslim believers and their communities. Christians declare themselves disposed to search with Jews and Muslims for a mutually respectful application of these rights and for a harmonious coexistence, in the perspective of the universal spiritual vocation of Jerusalem.
14. Special Statute for Jerusalem
All this presupposes a special judicial and political statute for Jerusalem which reflects the universal importance and significance of the city.
1) In order to satisfy the national aspirations of all its inhabitants, and in order that Jews, Christians and Muslims can be "at home" in Jerusalem and at peace with one another, representatives from the three monotheistic religions, in addition to local political powers, ought to be associated in the elaboration and application of such a special statute.
2) Because of the universal significance of Jerusalem, the international community ought to be engaged in the stability and permanence of this statute. Jerusalem is too precious to be dependent solely on municipal or national political authorities, whoever they may be. Experience shows that an international guarantee is necessary.
Experience shows that such local authorities, for political reasons or the claims of security, sometimes are required to violate the rights of free access to the Holy Places. Therefore it is necessary to accord Jerusalem a special statute which will allow Jerusalem not to be victimized by laws imposed as a result of hostilities or wars but to be an open city which transcends local, regional or world political troubles. This statute, established in common by local political and religious authorities, should also by guaranteed by the international community.
Jerusalem is a symbol and a promise of the presence of God, of fraternity and peace for humankind, in particular the children of Abraham: Jews, Christians and Muslims.
We call upon all parties concerned to comprehend and accept the nature and deep significance of Jerusalem, City of God. None can appropriate it in exclusivist ways. We invite each party to go beyond all exclusivist visions or actions, and without discrimination, to consider the religious and national aspirations of others, in order to give back to Jerusalem its true universal character and to make of the city a holy place of reconciliation for humankind.
H.B. Diodoros I - Greek Orthodox Patriarch
H.G. Archbishop David Sahagin for the Armenian Patriarch
That this Council of General Synod request the General Secretary to send congratulations to the dioceses of Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama on the formation of the new Episcopal Province of the Central American Region, to be inaugurated April 18, 1998. CARRIED #18-03-98
That this Council of General Synod receive the statement on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide with its supporting documentation and commend the statement to General Synod for adoption as a policy statement of the Anglican Church of Canada.
That the words after "documentation" on the second line be deleted and replaced with the following:
"for distribution as a study paper throughout the Anglican Church of Canada; responses to be gathered by the FWM Committee and reported to COGS by March 1999." CARRIED
The motion as amended now reads:
That this Council of General Synod receive the statement on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide with its supporting documentation for distribution as a study paper throughout the Anglican Church of Canada; responses to be gathered by the FWM Committee and reported to COGS by March 1999.
CARRIED as amended #09-03-98
A second resolution commending the supporting documentation to General Synod was withdrawn.
That the Council of General Synod adjourn and reconvene as the Board of Management of the Missionary Society of the Church in Canada. CARRIED #29-05-97
Car Loan Fund
Moved by: Dr. E. Johnson
Seconded by: Ms. D. Brookes
That the Officers of the MSCC be authorized to transfer $75,000 from the MSCC General Reserve to the Car Loan Fund to bring the Fund up to a total of $500,000. This will leave approximately $450,000 in the MSCC General Reserve. CARRIED
Seconded by: Ms. L. Janze
That the General Secretary and the Director of Partnerships be authorized to sell Shaw House within the next year, following a professional appraisal by a licensed appraiser, the sale being conditional upon the approval of the Chair's Advisory Committee of the Financial Management and Development Committee; and further, that the proceeds of the sale be put into the MSCC General Reserve. This should increase the General Reserve to approximately $750,000. CARRIED
Earned Income Transfers -- MSCC/General Synod
Seconded by: Archdeacon A. Skirving
That, beginning in 1998, the Officers of the MSCC be authorized to transfer to the General Synod each year, 90% of the income earned by the MSCC General Reserve, the remaining 10% of earned income to be reinvested, and that this action be reviewed in the year 2003. CARRIED
Adjournment of MSCC
Moved by: Ms. D. Sibley
That the Board of Management of the Missionary Society of the Church in Canada adjourn and reconvene as the Council of General Synod. CARRIED
Ms. Linda Barry-Hollowell, Chair of the Review Task Force, was welcomed and outlined the process to date. Twenty-two written submissions had been received. A draft report will be prepared by the end of December, following which a further opportunity will be provided for response to the recommendations. The task force will submit its final report to Council of General Synod in March 1998 for approval, prior to forwarding to General Synod.
The Primate expressed appreciation to Ms. Barry Hollowell. [Other members of the task force are Mr. George Hostick and Archdeacon Colin Johnston.]
That this Council express its gratitude and support to the Officers of General Synod for their leadership in, and management of, the recent complaint of sexual harassement at Church House. CARRIED #02-11-97