That this General Synod affirms the attached statement of its discussions on human sexuality and requests the General Secretary to forward it to the Diocesan Bishops with the request that it will be distributed within each diocese.
CARRIED Act 70
The text of the statement follows:
SEXUALITY DISCERNMENT STATEMENT, GENERAL SYNOD 2010
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada met in Halifax, Nova Scotia in June of 2010. Together we entered into intentional conversations in order to hear where our Church is at this time in its life in relation to the matter of blessing of same gender unions. Our conversations were marked by grace, honesty and generosity of spirit towards one another. There was robust participation in the conversations. In dialogue we shared our passion for the mission of God in the world and our thoughts, feelings and convictions. We were attentive to each others’ perspectives, experiences and stories and we shared a commitment to continued theological reflection and scriptural study as a foundation to our ongoing dialogue and discernment.
We engaged these conversations within the particularity of our Canadian context – a country that is diverse and many cultured. Canadians have been learning how to dialogue across their diversities over the course of our national life. We do so with deeply held commitments to transparency and openness, an approach that is not without risk and that we affirm as a great gift. Often, in processes of discernment, the task is to see our way through a paradox.
Our conversations affirmed the full inclusion of gay and lesbian members in our churches, aboriginal voices in our midst, and the wide range of perspectives on the issue of same gender blessings across all dioceses. Our dialogue has been a positive and helpful step in our discernment. At this time, however, we are not prepared to make a legislative decision. Above, in and through all of this, and despite all our differences we are passionately committed to walking together, protecting our common life.
We acknowledge diverse pastoral practices as dioceses respond to their own missional contexts. We accept the continuing commitment to develop generous pastoral responses. We recognize that these different approaches raise difficulties and challenges. When one acts there are implications for all. There can be no imposition of a decision or action, but rather we are challenged to live together sharing in the mission of Christ entrusted to us, accepting that different local contexts call at times for different local discernment, decision and action.
We are in a time of ongoing discernment which requires mutual accountability through continuing dialogue, diocese to diocese and across the wider church. It also requires continued theological and scriptural study and dialogue on the wide range of matters relating to human sexuality.
For many members of General Synod there is deep sadness that, at this time, there is no common mind. We acknowledge the pain that our diversity in this matter causes. We are deeply aware of the cost to people whose lives are implicated in the consequences of an ongoing discernment process. This is not just an =issue‘ but is about people‘s daily lives and deeply held faith commitments. For some, even this statement represents a risk. For some the statement does not go nearly far enough.
In the transparency and openness we have experienced with one another, we have risked vulnerability but it is in such places that we grow closer in the body of Christ and behold each other as gift. Abiding with each other, and with God we are sustained through struggle, patient listening, and speaking from the mind and heart together. We have experienced these conversations as a gift for us here at Synod and hope that they will be a further gift to the Anglican Church of Canada and to the wider Church.
The author compares the reading and contemplation of scripture to a conversation among widely different people gathered together for a meal and time of sharing. "When people of faith crack open the scriptures of the Hebrew and Greek traditions, we enter a landscape like that -- a sprawling, diverse, and passionate discourse among our ancestors". "Woven in and through the conversation is God -- the Holy One -- whose path has intersected in one way or another with these ancestors. The power of the conversation, the source of its passion and conviction, is found in those intersections -- cracks in the shell of inevitability, seams in the fabric of business-as-usual through which something happens" (p. 8). "The truth these texts deliver is not the truth of pristine conceptualizations, but of hard-won fractions of a truth we cannot hope to encompass At some point, we either allow that truth to be our teacher rather than our possession, or we descend into a smug lostness that masquerades as certainty" (p. 9). "IN the New Jerusalem, there is no `Tree of the knowledge of good and evil'. There is only one tree, the tree we abandon with sister Eve and brother Adam each time we assert our own capacity to make distinctions that are not ours to make, each time we assert with certainty some version of truth that clothes our own nakedness, each time we affirm a narrow reading of our own texts in service of our narrow agenda. .... The one tree whose fruit was freely offered in the gardens -- Eden and Gethsemane, into whose life we are grafted in our baptism, who comes to us in bread and wine and the community that shares them, and is planted at the heart of the heavenly city -- the Tree of Life" (p. 9).
Author is rector of St. Jude's Anglican Church in Oakville, Ontario, and previously, was principal secretary to the Primate.
Article directed to parish leaders who must deal not just with their own reactions and questions about the church and residential schools but who "may also be asked questions by others in your parish or community". The author, Director of Information Resources for General Synod, identifies some broad principles to apply when responding to questions about residential schools, especially as reported in the secular media. " First, don't assume you need to have all the answers.  Even so, try to keep well informed about the issues.  Don't believe everything you read ...  Avoid speculation.  Be clear about who you're speaking to ...  and, equally, be clear about who you're speaking for  Ask for answers; offer suggestions".
"Council of General Synod (CoGS) is asking leaders of the Anglican Church of Canada to encourage discussion, within provinces and dioceses, of the same-sex marriage amendment now awaiting its second reading at General Synod 2019". The resolution was approved by CoGS members 12 November 2017, following a request by Archdeacon Lynne McNaughton, chair of the CoGS working group on the canon, to "write down any questions they had about either the resolution to change the canon or the process of discussing the resolution ... The working group, she said, would compile answers to their questions in a 'fact sheet' to be given to provinces, dioceses and members of General Synod 2019". General Synod Chancellor (Lay Canon) David Jones answered some of the questions related to possible legislative procedure at the 2019 General Synod. "A second session on the marriage canon, also led by McNaughton, was meant to instruct members on how they might conduct 'respectful conversation' on the controversial resolution. McNaughton recommended a number of practices, all based on the idea of seeing the goal of conversation as understanding rather than changing another person's mind".
"General Synod 2010 did not approve the so-called local option that would allow diocese to grant same-sex blessings. Neither did it take a legislative decision on the matter. It did, however, recognize that local option had been exercised by some and may be taken by others in future, even though 'it's not local option approved by the national church', said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. 'We're not ready as a national church to say, "We're building this into our doctrine that we approve of same-sex unions", he told a press conference following the close of General Synod 2010 in Halifax. What synod did say was, 'We need to have more conversations,' confirmed Archbishop Hiltz, adding, 'That's an action'." "Archbishop Hiltz called the synod's acceptance of the report [on sexual discernment] a 'watershed moment' for the life of the church and its place in the worldwide Anglican Communion. 'There's been healing in this church', he declared. 'We're no longer demonizing one another .. We're regarding one another differently .. more patiently, more graciously'."
That the Council of General Synod send a letter to the members and staff of the Consultation of Bishops in Dialogue expressing the gratitude of the Anglican Church of Canada for the witness of A Testimony of Grace.
"The post-schools reconciliation era offers us a unique opportunity to establish personal one-on-one relationships with Indigenous people. .... We don't know much about Indigenous communities. .... We have an opportunity of meeting one another simply as people. Write me a letter. I will write one in return. I will tell your what I did yesterday and you tell me the same. How are we alike ? How do we differ ? What is the weather like where you are ? We had snow today. .... Governments will do what governments do and provide those things they should provide, or not. But a sense of belonging, of having value comes from talking to and being with others. Let me know what you think. Let's start the conversation".
A conversation between editor Kristin Jenkins and Bishop Michael Bird. "Bishop Michael Bird, of the diocese of Niagara is a glass half full kind of guy. He has only been in the job for two and a half years, so one could argue that he's just not tired enough yet. But spend some time with the man, and you come away certain this is not lip service. 'Everything can be seen as a negative or as an opportunity', he says". "Instead, he supports the notion that the way forward lies in the process of taking risks and then sharing the stories. Making mistakes is inevitable, he adds, and if you don't share the stories, you could miss something important. 'We don't always know what success looks like', he explains. 'Sometimes, the things that look like mistakes or failures may actually be the first step in some great breakthrough'." "A vision for the diocese began to emerge. It had five distinct areas of focus, like petals on a flower. They include outstanding leadership for ministry; continuous culture of innovation; life-changing worship; a generous culture of stewardship; and prophetic social justice making". "It's no longer enough to expect people to come to us, he points out. 'We've got to encounter people and we've got to do it with humility. We need to listen to people and meet them on common ground, such as care for the environment'." "In the end, he says, it's really about the conversation. 'I really believe that we meet God in the dialogue, in the journey, and I think that in fact that's part of being Christian. 'It's not so much about feeding people the right answers', he adds. It's about walking with them on the journey. That's where we meet God'."
In advance of the debate on resolution A051-R2 regarding potential changes to the marriage canon which will be debated at General Synod in July 2019, two Anglican Journal writers, "spoke with six Anglicans -- three in favour of the resolution and three opposed to it -- to ask them: How does your view of marriage fit in with your faith ? And what does this vote mean to you ? One final note: You may notice that the voices of Indigenous Anglicans are not included in this article. For more on this, see National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald's column (p. 5)". Each of the six comments indexed separately. Column by Bishop Mark MacDonald -- with title "On the marriage canon" -- also indexed separately.
"The Rev. Marnie, Priest at St. Brigid, an LBGTQ2S+ affirming ministry of Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver". In favour of the resolution. Peterson has been married for 20 years and says: "To be surrounded by the love and prayer of our community, the people who love us and know us best, and who know how hard taking vows is. I think what the marriage canon vote means for me is the possibility of all couples to have that same opportunity that I had". "I don't expect us all to be in the same place. I've been an Anglican my whole life -- I get that we're a broad tent, and there are diverse stances on these things. But I feel really sad when we can't have those kinds of debates without remembering that you're talking about other humans in the room. You're talking about their lives and their bodies and the people that they love".