That this General Synod received with gratitude the declaration of the House of Bishops affirming determination to lead the Church in advancing into the Seventies and pledges the support of the Church to the Bishops in their work towards that goal. CARRIED
[Recorded as No. 139 in Acts of Synod, p. 72. List of Acts includes actions which are NOT resolutions/acts.]
How will people in the future cope with the ever increasing pace of change and the lack of stable community? How will they cope with "Future Shock" as described by Alvin Toffler? The development or choice of lifestyles is increasingly the way in which people solve their identity crises and find a strategy for coping.
How are lifestyles formed and what is their significance for present and future society? How does the Christian Church relate to these issues? Should the Church be producing distinctive lifestyles as demonstrations of the "Way" in our time?
These are some of the questions which will be faced at a research conference on "Exploration of Lifestyles for the future," November 21st-23rd at the Aurora Conference Centre, sponsored by the Anglican diocese of Toronto and jointly planned by members of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, United and Presbyterian Churches. Forty persons have been invited to attend.
A panel of experts will interact with persons representing a variety of different life styles. Panel members include: Dr. Daniel Cappon, a psychologist in the Department of Environmental Studies at York University, Dr. Herbert Richardson, Theologian at St. Michael's College and author of "The Witch, the Nun and the Playmate," Mr. Don Carveth, lecturer in Sociology at York, and Father R.R. Roach, Professor of Moral Theology at Regis College.
The panel will be in dialogue with a business executive, an Indian poet and Sociology student, a Don Mills housewife, a member of a commune and a Nun. The Director of the Anglican Conference Centre in Aurora, the Rev. Graham Tucker who initiated the conference, hopes that "we will not only gain an understanding of the meaning and significance of the lifestyle phenomena which will be of general interest, but also we will discover some of the implications of these styles and trends for the life, worship and witness of the Church in the future. We hope that our findings will be worth publishing."
The conference is being funded through a generous grant from the Atkinson Charitable Foundation.
The author, Anglican bishop of Algoma, comments on the importance of, and desire for, "humanity and community. We all have a deep need to belong". "Because of the growing need for community, and primary community, congregations that can meet these needs in healthy ways will have a strong future". Commenting on contemporary democratic, secular, multicultural and multi-faith societies the author notes that "governments are likely to relate to the faith communities in future through multi-faith councils". "Anglicans have a long history of being a mission church, and of adapting that mission to new settings and circumstances. Anglicans also have the gift of being comprehensive and embracing many different perspectives in a larger unity. We have also maintained the one essential element needed to effectively minister to the wider community -- trust".
"This article first appeared in the diocesan newspaper `Algoma Anglican'. It is reprinted here with the author's permission."
Part of four page "Anglican Church of Canada : Annual Report" published as pages [5-8] of the September 2021 issue of the Anglican Journal. Individual articles and photographs separately indexed.
Primate Linda Nicholls reflects on the past year 2020 and the impact of COVID-19 on the the world and the church. "Church House staff shifted to working from home and seamlessly kept our national ministries actively supporting the life of our Church in every area. Meetings, from the Council of General Synod to standing committees to the House of Bishops and many others, shifted to online gatherings. We also discovered the drawbacks of Zoom fatigue and the gaps where in-person relationships are still needed. The Strategic Planning Working Group shifted gears from a traditional process to listening deeply across the Church to what was happening and to discerning what new directions might be emerging. Dismantling racism, already a focus for CoGS, rose to increasing prominence in the face of public events and deaths. Faith, Worship and Ministry began a project to reflect on our eucharistic life in the face of worship transformation online. Indigenous Ministries quickly shifted to online training for lay pastoral caregivers in light of community lockdowns. Everyone adapted their work to meet the challenges. We have shown that we are more creative, more flexible and more resilient that we could have imagined at every level of the Church. Our staff are a team of skilled leaders committed to the work of our Church. Although we cannot yet see very far into the future we remain confident that the faithfulness and resilience already demonstrated will carry us into whatever God is calling us".
"As I write this, we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown". "We face new theological questions about the nature of the Eucharist and the always-present question: Where is God in the midst of suffering ?" "We have certainly learned that we can continue to connect with one another using available technology. Meetings from coast to coast to coast were able to happen without the participants leaving home. Our carbon footprint has been reduced, and work has continued. We learned new skills on Zoom, Skype and conference calls". "God is here -- now and always -- risen in the resurrection of Easter. God is here in each other -- through a window, across a driveway, over the phone or internet, in acts of kindness and compassion and caring. God is here -- and, whatever happens in the future, we know we are not alone. The church is wherever God's people proclaim this Good News". "So whatever lies ahead in the choices and decisions we need to make, we go into them in the presence of God, guided by the Holy Spirit, in the name and power of Jesus Christ. We go into them with a faith strengthened and tested through adversity. We enter it with possible trepidation -- and also with excitement at the adventure that lies before us, as it did the first disciples".
"Archbishop Linda Nicholls is the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada".
Archbishop Linda Nicholls recalls a foggy Sunday morning (that was her birthday) that began with confusion and concern and ended with surprised delight. "Why am I recalling this now as we emerge from the pandemic ? That dense morning fog reminds me of what we face in our current time. We cannot see into the future clearly, and even what is right here now is murky". "Anxiety is high, and it can be easy to catastrophize the future, to believe it will not be better but only worse. .... We can find ourselves in a spiral of despair that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. My birthday experience came to mind because, out of my fears and anxiety then, I discovered delight and joy. ... I am equally certain that the same is true now as we emerge from the 'fog' of the pandemic. We cannot be sure that there will not be hard times, but we can trust God and find delight in the reminders ... of God's presence and grace in people around us, in community and in God's wider world and creation. It may just be that what lies ahead will be encouraging and life-giving, that it will bring new life out of death -- and that we will continue to be surprised by the Spirit !"
Author "is the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
"Every one of us has an interest in the future health of our church". "Risking oversimplification, we could say that two interests have governed contemporary approaches to the future: in one, the interest is to recreate the conditions and practices of years past ... in the other, the goal is to create a church that is more responsive, relevant and consequential to the perceived needs of people today ... One side aims for the past. The other aims for the future. The gospel is hostile to both of these approaches". "Any aspiration short of the reign of God can only be a deception, a vain hope that human effort might, after all, be enough to save us, enough to make the world right". "The reign is not for the church alone -- it is for all of creation -- but it lives in the church as a spark, lighting our way to the summit of creation and history. It says that our success is never our possession or accomplishment. The reign of God is God's gift, but we must seek it with all our heart. That is our only livable and real future".
The author theorizes that "our church is living in Holy Saturday, wedged firmly between Good Friday and Easter Sunday -- between the death of the known and the birth of the new". "Back in 2010, Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph penned the award-winning song, 'There's Always Maybe'. The song prophetically announces: 'There is always maybe/ When there's no answers/ That's what faith becomes'. We live in a time of Maybe. While many outwardly acknowledge that the church will look very different in the years ahead, we are still afraid. .... And so, a question remains, will we remain faithful ? It has become clear to me over many years of working with young people that they are the ones best equipped to walk through this tension. Young people know a world of ambiguity and provisional answers, of religious and cultural differences".
Author "is a member of the national youth initiatives team of the Anglican Church of Canada".