That the meeting of the Council of General Synod move out of "in-camera". CARRIED #03-05-00
A summary of the In-Camera session, prepared by Mr. Doug Tindal is attached to the minutes. (Appendix B)
Summary of in-camera session
Healing and Reconciliation
- We need greater clarity about what we mean by those terms. We need common language and understanding, a way of connecting with that goal more concretely.
- Our Healing and Reconciliation Fund has made grants totaling more than $500,000 since its inception in 1991. The grants are managed by the Anglican Council of Indigenous People. A complete list of the initiatives it has supported is available on our web site, or from the national office. The range of projects gives an indication of our understanding of healing and reconciliation.
- This is our primary goal and we must keep centered on it. Even though the legal proceedings compel our attention, we must remember that the people who are suing us are not there just for the money. They're also seeking healing.
- We don't know what's going to happen and we can't control it, so we have to go by faith. We should focus on the healing and reconciliation, find people who are gifted in that work and get on with it.
- The Good Friday experience is extremely difficult and painful; but avoiding it is not helpful. So we have to be careful identifying what is depressing, as opposed to being part of the way of the cross; and what is truly hopeful for everyone.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes
ADR offers potential advantages over litigation. In particular, it is seen to be more humane than an adversarial legal process, and so to avoid the "re-victimization" that may occur in a trial setting. There is also the potential to work with large numbers of claimants at a time, so the process may be faster than litigation. Finally, it may be possible to go beyond the boundaries of strict legal liability within an ADR process in order to work toward community healing.
Effects on Partners
Our overseas partners were notified in December 1999, and ecumenical coalitions in January 2000, that there are no guarantees of funding after this year. Most of the money that we contribute to partners and coalitions is used for salaries.
The General Secretary meets with our lawyers, including some diocesan lawyers, each month by conference call. At the most recent meeting there were nine lawyers involved.
Advocacy with government
- We will begin now to mobilize our members to speak with their Members of Parliament. A fact sheet will be available by the end of this meeting to assist with this.
- Nationally, we are working with a consultant named Michael Butler, formerly a senior civil servant. He is helping us to focus government attention on the policy areas that need attention.
- Other denominations are also involved in our talks with government; and we are also raising the case of those dioceses which are financially pressed.
- A bankruptcy proceeding would apply only to the assets of General Synod, not to dioceses.
- The Pension fund is separate by legislation. It would not be liquidated in a bankruptcy proceeding.
- Anglican Appeal is not a separate fund. It supports the work in the North and Overseas through the general funds of the church.
- An alternative to bankruptcy might be to seek the protection of the Companies Creditors Arrangements Act (CCAA), which allows an organization time to restructure.
'Business as usual'
- We are proceeding on two tracks. Crisis response is on one track. The other, as far as possible, is 'business as usual', as for example in planning for a General Synod in 2001. Our continuing mission is what justifies our survival.
- Our building redevelopment is proceeding. On the one hand, we have a contract; on the other, the redevelopment increases the value of our assets and so offers no threat to creditors.