We the members of the 37th Session of our General Synod are privileged people. The Holy Spirit has been with us as we broke bread and shared wine. We elected Andrew our Primate to provide leadership to our Church. We talked, shared, cried, laughed and voted on many different matters; always keeping before us the Acting Primate's question "Will this enhance or inhibit the spread of the Realm of God ?"
We met in Home Groups to read and talk about God's word and our lives. Friendships were born and enhanced over meals, drinks, walks and parties. We prayed earnestly when one of us was under the healing hand of God in an Edmonton hospital. We were moved to breathlessness and tears when an honourable Canadian told us of brothers and sisters around the world who are dying from HIV/AIDS. They look with longing eyes for prayers, medication and money in order to stay alive.
We praised God through music and who will ever forget -
"I am an Anglican, pure C of E
I'm High Church, not Low Church
In communion with Canterbury
Not a Baptist -- Not a Presby
Not a Lutheran right with form
I am an Anglican, just one step from Rome (x2)"
We, the diverse Body of Christ, want to express our gratitude and deep appreciation to those who have "Let down the nets", helped us to continue "the Long Haul" and experience in our hearts and souls the great theme of this Synod -- "See I am making all things new".
We move that the members of the General Synod express sincere thanks and gratitude:
1) To Archdeacon Bruce McPetrie and Archdeacon Marion Vincett, co-chairs of the Local Arrangements Committee, and their team of volunteers for the many countless hours both before and during the Synod. Thank you for your warm welcome, for organizing programs and coordinating the transportation. Thank you for being so visible.
2) To Bishop Ralph Spence and the people of the Diocese of Niagara, thank you for enriching our gathering in some many ways.
3) To all who helped us through prayer and praise
- Dean Peter Wall and the Worship Committee team and the volunteer choir for the many wonderful worship experiences; and to those who upheld us in prayer;
- Angus Sinclair and Ken Hull, who shared their gifts of music so spontaneously and enthusiastically enriching our worship and voting time;
- Home group leaders who led us gently through the circle process and
- Marcia Christie who decorated the plenary space.
4) To all those who staffed and chaired committees -- General Synod Planning, Agenda, Nominating, Resolutions and Expenditures. We acknowledge the tremendous commitment involved. Thank you for your time, patience, skills and faithfulness throughout the whole process.
5) For the work of our media teams, and our Standing Committees and Council of General Synod members over the past three years. Thank you for your dedication and willingness to serve God and strengthen the Church.
6) To Ronald Stevenson, our Chancellor, and to the teams of assessors and secretaries who have worked quietly to make the Synod run smoothly.
7) Our meeting has been enriched by the contributions of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, members of the Council and the many First Nations Anglicans who have come as our partners, and to all our other partners who have come from far and near and who continue to be such faithful supporters, gentle teachers and companions. Thank you for your wisdom, your stories, your faith, your love of God and God's Church, as we work together to build up our common life and witness to the Gospel.
8) Behind a meeting such as this are the labours of many General Synod staff members, who so often go far beyond their primary areas of responsibility to look after our needs with grace and skill. Margaret Shawyer, our General Synod Coordinator, exemplifies the dedication and helpfulness that have enabled us to our work effectively and smoothly -- We thank you !
9) To all members of this 37th Session of Synod -- lay, clergy and bishops -- who gave of your gift of grace, discernment and generosity. To our youth, whose lips were touched by God and spoke to us not as our children, but as prophets.
10) To all those whom we may forget (and we are sure there are some) do thou O Lord remember.
Our closing words of thanks are to those who have sat before us under the glare of the lights and provided a leadership of our Church of which we are all extraordinarily proud.
To Dianne Izzard, who has quietly yet ever so faithfully been our recording secretary, handled all of our questions in the past few months and provided communications in such a wonderful way that we think of you now as one of God's secretaries.
To Peter Elliott, our Deputy Prolocutor, who has responded to Our Lord's command to a Friend -- Come up Higher. You have played significant role in planning this synod and bringing to us a framework for our future. You have a passion for our church for which we are thankful and we look forward to your work as our Prolocutor during the next triennium.
To Archdeacon Jim Boyles --
You bring to us the wisdom and grace of experience. As a weaver takes many threads an creates something beautiful, so you take all of us and in a humble, quiet way help our Church become all that it is meant to be. Not only for this Synod, but for all that you have done in the past to achieve peace, harmony and justice, we thank you.
To Dorothy Davies-Flindall --
As our Prolocutor, you remind me of my Irish grandmother, at times firm, giving advice; at times laughing -- always there for us. We know that you love our Church and you strength, wisdom and experience will greatly benefit the Council of General Synod as it meets and moves us forward.
And finally, to Archbishop David Crawley, our Acting Primate --
You, sir, closed your Presidential Address saying that we from time to time forget Go, but God never forgets nor forsakes us. This General Synod will likely be the only one you chair. We will not forget you. Your care, attention to detail, your humour and your fairness allowed us to "Draw the Circle Wide, Draw it Wider Still". We have experienced how courageous, faithful and balanced leadership enables us to be proud to be Anglicans, and we are honoured to be part of this Church. Thank you.
We go now back to the outports of Newfoundland, the village churches, the First Nations communities, the cities, the prairies, the glory of the Okanagan Valley with the words "See I am making all things new" indelibly etched on our hearts and souls because you have led us to be the Body of Christ. Thank you.
Glory to God
Whose power working in us.
Can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.