General Synod's next meeting is still 18 months away - but this month, as they elect delegates to their diocesan synods, many parishes will start deciding who attends. At the diocesan level, some delegates will be elected to serve as members of General Synod.
Meeting every three years, General Synod is the supreme decision making and policy setting body for the Anglican Church of Canada.
Those elected to attend the next meeting, planned for May 21-29, 1998, at Montreal's McGill University, face major decisions about the life and mission of the church in the new millennium.
Some 300 delegates will be there, providing grass-roots representation from across Canada.
Only bishops, a few ex-officio officers and youth delegates are guaranteed a place at General Synod. Everyone else must be elected.
The election process starts in local churches, when annual meetings elect lay parishioners as delegates to their diocesan synod, which in turn elects some of its lay and clergy members to represent them at General Synod.
This probably is the last chance for parishes to share in election of delegates to the next General Synod.
Some dioceses, where synod won't meet again before 1998, have already picked delegates.
Representation from each of the 30 dioceses is formulated on their number of licensed clergy: 15 and under, one each of clergy and lay; 25 and under, two of each; 50 and under, three of each; 100 and under, four of each. More than 100, one of each for every 50 (or fraction of 50) licensed clergy. …