"The diocese of Toronto has given a $100,000-grant to the suicide prevention program of the Council of the North. The council administers the Anglican Church of Canada's mission and ministry in the North, where suicide rates are four to five times higher than the national average. 'The issue of suicide is pandemic in aboriginal communities, [especially] among youth', said Archbishop Johnson, bishop of the diocese of Toronto and metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Ontario. 'Money won't cure it', but programs 'that have some history of making a difference are worth supporting', he told the 'Anglican Journal'." "The unrestricted grant is a tithe from the diocese's Ministry Allocation Fund (MAF). Proceeds from the sale of the diocese's properties go to the MAF which allocated 10 per cent of the proceeds to support innovative ministry 'beyond the diocese', said Archbishop Johnson".
The Rt. Rev. Fraser Lawton and Ms. Cynthia Haines-Turner presented two resolutions that pertained to the 2018 budget. Before members voted by consensus, Bishop Lawton noted that the motion from the Financial Management Committee Report (#007-04-17-11) had been amended into two motions.
That this Council of General Synod encourage and support a conversation about a shared strategy between Indigenous Ministries and Council of the North Diocesan leaders as to how to allocate the new money for Suicide Prevention provided in the 2018 budget and 2019-2022 forecasts.
"Suicide is 'not an easy tea and cookie conversation', Cynthia Patterson told a gathering of about 200 indigenous Anglicans at the Seventh Sacred Circle. However, she added, the pandemic among aboriginal people can no longer be ignored. In Nunavut, the suicide rate is 15 times the national average -- which is 15 per 100,000 people. In the Arctic, it is 11 times the national average. Families need to talk about suicide instead of sweeping it under the rug, said Patterson. 'We have kids, aunts and uncles who die and the pain is so great .. We don't talk about them .. It's as if they've disappeared'. For its part, the Anglican church has moved oversight of the suicide-prevention program to the indigenous ministry department, noted Patterson. The aim is to 'extend its reach into every nook and cranny', said National Indigenous Anglican Bishops Mark MacDonald. Suicide prevention will now be part of training for clergy, catechists and other church workers, he told the Journal". [Text of entire article.]
"Proceeds from the recent 'Amazing Grace' project, which captured the interest of Anglicans across Canada and raised more than $91,000 for the Council of the North, will go towards the establishment of a suicide prevention program with paid staff". "The council intends to hire a part-time suicide prevention co-ordinator by Sept. 1  who will lay the foundation for the program. The co-ordinator will be hired for a two-year contract and will work out of the synod office of a council member diocese".
"Council of the North members gathered in Edmonton from Feb. 9 to 11 to decide how best to use donations from Anglican parishes, groups and individuals that amounted to $160,000." "More than $80,000 came from the Amazing Grace project, in which parishes and groups, sang Amazing Grace and sent video to the General Synod office in Toronto ... About $80,000 also came from individuals and groups across the country". "The council settled on two spending priorities. The first is suicide prevention and intervention because suicide rates, particularly among young people, in the remote communities are among the highest in the world." "The other priority is training and leadership development." Bishop David Ashdown, Council chair, particularly mentioned "training in congregational development and stewardship. Each diocese will propose a leadership training program to be discussed when the council meets in April ".
"The Anglican diocese of the Arctic is hoping that by the end of this year  it will be free from its decade-old debt for the rebuilding of St. Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut. But for 'Freedom 2015' to become a reality, the diocese needs $723,000 by the end of 2015 to clear off the $10.3 million debt incurred following the destruction by arson of the iconic igloo-shaped St. Jude's. To help the northern diocese pay off the debt, the Anglican Church Women (ACW) of the diocese of Ottawa hosted another of its several fundraising events in support of St. Jude's on September 20, at St. Stephen's Church, drawing about 100 people" (p. 1). Darren McCartney, suffragan bishop of the Arctic, attended the fundraising event and received the freewill offering from the ACW. "He also watched the screening of the documentary 'Soul of the Arctic' with those gathered. The movie, produced by Northern Ireland television network UTV, focuses on the Irish-born McCartney and his wife, Karen, and their life together in what was described as '1.5 million square miles of freezing desolation in the high Canadian Arctic'" (p. 12). McCartney served in Pangnirtung from 2003-2006 before returning to Ireland. "'I needed to get out to clear my head', he said. As pastor, 'I had 17 suicides in three years in a community of about 1,500 people', said McCartney. .... Suicide rates for Inuit youth are among the highest in the world, at 11 times the national average. McCartney said although he needed to get away, he was hankering to get back after a while. The couple returned to the North when McCartney was elected as suffragan bishop of the Arctic in June 2012" (p. 12).
"The Anglican Church of Canada is making progress toward overcoming a longstanding negative stereotype and becoming an effective partner in preventing suicide. 'It's a challenge because the church has not traditionally been a welcoming place for the families of suicide victims', explains Cynthia Patterson, coordinator of suicide prevention since 2009 for the Council of the North, Anglican Church of Canada. 'Suicide was considered a mortal sin and the deceased could not be buried in consecrated ground'. According to Patterson, 'We have a lot of teaching to do to explain that his is not our attitude now. We are working away, one partner at a time, and we are gaining more acceptance'. In another groundbreaking move last winter, the Anglican Church of Canada became the first national church to join the Winnipeg-based Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention (CASP)" (p. 1, 8).
The Rev. Canon Martin Brokenleg, a psychologist and Anglican priest, addressed a suicide prevention workshop which took place 27 March 2017 in Toronto. The workshop was hosted by the office of National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald. Brokenleg said "the more you tell someone not to do something, the more you embed the idea in them". "The truth is, 'Thou shalts not' has never worked. Only 'Thou shalts' work". "What this means, Brokenleg said, is that the church should be targeting the suicide crisis afflicting Indigenous communities by a 'fixation on wellness', an intense focus on helping people -- especially the young -- grow to be all they were meant to be, and convince them, by words and deeds -- of their infinite worth". The Rev. Nancy Bruyere, the church's suicide prevention co-ordinator for western Canada and the Arctic , who attended the workshop "said she was greatly encouraged by Brokenleg's talk, because it seemed to confirm what her community has already been doing".
Bishop Hollis reported that the subject of Bishops Continuing Education Seminars at the next meeting will deal with biological issues, rational suicide, etc. It was his opinion that four or five sessions would be necessary.
That Wednesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons be set aside for Continuing Education. CARRIED
Moved by Bishop Short, seconded by Archbishop Crabb,
That Wednesday evening be scheduled at the next meeting as a free evening. CARRIED
"The Council of the North has appointed veteran activist and community organizer Cynthia Patterson as the co-ordinator of new suicide prevention programs." Contains background information on Ms. Patterson. "Her task now will be to link communities to the best health and suicide prevention resources". Inset article "Anglican Angels hard at work" accompanies this story with the information that: "It is the generosity of Anglicans across Canada that is making it possible for the Council of the North to establish suicide prevention programs to improve the lives of people in small, isolated communities. Funding was raised vis-a-vis the Amazing Grace project. Anglican parishes and groups across Canada gave a total of $97,000."