Since the last General Synod, 17 Anglican parishes, from the Maritimes to British Columbia, have made a concerted effort to answer that question. For at least one parish, diversity has been a key to survival and growth. Several others have been forced to confront the "darker side" of multiculturalism -- racism and prejudice. To recognize that the problem exists and to begin to talk about it is often half the battle, they have found.
InterMission looks at the three-year-old Multicultural Parishes Project in April.
Contact Doug Tindal, Director of Communication 416-924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence) or Sam Carriere, editor, InterMission, 416-924-9199, ext. 256
Courtesies of the House were extended to Canon R.M. Turpin, who presented the report.
"That this General Synod reaffirm the obligation of Anglicans to do everything possible to further French-English relationships and request the National Executive Council to monitor the continuing work of the French-English project and to report to the 1986 General Synod." CARRIED Act 80
[Text of report, in English and French, as published in 1983 General Synod Journal of Proceedings]
PROJECT IN FRENCH/ENGLISH RELATIONS
To the Members of General Synod
From its beginning in 1977, the French/English Relations Project always assumed that the nature of the Canadian nation and of the total Canadian Church required Anglicans to see the "French Fact" as something much bigger and more complex than being solely a Quebec phenomenon. However, the initial small part time measure of the Project and the dynamics of events in Quebec dictated that most of the Project's early efforts should be centred there. In brief, the first objective was to support the Quebec dioceses in becoming better equipped to function effectively in the changing Quebec milieu.
In these past years, like many other groups, usually identified with the overall English minority in Quebec, the Anglican Church has accepted and supported the need of the majority to take initiatives to ensure a French future in North America. Such initiatives are often referred to as the "francization process" in Quebec society. It is a continuing process and it has not proved any easier for Anglicans than for others. While some extreme policies and regulations are opposed, the main thrust of the minority generally has been to adjust, to find common goals, and to work out a viable relationship between French and English.
The Anglican Church has made steady progress in coping with these changes, yet much remains to be done. There are now many more bilingual clergy. There is much more frequent and closer co-operation with French neighbours in Church and society. Signs of the Anglican Church's involvement in issues or in activities which cut across old English-French divisions are the Brief submitted by the Quebec Anglican Bishops concerning the Government's drastic proposal to restructure the Quebec school system; the participation of Anglican representatives in a new province-wide bilingual ecumenical association; co-operation with French Protestant groups; the annual meetings of Anglican/Roman Catholic bishops; some radio and T.V. broadcasts, such as the service in French at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Quebec City during the 1983 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. One disappointment has been the slow pace in developing a fully French ministry across the province, a goal to which all the dioceses are committed but for which, as yet, there is no common agreement in how best this should be led and organized. A number of the dioceses have included in their Anglicans in Mission objectives resources for expanded "French work".
Since the 1980 General Synod at Peterborough, with the approval of the National Executive Council, the Project has been enlarged to allow for more activity outside Quebec, emphasizing the national nature of the English/French relationship. On the political front, this period coincided with the whole Canadian constitutional debate and the repatriation process that aroused a mixed reception in Quebec and among French minorities. This has been a time, also, when bilingualism has grown in Canada, and when some provinces, such as Ontario, have increased the rights and services provided for their French minorities, even though falling far short of French aspirations. Moreover, the increased focus of the Project was developing at a time of mounting interest in bilateral and multilateral discussions among different Churches, such as that between the Anglicans and the Roman Catholics. These various Project initiatives have been mainly of an educational kind, in providing information, and in developing sensitivity. Activity was largely concentrated with the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario, particularly in the Dioceses of Moosonee, Algoma, and Ottawa, where English and French live side by side, through visits, dialogue, and research. Arising from this background and experience, a small manual has been produced as a possible resource item for general use. It is entitled "A Primer to Encourage and Equip Anglicans Outside Quebec for Encounters of the French-English Kind". These efforts were supported indirectly through contacts made with representatives of such diverse groups as the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, la Federation Des Francophones Hors Quebec, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages, and The United Church of Canada. More routine features of the Project include preparing data for the Primate and other Anglican leaders; the promotion of bilingualism at various conferences, the obtaining of French resources for Anglican inquirers; and serving as a "resource person" at seminars.
While the achievements have been relatively modest, the Project has helped to sharpen awareness within the Anglican Church concerning both the English-French partnership of the country and the bilingual character of the Christian family of churches. It visibly conveys to the latter a sense that the Anglican Church, so strongly English, has some appreciation of the French dimension and is actively engaged in the ongoing struggle to bring about greater understanding and community between English and French people everywhere.
Reginald M. Turpin, Project Officer.
[French language report]
PROJET de RELATIONS FRANCOPHONES-ANGLOPHONES
Au très réverènd le Primat et aux membres du Synode général:
Dès le début en 1977, le Projet de relations francophones-anglophones a toujours admis que la nature de la national canadienne et de l'église épiscopale en son entier exigent des épiscopaliens qu'ils voient dans le "fait francais" quelque chose de bien plus grande portee et complexité qu'un simple phénomène quebécois. Par ailleurs, le peu de temps qu'on pouvait consacrer à ce Projet au départ, et la poussée des événements au Québec commandaient que les premiers effort soient centrés en cet endroit. Bref, l'objectif primordial fut d'aider les diocèses du Quebec à se mieux pourvoir afin de fonctionner efficacement dans le milieu francophone en évolution.
That NEC appoint a local management team (4 or 5 people) to implement the research plan outlined in the Multicultural Study Project proposal; i.e. design a detailed proposal, a budget and a timeline by August 1990.
That the motion be amended by adding the words "request the Program Committee to" after the words "that NEC". CARRIED #29-05-90
The motion as amended was put as follows:
That NEC request the Program Committee to appoint a local management team (4 or 5 people) to implement the research plan outlined in the Multicultural Study Project proposal; i.e. design a detailed proposal, a budget and a timeline by August 1990. CARRIED #30-05-90
That this National Executive Council express its deep appreciation for the invaluable work of the Rev. Canon Reginald Turpin, in keeping the French/English question before The Anglican Church of Canada. CARRIED by applause
That the National Executive Council set up a Task Force to prepare a model for the sociological study of "the challenge of our church in being part of a multicultural nation and world", as requested by the General Synod; and
that the Task Force membership include persons from the Multicultural Steering Committee and the Congregational Development Task Force.
A vote on the above motion was deferred until later in the meeting. (Page 37).
The motion deferred (see page 14) was brought forward, reworded as follows:
That this National Executive Council request the Program Committee to consult with the Multicultural Steering Committee to explore the establishment of a task force, including financial implications, to respond to Act 163 of the General Synod regarding a sociological study of "the challenge to our church of being part of a multicultural nation and world;" and to report to the National Executive Council in May 1990, if possible. CARRIED #46-10-89
Moved by: Rev. Dr. S. Moxley
Seconded by: Mr. Justice D.H. Wright
That this National Executive Council ask the Committee on Ministry to provide an "Educational Event" for the National Executive Council in May 1990, which would include the problems of bursary funding and, if possible, propose a strategy. CARRIED #47-10-89
That this General Synod approve as a high priority for the next three years, the development of our Church as an inclusive multicultural community, and that the National Executive Council be requested to commission a sociological study of the challenge to our Church of being part of a multicultural nation and world. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 158
That in view of the opportunities and problems of multiculturalism, a request be made to the Program Committee and its working group on Congregational Development to explore pertinent issues, and its Human Rights Unit to address the issue of racism as one of the concerns of multiculturalism. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 82
The Executive Director of Program reviewed his report and presented the wording of a resolution to complete the process of the 1986 Canadian Partners in Mission.
That this National Executive Council, recalling our Church's participation in the third Canadian PIM and in particular the consultation held in March 1986, confirm our commitment to express in our priorities for this period leading up to General Synod 1989 the following:
1. That we give stronger support to, and expression of, baptismal ministry which involves the whole people of God;
2. That we hold together and strengthen our ministries of evangelism and justice;
3. That we seek ways of breaking out of our Anglo-Saxon ethnocentricity to include the full participation of Native people, francophones, and other cultural communities;
4. That we review our ecumenical partnerships and make clear commitments for an appropriate period of time;
5. That we commit ourselves to renewal of worship and prayer going beyond and deeper than the introduction of a new Book;
6. That we seek further ways of sharing mission with our Canadian and global partners and that committees and councils be asked to reflect on this and report back to the National Executive Council by May 1988. CARRIED #06-05-87
The Primate invited the Rev. Dr. Roland Kawano to speak. Dr. Kawano introduced Ms. Beverley Oda, Mrs. Elizabeth Loweth, Rev. John Park, Rev. Kenneth Fung, Rev. Peter Bishop and the Ven. Oscar Agard.
Dr. Kawano reported on two symposiums which have been sponsored by the Church. The Anglican Church of Canada, as part of the world-wide communion has had, and continues to have, a unique opportunity for cross-cultural experiences. The Eucharist is the common bond between peoples of all races and languages.
Ms. Oda noted that the Citizenship Act of Canada is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The Act us to be changed with the introduction of a Multi-Culturalism Act at the federal level and will promote equality in people participation. In the past the retention of various cultures and languages has been encouraged, but in the future there will be a need to integrate immigrants into the mainstream of the country which will benefit society culturally, socially and economically. The Charter of Rights and Freedom declares that the government may take action over and above fairness in order to redress an inequitable situation.
Concern was expressed that there was no Anglo-Saxon representation on multicultural groups. Concern was also expressed for Native people upon whom western culture has been imprinted.
1. That this National Executive Council receive with appreciation the report of the second national Multi-Cultural Symposium.
2. That this National Executive Council approve in principle a three-year multi-cultural program:
- to raise the consciousness of our Church to the varied gifts of its members and to the possibilities of a richer expression of our common life, and
- to achieve changes which will increase the participation of our many communities in the councils of the Church at every level, and
- authorizes an application for funding to the Secretary of State, the Hon. David Crombie.
3. That this National Executive Council requests the Executive Director of Program to supervise the implementation of the program and requests the Program Committee to provide guidance and review. CARRIED #32-05-87
That this General Synod call on Anglican Church members in all parts of Canada to become more aware of all that is involved in French/English relationships, and to initiate, and give increasing support to, programs which foster dialogue and understanding among all Canadians. CARRIED ACT 88
[Text of report found on pages 142-143 of the 1980 General Synod Journal of Proceedings]
PROJECT IN FRENCH-ENGLISH RELATIONS
To the Most Reverend, the Primate and Members of General Synod:
This Project began in 1977 with three main objectives, (1) to help the Anglican Church throughout Quebec to adapt to the new "French Look" in the Province and so to become better equipped to develop its own Christian witness among all the people of Quebec: (2) to foster closer relationships with the Francophone Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches in Quebec and with their National and Provincial organizations" and (3) to interpret to the Church across Canada what is happening in Quebec and in the French Canadian Community at large outside Quebec. Canon R.M. Turpin of Montreal was appointed to serve as Project Officer on a part time basis.
Initially, a Support Group was set up to cooperate with the Project Officer, being representatives of the Dioceses of Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Moosonee, the Arctic, and of the Parish of Temiscamingue attached to Algoma. In November 1978 the structure was changed, disbanding the Support Group and putting responsibility for production of materials, the promotion of language training, and the encouragement of ministry in French directly in the hands of the Quebec Bishops. Since General Synod 1977, although just a beginning, much has been done in the putting together of pamphlets and liturgies, and in the training of clergy to speak French. Ministry in the Diocese of Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec, and occasional bilingual Services are becoming more common generally. A long term goal is the addition of an indigenous francophone Anglican Church in Quebec led by Quebec francophones. Steps are now being taken to provide some theological education in French for ordinands. Gradually core groups of clergy and laity, all bilingual, are taking the lead in responding constructively to the "francization" process visible throughout Quebec.
In 1978 history was made when the Primate and the Quebec Anglican Bishops met for the first time with Cardinal Roy and a number of French Roman Catholic Bishops. A second meeting was held in 1979 for a discussion of mutual concerns related to Quebec and the mission of the Church generally. The Project Officer also keeps in touch with various individuals and groups associated with French work and ministry in the United and Presbyterian Churches. All the Dioceses report increasing contacts between parish clergy, program officers, and bishops with counterparts in the Quebec Roman Catholic Church. These efforts are supported through the Project Officer's role with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Quebec Assembly of Roman Catholic Bishops, and with the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism. Related liaison work takes place with and through the Canadian Council of Churches.
Outside Quebec, apart from regular consultation with the National Office, the pressure of time has limited visits to other parts of Canada. Most prominent are those to areas where there are large French minorities, such as the Dioceses of Rupert's Land and Fredericton. Other liaison work has been done by letter and telephone. An important element of the Project Officer's activity relates to research, the obtaining of up to date information, the preparation of data reflecting some of the current developments in the French Church and Community.
Another aspect of the Project is the growing contact with the Francophone parts of the Anglican Communion, such as Haiti, the Dioceses in Zaire, in the Indian Ocean, etc. This was made plainer at the National Partners in Mission Consultation held in Ottawa in 1979. Some of their students now come to Canada for theological training: at the same time, responding to their requests, some of the French materials produced through the Quebec Anglican Church have been sent to them.
At its meeting in November 1979 the National Executive Council expressed an interest in expanding the Project to allow for more work outside Quebec. In March 1980 it approved a proposal to make possible such an expansion by providing for the employment of a full time Officer, to begin either in September 1980 or January 1981. This proposal, adopted by the Council, while affirming the objectives of the original mandate concerning work in Quebec and relations with the French Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches, includes as specific goals for 1980-83 --
- (1) To help Church members in all parts of Canada become more aware of the moral and theological implications of all that is involved in the Quebec-Canada debate.
- (2) To initiate and support programs which will foster dialogue and understanding among French and English people.
Respectfully submitted, Reginald M. Turpin, Project Officer.
That General Synod commend and encourage the work of the Project on French/English Relations, both in its project officer and advisory group, and express its hope that consultation among the Anglican diocese in the Province of Quebec will continue so that Christians may engage creatively in the issues confronting both French and English people. CARRIED ACT 66
[Text of report as found on page 143 of the General Synod Journal]
PROJECT IN FRENCH-ENGLISH RELATIONS
November 15th, 1976 is likely to join the list of the "most important dates" in Canadian history. It was the day that the Parti-Quebecois came into power. It is a coincidence, but nevertheless a significant coincidence, that about the same time the National Executive Council of the Anglican Church of Canada approved the setting up of a Project in French-English Relations.
The immediate proposal came through a resolution in the Inter-Church Relations Committee endorsing the "appointment of a person to assist the Anglican Church of Canada to understand and involve itself at all levels in the cultural and religious content of Quebec, and French-Canada". Suggestions for such an initiative, going back many years to various individuals and groups, drew support from the experience of General Synod meeting in Quebec City in 1975. Canon R.M. Turpin of Montreal was appointed, on a part-time basis effective January 1st, 1977, to act as the Primate's representative in French-English relations and to work closely with the Bishops having jurisdiction in Quebec. It was agreed that these Dioceses -- Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Moosonee, Arctic and Algoma -- should appoint representatives as a Support Group to help Canon Turpin.
In talking to French-speaking Roman Catholics and to Anglicans in Quebec, it has become apparent that this Project must involve far more than what is currently understood by "ecumenical relations". On the one hand, the temper of the times makes the subject of Canadian unity of great consequence to Anglicans all across Canada. On the other hand, the Anglican Church in Quebec has been brought face to face with the challenge of how best to witness and to minister in the rapidly changing Quebec.
In these first months of the Project Canon Turpin has been attending a variety of events where the French Roman Catholic Church is involved in the life of Quebec, and has listened to many views about what is happening in society at large. With the Support Group reporting the different concerns of the Anglicans throughout Quebec, urban and rural, north and south, it is now possible to define a number of practical measures for inter-diocesan cooperation. A summary of these thoughts and activities was presented at the May meeting of the National Executive Council. It is planned that these interrelated subjects of English-French relations and of the Anglican Church's ministry in Quebec will form part of the agenda when General Synod meets in Calgary in August .
That the dioceses be strongly urged to promote "People-Visits and Exchanges" between parishes outside and within the Province of Quebec; that the Program Committee be directed to give assistance to this end; and
that they communicate to the appropriate authorities of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec our desire to encourage such exchanges. CARRIED ACT 68
That the Motion be amended by changing Section 1 to read:
"Recognizes the imperative to search for a true Canadian unity which recognizes both the needs of major cultural groupings to exist within our nation and the rights of minority groups within these cultures. CARRIED
The Motion as amended now reads
That the twenty-eighth Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, meeting in session:
1) Recognize the imperative to search for a true Canadian unity which recognizes both the needs of major cultural groupings to exist within our nation and the rights of minority groups within these cultures;
2) Convey a message to the Prime Minister of Canada and the First Ministers of the Provinces and Territories, declaring our concern that the just language cultural and identity rights of all citizens be recognized throughout the country;
3) Appoint a task force to continue consideration and clarification of the ways by which the Anglican Church of Canada can contribute to national unity.