"That this House ratifies the appointments of Bishops Goodman, Somerville and Valentine on this Task Force, and that papers prepared by the Task Force on the Role of the Episcopate, and the Role of the House of Bishops be received and considered as an agenda item, and further, that any responses, comments, etc., regarding the papers, be forwarded to the Primate or Archdeacon Light to be passed along to Bishops Somerville, Valentine and Goodman." CARRIED
A letter was received by the Primate requesting that the Anglican Church of Canada, along with other Churches, celebrate the 1600th anniversary of the Council of Constantinople at which the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit was formulated, on October 4th, 1981.
That the Primate contact the clergy suggesting that on October 4th we join with the Orthodox Church in the 1600th Anniversary of the Council of Constantinople with its emphasis on the Holy Spirit. CARRIED
The Primate welcomed Canon Ebert Hobbs, Mr. William Hanrahan and Mr. Kevin Allen to the meeting.
Canon Hobbs presented three aspects of Anglicans-In-Mission as an up-date.
(a) what has been happening
(b) visits with dioceses and strategy for the future
(c) outline of timetable.
Staff for Anglicans-In-Mission has now been hired. Phase I of the Mission Study will be ready for distribution around the middle of November, and 200 people have been asked to read the material and comment. The national case statement will be ready for the November meeting of the National Executive Council, and will be presented for approval. Accountability procedures have been tightened up and the categories in which the money will be spent have been listed. Results to date indicate that twenty-nine dioceses have dealt with the question of participation, with the remaining dioceses to make a decision at their next Synods.
Canon Hobbs expressed thanks to the Bishops for the generous cooperation which has been accorded Anglicans-In-Mission staff.
He said that Anglicans-In-Mission is simply a tool or a process, and it will be what is made of it. He expressed appreciation for the openness with which people have expressed their feelings.
Canon Hobbs recognized that, unless Church leaders are prepared to take the first step in raising the money to reach the agreed goal, it will not work and if the goal is not reached, it will mean cutting back on the program. He stressed that Anglicans-In-Mission needs the full cooperation of all dioceses if it is to be effective. Each diocese is urged to use the plan which has been developed. Anglicans-In-Mission is a partnership programme - parish to diocese and diocese to national, and each will have to make decisions and must be faithful to Anglicans-In-Mission. Canon Hobbs said that the attitude towards the Project is positive, and that he has discerned a strong desire to move together and make Anglicans-In-Mission a success.
Mr. Allen reflected upon his observations gathered in diocesan visitations. A position description for Diocesan Coordinators was distributed along with a Statistical Analysis of Diocesan Visits.
Mr. Hanrahan reviewed papers on strategy and planning, and a flow chart entitled, "Movement of Anglicans-In-Mission Through Eight Stations of Process and Activity."
Archbishop Garnsworthy thanked Canon Hobbs and the Community Counselling Services staff for their willing help and generous assistance and encouragement.
Following an open discussion and question period, the Primate summarized the main points raised as follows:
(1) Kit Study Materials - Suggested that the dioceses may wish to add further materials and requested that suggestions be conveyed to Canon Hobbs;
(2) National Consultation on Mission - The Message from the National Consultation may be included in the first Study Kit;
(3) Anglicans-In-Mission and continuing Stewardship Program - should be kept in on-going relationship to the dioceses.
(4) It was suggested that a national event, such as Theology '76, be held in 1984.
(5) It was suggested that consideration be given to events and gatherings which will inspire the Church in the next year or two.
Canon Hobbs encouraged the Bishops to organize their diocesan efforts as they find most useful, but urged the Bishops to keep the national structure informed.
That the Call the [be] approved, and read in Canadian Churches on the first Sunday in Advent. CARRIED #1-11-81
In June 1980 the General Synod decided to undertake one of the most challenging programs in the history of the Anglican Church of Canada. Known as Anglicans-In-Mission and based on the question "What is God calling us to do in the 80's?", the program is an attempt to develop a renewed vision of the Church's mission and to provide human and financial resources for translating the vision into actions during the remainder of the decade.
The first phase of the program was a Feasibility Study in every Diocese. The results indicate strong support in all parts of the country. As the next phase begins, we the Bishops, unanimously call upon every Diocese and congregation to examine carefully the Anglicans-In-Mission proposal, and to give it their unreserved support.
In particular we urge all members of the Church, both clergy and lay, to share in a carefully prepared program of reflection, study and prayer during 1982, so that we might gain a better understanding of the Church's mission in today's world, and on the basis of that understanding renew our commitment to partnership in mission.
Anglicans-In-Mission depends on the full involvement of all of us; Bishops, other clergy and laity together. We look to the future in confidence, faith and hope, and we invite you to share in that future.
Bishop Woolsey reported that the Diocese of Athabasca had recently had a Conference on the laying-on-of-hands and anointing with oil.
There is no statement from the House of Bishops regarding the anointing of the sick with oil by lay people. The House was reminded that, in his paper, Bishop Henry Hill stated that any Bishop can authorize anyone to anoint, but it is usually assigned to clergy only. There are no diocesan policies, but some Bishops have given special permission.
That the House of Bishops affirm the rubric on page 555 of the Book of Alternative Services as constituting the general guidelines for unction.
The rubric reads: "The oil for the anointing of the sick is to be used only by clergy and those lay persons who have received authorization by the diocesan bishop." [CARRIED #2-11-86]
A report provided by the Rev. W.E. Lowe regarding the Canadian Interfaith Communications Network, along with a letter which Mr. Lowe prepared for distribution to all Parishes, was discussed.
Bishop Parke-Taylor distributed copies of a memorandum which he had received from the Media Communications Committee of the Diocese of Toronto in which the Committee raised concern regarding the philosophy, content and funding of the enterprise.
That the House of Bishops request that the issues raised by the Diocese of Toronto be discussed with Inter-Church Communications and that this matter be referred to the Program Committee for consideration. CARRIED #5-2-84
The Primate welcomed Bishop Hatfield and the Rev. Christopher Carr who presented the Report of the Task Force on Capital Punishment.
Bishop Hatfield said that the Report was completed prior to the recent rash of killings of police officers, which has created a high stress level. Because of the killings, the Task Force felt that this is a most opportune time to conduct an educational session on Capital Punishment.
Bishop Hatfield said that some Churches have not indicated agreement with the abolition of capital punishment, but that those who have done so have not changed their stands. Examples were given in which it was illustrated that the threat of the death penalty would not have been a deterrent to murder.
The Primate shared reflections from two lawyers who have studied the report, and invited open discussion.
That a short statement be issued by the House of Bishops on the subject of Capital Punishment. CARRIED #6-10-84
It was agreed that a small group prepare a suggested statement for the perusal of the House and that the Task Force be requested to revise the paper in the light of comments by the House. The statement, when approved, is to be addressed to the Anglican constituency and the citizens of Canada. The revised Report is to be presented at the February, 1985 meeting of the House.
The Primate thanked Bishop Hatfield and Mr. Carr for being present and addressing the House, and expressed appreciation to the members of the Task Force for their work.
Archbishop Bothwell read a letter from St. George's Church, St. Catharines, exentending an invitation to host a two-day seminar at Brock University as an anniversary project on the occasion of that parish's 200th anniversary. The suggested focus for the seminar was "Authority in the Anglican Communion."
The proposal is to invite outstanding leaders of the Anglican Communion. Bishops would be invited to submit questions regarding authority which they would like to have addressed at the workshop.
That this invitation be referred to the Agenda Committee of the House of Bishops to report back to the next meeting of the House. CARRIED