That in view of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision with regard to abortion law, we ask the Primate to appoint a small Task Force to review the Church's position on the abortion issue and to report its recommendations to the May meeting of the National Executive Council, and to the October meeting of the House of Bishops.
That the words "to appoint a small task force to review the church's position on the abortion issue" be deleted and the following inserted in their place, "to appoint a small task force to study what action needs to be taken to uphold our Church's stand on abortion in relation to changes in the abortion law".
The motion, as amended, was put and CARRIED.
The motion, as amended, is as follows:
That, in view of the Supreme Court of Canada's decision with regard to the abortion law, we ask the Primate to appoint a small task force to study what action needs to be taken to uphold our Church's stand on abortion in relation to changes in the abortion law, and to report its recommendations to the May meeting of the National Executive Council, and to the October meeting of the House of Bishops.
The Primate reported that Mrs. Joy Maclaren had assisted him in drawing up a letter which was intended to be sent to people who had made commitments to Anglicans in Mission but who have not, as yet, made payments. He asked the Bishops to make their comments about this letter and relay them to him.
The Primate reminded the House that the Anglicans in Mission Steering Committee had recommended to the National Executive Council that a Continuity and Planning Study be undertaken. The Rev. Michael Rolph amplified the printed report, noting that each Diocese had participated in the study. Mr. Kevin Allen of Community Charitable Counselling Service of Canada, in reviewing the Report, expressed the belief that concerns around implementation would be in the areas of structure, methodology and approach. It was recognized that, while the Study conveyed the feelings of the people, it should not necessarily be assumed that this is the most constructive course of action.
Mr. Allen said that stewardship should have a place of high priority in the life of the Church at the present time and recommended that the National Executive Council and the House of Bishops should collaborate on methods and designs.
Mr. Allen reminded the House of the Motion of the 1983 General Synod about the one percent program. He said that personal example is the best form of leadership, but doubted that the one percent program would be effective.
Mr. Allen said that a collation of the questionnaires will be distributed to the members of the House, when completed. He said that, when speaking of "the national Church", reference should be made to the whole of the Church in Canada and the National and Diocesan Offices should work together in full co-operation. Mr. Allen said that comments made by the members of the House will be taken into account in the preparation of the report which will be presented to the National Executive Council.
Canon Hobbs presented statistics on income.
That this House of Bishops agrees that the Sunday in 1985 designated for Anglicans in Mission be October 20th. CARRIED #3-10-84
The National Steering Committee has met for the last time and a small Committee has been appointed, subject to the approval of the National Executive Council, to oversee the follow-up work.
Canon Hobbs was pleased to announce that the Anglicans in Mission book is proceeding well and is expected to be ready for sale in the Spring of 1985.
It was reported that conferences are planned for January and February, 1985, to assist Dioceses in Anglicans in Mission follow-up. A Conference is to be held in eastern Canada and one in western Canada, but it was recognized that some of the Dioceses may not feel it necessary to participate.
Canon Hobbs said that alterations will be made in the records of financial and donor statistics from the Dioceses of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador and the Diocese of Montreal. Concern was expressed regarding the spending of overage funds before receipt of these funds, and further information was requested.
The Primate thanked Canon Hobbs and Canon Glen Bresee and paid special tribute to the members of the Anglicans in Mission staff for their loyalty and support to the Anglicans in Mission project. Thanks were expressed, also, to the members of the national staff who have worked so diligently to bring together Anglicans in Mission and the Program of the Church.
It was decided to consult the House with reference to a request for support of an ecumenical Pastoral asking that Christian people in Canada, and others, join in a day of prayer and fasting "in order that we might more clearly discern what the Lord would have us do to fashion peace in this troubled world."
That copies of the revised Ecumenical Pastoral be sent to all clergy with full explanation and suggestions for its use. CARRIED #14-2-84
AN ECUMENICAL PASTORAL LETTER
March 1, 1984
Amid the fear and anxiety created in the hearts of many people by the threat of nuclear war, Christians are called to bear witness to a hope that is firmly rooted in their Faith. This hope is not founded in some naive optimism, but in God revealed in Jesus Christ.
God in Christ encountered the tragic and sinful forces present in our world. These same forces continue to be sources of violence and oppression, immorality and injustice, but we do not despair. The eyes of faith which saw the Resurrection of our Lord discern the Spirit of God at work as a life-giver and as peace-maker among us. We believe the madness of the arms race can be stopped; the hearts of men and women can be changed from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh; we can beat our swords into ploughshares; we can choose life over death. But for this to happen we must not only speak about the "peace of God"; we must also work for peace.
If we dare to speak and act for God, we must be attentive to the word and wisdom which God is addressing to us. In this regard the Scriptures say that in prayer and fasting we grow in our knowledge of what God wills for us. Today we have great need to listen with care to our God.
At this time, therefore, when people everywhere are seeking the way to peace, we invite Christian people in Canada, people of other faith communities, and all men and women of goodwill to participate in a special day of prayer and of fasting. We suggest that this day be Friday, 13 April .
For Christians, the Risen Christ has made peace available in a special way in the community that is the Church. To all humanity, the Creator God gives the precious gift of life. We invite all to celebrate this gift and to share in our hope for peace. We especially invite Christians to reflect on the hope that the Gospel makes possible as we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord during Easter.
May men and women everywhere be touched by the Peace of Christ and offer it one to another as a sign of hope in our troubled times.
1. That this House of Bishops inform NEC of its intention to send the resolutions from Group I(A), as attached, to the Standing Committees listed for consideration, recommendation and possible presentation to General Synod 1989.
2. That the General Secretary inform units #1-27 of this action as soon as possible.
3. That members of this House who relate to one or more of these units expedite the referral process. CARRIED
1. Reaffirms its unity in the historical position of respect for diocesan boundaries and the authority of bishops within these boundaries; and in the light of the above
2. Affirms that it is deemed inappropriate behaviour for any bishop of this Communion to exercise episcopal ministry within another diocese without first obtaining the permission and invitation of the episcopal authority thereof.
That this House reaffirm paragraphs 1. and 2. with the word "Ecclesial" being changed to "Episcopal." CARRIED
Bishop Williams said that, in the Arctic, there are fifty-one communities, twenty-one of which do not have a permanent priest. He said that it is very expensive and time consuming to get to these communities which started out as CMS projects having Eucharistic allowance many years ago. The parishes are demanding Eucharistic ministry more and more, and they are now looking at the possibility of locally raised clergy.
That this House of Bishops requests the new Doctrine and Worship Committee to reconsider the question of the provision of regular sacramental ministry to communities where the ministry of a priest is not available except at infrequent intervals. Such consideration should include a study of the House of Bishops Guidelines of 1983 and the Form of Service produced by Doctrine and Worship for use on such occasions. CARRIED
Bishop J. Clarke, Bishop Ordinary to the Forces, reported to the House.
Bishop Clarke described educational opportunities which are available to Armed Forces personnel, and the Chaplain Student Training Program for students who are going through for the ministry. Part of the training program would be a two year curacy in parish work, upon the completion of which the person would enter into full time Armed Forces service. He said that candidates will go through the regular ACPO [Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination] process and they will require diocesan support and approval. He noted that Armed Forces personnel are eligible for retirement at 55 years of age and should have a home diocese to which to return.
That this House send a message of good wishes to Brig. General Stuart [sic i.e. Stewart] H. Clarke, newly-appointed Chaplain General of the Armed Forces. CARRIED