That this session of the General Synod recognize, celebrate, and affirm the role of women, on this 25th anniversary of the ordination of women in the Anglican Church of Canada. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 84
This House is delighted to note that for 30 years, women have been ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Canada, and expresses its gratitude for the gifts of ministry with which women priests have enriched our common life. We ask the Primate to send greetings to those celebrating the 30th anniversary at the national gathering meeting in Sorrento, British Columbia, at the end of November . CARRIED
"It is rare to conclude that a study of contemporary history is a definitive volume. The Rev. Dr. Wendy Fletcher-Marsh, professor at Huron College, has researched such a high standard in this well-researched, subtle and readable work. With remarkable facility, she tells the story of the debate and resolution of the question of women's ordination to the priesthood. .... She covers events in Canada, England, Hong Kong, the United States and New Zealand" (p. 99). "For Fletcher-Marsh, the crucial factor include episcopal leadership, synodical decision-making structures (such as Houses of Bishops, Convocations, and General Synods), religious and secular movements of women and the ineffable quality, Anglican 'style'. The latter, remarkably, is quite different in England than in Canada" (p. 99). "If Canadians appeared to move smoothly to ordaining women, it is also clear from Fletcher-Marsh's diocese by diocese analysis that implementation was a 'top down process'. It would be prudent to conclude that women have been ordained in relatively small numbers over a long period of time, thus diluting the visible and emotional impact of the decision in the Canadian church at large. What is less well explained is why the priest opposed to the ordination of women mounted such an effective 'after the fact' campaign. Observations by Archbishop Ted Scott and Bishop Victoria Matthews add helpful context. This handsome and usable volume has clear tables, and a bibliography" (p. 99-100).
"The Rev. Canon Alice Medcof is one of 52 women profiled in the 2015 edition of 'Herstory: The Canadian Women's Calendar'. The calendar, created by the Saskatchewan Women's Calendar Collective 'as a weekly celebration of incredible women, past and present, who have shaped our country', has been published annually (with the exception of two years) since 1974". "Medcof said she is proud to be a part of the book ...". "Ordained as a deacon in 1979, and as a priest in the diocese of Toronto in 1980, Medcof was one of the pioneers breaking ground and in some cases ice, with those in the church who had not yet accepted the idea that women could serve as priests. In 1996, Medcof became one of the founders of the International Anglican Women's Network, an official body of the Anglican Communion that reports to the Anglican Consultative Council on women's issues. In 2003, she began what would be two terms as chair of the network. Medcof continues to focus on issues of women's rights within the church and in the world. Currently, she is working on a campaign raising awareness about the scourge of human trafficking around the world".
"All the essays in this volume were initially written in response to an invitation from Renison College at the University of Waterloo to come together to reflect on where Anglicanism in Canada finds itself as one century ends and another dawns. Thus, these essays were first presented at a conference hosted by Renison College, `Challenges Facing the Anglican Communion at the End of the Twentieth Century'. Held in May 1999, the conference was part of the fortieth anniversary celebrations of Renison College." -- Intro., p. [iii].
Contents: Introduction / M. Darrol Bryant -- Challenges Facing the Anglican Communion at the End of the Twentieth Century / Michael Peers -- Anglicanism in Canada : A Sociological Sketch / Roger O'Toole -- The Anglican Church of Canada Among the Social Scientists / David A. Nock -- The Anglican Church and the Cultural Wars : Transcending Ethical Tribalism / Ron Dart -- Anglican Women : A Future / Wendy Fletcher-Marsh -- Honouring Fallibility / Tom Settle -- Native and Christian : A Search for an Authentic Spirituality / Laverne Jacobs -- Ecumenical Vision, Concerted Action / Frank Thompson -- A Parish Response to Cultural Diversity / Patrick Yu -- The Shapes and Forms of Ministry and Liturgy : Some Underlying Principles / Barbara Liotscos -- Challenges Facing Anglicans in Shaping and Forming Ministry / Eileen Scully -- The Challenge of Lay Ministry : The Renison Institute of Ministry / Patti Carlisle -- The Anglican Church and the Challenge of Higher Education : The Utility of History / William Westfall -- Anglican Church Colleges : What Do We Have to Offer ? / Gail Cuthbert Brandt -- Anglicans and Higher Education / Don Thompson -- Challenges at the Frontier of Medical Ethics : Medicine, Technology and the Sense of Self / Dalice A. Sim -- Anglicans and the Ecological Crisis / M. Darrol Bryant.
That the following statement from the National Executive Council be forwarded by the Primate to the Officers of the General Synod of the Church of England:
This National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada expresses its sadness and regret at the recent decision by the General Synod of the Church of England not to permit women ordained as priests in this Province to exercise their sacramental ministry within the Church of England.
We acknowledge and respect the right and responsibility of churches within the Anglican Communion to make decisions concerning the ordering of ministry within their own structures. However, we express the hope that the same respect could be extended to the Anglican Church of Canada which has enjoyed the ministry of women in the priesthood since 1976.
We believe the process by which the ordering of ministry is decided by an autonomous Province need not be linked to the recognition of those persons already ordained by another Province. The mutual recognition of ministry within the Anglican Communion is a separate issue from the ordination of women in the Church of England, and calls for independent consideration.
In our view, the decision by the Church of England to deny the exercise of sacramental ministry, with the consent of the diocesan bishop, to some priests ordained in our church raises questions about the validity of the orders of all priests in our church. It also constitutes a challenge to episcopal ministry in our country.
Such a decision threatens the unity of the Anglican Communion by extending the privilege of ecclesiastical hospitality to some of our clergy and not to others. Sadly for us both, a result of this may well be the unwillingness of many Canadian bishops and priests to accept invitations to celebrate the eucharist in England until such hospitality is restored.
We draw attention to Act 65 of the 1986 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada which:
a) affirms our positive experience in Canada with women in priesthood;
b) urges our bishops to carry to the Lambeth Conference our conviction that the priesthood of women has indeed blessed and enriched our common life; and
c) asks the Lambeth Conference to search for a way of upholding the unity of the church while allowing Provinces to move, as appropriate for them to the election and ordination of women to the episcopate in response to the call of God and the church.
This statement is made out of deep concern for the integrity of the body of Christ, in which we rejoice, and for the mutual recognition of ministries within our Communion, which we wish both to extend to others and to claim for ourselves. CARRIED #79-11-86
"When Canon Judy Rois was a student in the late 1970s, she wanted to take a preaching course. But when she went to sign up, she discovered she wasn't allowed because she was a woman. After much lobbying, she recalls, she was let into the class -- the only stipulation was, she had to wait until everyone else had entered the room, then sit at the back, so as not to 'distract' her male classmates" (p. 1). Ordained in 1985, Rois said "she's experienced plenty of gender discrimination. People have walked out or shouted things while she was preaching, crossed the church to take communion from a man, even refused last rites from her because she was a woman" (p. 1, 6). "In 2016, after 40 years of ordination to the priesthood for women, approximately 30 % of all bishops in Canada were female, according to Rois' research. Worldwide, 6.8 % of Anglican bishops were women. In 2018, Canada's first and second female archbishops were elected" (p. 6). "In the church, Rois identifies two main causes of what she terms the 'stained glass ceiling'. One is 'decades of social and gender norms that hinder female involvement outside the confines of the home', says Rois. ... Another cause, specific to the church is the pervasiveness of certain understandings of Scripture. 'For some people .. there's a belief in the headship of men, that women should be kept silent in church', says Rois" (p. 6) Susan Johnson, the first woman to be elected national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, said "I grew up in a church that didn't ordain women. Even though I think I had, very early on, a call to ordained ministry, I couldn't recognize it for what it was, because it was impossible and foreign" (p. 6). Archbishop Melissa Skelton, elected metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon in May 2018, "sees the importance of providing the mentorship and support that were not available in the past. 'The experience of many women .. is that there isn't a sufficient network of supportive women to assist them and encourage them to explore the next level of responsibility'" (p. 6). "Towards this end, Skelton is helping to organize 'Leading Women', a conference for women in the Anglican Church of Canada and the U.S.-based Episcopal Church, which will take place in Chicago in October 2019" (p. 6). "While there is no guaranteed strategy to break down glass ceilings, Rois says, there are things that can be done. 'We need to keep looking at more women as bishops, primates, deans -- as women in positions of influence. We need to also provide good daycare for men and women who have children, good working hours .. that allow men and women to care for their families in equal ways'. Skelton believes that 'a diversity of gender -- and not just to say men and women, but different ways people identify -- is really important'. As bishop of the diocese of New Westminster, she has considered the ethnic and gender diversity of her diocese when making appointments" (p. 6).
It was stated that the Committee on Ministry is recommending: that General Synod accept the principle of the Ordination of Women to the priesthood, and that this decision be communicated to the Anglican Consultative Council.
That this NEC approve co-operation with the Episcopal Church in their study of the sociological aspects of the possible deployment of women priests. CARRIED