Synod Gathers in November to Consider New Directions
Posted October 8, 2019
"Sing to the Lord a new song!"
Drawn from Psalm 96 and chosen by Bishop Susan Bell, the theme for the 145th synod of the Diocese of Niagara reflects a focus on renewal and our work towards a new mission action plan.
Each fall, the annual synod brings together people from all the parishes of the diocese for the building up of our Church through discernment and decision-making, sharing and learning, relationship-building and worship. Close to 300 members, guests, and displayers will gather together over the course of two days on November 8 and 9.
"As Anglicans, we are episcopally-led and synodically-governed, said Secretary of Synod Bill Mous, "synod creates the sacred space for both aspects of our polity to be lived out."
This year a much-anticipated component of the synod will be a presentation by the Mission Action Plan leadership committee. This group has been faithfully gathering hopes and dreams for our diocese alongside environmental scan reports, community interviews, and organizational data. The key themes arising from their prayerful work of discernment will be shared with members of synod; themes which will ultimately guide the development of a new mission statement the diocese as well as its first-ever mission action plan.
The agenda committee has been hard at work in recent months to weave this and the many other components of synod together into a spiritually invigorating experience. Members of synod will share in the joy of some of the diocese's many exciting ministries, consider several changes to our diocesan canons, including a new canon that will foster new missional endeavours, elect regional representatives to synod council, and approve the 2020 diocesan budget. Resolutions related the climate crisis and General Synod's consideration of amendments to the marriage canon will also be debated.
The Right Reverend William Cliff, Bishop of Brandon, will be welcomed to synod as its featured synod speaker. Bishop Cliff is a pastor, musician, and liturgist who has served in the dioceses of Huron and Brandon and is well known in Niagara as a member of the group "The Three Cantors."
Consistent with its theme, synod will take place at a new venue this year, the Lincoln Alexander Centre in downtown Hamilton, which will allow greater flexibility for breakout space and partner displays, offer delegates a comfortable experience, and keep meeting costs reasonable.
The full and complete convening circular for the synod will be posted on the synod webpage.
"Please uphold the work of our synod and its members in your prayers as we strive to sing a new song through our many ministries, empowered by the Spirit working through us," urged Canon Mous.