The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada meets next month at a time, in the words of its leaders, when values and issues are changing rapidly and the "very possibility of `faith' as a credible stance of life has been questioned."
The comment of the long-range planning committee in its introductions to reports to the 26th synod, meeting in Regina May 3-11, is underlined by Archbishop Edward W. Scott, primate of the church.
In a report prepared for the assembly he says if Anglicans are to respond to the demanding issues before them and to give leadership in complex situations they will need, among other things, "a greater sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit" and to display "greater willingness to make hard decisions." He may expand upon this when he officially opens the assembly in St. Paul's Cathedral May 3.
About 290 members of synod, clerical and lay, from the 28 dioceses of the church will attend the sessions in Regina's Hotel Saskatchewan.
Four main topics or themes have been set out for discussion: quality of life and community, of faith, of ministry and of the church. The themes provide opportunity for debate and decision on a wide range of social problems disturbing the church and the country in the 1970s.
A preamble, prepared by Dean Herbert O'Driscoll, to a report of the long-range planning committee says:
"To some extent it could be said that the criteria of faith in previous decades were quantitative. The strength of the church tended to be judged by quantities (that is, activities, budget) and faith tended to be seen in terms of private piety and attendance at worship...
Such categories have been found, not so much to be discredited, but to be inadequate...Between us and the comparative innocence of the late '50s too much has been said, too many paperbacks written, too many tides of opinion have flowed for everything to remain as it was.
In the 1970s the many options of a plural society vary from actual alternatives to the Christian faith to a whole spectrum of attitude and styles within the Christian faith itself...
Faith is no longer a piece of familiar furniture placed securely in the living room of the mind."
The committee says further, in another report on the quality of life and community, that the rate of change in the world "continues to be a major factor in challenging individuals and institutions to be flexible."
The free-wheeling tone of the committee's observations may typify the free and frank discussion expected at this synod with members participating more fully than in the past.
Six sessions - totalling 13 hours - have been scheduled for group discussion. Each session will bear upon a particular issue. Resolutions formulated by these groups will be correlated and sent to plenary sessions for decision and policy direction. Committee reports and resolutions go directly to the plenary meetings.
The synod meets every two years. Its last meeting was in Niagara Falls, Ont., in February, 1971, when some of its sessions were held jointly with those of the general council of the United Church of Canada which also meets biennially.
It was the first time in the history of Canada's largest Protestant denominations that their highest courts had met together.
Negotiations for organic union of the churches have been under way for more than a quarter-century but no definitive move on union will be taken at this synod.
Members of synod are the 55 bishops from the four ecclesiastical provinces of Canada (Quebec and the Atlantic provinces), Ontario, Rupert's Land and British Columbia and clergy and laity chosen by the dioceses with a youth delegation of 15.
At least 25 women, seven of them from the youth delegation, are among the lay members along with eight observers from Anglican Church Women who participate in discussions but do not vote.
Among controversial topics before the synod will be that of abortion and here the views of the women are expected to be expressed freely.
A strong bloc of women commissioners forced the abortion issue to the floor of the general council of the United Church two years ago when that church went on record as accepting abortion in certain social, economic and therapeutic circumstances. The United Church is the only Christian church to take such a stand but it does not support abortion on demand.
The Anglican Church opposes abortion and one of the questions to be posed at this synod by one committee, the task force on human life, is: "What does it mean to be human if the foetus can be aborted?"
Other questions also are posed by the task force in its report on human life and community:
"Who am I if bodily organs can be transplanted?"
"What quality of life are people living in our cities?"
"Why should anyone go to the moon when there are vast needs and agonies on the earth?"
Four hundred years ago this month a motley crew of English adventurers came ashore on what is now Baffin Island in the midst of their explorations for a northwest passage to the riches of the Orient. Their purpose? Of all things -- to hold a Church service !
It was the third expedition of Martin Frobisher, and, since one of its purposes was to establish a colony of 100 persons if possible, Frobisher had been instructed,
"That a minister or twoo do go in this jorney to use ministration of devyne service and sacraments, according to ye churche of England."
Therefore, Master Wolfal of the Diocese of Bath and Wells, scholar of King's College, ordained by the Bishop of London in April 1569 got the job -- and found himself on the barren northern shores of our country about to make history by celebrating the first Anglican Holy Eucharist in the New World.
He appears to have done well. Here is what the records tell us,
"Maister Wolfall on Winters Fornace (Baffin Island) preached a godly Sermon, whiche being ended, he celebrated also a Communion vpon the lande, at the partaking whereof, was the Captaine of the Anne Fraunces (Best himself) and manye other Gentlemen & Soldiers, Marrinters & Miners wyth hym. The celebration of diune mistery was ye first signe, seale & confirmation of Christes names death & passion euer knowen in all these quarters."
The service itself would have been taken from the Prayer Book of Queen Elizabeth I which had been issued in 1559.
To commemorate this historic event the Anglican Diocese of the Arctic will hold its Diocesan Synod at Frobisher Bay the last week in August this year . During the Synod a special Commemorative Holy Eucharist will be celebrated with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Donald Coggan, as Preacher.
The Chief Celebrant at the Eucharist in St. Jude's Cathedral on Wednesday evening, August 30, will be the Rt. Rev. J.R. Sperry, Bishop of the Arctic. In addition to Dr. Coggan, other Church dignitaries attending will be, the Most Rev. E.W. Scott, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada; the Most Rev. F.H.W. Crabb, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert's Land; the Rt. Rev. G.F.C. Jackson, Bishop Ordinary of the Armed Forces; the Rev. Jens C. Chemnitz, Lutheran Bishop of Greenland and the Rev. Jean Dufour O.M.I., representing Roman Catholic Bishop O. Robidoux.
The Commissioner of the North West Territories, Commission S.M. Hodgson and the Federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Hugh J. Faulkner, will represent the two levels of Government in the North at the Service.
The Holy Eucharist this time, unlike its counterpart four centuries ago, will be largely in the Eskimo language and all English parts will be simultaneously translated.
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Famine-stricken peoples of India and Africa and earthquake victims in Turkey received a major portion of $200,724 contributed last year by Canadian Anglicans to the Primate's World Relief Fund.
Since the fund was established in 1960 a total of $1,422,358 has been disbursed through the World Council of Churches and other agencies for the alleviation of distress in the world's disaster areas.
Responding to an appeal by the Christian Council of India which has undertaken the emergency feeding of 1,000,000 persons daily, the Primate's fund made a grant of $35,000 in 1966. One phase of the council's plan involves the increasing of water supplies and another seeks to improve farming methods to prevent recurring famines.
An additional grant of $20,000 went to the Canada-Mysore project, an cooperative scheme in food technology in which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Canadian Hunger Foundation and India's Technological Research Institute are among the participants. The total disbursement of $62,621 in India included also $5,000 to aid rehabilitation work following the Madras cyclone and floods and $2,500 for tuberculosis control in the sub-continent.
Famine sufferers in Africa were helped to the extent of $10,000 while a similar grant was made to Turkey for housing victims of the severe earthquake in Eastern Anatolia.
Other grants included $19,000 for refugees in Kenya, Rwanda and the Sudan, while a total of $33,000 went for agricultural projects in Burma, Rhodesia, Tanzania, Tunisia, Greece, West Pakistan and Chile.
The Primate, Most Rev. Howard H. Clark, appeals to Anglicans to mark Centennial Year by making a substantial birthday gift to the world's needy people through the World Relief Fund.
A record $254,632 was contributed to the Primate's World Relief Fund of the Anglican Church of Canada during Centennial Year. Through the fund Canadians help to alleviate starvation and distress caused by disasters, assist refugees and homeless people, and give support to a variety of relief projects abroad.
Most Rev. Howard H. Clark, the Primate, expressed gratification at the achievement, at the same time announcing that the 1968 target had been set at $400,000. Last year's total compares with the previous high mark of $235,412, reached in 1960, the year the fund was established, and exceeded the 1966 figure by $53,908. The eight-year aggregate amounts to $1,676,988.
"Canada is one of the few countries that today are increasing their aid to under-developed countries," Archbishop Clark said. "But still it is not doing enough. And the Primate's World Relief Fund is not doing enough."
Speaking particularly of the need for food in India and other countries, he said: "The world is facing a crisis. So far, it is losing the battle with hunger. We are still producing too many people and not enough food."
Grants made by the fund last year amounted to more than $235,000. They included $33,500 for a variety of needs in Africa; $20,000 to drought-parched areas in India for projects designed to promote irrigation and better farming; $25,000 for Middle East refugees without distinction of nationality, religion or politics and $10,000 for the East Asian Christian Council's teams working among civilian war victims in Vietnam.
Most of the grants, made up of voluntary donations given over and above the regular church budget, go to relief projects sponsored by the Division of Inter-Church Aid of the Refugee and World Service of the World Council of Churches. Administrative costs average just over five percent annually.
The sum of $101,063, earmarked to aid victims of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war, figures largely in a record total of $415,871 contributed in 1968 to the Primate's World Relief Fund of the Anglican Church of Canada. The fund is a continuing facility through which Anglicans assist in the alleviation of global suffering.
The total exceeds the objective of $400,000 set by Most Rev. Howard H. Clark, the Anglican primate, who in his annual appeal emphasized the need of immediate aid for Nigeria and Biafra. It topped the 1967 total by $161,239.
Since the Primate's World Relief Fund was established in 1960 to aid suffering occasioned by disasters and famine, the rehabilitation of refugees and a variety of relief projects overseas, contributions have amounted to $2,092,850, a yearly average of $232,539.
Refugees in Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana, lepers in Ethiopia, youngsters in an inter-racial school in Mbabane, Swaziland, in addition to the starving people of Nigeria and Biafra, were included among those assisted through grants totalling $221,063 designated for Africa and the Middle East. The sum of $42,000 went to India, Pakistan and Ceylon, most of it for famine sufferers on the sub-continent. Civilian war victims in Vietnam will benefit from a grant of $20,000 to be disbursed by the East Asian Christian Conference, while $10,000 was set aside for rehabilitation of earthquake victims in Iran.
Most of the grants, made up of voluntary donations, apart from regular church budgets, go to relief projects sponsored by the Division of Inter-Church Aid, Refugee and World Service of the World Council of Churches.
The Anglican Fund is supervised by a committee of the church's General Synod and administrative costs last year amounted to less than four percent.
Close to $315,000 has so far been allocated this year from The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund of the Anglican Church of Canada for relief and development in Canada and around the world.
The Fund is the official channel of the Anglican Church of Canada for relief and development and was established in 1960. Since its inception it has given $2.7 million dollars in grants.
The monies are raised through special appeals in Parish Churches across Canada.
The 1969 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada asked Anglicans to contribute one per cent of their income or three days pay for relief and development.
As a result, the Rev. Robert D. MacRae, Secretary of the Fund sees that contributions will exceed the all time high reached during the Nigerian-Biafran crisis which was $415,000.
The latest allocation was $10,000 for emergency relief and rehabilitation in East Pakistan. Mr. MacRae said this is a first grant to assist in the relief operations of this catastrophic natural disaster. He has sent a telegram to the Pakistani High Commissioner informing him of the allocation and expressing the Church's deep concern for the people of his country.
Various dioceses across Canada have launched special appeals in addition to the monies from the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund.
So far, $82,000 has been allotted in 1970 for emergency relief appeals. The last two grants went to the Sudbury, Ontario Disaster Relief Fund following a tornado and to Peru, following a devastating earthquake.
A cheque for $115,000 was sent this week to The World Council of Churches in Geneva for disbursement for relief and development.
$75,000 has been allocated thus far in 1970, for development of programs in Canada, especially among the native peoples. The programs include such projects as: support of the National Indian Brotherhood, The Nishnawbe Indian Institute, based in Toronto, The International Indian Ecumenical Conference, The Federation of Saskatchewan Indians and the Manitowaning Day Nursery Project on Manitoulin Island.
Total monies granted in 1969 for relief and development amounted to $375,000; in 1968 $257,000 and $235,000 in 1967.
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Editor's Note: Enclosed please find the PWRDF STATEMENT OF GRANTS so far, for 1970.
PRIMATE'S WORLD RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT FUND
STATEMENT OF 1970 GRANTS TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1970
ALL AFRICA LEPROSY AND REHABILITATION CENTRE $10,000.00
ALGERIA Christian Committee for Service 10,000.00
BURUNDI Refugee Work 2,500.00
KENYA Social Work at Nakuru 4,000.00
MADAGASCAR Farm School at Andanona 3,000.00
NIGERIA Nigeria/Biafra Rehabilitation 35,000.00
NORTH AFRICA Flood Emergency Appeal 4,008.00
SUDAN Relief and Refugees 5,000.00
SWAZILAND Girls' Hostel, Mbabane 5,000.00
UGANDA Sanyu Babies Home, Kampala 5,000.00
Greater Kampala Project 5,000.00
Agricultural and Rural Action Program 10,000.00
ZAMBIA Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation 5,000.00
BELGIUM Old People's Home - Ons Tehuis' 1,000.00
CZECHOSLOVAKIA Youth Camp/Lay Centre 2,500.00
FRANCE Orthodox Clergy and Study Centre 3,000.00
GERMANY Hendrik Kraemer Haus Centre 500.00
RUMANIA Flood Emergency Appeal 1,000.00
TURKEY Earthquake Emergency Appeal 3,012.50
CAMBODIA War Refugees Emergency Appeal 3,000.00
KOREA Sociological Research & Study Program
Torrential Rains Emergency Appeal 2,000.00
MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE Urban & Industrial Mission 1,000.00
PHILIPPINES National Rural Life Centre 4,000.00
TIBET Tibetan Refugee Aid Society 1,500.00
LATIN AND SOUTH AMERICA
LATIN AMERICA REFUGEES SPECIAL APPEAL 5,000.00
CARIBBEAN SOCIAL & ECUMENICAL DEVELOPMENT 2,000.00
COSTA RICA Work with Unemployed Youth 2,000.00
PERU Earthquake Emergency Appeal 5,006.25
SANTO DOMINGO Community Centre, Villa Consuelo 500.00
CRETE Agricultural Project, Lolumbari 3,000.00
EGYPT Conference Centre, Mariout 2,500.00
ETHIOPIA School at Bullen, Metekel 1,500.00
GALILEE Youth Hostel Kafr Yasif 5,000.00
GREECE Poultry Production, Epirus 3,000.00
Hostel for Girls, Argos 2,500.00
Ecumenical Team 10,000.00
Feeding Centre, Philippias 2,000.00
JORDAN U.A.R. Social Case Work Program 1,000.00
LEBANON YWCA Industrial Girls' Centre, Beirut 1,000.00
Canadian Coalition for Development 1,500.00
Indian Ecumenical Conference 25,000.00
Nishnawbe Indian Institute 10,000.00
Pensioners Concerned (Canada) 5,000.00
Sudbury Area Disaster Relief Appeal 5,000.00
Volunteer Action for Social Change
World Council of Churches Refugee
Advisory Committee on Technical
Ecumenical Scholarship Program for
Ecumenical Church Loan Fund ECLOF 1,000.00
Diocese of Huron Hunger Projects 50,000.00
Defence and Aid (Africa) Donor
TOTAL 1970 GRANTS PAID TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1970 $314,526.75
At least six major issues will highlight the 25th Session of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada next month in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
General Synod will convene at 9:30 am, Monday, January 25th in the Sheraton-Brock Hotel, with the opening Eucharist and the opening address by the senior Metropolitan and Acting Primate, the Most Reverend William L. Wright. The Session begins January 25th and continues to February 3rd.
According to the Executive Director of Program, National Office, the Anglican Church of Canada, Canon J.C. Bothwell, some of the major issues include: the election of a new Primate, the approval of a new joint hymn book for the Anglican and United Churches, the reception of the report of the Commissioners on Union, the full reconsideration of the Anglican Church of Canada's policy regarding overseas work, a discussion on the implications of the integration of the national structure of the Anglican Church Women with the structure of the whole church, reports and policy decisions on such matters as youth work, Coalition for Development and the implementation of the Hendry Report (dealing with native peoples).
Canon Bothwell says the reason for holding the Anglican General Synod and the General Council of the United Church at the same time and place, is to make sure the two national Churches will be on the same time schedule when an eventual Plan of Union is developed. Thus they would not be faced with the problem of one church having to consider such a plan before the other. He says, "I think there is general agreement that, although we are meeting in the same city and at the same time, for the most part, the two national bodies will function separately. On the other hand, there is much to be gained from the information sharing of the delegates of both churches."
General Synod is the national parliament of the Church and decides the policy for the work of the National Office at 600 Jarvis Street in Toronto. However, the Anglican Church is a "federation" of 28 dioceses and part of the job in the implementation of General Synod policy will be to make sure that the dioceses are adequately consulted and informed.
The last General Synod met at Laurentia[n] University in Sudbury in 1969.
With the exception of a few meetings at the Sheraton-Brock Hotel with the United Church of Canada, the Anglican sessions are being held about 75 yards away at the Sheraton Foxhead Inn.
For the first time since 1950, total membership of the Anglican Church has dipped below the one million mark. The statistics are submitted by Dioceses across the country each year to the National Office of the Church in Toronto. Those for 1977 were released last week by the Church's national treasurer, John R. Ligertwood. They show the total membership reported on Parish rolls was down to 997,371 from 1,008,929 in 1976.
However, giving for the year was up. Total parish income at the local level was $64.8 million as compared to $58.2 million in 1976. The Church's 30 Dioceses reported a total income of $14.1 million, an increase of almost $1 million. The General Synod of the Church received just over $3 million from the Dioceses for its work in Canada and overseas.
Church School enrollment, which has been dropping drastically (eg. a decrease of 2,400 between 1975 and 1976) went down only about 600 in the year. However, the number of teachers reported was up from 12,900 to 13,500. The 93,400 children are in 31 fewer Sunday Schools than in 1976.
The number of clergy remained fairly constant, though the total new ordinations increased slightly, 154 Deacons and Priests compared to 142 in the previous year. There were 21 additional Clergy and 1 more Bishop, serving in 3,072 congregations, 147 less than in 1976.
The total number of Baptisms (24,400) and Confirmations (18,100) was a minimal decrease, while the number of persons received into the Anglican Church from other Communions increased slightly to 556. Marriages dropped by 700, and there were 100 more funerals.
Mr. Ligertwood's report to the Bishops and members of the Administration and Finance Committee contains only "raw figures," it makes no attempt to analyze the statistics or predict trends.