Magazine article Anglican Journal

A Sampling of To-Do Items at Synod 2016

Magazine article Anglican Journal

A Sampling of To-Do Items at Synod 2016

Article excerpt

Role of deacons

General Synod 20 16 will consider legislation dealing with the role of deacons in the Anglican Church of Canada.

A resolution brought forward by the faith, worship and ministry (FWM) coordinating committee asks General Synod to receive The Iona Report (and the Competencies of the Diaconate it includes) and commend it to the dioceses to be studied and reviewed, with feedback to be submitted by October 20 18.

The Iona Report is part of a much larger renewal of the diaconate in the Canadian Anglican church that has been taking place since the 1980s, explained the Rev. Eileen Scully, FWM director.

For much of Anglican history, the diaconate was seen simply as a step toward priesthood, but more recently it has been championed as a distinct ministry in its own right--one especially directed toward "those living at the margins of systems and society," as the report puts it.

But while Canada has had an association of Anglican deacons since 2000, Scully noted that in many parts of the church, the diaconate is still not well understood.

" [Deacons] are marginalized in most places in the life of the church-many of them do not have voice, let alone vote, at synods," she explained. "It is very difficult for them to be recognized in a lot of places as being an authentic ministry and a fully ordered ministry of the church."

As the number of deacons in Canada has increased, the need for a set of common standards has become more urgent, said Scully. This eventually led to a call at General Synod 2013 for the creation of a task force that would develop the national theological vision statement and set of competencies for the diaconate that would eventually become The Iona Report.

The resolution also requests that the primate convene a study of the report within the House of Bishops and report back to FWM, and that a revised liturgical text for the ordination of a deacon be prepared in time for General Synod 2019.

--Andre Forget

Dialogue with Mennonites

Anglicans and Mennonites in Canada haven't historically had much to do with each other, but that could change if General Synod votes to adopt a resolution put forward by the faith, worship and ministry co-ordinating committee to enter into a five-year, bilateral dialogue with Mennonite Church Canada.

Archdeacon Bruce Myers, until recently the Anglican Church of Canada's co-ordinator for ecumenical and interfaith relations, said this would be the first time the Anglican Church of Canada has engaged in a bilateral dialogue with a denomination from the Anabaptist tradition. …

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