"It has been a long process, but on Jan. 16  the Anglican Church of Canada submitted its digital records relating to Indian Residential Schools -- over 300,000 pages of documents -- to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). For General Synod archivist Nancy Hurn, who do-ordinated the seven-year digitization process, it has been a journey filled with hard work. It has, however, been a rewarding one" (p. 1). "Approximately half of the digitized records came from the General Synod archives in Toronto, which also holds records from the Arctic and Keewatin dioceses. The rest of the records came from the archives of 30 dioceses across Canada, including those that did not have residential schools within their boundaries. The documents Hurn and the other archivists compiled will be held at the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NRCTC) at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg" (p. 1, 15). "Aside from the digital documents, the church has also submitted almost 12,000 'electronically-created documents' and over 6,000 photographs relating to residential schools" (p. 15). The director of the NRCTR is Ry Moran. "The NRCTR plan on making the records available electronically available online in ways that will allow survivors to access them remotely. It has also promised to 'provide personal assistance with navigating, using, and understanding the records' for those who don't have familiarity with computers" (p. 15).
"The Anglican Church of Canada will release an additional $125,000 to help defray the costs of providing Indian residential schools-related documents to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada". "Up to $30,000 of the amount will support dioceses in their legal obligations to provide archival documents as part of the revised Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). The remaining $95,000 will fund a digital version of documents that will be accessible to the public through the National Research Centre. The funds are over and above the $50,000 that General Synod Archives estimates it will need to provide the documents". "Archdeacon Michael Thompson, the national church's general secretary, told CoGS the additional contribution goes beyond what the church is required to do under the IRSSA". "The church has decided to respond positively to the request not only because it seeks to honour its legal obligation but also because it acknowledges its 'solemn moral obligation' to former residential school students and their families, as well as their communities, said Thompson. The Anglican Church of Canada operated over 30 residential schools across Canada over a 150-year period".
"The first national event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) achieved 'remarkable acts of reconciliation', according to Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the TRC. Sinclair expressed satisfaction that it had been a 'special, excellent start'. He also told the crowd gathered for closing ceremonies at the Oodena Celebration Circle of The Forks, a national historic site in Winnipeg: 'We know that this journey is far from complete'. More than 1,000 residential school survivors spoke privately to TRC statement-takers and in some cases, at sharing circles witnessed by the public. More than 40,000 people took part in various activities during the event." The Primate, the Most Rev. Fred Hiltz, attended the event and "listened to former students share their residential school experiences. 'I felt so ashamed', he said. The church has not paid enough attention to 'repentance for the wrongs we've done', he said, and to issues around 'inherent racism that still exists in Canadian society and in the church'." Justice Murray "Sinclair thanked the Anglican, United, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic churches, which took part in the event. 'They have not only persevered in supporting this commission as we go about our work, they have contributed generously to a fund to establish the travel arrangements so that many of you could be here', he said". The General Synod Archives was present at the event with resources about the schools. Article includes a photo with caption: "Laurel Parson, assistant archivist of the Anglican Church of Canada's General Synod, looks on as a residential school survivor searches through residential school photographs."
The author an Anglican priest in the diocese of Toronto writes about his distress at reading the comments in the March 2009 editorial "comparing the work of youth ministry and the work of diocesan archivists". "In my experience of working with archivists at the diocesan and national levels, I have met individuals who deeply care not only about the sacred trust of being stewards of our church's documentary heritage. I have experienced people whose work deeply assists in the working through of current issues in the life of church (especially with respect to making right our legacy over residential schools, disputes of property) and who are deeply concerned with how stewardship of the knowledge of our past will direct us faithfully in our proclamation of the gospel to future generations. Both archivists and our youth ministries are to be commended, thanked, and upheld in our prayers, not played off against each other as scapegoats. The body of Christ has many members each with their own unique gifts and purpose".
"About one half of all Pentecostal congregations in Canada hire a trained youth minister (compared to eight per cent of congregations in the United Church of Canada and probably a similar or smaller number in the Anglican Church of Canada)." "The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) has a few things to teach us. Since 1966, young people ages 14-19 and their leaders have taken part in biennial meetings of the Canadian Lutheran Youth Gathering (CLYG)". "Anglican youth leaders participated in Generation 2008, a national Anglican Youth Ministry conference last summer. Out of that emerged enthusiasm for many new initiatives, including the creation of CLAY 2010, the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth gathering, a joint effort between ELCIC and the Anglican Church. .... CLAY is scheduled to become a biennial event and it needs to receive the endorsement and financial support of dioceses and congregations". "One Anglican diocesan youth minister recently said that the part-time position was being eliminated, however the paid position for the diocesan archivist was being maintained".
A year ago, we met in this same place under a different Primate and in the company of the Archbishop of Canterbury. It is hard, as Archbishop Fred Hiltz, our new Primate, said in his opening reflections, not to be mindful of all the changes that a year can bring. Changes are always with us. In our opening session, we welcomed two new members -- Bishops Linda Nicholls of Toronto, and Jane Alexander of Edmonton -- and in a rare but fortunate event, we re-welcomed Bishop Gordon Beardy who left us several years ago and who returns to the House as assistant Bishop of Keewatin. We welcomed retired Archbishop Terry Finlay of Toronto who has agreed to be our chaplain. We offered congratulations and prayers to Bishop Victoria Matthews on her election as Bishop of Christchurch, New Zealand. We welcomed the appointment of Bishop Nicholls to the Primate's Theological Commission. And we said goodbye to Bishop Charles Arthurson, who was attending his last meeting of the House of Bishops.
The meeting just ended exemplifies the many roles that we, the Bishops of the Church, play. We dealt with the business of the church, hearing reports on residential schools, on pensions, from the International Anglican Women's Network and on theological education. We also spent a full day together privately, sharing our experiences of the many difficult aspects of Episcopal ministry.
On the first evening of our gathering, we heard a report and some reflections from Archbishop Fred Hiltz, now nearing the end of his first year as Primate. Archbishop Fred gave us a printed report on his activities and travels, which have been considerable, and supplemented the report with what he called "snapshots" -- moments that have remained with him in memory. We were struck by two phrases that he used again and again. He described people in meetings and communities and other places he visited as "being as one" in their love for the church and he also spoke again and again of people who share with him their pride in being Anglican and engaged in God's mission.
On our first full day of this gathering, we met in a private session to consider the life and unity of the Canadian Church and of the Anglican Communion of which we are a part. This was a day of deep reflection and sharing, a day that brought some pain, but also a day of hope as we listened to each others' stories and were reminded once again of all that we share and of the deep affection we have one for another. It was good to listen to each others' stories and, in so doing, to encourage each other. We responded to a letter from Bishop Donald Harvey on behalf of the Anglican Network in Canada. In the midst of these challenges, we repeat that we have put in place a process for shared episcopal ministry, and that we continue to be a Church to which all are welcome.
The day also included presentations by Canadian members of the Covenant Design Group, charged by the Archbishop of Canterbury with drafting a covenant for the approval of the member provinces of the Communion. The covenant is meant to be an expression of our Communion and is now in its second draft, which we agree, is an improvement over the first. We were also briefed by Bishop George Bruce on the Canadian response to the drafts of the Covenant and we shared our responses with him. A document on the Canadian response will go to the Council of General Synod next month.
Not surprisingly, since this is the last time we will gather as a House before this summer's Lambeth Conference of all the bishops of the Communion, we spent considerable time talking about that and hearing from those who have attended before. This was a sweeping conversation covering everything from the agenda and available bursaries to proper attire and what the living accommodations are like.
The last time we met, we instituted a practice of inviting several bishops per meeting to introduce their dioceses to us, and to tell us of the challenges and joys that they experience. This time we heard profiles on the dioceses of Central Newfoundland, Ontario and Brandon.
We also heard a report from Bishop Mark MacDonald, now well into his second year as National Indigenous Bishop. We were heartened to hear him tell us that it appears that in the creation of the position of National Indigenous Bishop, the "Anglican Church of Canada understood a primal reality of indigenous life and unleashed imagination that we had never anticipated."
We were given an update on residential schools and on the work being done in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission whose members have yet to be announced by the federal Government. We heard from Archbishop Fred about the church leaders' tour that he was involved in to raise public awareness of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We were struck by the tremendous debt of gratitude that we and the Church owe to General Synod Archivist Nancy Hurn, and other diocesan archivists, who are involved in challenging and ground-breaking work in making sure that the Church lives up to its obligations in providing access to information contained in documents in its possession.
A staff delegation from the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund briefed us on the history, work and mission of this Anglican ministry and shared with us some of the ambitious plans they are making to celebrate the Primate's Fund's 50th anniversary in less than two years. The Primate's Fund exemplifies the very best work that a church can do in reaching out to the developing world and in responding to natural and human disasters.
Our days, when we meet, are framed by prayer. We begin the day with Eucharist, followed by morning prayer and Bible study. We end with night prayers. We continue to be grateful to God for the privilege of being in ministry with the whole Church.
"The General Synod archives will be closed to staff and the public from April 6 to June 8 , and the library from April 12 to May 10, as the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada prepares to move to its new quarters at 80 Hayden St., Toronto, on the weekend of April 24-25." [Move actually took place in June 2004.]
Photo with caption "Theresa Mandricks and Lydia Laku, staff, with General Synod's partnerships department, prepare for office move by shredding old files".
The Council of General Synod has appointed Nancy J. Hurn General Synod Archivist. Council made the appointment at its regular fall meeting in Mississauga, Ont., last week.
Ms. Hurn, a member of St. Matthew's Anglican Church, Islington, has extensive experience in archives work in Toronto, including several years as an archivist with the city clerk's department of the City of Toronto. She has also served as chair of the Diocese of Toronto Archives Committee and was a member of the former General Synod Archives Committee.
The General Synod Archives includes an extensive collection of historic materials relating to the Anglican Church of Canada, and has responsibility for records management at the church's national office.
In recent years, litigation on claims filed by former students at Indian Residential Schools has required significant and helpful research with the archives' historical records.
Ms. Hurn succeeds Terry Thompson who served as General Synod Archivist from 1979 to 2003. She has taken a position with the Information Resources Department of the University of Calgary.
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"This conservation manual originated in a plan of action for preserving the archival records of the Anglican Church of Canada." -- Intro.
Contents divided into three main sections: Introduction -- Products of the Environment -- Protective Custody (with visitation rights).
Contents: To conserve or to preserve ? -- When in doubt, read the manual ! -- House and Home (Building and Maintenance) -- "Molly Maid" (Housekeeping) -- Weather Forecast (Temperature and Relative Humidity) -- No Light Shows, Please ! (Light) -- Acidity: Everywhere ! (Acid) -- Science Experiments (Fungi, Mould, and Mildew) -- Don't Bug Me ! (Insects and Rodents) -- Midas-ize it ! (Pollution) -- Caution ! Danger Ahead (Disaster Management) -- Specials Needs Class -- Signed, Sealed, and Delivered -- Visitation Rights -- Exhibitionists and Mercenaries (Display and Loans) -- Intimate Apparel (Enclosures) -- Cedar Chest and Mothballs (Storage Equipment and Location) -- Salvaging the Wreckage (Conservation) -- Hark ! Who Goes There (Security) -- Supplies and Suppliers -- Bibliography -- Conservation Policy Survey.
First published as: Archives Environment and Custody: A Conservation Manual. Toronto: General Synod Archives, 1997. OTCH also has 1997 edition.
"This conservation manual is a plan of action for preserving the records of the Anglican Church of Canada." -- Intro.
Contents divided into three main sections: Introduction -- Products of the Environment -- Protective Custody (with visitation rights).
Contents: Introduction: To conserve or to preserve ? : When in doubt, read the manual ! / Laurel Parson, Project Archivist -- House and Home (building and maintenance) -- "Molly Maid" (housekeeping) -- Weather Forecast (Temperature and Relative Humidity) -- No light shows, please ! (Light) -- Acidity: Everywhere ! (Acid) -- Science experiments (Fungi, Mould, and Mildew) -- Don't bug me ! (Insects and Rodents) -- Midas-ize it ! (Pollution) -- Caution ! Danger Ahead (Disaster Management) -- Specials Needs Class -- Signed, sealed, and delivered -- Visitation rights -- Exhibitionists and mercenaries (Display and loans) -- Intimate apparel (Enclosures) -- Cedar chests and moth balls (Storage equipment and location) -- Salvaging the wreckage (Conservation) -- Hark ! Who goes there ! (Security) -- Supplies and suppliers -- Bibliography -- Conservation Policy Survey.
Later republished as: Taking Care: Managing Your Heritage Environment / Laurel Parson. Toronto: Anglican Book Centre, 1998. OTCH also has 1998 edition.