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."
"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".