That this General Synod initiate, under the auspices of the World Council of Churches and with the Roman Catholic Church, an ongoing international consultation on Christian human values applicable to biomedical research and practice. CARRIED ACT 40
"That this 27th General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada meeting in Session at Quebec, sends its greetings to the Archbishop of Quebec, His Eminence. Maurice, Cardinal Roy, his clergy, religious, and people and thanks them for the warmth and cordiality of the welcome we have received in the homes and parishes of the Archdiocese of Quebec. We are grateful for the pastoral vision embodied in the arrangements so effectively made by Father Armand Desautels and his committee.
We have been profoundly inspired by this expression of fraternal love in the Spirit of Christ and we pray that by that same Spirit we may be drawn 'Together in Christ'."
"Il est resolu
Que ce 27e Synode Général de l'Eglise Anglicane du Canada, réuni à Québec transmet ses salutations à l'Archevêque de Québec, son Eminence, Maurice, Cardinal Roy, son clergé, religieux, et son peuple, demême que notre appreciation de l'acceuil chaleureux et cordial que nous avons recu aux foyers et aux paroisses de l'archdiocèse de Québec. Nous apprécions la vision pastorale des arrangements éfficaces entrepris par le Rev. Armand Desautels et par sa comités.
Cette experience d'amour fraternel dans l'Esprit du Christ nour a profondement inspiré et nous prions que ce même Esprit puisse nous unit dans le Christ."
That in the work of preparation of new services of worship all revisions be made in accordance with the Gospel and the historic Faith and Worship of the Church, and that full consultation take place with the dioceses before any proposed revision is put before General Synod for approval. CARRIED ACT 88
That the Motion be amended by changing Section 1 to read:
"Recognizes the imperative to search for a true Canadian unity which recognizes both the needs of major cultural groupings to exist within our nation and the rights of minority groups within these cultures. CARRIED
The Motion as amended now reads
That the twenty-eighth Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, meeting in session:
1) Recognize the imperative to search for a true Canadian unity which recognizes both the needs of major cultural groupings to exist within our nation and the rights of minority groups within these cultures;
2) Convey a message to the Prime Minister of Canada and the First Ministers of the Provinces and Territories, declaring our concern that the just language cultural and identity rights of all citizens be recognized throughout the country;
3) Appoint a task force to continue consideration and clarification of the ways by which the Anglican Church of Canada can contribute to national unity.
That this General Synod receives the Statement on Christian Initiation 1977, prepared by the Joint Task Force of the Doctrine and Worship Committee and the House of Bishops, commends it (together with the literature on this subject in our own and other churches) for study throughout the Church in the context of the conditions and guidelines set out in the Memorial of the House of Bishops of August 1977 on this subject, and requests that the House of Bishops and the Doctrine and Worship Committee bring a `Statement on Christian Initiation' to the next General Synod. CARRIED Act 29
Text of Statement is taken from "Memorials and Petitions" in Journal of Proceedings, [No,] 4. ii) House of Bishops, pp. 171-173.
Note: This Memorial is the result of the work of a Joint Task Force of the Doctrine and Worship Committee and the House of Bishops.
That the following Statement on Christian Initiation be adopted:
In the Christian Church men and women who come to faith in the Lord Jesus are welcomed into His Body through their repentance and affirmation of faith in Him, and through his His gift of grace in Baptism, the Laying-on-of-Hands and the Holy Communion. In Anglican tradition, the Bishop presides at this Service.
In Christian tradition, it has been the concern of the Church that children begin in the process of initiation and growing up into Christ from their earliest days. The acts of initiation are not private matters, but belong within the community of faith and require commitment to our Lord by the parents within that community. Differing patterns for this process have evolved in our Anglican Church. We seek to hold these variations together:
1. After careful preparation of the parents by the parish priest, an infant or child may receive baptism with water and laying-on-of-hands. Any of the authorized services may be used, but must include immediately after the dipping or pouring of water, in the Name of the Trinity, the Bishop or Priest placing a hand on the infant's head and saying: "N., you are sealed by the Holy Spirit as a child of God, (and we receive you into the congregation of Christ's flock, signing you with the sign of the cross (+) .....)". The Bishop may authorize the use of chrism in this action.
2. It is expected that subsequently all who have been baptized in childhood will, after careful preparation, renew their baptismal vows in a mature public affirmation of faith, commit themselves to share in the Lord's ministry in and through His Church, and receive the laying-on-of-hands by the Bishops.
Parishes have a responsibility within their faith community to help growing Christians make this step of commitment and articulate their belief.
3-A. In parishes where diocesan authority has been given *a baptized child, having pastoral instruction from priest and parents, and reverently seeking to partake of the Holy Communion, may proceed after a simple affirmation of faith to Communion.
3-B. It is recognized that many Christians will seek to receive the Holy Communion after they have made their mature personal commitment, thereby responding to their baptism with repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus, and have received the grace that comes through the further sealing of the initiation covenant in the laying-on-of the Bishop's hands.
Initiation is the commencement of a process of growth. The stages of such growth cannot be programmed, but are dependent on the Holy Spirit and man's openness to His activity. Accordingly, further affirmations of faith may be made publicly and sealed with the laying-on-of-hands as other significant steps in faith and commitment are made.
*Regulations for this shall be determined in each Diocese.
Statement on Christian Initiation, 1977
The National House of Bishops has devoted considerable blocks of time at each of its meetings since the last General Synod to the responsibilities given to it by that Synod of studying and recommending upon the subject of Christian Initiation. We draw attention once more to the plurality of views and practices of Christian Initiation in our Church at this time. We recognize the potential in this plurality for enrichment and growth in the life of the Church. Yet we are also aware that there is a danger of further confusion and perhaps even division, and for that reason we are committed to a continuing study and review of present practices.
The statement on Initiation which the Doctrine and Worship Committee and we have jointly sent to General Synod may provide a creative pattern of initiation which could satisfy all. At the August 1977 meeting of the House immediately prior to general Synod however, we felt strongly that the document had not yet been studied widely enough to assure a responsible decision which would meet with acceptance throughout the Church.
We therefore suggest that General Synod should receive the "Statement on Christian Initiation 1977" and commend it for study in the context of the many writings on this subject currently available in our own and other churches. It would be our intention, in consultation with the Doctrine and Worship Committee, to bring back the statement in either its present or an amended form for consideration at the next General Synod.
In this interim certain conditions seem to us to be mandatory if this is indeed to be a time of creativity and enrichment:
We urge all Dioceses and all Canadian Anglicans to become involved in studying and coming to grips with the theological and pastoral bases which underlie the practices now authorized in the Church and substantially represented in the Statement.
We urge toleration and recognition of the divergent practices which have been and may be authorized by the national and/or Provincial Houses of Bishops. We hope that at the local level a spirit of understanding and charity will mark the acceptance of persons or families which have moved from an area where different practices are followed. By the same token we would look for a similar spirit in the individual who finds himself in a congregation where his familiar practices are not followed.
We have come to a full agreement for the present on certain guidelines which update and replace those issued in 1973:
(a) Baptism with water in the name of the Trinity, being the sacrament of initiation commanded by our Lord, should never be treated lightly and casually. Infant Baptism should always be preceded by careful preparation of parents and God-parents and should take place at the main Service of the day in the midst of the Christian Community. At this time we are not ready for any Bishop to authorize clergy to lay-on-hands in association with Baptism.
(b) All who have been baptized in childhood should, after careful preparation, renew their baptismal vows in a mature and public affirmation of faith, commit themselves to share in the Lord's ministry in and through His Church, and receive the laying-on-of-hands by the Bishop. We see this symbol of growth in the realization of our Baptism as being an important step for all members of our fellowship (including those who may have received the laying-on-of-hands in infancy and those who may have become communicants in the Church in childhood).
(c) Some will choose not to become communicants until after a mature affirmation of faith and the laying-on-of-hands by the Bishop. However, children who have been baptized may become communicants subject to the decision of their parents, the parish priest and the diocesan Bishop. This should not take place before a child can make a simple affirmation of faith and has been given appropriate instruction as to the meaning of communion and how to receive the sacrament with reverence. The Bishop will need assurance that this practice is acceptable to the parish and in his diocese.
(d) Adults who at various times in their lives come to significant new realizations of their baptism and understanding of their faith are encouraged to express these through a confession of faith in the context of prayer and the laying-on-of-hands by the Bishop in the midst of the Christian community.
Our hope is that by prayer, study and charitable acceptance of one another, we may be led by God to a deeper and richer understanding of the meaning of membership in the Church and of our growth in the spirit.
That the service entitled "Commitment and Commissioning" be referred back to the Doctrine and Worship Committee for further study and work and after consultation with the House of Bishops be published for experimental use where authorized by the Bishop. CARRIED ACT 72
That this General Synod reaffirms its commitment to the Biblical principle of tithing as the basis for Christian Stewardship, calls upon every member of Synod to make a personal commitment to the principle, and supports the National Executive Council and dioceses in developing educational programs that will increase the number of Christians committed to tithing as part of the meaning of their membership in the Church. CARRIED ACT 93