1) ask the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee to produce a guide for dioceses to assist in the development or adaptation, and adoption, of codes of ethics and of best standards for those authorized for the practice of ministry; and
2) encourage each diocese to develop such codes of ethics during the next 2 triennia 2004-2010, with the assistance of this guide, and to report on progress to General Synod 2007. CARRIED Act 75
That the Council of General Synod request the next COGS to oversee the development of:
- i) national policies concerning physical abuse, sexualized violence, bullying and harassment for adoption by dioceses within the Anglican Church of Canada and to present these policies for adoption to the next General Synod in 2016;
- ii) a national screening policy for ministry in the church, lay and ordained, for adoption by dioceses within the Anglican Church of Canada and present this policy to the next General Synod in 2016.
That the Council of General Synod recommend that General Synod 2007 affirm the 'Guide to Codes of Ethics for those Authorized to Practice Ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada' and commend it to dioceses, encouraging each of them to develop a code of ethics for ministry. CARRIED #03-11-06
That this Council of General Synod approve and adopt the following motions referred to the Council of General Synod by the General Synod, 2007:
A211, A220, A221, A225, A250, A251, A252, A253, C001, C006, and refer C007 to the House of Bishops.
APPROVED BY CONSENSUS #15-05-08
[Text of resolutions:
A211: Food and Agriculture
That this General Synod:
Request the Ecojustice Committee (or its successor) in the course of the 2007-2010 triennium
- to encourage and facilitate the study and support in The Anglican Church of Canada of public policies which foster:
-- the human right to food, and
-- just and sustainable food systems.
- to explore, with PWRDF, a relationship with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank as partners in this work.
A220: Anglican-Orthodox Relations
That this General Synod welcome the publication of the work of the International Commission for Anglican Orthodox Theological Dialogue “The Cyprus Statement: The Church of the Triune God”, commend it for study in the church, and express its thanks to the members of the Commission and especially to the Rev’d Canon Dr. John Gibaut of St. Paul University in Ottawa for his contribution to this important ecumenical endeavour.
A221: Codes of Ethics
That this General Synod affirm the ‘Guide to Codes of Ethics for those Authorized to Practice Ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada’ and commend it to dioceses, encouraging each of them to develop a code of ethics for ministry.
The Guide is in Appendix B of the Report to General Synod by the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee.
FAITH, WORSHIP AND MINISTRY REPORT TO GENERAL SYNOD, JUNE 2007
APPENDIX B: Codes of Ethics
WE WILL, WITH GOD’S HELP:
A Guide to Codes of Ethics for those authorized to practice ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada
General Synod 2004 directed the Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee to produce a guide for dioceses to assist them in the development of a code of ethics and standards of practice for lay and clergy engaged in ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada. In this guide, the Committee sets out scriptural and theological foundations for ministry ethics and directs those concerned to areas which should be covered in any locally-developed code. The guide also contains a suggested process for formulating ethics codes, along with a list of existing resources which dioceses could adapt for their own use, tailoring them to meet their own local needs and situations.
By adopting this guide, the Anglican Church of Canada affirms our insistence upon appropriate conduct among all those who minister in our church, lay and ordained, and further declares that:
A Ministry Code of Ethics:
- Is rooted in our baptismal and ordination vows.
- Is grounded in scriptural perspectives.
- Adheres to Christian doctrine.
1. ROOTED IN BAPTISMAL and ORDINATION VOWS:
“So natural is the union of Religion with Justice, that we may boldly deny there is either, where both are not.” Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, V, 1.2.
As Anglicans we place a high value on justice. We all promise at baptism to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being (BAS, p. 159).” Those in ordained ministry promise to pattern their lives after Christ’s teachings (deacons and presbyters) and “be merciful to all, show compassion to the poor and strangers and defend those who have no helper” (bishops, BAS, p. 637). We make these promises before God and each other and call upon God to help us keep them. Love of God and neighbour means extending fair treatment and ethical conduct to all whom we encounter in every aspect of ministry, whether lay or ordained, formal or informal, within church buildings or without.
Wherever the church’s ministers live out our ministry, opportunities arise to do great good or great harm. The high degree of trust that people have in the church’s ministers often encourages them to reveal deeply sensitive and important aspects of their lives, making them more vulnerable and less alert to boundary violations than they would otherwise be. At the same time, those to whom such trust, authority and power are given may use them inappropriately, blind to their own wrongdoing. Knowing ahead of time how to avoid and/or handle risky situations keeps the vulnerable safe, the ministers trustworthy and the effective integrity of God’s church intact.
A code of ethics grounds the ministry process in Holy Scripture and Christian doctrine. In its more specific applications, it provides a code of conduct giving particular direction and setting out particular procedures if violations occur. A code of ethics for ministry is not a comprehensive handbook of good ministry practice in all its dimensions; rather, it focuses on the standards of conduct which must exist if personal ministry relationships are to be responsibly loving and pastorally just.
The need for ethical standards in ministry is based as much on the inevitability of human error as it is on the inevitability of human confusion. We make our baptismal and ordination vows in a context of community prayer and celebration. We keep them, or not, in a complexity of community need, conflict and power imbalance.
Ethical reflection is neither a theological luxury nor a managerial burden in these circumstances, it is a pastoral necessity. It enables us to respond appropriately and in practical ways to both God’s calling and our promises. This is not easy work, so it is not remarkable that we need God’s help in doing it. As Francis Bridger states in the 2003 Church of England ethics guidelines, “We . . . are sustained in ministry by the activity of God in us. Ministerial codes or guidelines may set the boundaries, but only by grace can we live them out.”
2. BASED IN SCRIPTURE:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Jn15:12 (NRSV).
As Anglicans we agree with Christian ethicists Bruce Birch and Larry Rasmussen when they say that Holy Scripture is “to be taken seriously in all ethical reflection within the church.” The ethics of Christian ministry begin with the teachings of the Bible. Most of us point to the Ten Commandments and the Summary of the Law as divinely derived mandates for all human behavior and relationships, guides in all our doings. Both Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament contain numerous injunctions and provisions about behavior, many of which have a particular relevance in their application to codes of ethics for ministry. It is important, however, to think of Scripture in ethics, rather than ethics in Scripture. In other words, we seek the biblical perspective in the context of both historical and current worshipping communities rather than proof-texting for rules.
Ethics professor and Episcopalian Stephen Holmgren offers a way to search for biblical perspectives with his description of how Scripture is a mirror, a restraint and a map for Christian ethics. Scripture reflects our actions back to us and gives us an image of righteousness with which to compare our own deeds. Psalm 15: 2-4 provides such an image:
Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
And speak the truth from their heart;
Who do not slander with their tongue
And do no evil to their friends,
Nor take up a reproach against their neighbours;
In whose eyes the wicked are despised,
But who honor those who fear the Lord;
Who stand by their oath even to their hurt; (NRSV)
The prophet Amos also gives us a looking glass with which to bring ourselves into conformity with God’s will for us, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate;” (Amos 5: 14-15, NRSV).
As a restraint, Scripture provides several lists of do’s and don’ts, the Ten Commandments being the major example. But Scripture is more than a catalogue of prohibitions. Paul, for example, urges continual self-discipline and self-evaluation. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. . . . “ (2 Cor. 13:5a, NRSV). The First Letter of Peter likewise offers caution, specifically to those in ministry leadership. “Do not lord it over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock . . . . And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another. . . . “ (1 Pet. 5: 3, 5b, NRSV).
Scripture presents broad ethical guidance in its capacity as a map. The Summary of the Law (Mk. 12: 28-31) provides the basic coordinates: love of God and love of neighbour. Jesus’ consistent attention to the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable are all the compass points in between those coordinates. Our behavior toward the least among us, the location where much of our ministry takes place, is the measure of our relationship with Christ (Mt. 25: 37-40).
This is by no means a complete list of Scriptural indicators in the search for ethical foundations. However, it provides a sufficient overview to reinforce the assurance that Scripture undergirds all of our ministry efforts, including the ethical principles which order them.
3. ADHERES TO CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE
“The quest for ethical wisdom is the moral dimension of our life together” Rev. Alla Renee Bozarth, "Womanpriest: a personal odyssey", p. 141.
Theology and ethics are more than abstract academic topics. In concrete and practical ways, Christians engage in them all the time. First Nations authors Paul Schultz and George Tinker define theology as “people talking about what they are doing when they pray.” Christian ethics, then, is people talking about what they are doing, period. When ministry is the context for theological and ethical reflection, as it is in the preparation of a code or guide, several Christian doctrines and ethical concepts are particularly relevant.
The doctrine of human nature holds that humans are created in the image of God. This means that humans as moral actors are to keep their actions in line with God’s mandate to be holy as God is holy (Lev. 11.45). It also means that we view each person we encounter as bearing the same image of God we do. This doctrine also acknowledges that, although fallen short of the divine ideal, we have the continuous responsibility to live into it. Holiness in ministry means that respect, thoughtfulness and love are part of our every act.
The doctrine of salvation explains how our human fallen-ness is not a permanent barrier to our doing good because of Christ’s saving action in history and in each individual life. A new self is ours, “which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator. . . . In that renewal . . . Christ is all and in all.” (Col. 3: 10-11, NRSV). We are capable of acting appropriately, with God’s help and Christ’s saving power in our lives.
The theology of forgiveness also enters into the preparation of ethical codes because it reminds us to include provision for reconciliation when mistakes occur. Recent church history tells us that impropriety, especially involving sexual misconduct in pastoral situations, has been a blight on church life in some places. Putting matters right involves not just restitution, but rehabilitation and the opportunity for a repentant wrongdoer’s re-entry into the community.
The theology and ethics of virtue also have a bearing on ministry behavior standards. Christian virtues are those character traits consistent with the Christian life. In the New Testament, faith, hope and love stand out as named virtues, but in the field of ministry we can add justice, respect, humility and trustworthiness. Reference to and definition of virtuous conduct can provide a positive foundation for ministry ethics codes and transform them from a list of regulations into a means of deepening ministry formation.
MINISTRY AREAS REQUIRING ETHICAL GUIDELINES
1. PASTORAL CARE AND COUNSELLING:
- Definitions and clarifications about appropriate interpersonal boundaries Confidentiality standards
- Power differential understanding
- Human sexuality awareness - advisable to require training in abuse prevention
- Knowledge of competence limits - when to make referrals
- Definitions of conflict of interest and when to declare them
- Compliance with requirements of civil law and criminal law
2. FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:
- Personal loans from parishioners - set dollar amount limit or prohibit altogether
- Compliance with tax and pension rules
- Standards for charging fees
- Define appropriate non-monetary remuneration
- Advise on personal debt management
- Policy for being heir and/or executor of parishioners’ estates
3. EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES:
- Fairness in hiring or appointing
- Workplace propriety and safety
- Fair compensation for staff
- Treatment of volunteers
- Clarity of tasks for partially- or non-stipendiary clergy
- Clear job descriptions
- Periodic evaluations
- Fulfillment of continuing education obligations
- Self-care, emotional and physical
- Care for family
- Substance abuse avoidance
6. ADMINISTRATIVE INTEGRITY:
- Responsible organization and record keeping
- Task follow-through
- Reasonable delegation
- Honesty and truth-telling
7. EMPOWERMENT OF OTHERS’ MINISTRIES:
- Sharing appropriate information with appropriate laity
- Sharing tasks and responsibilities
- Making education opportunities available for others
8. COLLEGIALITY AND COOPERATION:
- Clear process in place for consideration of call to another parish
- Canonical obedience
- Representing the church in the community
- Support and respect for other pastors
- Behavior after leaving one parish for another or at retirement
SUGGESTED DIOCESAN PROCESS TO MAXIMIZE LOCAL DESIGN, RELEVANCE AND OWNERSHIP
1. Identify a committed working group, e.g., clergy, laity, ethicist, lawyer, teacher, counsellor, physician, nurse social worker
2. Convene the group and ask them first to consider prayerfully the biblical, theological and practical underpinnings for a code of ministry ethics.
3. Ask them next to consider the mission and vision of the diocese.
4. Identify and state why an ethics code is important to the diocese.
5. Consider how the code can reflect the character of the diocese, keeping in mind especially the needs and protocols of other cultures. For example, some First Nations have cleansing feasts or other methods to reintegrate an offender back into the community.
6. Consider adapting and/or adopting a code in use by another diocese.
7. Frame the consequences of misconduct clearly. Some may want to include them in diocesan canons. It may be advisable to sequence violations with warnings, temporary removal, rehabilitation requirements, permanent removal, loss of license.
8. Make ample and clear provisions for pastoral care for all parties involved in alleged code violations.
9. Allow time for diocesan consultation with lay and ordained ministers.
10. Consider language clarity and accessibility.
11. Provide educational workshops for clergy, staff and volunteers.
12. Provide a method of ratification and periodic review and revision of the code.
Make assent to the code’s provisions a requirement for ordination and licensing.
 Anglican Church of Canada, General Synod 2004, Resolution A-171.
 Bridger, Francis, Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy, London, Church House Publishing, 2003, p. 20.
 Birch, Bruce and Larry Rasmussen., Bible and Ethics in the Christian Life, Minneapolis, Augsburg, 1989, p. 154.
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 Holmgren, Stephen, Ethics After Easter, The New Church’s Teaching Series, Vol. 9, Boston, Cowley, 2000, p. 73.
 Schultz, Paul and George Tinker, “Rivers of Life: Native Spirituality for Native Churches,” in Treat, James, ed., Native and Christian: indigenous voices on religious identity in the United States and Canada, New York: Routledge, 1996, p. 58.
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Anglican Diocese of Huron Code of Sexual Ethics and Professional Conduct: Our Sacred Trust
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Anglican Diocese of New Westminster Code of Ethics
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A225: Inter-Faith Education and Dialogue
That this General Synod encourage the Anglican Church of Canada to engage in inter-faith education and dialogue at the local level, ecumenically wherever possible, and direct the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee to advise the church on available resources.
A250: Companion Diocese Relationships
That this General Synod, in agreement with Resolution II.3 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, urge all Canadian dioceses to have made a serious effort to identify one or more dioceses as a companion, in formal and informal ways, across provincial boundaries, by the time of the next Lambeth Conference in 2008.
A251: Sri Lanka
1. Request the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada to write to the Bishop of the Diocese of Colombo, the Bishop of the Diocese of Kurunegala, Church of Ceylon, and the Church’s Metropolitan, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to express:
- Affirmation of the bonds of fellowship we share as Anglicans with the clergy and people of Sri Lanka;
- Solidarity with Anglicans, other Christians and peoples of other faiths in Sri Lanka in their struggle for peace with justice and true reconciliation;
- Commitment to active prayer, education, and advocacy concerning the escalating violence and impunity in Sri Lanka, and the worsening humanitarian crisis in the North and East.
2. Request the Government of Canada to:
- Lead the international community toward permanent cease-fire, authentic mediation and a negotiated political settlement between the Government of Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, and the TMVP (Karuna Faction in the East);
- Urge all parties in the conflict to respect the human rights of those made most vulnerable by the conflict, especially children and women, and to participate fully in efforts of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Alleged Serious Violations of Human Rights (September 2006), and the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) ensuring that “international standards” of discovery and jurisprudence are met
- Advocate immediate international intervention into the humanitarian crises in the North and East.
3. Appeal to Canadian Anglicans to stand in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka through prayer, writing to their respective Members of Parliament, and engaging in activities that raise awareness about the situation of Sri Lanka, especially in the North and East.
4. Request the Partners in Mission Committee and the EcoJustice Committee (or their successor) and the PWRDF Board to:
- develop resources for the above action
- organize a solidarity visit by Canadian Anglican church leaders to Sri Lanka, as timely and acceptable for the Church of Ceylon, to learn about the situation of clergy and laity in the Church of Ceylon, and of humanitarian crises, especially in the north and east, and of faith-based efforts towards lasting peace with justice.
1. Request the General Secretary to write to the Prime Minister, urging the Government of Canada to:
- Welcome the decision of the President of the Philippines to invite Professor Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions to investigate the phenomenon of extrajudicial executions in the Philippines since 2001;
- Welcome the decision of the President of the Philippines to finally release to the public the report of the Melo Commission inquiry into the extrajudicial killings;
- Commend the Special Rapporteur’s Initial Report and Recommendations ( February 2007) to the Government of the Philippines towards continued investigation of extrajudicial killings and creation of legitimate political space for opposition groups, with particular focus upon the complicity of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in these killings, and the encouragement of leftist groups to enter mainstream politics;
- Commend the Melo Commission recommendation to the Government of the Philippines towards holding responsible all members and commanders in the military who carried out these killings;
- Ask Canada’s Subcommittee on International Human Rights to: a) investigate the risks for Canadian mining companies operating in the Philippines of being complicit in the political killings and other forms of human rights abuses, and b) Canada’s cooperation with the Philippines Government on trade, investment and the fight against terrorism, and the impact of our cooperation on human rights.
2. Appeal to all Canadian Anglicans to stand in solidarity through prayer and action with church partners and people of the Philippines seeking full investigation by our Government into the extrajudicial killings, which have primarily targeted human rights defenders, lawyers, social activists, journalists, peasants, and church workers since 2001.
3. Request the Partners in Mission Committee, and the PWRDF Board to continue its solidarity work with Philippine partners, and national and international ecumenical partners, towards raising awareness within Canada about how Canadian trade and investment policy, and Canada’s fight against terrorism, impact human rights in the Philippines.
A253: Darfur / Sudan
1. Request the General Secretary to write to the Prime Minister, urging the Government of Canada to persuade the world community and the United Nations to act on UN resolution 1706, dated August 31, 2006, and in particular, to:
- Ensure the transition of the current Africa Union peacekeeping mission into the proposed hybrid United Nations-Africa Union peacekeeping force mandated to protect civilians in Darfur, eastern Chad, and Central African Republic.
- Increase aid levels to the region and insist that the Government of Sudan guarantee aid delivery to humanitarian organizations and ensure unfettered access by those made most vulnerable by the conflict, especially the elderly, and women and children who have been victims of sexual violence since its onset.
- Enforce the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) and work for a comprehensive approach to the peace process, such as including local Arab groups, an increased role for women, and a strong focus on local conflict resolution.
- Request that all parties to the agreement, in particular the Sudanese Government, live up to their responsibilities, particularly disarming the notorious Janjaweed militias.
2. a) Appeal to all Canadian Anglicans to stand in solidarity with the peoples of Darfur by organizing vigils, writing to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and Members of Parliament about the situation in Darfur, and engaging in activities to raise awareness in Canada regarding the plight of the peoples of Darfur and of Southern Sudan.
- b) Request the Ecojustice Committee with the PWRDF to develop resources for the above.
- c) Encourage Canadian Anglicans to meet with and learn from both Anglican and other Sudanese communities in Canada.
C001: Targets for Reducing Green House Gas Emissions
1. Call upon all Anglican churches in every diocese and all Anglicans to set targets for reducing green house gas emissions by curtailing their energy consumption.
2. Request the EcoJustice Committee (or its successor) to:
- Identify theological themes pertaining to the stewardship of creation
- Develop and promote educational resources to raise awareness in Anglican dioceses and parishes about the issue of climate change as a spiritual issue
- Identify and compile educational resources from diocesan, governmental and environmental organizations for individual churches to help them set and achieve lower green house gas emission targets.
C006: Anti-Racism Education
That this General Synod request the Primate to write the Minister of Education of each province to encourage the incorporation of anti-racism education in the existing curriculum.
C007: Anti-Racism Education
That this General Synod request the House of Bishops to add to their guidelines for ordination the requirement that candidates for ordained ministry be required to undertake anti-racism training.