Bishop Matthews reported on the Joint Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) which met November 19-20, 1994. This was in response to a recommendation from the October 1994 gathering of the House of Bishops which recommended to the Committee on Ministry that a small joint taskforce meet. It was suggested that the joint taskforce should be made up of two representatives from the Committee on Ministry and two representatives from the House of Bishops in order to review the ACPO process, and to make recommendations about the future of ACPO to NEC when it met in March 1995.
The Joint Committee made six recommendations which they presented. There was some discussion in plenary about the recommendations, the role of ACPO and whether or not it should continue. The question "Where do the ACPO recommendations go now?" was asked of the House.
At Archbishop Peers' request, a small taskforce was formed to investigate whether or not it would be possible for the House of Bishops to reach a common mind regarding ACPO. The taskforce consisted of Bishop Matthews, Bishop Bays, Archbishop Crawley, Bishop Mason and Bishop Morgan. They agreed to report back to the House later in the meeting.
When the taskforce reported back to the House they made several recommendations (see appendix i) and proposed the following motion.
That this House urges NEC to provide funding for ACPO at 65% of the 1994 budget for ACPO. CARRIED
House of Bishops' ACPO Report Response Group
Membership: Bishops Bays, Hiltz, Mason, Matthews and Archbishop Crawley.
1. That dioceses engaged in selecting non-stipendiary and locally raised up priests invite the regional Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) secretary or his/her designate to attend the diocesan screening procedure as an assessor in that process.
2. That future ACPO conferences offer the category "recommended at this time for postulancy" instead of "recommended at this time for training."
3. That at this time no ACPO procedure for the vocational diaconate be set up by the provincial or national church structures.
4. That this House of Bishops affirm the existing standard that no one be ordained to the priesthood without attaining an ACPO conference, while also acknowledging that there will be more than one expression of ACPO conference in the future.
5. That the April 1996 meeting of the House of Bishops spend significant time on the topic of "mutual ministry." We suggest assistance be sought from Bishop Tom Ray or Dirk Rinehart.
6. That this House of Bishops urges the National Executive Council (NEC) to provide funding for ACPO at not less than 65% of the 1994 ACPO budget.
(Note: The sixth recommendation was put before the House of Bishops as a motion. See House of Bishops Minutes, May 1995, pages 5-6.)
Archbishop Morgan addressed the proposed funding cuts re the Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) and discussion ensued.
Moved by: Archbishop Morgan
Seconded by: Bishop Cruickshank
"That the House of Bishops request the Financial Management and Development Committee and Council of General Synod to consider reinstating the budget for ACPO." WITHDRAWN
"That as the House of Bishops considers ACPO to be a priority, the Financial Management and Development Committee and the Council of General Synod be requested, in consultation with ACPO Chairs and Secretaries, to reconsider the proposed funding cut in 2001." CARRIED Res. HB 16-10-00
Archbishop O'Driscoll and Bishop Matthews, both members of the Bishop of New Westminster's Council of Advice, reported on the last meeting. The Council had been established by Bishop Ingham following the last diocesan synod when a resolution (#9) supporting blessing the unions of same-sex couples had passed 179 votes (for) to 170 votes (against). Bishop Ingham was unable to attend the meeting of the House of Bishops, but did send the members of the House a letter which was distributed to them following Archbishop O'Driscoll's and Bishop Matthews' reports.
The Council members included: the Ven. Neil Grey, St. Paul's Anglican Church, Vancouver; the Very Rev. Peter Elliott, Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver; the Rev. Margaret Marquardt, St. Margaret's Anglican Church, Vancouver; the Rev. David Short, of St. John's Anglican Church (Shaughnessy), Vancouver; the Rev. Silas Ng, Church of Emmanuel, Richmond; Mr. George Cadman, Chancellor of the Ecclesiastical Province of BC and Yukon and also the Diocese of New Westminster; the Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews and the Most Rev. Percy O'Driscoll representatives from the House of Bishops; and the Rev. Eric Beresford, Consultant for Ethics and Interfaith Relations at the national office.
Archbishop O'Driscoll reported that Bishop Ingham began the first meeting of the Council of Advice by indicating that the purpose of the council was for advice and that he would be the individual making the final decision on how to act on resolution 9. Archbishop O'Driscoll followed with a report of the May 1998 meeting of the House of Bishops and its reaction to Bishop Ingham's report on the Diocese of New Westminster's Synod and resolution #9. Bishop Matthews and Mr. Berserk also added their perspectives (for the Council of Advice) about the discussion which took place at the meeting of the House of Bishops. The Council of Advice then discussed what had occurred in the summer of 1998 around the issue of human sexuality at the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England. Following that conversation, each of the members of the Council of Advice were given the opportunity to talk about what had happened in their parish since resolution #9 passed. Bishop Ingham then reported on the correspondence he had received since the diocesan synod meeting about resolution #9. Some of it has been supportive of him and others quite vicious and hateful. The Council of Advice then talked about emerging issues for the Diocese of New Westminster. At that point, Mr. Short who had been suffering from a migraine headache since the morning had to leave. Since the other members of the Council of Advice thought his contribution was important, the meeting ended then and the next meeting was scheduled for December 11, 1998.
Bishop Ingham's letter to the House of Bishops was distributed to them.
Archbishop Peers asked Bishop Mason and Archbishop Crawley to draft a resolution about where the House was on the issue for consideration later in the meeting.
Archbishop Peers thanked Bishop Matthews and Archbishop O'Driscoll for their work on behalf of the House.
1. `That we request the Primate to convey our prayerful concern to Michael Ingham. This was agreed to by the members of the House of Bishops.' CARRIED #04i-11-98
2. 'That we send the following message to Michael Ingham. "We recognize that the combination of the need for a further meeting of your Council of Advice, and the conflict between the dates for the meeting of the House of Bishops and your clergy conference, precluded the possibility of your fulfilling your intention of conferring further with the House at its November 1998 meeting.
In light of the time and energy spent in prayer, study, and work, to develop our 1997 Guidelines on Human Sexuality, we believe it would be inappropriate for any one of us to take unilateral action that goes beyond the Guidelines.
We want to consult further with you before you publish your final decision, and we have directed the Agenda Committee to set aside a block of time at our May 1999 meeting, for this purpose.'" CARRIED #04ii-11-98
Earlier in the meeting a handout produced by the House of Bishops' Homosexuality Task Force and the Rev. Eric Beresford, Coordinator for Ethics and Interfaith Relations at the national office, was distributed to the members. (The task force had been requested at the last meeting of the House of Bishops to rewrite the 1979 Guidelines and then to bring it to the fall 1997 meeting for discussion.) The Primate began the session by reminding the members that the document (marked `confidential') was for discussion purposes only and not for general distribution.
Archbishop O'Driscoll thanked the other members of the task force (Archbishop Crawley and Bishop Morgan) and Mr. Beresford for their help in writing the paper. He reminded the House that the document had been produced at its request and then reported on the task force meeting in Saskatoon. He said that the task force had tried to fulfil its mandate, and that the intention was that the document would reflect the mind of the House. He suggested that the House should discuss the document and that if it found the revised guidelines to be fundamentally flawed, the House should say so by way of a motion. He added that the task force had requested written submissions from the members and prior to their meeting they had received two.
Discussion about support for possible amendments to the document followed before it was agreed to accept the revised guidelines as they were presented to the House.
That the House adopt and approve the statement by the House of Bishops and make it available to the rest of the Church. CARRIED
The House of Bishops' nomination committee reported that the nominees for the House of Bishops' Standing Committee on Religious Orders were: Bishop Tottenham, Bishop Matthews, and Bishop Bedford-Jones.
Bishop Matthews was elected the episcopal representative to the House of Bishops' Standing Committee on Religious Orders.
That the ballots be destroyed. CARRIED #HB-03-04-02
Archbishop O'Driscoll presented a report on behalf of the House of Bishops' Taskforce on Homosexuality. The taskforce met with the House of Bishops' Continuing Education and Agenda Committees. He said that the taskforce had a sense that the House needs closure [on] the topic of homosexuality and the Church, and inquired about how the House would like to do that. Archbishop O'Driscoll [brought] the following questions before the House for its consideration.
- What [do] I believe is best for the Church in terms of the dioceses and the Church at large.
- What are the (positive and negative) consequences of our response to question I ?
- Do we need to have some discussion about collegiality ?
That the House accept the proposal presented by Archbishop O'Driscoll on behalf of the Homosexuality Task Force, and that the conversation take place at the spring 1997 meeting of the House. CARRIED
Some discussion followed and it was suggested that there needs to be a notice sent out describing the process which the bishops would follow to close this topic (for the time being) and then what was decided. And also, that material about what the House of Bishops have said previously about collegiality should be distributed to the members for reference.
Later the House nominated Bishop Ferris to be the contact person with the Implementation Team. It was also thought that a province should be appointed to work on a paper on the role of the House of Bishops.
That the House of Bishops request the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario to prepare a paper on the role of the House of Bishops. And that the paper be circulated first to the House of Bishops, and then to the Implementation Team. CARRIED
Bishop Baycroft asked if it would be helpful to identify the Canadian staff people who were at the Lambeth Conference. He said it would be an idea to write a resolution thanking them. Some of the Canadians at the Lambeth Conference as staff were: Ms. Mia Anderson, the Rev. Ron Barnes, the Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, the Rev. Canon David Hamid, the Rev. David Harris, the Ven. Lynn Ross, Ms. Erin Rutherford, the Rev. Canon John Rye, the Rev. Canon Gordon Light, Mr. Eric Tanuan, Mr. Doug Tindal, and Ms. Jo Mutch.
That we commend our thanks to Canadians who made a contribution towards the Lambeth Conference. CARRIED #03-11-98