The Officers of the General Synod, prior to this meeting, had reviewed the Acts directed to the National Executive Council. Suggestions as to appropriate action are shown on Document #027-02-89-10.
The Acts were discussed by the National Executive Council, as follows:
Act 140 - Program Purpose and Goals for 1989-1995
No action was required.
Act 154 - Relations Between General Synod and Independent Mission Societies
Action to be taken by Partners-In-Mission and Program Committee and to be brought back to a future meeting of the National Executive Council
Act 37 - Confidentiality
Action to be taken by the House of Bishops and the Doctrine and Worship Committee. This will be discussed at the December 1989 meeting of Chancellors and Metropolitans
Act 38 - Compensation Policies and Practices
The Stipend Committee will be asked to gather responses, for placing before the National Executive Council
Act 88 - Funding Theological Education
Action to be taken by the Program, Ministry, and Stewardship and Financial Development Committees; then to be brought back to the National Executive Council
See also motion #47-10-89 (page 37).
Act 158 - Multiculturalism
See motion #46-10-89 (on page 37).
Act 97 - The Book of Alternative Services
See motion #37-10-89 (page 31).
Act 156 - Planning the Development of a New Hymn Book
The Doctrine and Worship Committee will be requested to regularly include, in its report to the National Executive Council, information on how it is dealing with this resolution
Act 112 - Surrogate Parenting
It was agreed that this resolution should be conveyed to the federal government now; and reiterated when it becomes a public issue
Act 139 - Anglican Journal Review
See Report #030-01-89-10 to the National Executive Council.
That this National Executive Council approve the referrals proposed by the Officers and the action, as discussed at this meeting, regarding the disposition of the acts of the General Synod referred to this Council. CARRIED #32-10-89
The Anglican Consultative Council reports that 65.4 million people in the world profess to be Anglican (or Episcopalian) and 2,877,000 of them live in Canada.
The total number of Anglicans is growing about one million a year. One in four of its members is a communicant. They are served by 560 bishops and more than 40,000 clergymen. The Anglican communion is a world-wide family which includes 22 autonomous "national" churches in which 93 principal countries are represented. Each member of this catholic church makes its own rules and appoints its own officers. In 1971-72, for the first time, the number of Anglicans outside England (32.9 million) was greater than the number in England (32.5 million).
As the proportion of English Anglicans decreases that of African Anglicans increases.
This international and inter-racial family shares common attitudes and inherited traditions, has a mutual recognition of ministers and a "mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Body of Christ."
The Anglican Church of Canada's general policy states that "the church is the Body of Christ and as such is concerned with the totality of human existence and man's eternal destiny. It is called to proclaim the Gospel of God's redeeming love through Christ, and deliverance from sin and from all that mars human life."
The habit of family consultation was started over 100 years ago with bishops meeting at Lambeth Conferences every 10 years. During the 1960's it was recognized that in the fast-changing world there was need for more frequent discussion and exchange of information.
This resulted in the formation of the Anglican Consultative Council, a non-legislative body which brings clerical and lay delegates from each member church together. Its first meeting was in Limuru, Kenya in 1971. It meets for the second time this year, in Dublin, Ireland.
Secretary-General of the Council and formerly Executive Officer of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. John W.A. Howe, says, "We live is a world where social and political situations can and do tear apart families and separate friends." He sees the Council as continuing the tradition of consultation which is of the essence of Anglican cohesion and the Anglican life style and serves as "an instrument of common action."
The two basic units of the Anglican Communion are the diocese and the parish. In the beginning, probably only one church existed in a city under the direction and control of a Bishop, seen as the successor to the Apostles. The Bishop was assisted by a number of presbyters (or priests) and deacons. The latter were chiefly concerned with works of charity. As the church spread out, and more than one church was established in a city, the Bishop left priests in charge of various congregations. When a congregation was small, two or more churches came under the care of one priest. This unit was called a parish. The parish then became a geographical area consisting of one or more churches. A diocese looked after by a Bishop is an area consisting of a number of parishes. Each diocese is in some ways, though not entirely, autonomous. Several dioceses are grouped together to form an ecclesiastical province which is in the care of an Archbishop known as a Metropolitan.
Dioceses, provinces and national churches all have their synods. In almost all cases, bishops, clergy and laity consult together in the interests of the church. The Bishop works in partnership with the people of his diocese (clergy and lay) and the priest works in partnership with his congregation, always conscious of Christ's dictum: "He who would be greatest among you must be as one that serves."
ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA
5 Archbishops - The Primate and the 4 Metropolitans
Parish membership - 1.2 million
4 ecclesiastical provinces - Canada, which covers the maritime region, Montreal and part of Quebec; Rupert's Land, including northern Quebec, northern Ontario, the prairies and the Arctic; Ontario, covers parts of Ontario and Quebec; British Columbia (and the Yukon)
28 dioceses and an additional area known as the "episcopal district" of Mackenzie.
A bilingual Anglican priest who was raised in the United Church and was for two years a member of the Ecumenical Commission of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Valleyfield in Quebec -- certainly appropriate background for someone given national responsibility for the ecumenical relations of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The Rev. Brian Prideaux, currently Rector of St. Martin's Church in Otterburn Park, Quebec, has been appointed Ecumenical Officer of the Anglican Church of Canada, effective January 1, 1982.
The thirty-eight year old priest was born in London, England but grew up in Montreal. He is a graduate of Sir George Williams University and also has a Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Arts from McGill. He studied theology at Montreal Diocesan (Anglican) Theological College. Father Prideaux is married and has four children.
In addition to his responsibility for national Anglican participation in inter-church bodies and activities, the National Executive Council of the church recently requested that the Ecumenical Officer initiate and encourage inter-faith dialogue with non-Christian bodies.
The General Secretary of the Anglican Church, Archdeacon Harry Hilchey, stated that in making this appointment great emphasis was placed on finding a person who is bilingual, as much of the current ecumenical dialogue, particularly between Roman Catholic and other denominations, is conducted in both French and English.
Father Prideaux is particularly excited about the possibilities of extending to the national scene the warm ecumenical relationships he has enjoyed at the local level. He hopes the national work can help the grass roots encounters to happen and to flourish. "There's a new climate now," he says, "Especially in relations with Roman Catholics. They know it is now officially 'OK' to enter wholeheartedly into ecumenical contacts, and great things are happening."
The Ecumenical Officer is based at the church's National Office in Toronto.
The Anglican Church of Canada has just completed a through-going self-criticism in the presence of third world critics. A four day "Partners in Mission" consultation wound up on Tuesday, May 29 at the University of Toronto.
The concept of Partners in Mission is an accepted one in the Anglican Communion throughout the world. It involves one of the twenty-seven independent, self-governing churches which constitute the Anglican Communion, in a process of critical examination of its programmes, life, structures and priorities in the presence of "Partners" from other countries, churches and cultures. Canadian Anglicans have acted as Partners in such consultations in several African churches and in Ireland, the USA, the Caribbean, South America and Asia.
During the past week more than a hundred Canadian Anglicans, representing the Church's thirty dioceses from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, and north beyond the Arctic Circle, gathered in the nation's Capital. They were joined by Partners from Burundi, West Africa, the Sudan and South Africa, from the West Indies, New Zealand, Ireland and England, the USA and Asia. There were also representatives from the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches in Canada.
In their final report to the consultation, these Partners said, "We have come from continents which have experienced poverty, despair, effects of nuclear holocaust, inhuman racist regimes, military dictatorships, trampling of human rights and division of nations on ideological grounds. We have come too, from countries which are rich and affluent, and from sectors in the Third World which share in those riches and those who do not. In these situations we have experienced sufferings of all kinds - the rat-race of consuming more and more, of being bored, lonely and fearful. Yet we know that through these sufferings we also experience hope for we worship the crucified and risen Lord. In this spirit we share four examples of challenges we see based upon what we have seen and heard at this Consultation."
Their four areas of challenge were the Natives of Canada, the French Fact, the Ministry of the Laity and the Ecumenical Dimension.
The Partners observed, "The Natives of Canada have suffered through hundreds of years of genocide. Entire tribes and people have vanished from the face of the earth. Many of them today live in poverty, illness, early death rates and little or no education. To correct these wrongs requires a change in attitude, a death to the old ways and a rebirth under God." They agreed that they "must commend the Anglican Church of Canada for its long history of ministry to the Native People," but questioned whether native people have been trained for or allowed to assume positions of leadership in the church's structures.
They declared that "lumping the Native problem with the white rural or white isolated area problem will not work." The Partners had all travelled fairly extensively in Canada prior to the Consultation. From that experience and from their discussions in Ottawa, they concluded that there is a "strong undercurrent of prejudice against the Native People in Canada." They acknowledged that there are no simplistic answers, but urged the creation of a more adequately staffed Native "desk or portfolio" on a national basis.
The Partners described the French Fact as, "A people under the threat of losing its identity, its right to live according to its culture, can hardly act as a partner and may become, as a consequence, a burden to the country instead of taking its place as an enriching part of the cultural mosaic of Canada." They continued, "In a word, a whole mentality must be surrendered in order to communicate within the new milieu," and urged that "The Church must study this matter in the spirit of Christ, that is, in a spirit of love, detachment and sharing."
They added, "while fighting for the rights of this or that group, we must not forget that rights are first and foremost human rights; they are not French, they are not English; they are human, but they apply to French or English or Indians or West Indians."
An "inherited clericalism...which is still accepted as the norm" came under sharp criticism in the section of the Partners' report on the Ministry of the Laity. "The real participation of the laity in the mission of the church may pose a threat to the clergy" but that participation must not be "considered a privilege, a temporal innovation or a concession to the spirit of modern times." "A multitude of habits, ready-made judgements and reactions need to be stripped away from us before we can expect to progress very far in dealing with the key issue of the ministry of the laity."
In discussing the Ecumenical Dimensions, the Partners declared, "The general impression given is that the Anglican Church of Canada is self-sufficient and does not naturally look outside itself, whether to other churches in Canada or to other Anglican churches around the world, for working partners in the process of developing the issues which face them in their common service of the Mission of Christ to the world."
Although in principle the Anglican Church of Canada is committed to the "Lund Declaration" (that churches should not do separately what it is possible from them to do ecumenically), the Partners suggested that should mean "looking first to see what things can be done together and not regarding ecumenical cooperation as an optional extra."
The over-all report from the total membership of the Consultation is wide-ranging and lengthy. The discussions gradually crystallized into eight areas in the life of the church today:
- Mission: Theology and Practice
- Christian Lifestyle
- Commitment and Stewardship
- Ministry: Lay/Clergy
- Social Justice and Action
- Ethnic, Cultural and Linguistic Groups
- Communications and Structures
In each section there was a thorough evaluation of the present situation in the Anglican Church of Canada and an attempt to discover strengths and weaknesses in its life. Strategies for the future were also developed.
These reports will now receive wide distribution in the Dioceses and Ecclesiastical Provinces of the Church and in various national committees of General Synod, for study and discussion. They will have a major influence on the Church's National Programme Committee and National Executive Council when they meet this fall, and on the General Synod of the Church which will be held at the University of Trent in Peterborough in June 1980.
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For copies of the reports or further information, please contact:
That this Council of General Synod approve 'A Charter For Racial Justice in The Anglican Church of Canada' (attached) as a guide [for] the General Synod’s ongoing work on racial justice. CARRIED #09-03-07
A CHARTER FOR RACIAL JUSTICE in the Anglican Church of Canada
A working document of General Synod
The following was received by the Council of General Synod in March 2004 as a working document and a basis for further education with the committees, councils, and boards of General Synod. The Anti-Racism Working Group has modified it slightly since. It is intended to complement a more detailed policy for employees and members of General Synod, its committees, councils, and boards.
RACISM is the belief, reinforced by power and privilege, that one race is innately superior to other races. Systemic racism occurs when the power and privilege of one racial group results in the exclusion, oppression or exploitation of other groups of different racial origin. Racism also manifests itself in individuals in the form of racial harassment when a person or persons belonging to a privileged group behaves in ways that intimidate, demean, or undermine the dignity of others on the basis of their race. A consequence for victims is that racism becomes internalized as deeply engrained feelings of self-hatred and low self-esteem.
AS MEMBERS OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA, we strive continuously to be faithful to our life in Jesus Christ that we embraced at our baptism. We are learning that one of our strengths as a church lies in our diversity and in our commitment to eliminate systemic and individual racism, whether intended or not. We are called to be a church where people will have the assurance that they will be treated with dignity and respect, and where they will find a community that is determined to be free of racism.
BECAUSE WE BELIEVE that…
God created the world and saw that it was good, and created human beings in God’s own image.
Jesus in his life and teaching actively sought to be in loving, right relationship with others, embracing those who were pushed out by society, while challenging the structures of his day that separated one group from another.
God’s Holy Spirit breathes and gives life to all humanity, and moves within God’s people to overcome separation and sin.
In baptism we are given a new life of grace, a life of mutuality and community; and are incorporated into the Body of Christ, one body with many parts. In accepting the new life in Christ, we affirm that divisions of race have been put aside and that all come before God as equals.
In our baptismal covenant, we promise to “persevere in resisting evil”, and whenever we sin, “to repent and return to the Lord”, and thereby commit ourselves to make a new beginning when we discover that we have offended God or injured others.
Our struggle for racial justice requires new attitudes, new understandings and new relationships, and these must be reflected in the policies, structures, and practices of the church, as well as in the laws and institutions of society.
WE THEREFORE COMMIT OURSELVES
1. to eliminate racism and all forms of discrimination by identifying and removing the barriers based on race, and transforming the structures of power and privilege that favour White people and prevent others from full participation in the life and work of the Anglican Church of Canada.
2. to ensure that the policies, procedures and practices of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada reflect the principle of equity for all.
3. to educate ourselves and receive training in anti-racism practices and find ways of modeling these to the wider church and society.
4. to increase awareness of and appreciation for the diversity of race, colour, and culture within the Anglican Church of Canada and in Canadian society.
5. to support and participate in the world-wide struggle for racial justice in church and society, as advocates and activists.
6. to monitor our progress by listening to the evaluative comments of people oppressed by systemic and individual racism.
7. to endeavour to ensure that human and financial resources are allocated to enable these commitments to be fulfilled.
HISTORY and CONTEXT
From the onset of colonialism, racism has been manifest throughout Canadian history and continues into the present. The assumption of racial difference and inequality was the basis of much of Canada’s social legislation. For example, as a result of the Indian Act, First Nations people were confined to their reserves and their lands, and made susceptible to exploitation and take over. Immigration policies restricted Black, Asian and Jewish immigrants. Canadians of Japanese and Ukrainian descent were rounded up and interned during World War Two. Labour legislation dictated who could and couldn't work for whom, and who could do what kind of work. At moments in Canada’s history, certain groups of people were denied access to professions, higher education, vote, or secure citizenship because of their racial origin. Racism was explicit in the theory of Social Darwinism, which was commonly taught and accepted until the 1960’s; racism was implicit in science, art and literature; and racism shaped our demography, history and national self-image.
The consequences of such racist beliefs are with us in the present. Systems of power and privilege still favour White Canadians more than others. In times of public fear or perceived scarcity, restrictions on economic and social mobility, or immigration on the basis of race, are still commonly accepted. Practices of immigration and certification of professionals still screen out people along racial lines. Some Indigenous peoples are still dispossessed. Other peoples still live with the cumulative effects of centuries of discrimination and exploitation.
Racism has been and continues to be no less present in the Anglican Church of Canada. Aboriginal and other non-White congregations in our urban centres are more likely to be resisted or marginalized than to be welcomed and supported to become full and equal partners in a multicultural parish. Church governance systems of decision-making and power do not reflect the diversity of Anglicans in our synods and parishes. The struggle to build a new relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is teaching Anglicans how our church has been complicit in Canada’s history of racism and how we have to change.
As an institution, we are committed to advocate for and comply with human rights and other legislation aimed at eliminating racism among people and in organizations, within Canada and globally. As people of faith, our prayer is to see God’s Spirit moving in our church, public institutions, and society, finding expression in a growing desire to eliminate racist structures and behaviours.
APPENDIX A: WORKING DEFINITIONS:
- Prejudice is a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation.
- Discrimination is unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice.
- Racial prejudice and discrimination is the partiality and unfair treatment or a person or group on the basis of race.
- Racism is the belief, reinforced by power and privilege, that one race is innately superior to other races.
- Systemic racism occurs when one racial group misuses its power, privilege or discriminatory attitudes to exclude, oppress or exploit another racial group.
- White privilege refers to the benefit or advantage given to or enjoyed by White persons beyond the common advantage given to all others.
[Footnote 1] The concept of “race” is a social construct. But racism, which evolves from the construct, does exist and is real. It is our belief and assumption that there is only one race: the human race.
That this Synod, representing the Anglican Church of Canada, is deeply appreciative of the contributions made by the French speaking peoples of Canada to the cultural and spiritual heritage of our country, and looks forward to a growth in loving co-operation in which all Canadians will participate to the Glory of God and the well-being of our Nation.
That copies of this resolution be sent to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Hon. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and His Eminence Cardinal Roy, of Quebec.
The mover and seconder agreed to change the phrase "the French speaking peoples of Canada," to "Canadians of French origin." CARRIED in both Houses.
That the General Secretary ask each Diocese to encourage its parishes to give an intentional emphasis on a renewed understanding of Baptismal Ministry and undertake at least one project each year that relates the implications of Baptismal Ministry to issues raised in the Long Range Planning report (such as multiculturalism, day care, leadership, and environmental concerns), or one of the many other areas of ministry that Baptismal Ministry can entail, and
That the Program Committee and the Doctrine and Worship Committee be directed to prepare and make available educational and liturgical materials that will support imaginative ways for the expression of Baptismal Ministries in the lives of individuals, groups, parishes and dioceses. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 139
THAT this General Synod advise the Provincial Synod of Rupert's Land that the Eskimo delegates reported the feelings of the Eskimo people of the Diocese of the Arctic were that when the new Bishop is elected he should be a person able to speak the Eskimo language, and conversant with the culture and customs of the Eskimo people.
The Rt. Rev. Mark L. MacDonald will assume office as the Anglican Church of Canada's first National Indigenous Bishop after serving 10 years as Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Diocese of Alaska where he was consecrated bishop on Sept. 13, 1997.
He is far from unfamiliar with Canada, having attended Wycliffe College in Toronto and served as a priest in Mississauga, Ont.
Bishop MacDonald was born on Jan. 15, 1954, the son of Blake and Sue Nell MacDonald. His formal education includes a B.A. in religious studies and psychology at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, an MA in Divinity from Wycliffe, and post-graduate work at Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary in Minneapolis.
Bishop MacDonald has a long and varied ministry, holding positions in Mississauga. Ont., Duluth, MN; Tomah, WI and Mauston, WI; Portland, OR; and the Southeast Regional mission of the diocese of Navajoland. Immediately prior to his ordination to the episcopate, Bishop MacDonald was Canon Missioner for Training in the Diocese on MN [Minnesota] and vicar of St. Antipas' Church, Redby, and St. John-in-the-Wilderness Church, Red Lake, Red Lake Nation.
He has served on the board of The Indigenous Theological Training Institute; the faculty of Leadership Academy for New Directions (Land XXVIII); and, a trustee of the Charles Cook Theological School in Tempe, AZ; and is the Board Chair for Church Innovations, Inc., member of the Episcopal Council of Indian Ministries, Member of the Governor's Council on Suicide Prevention (AK), President of Alaska Christian Conference. He is also a Third Order Franciscan.
Among his published works are "Native American Youth Ministries," co-authored with Dr. Carol Hampton and published in Resource Book for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults, the Episcopal Church Center, New York, NY, 1995: "It's in the Font: Sacramental Strategy for Growth for the Episcopal Church: Joining Multiculturalism and Evangelism, Inter-Cultural Ministry Development, San Jose, CA, 1994. He co-edited "Liturgical Studies" IV, just released  by the Church Publishing Company.
Married on Nov. 11, 1989, Mark and his wife, Virginia Sha Lynn, have three children: daughters Rose May Li (born November 15, 1991) and Brenna Li (born October 23, 1993), and one son, Adrian Blake (born May 21, 2000).
(Adapted from Bishop Mark MacDonald's official biographical sketch as prepared by the Diocese of Alaska.)
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For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; firstname.lastname@example.org
"The episcopacy should be about thinking, dreaming, praying ... and leadership," says the soon-to-be Rt. Rev. Michael Bedford-Jones on the eve of his consecration, February 12, as suffragan bishop in the Diocese of Toronto. Among the gifts he expects to bring to his new leadership role are "a growing love for the life of prayer, spiritual guidance and friendship.
"One of my real fears," he adds, "is that all I'll be asked to do is manage."
Bishop-elect Bedford-Jones, who was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1968, identifies three key issues with which he believes the church must grapple in the next few years:
- the need to develop different models for congregational life as the present parish structures seem to be becoming financially unsustainable;
- questions of sexuality within the church, particularly related to same-sex relationships;
- ministry in an increasingly multicultural society for a church that has been a traditional bastion of British ethnicity.
"We are asking parishes to do things they no longer have the resources to do," he explains. "We can't just pour money in to help them, because there isn't any money, there aren't any rescuers. But I believe that God can call any one of us into visualizing new structures that will further the reign of God. We will need to explore together some different ways that congregations can reshape themselves to become faithful communities of witness once again."
Regarding the issues of sexuality in the church, and particularly of same-sex relationships, he notes there are lots of strongly-held and well-articulated positions, but "we are not at the point of consensus that will allow us to move." Of primary importance now, he says, is that the lay people in the parishes address the question themselves.
Multiculturalism is especially an issue in the York-Scarborough Region of the diocese (basically Metro Toronto, east of the Don Valley), which will be the new bishop's designated area. "There are many difference cultures in the church here," he explains, "including several congregations that are designated for one particular cultural base. It's exciting and it's daunting. But it's a given and it's one that we should experience joyfully because it brings a richness to our Anglican tradition."
After three years as rector of St. George's Cathedral in Kingston, Dean Bedford-Jones will bring to his new role as bishop, some significant experience in dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse in the church. Before his arrival, the congregation and the diocese had been rocked by revelations of ongoing sexual abuse of a number of adolescent choir boys by the cathedral's choir director.
"The experience in Kingston was so formative -- it will be what I bring to the episcopacy. In no way am I an expert; I'm terribly conscious of what I don't know. But I'm not as naive as I once was; I will be aware of abuse issues as they arise. I think that my experience will be useful in the House of Bishops."
For Bishop Bedford-Jones, the chance to work with the first woman bishop in Canada is exciting. "Victoria will make a wonderful addition to the episcopal leadership of the diocese and the whole church," he says. "I admire her integrity and her depth of prayer, I'm really pleased."
Bishop Bedford-Jones, 51, has served most of his ordained ministry in the diocese of Toronto, including positions as incumbent of St. Aidan's Church in Toronto and the Church of the Epiphany in Scarborough, on the staff at St. James' Cathedral, and as executive assistant to the Bishop of Toronto. Just prior to his own election as bishop he served as Dean of Ontario and Rector of St. George's Cathedral in Kingston. Bishop Bedford-Jones was married in 1967. His spouse, Jeanne Soules, is a high school teacher at Havergal College in Toronto.
That this General Synod direct the Council of General Synod, and request the dioceses and provinces, to seek ways to work toward a more balanced representation reflecting the diversity of our Church at all levels and to encourage members of under-represented and minority groups to be involved in councils and committees of the Church. CARRIED WITHOUT DEBATE Act 88
Toronto, June 14, 1993 -- Is conflict always destructive ? Is it necessarily wasteful ? And is it unchristian ? Definitely not, assert the creators of "Making it Work : Managing Parish Conflict Creatively", an innovative new Anglican Church video, resource kit and training program.
"Making it Work" is designed to help parish lay leaders and clergy identify and resolve conflict before it becomes unmanageable: equally important, the project shows how conflict can be a creative, positive force in the life of a congregation.
The 15-minute video, accompanying workshop study guide and additional background, exercises and reference material will be available for ordering this September. In addition, every Canadian parish will be mailed a free "Making it Work" poster. A related two-day training event intended for diocesan leaders will take place February 18th and 19th, 1994 at the Toronto School of Theology. Participants will become more skilled in the use of the "Making it Work" kit, as well as honing their own conflict management and consultancy skills.
"The idea behind "Making it Work" originally came from a November 1991 national consultation on congregational development," comments the Rev. Paul MacLean, Consultant for Congregational Development and Multiculturalism in the National Church and member of the conflict management project team. "We became aware of the dramatic changes that are affecting congregations now, such as shifts in the understanding of liturgy or of the roles of clergy and laity. Any kind of change such as this -- even change for the better -- will produce conflict. To be a leader in a congregation today means to be engaged in conflict. If you avoid it, you eventually end up with submerged conflict, and that will kill congregational life."
To further define and research the issues, a conflict management project team was formed, made up of six volunteers with wide ranging backgrounds in congregational development and conflict management.
"We felt that we needed to offer some basic skills on low level conflict -- that is, conflict which could be managed without the intervention of an outside consultant. We believe very strongly that the expertise exists within the congregation to manage its own life, and that conflict management skills will help them do just that," continues Paul MacLean.
The team designed a questionnaire that was sent to all Anglican congregations in Canada, as well as bishops and diocesan program directors. Respondents were asked if they felt a resource on conflict was needed; what kinds of conflict they had experienced within their parish, and were asked to rate the intensity level of those conflicts. The response to the survey was overwhelmingly positive: almost all respondents believed that a conflict management resource kit would be extremely useful. Participants described several types of conflict their congregations had experienced, including issues concerning the liturgy, budgets and authority. Several of the stories (with changes to protect privacy) form the basis of case studies contained within the "Making it Work" kit.
The team hopes that parishes ordering the kit will invite leaders within their congregations, including members of advisory boards, parish councils and vestries, to watch the video and use the workshop guide and background material as catalysts for a discussion of their own issues. Theology schools are another target audience for the kit.
"Making it Work: Managing Parish Conflict Creatively" will be available through The Resource Centre, The Anglican Church of Canada, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2J6 in September, 1993. The cost is $25 per kit.
For more information, please contact: The Rev. Paul MacLean, Consultant, Congregational Development Phone (416) 924-9192
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
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