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This is my impression of Bishop Steve’s speech on Friday at All Saints Anglican Church. Our churches have had a drastic decline in membership and relevancy in our society in the last 30 years or so. We are in a second reformation.  The central message that Bishop Steve was that we as people of the church need to walk together with the spirit to be disciples of Christ as the disciples of Christ did on the walk to Erasmus.  Christ walks with us even if we don’t recognize him. We need to switch the paradigm of a top-down ministry where the priest dispensed religion and we were the passive recipients to one where all of us are disciples and live an active faith with one another. One must ask where is Christ calling you? God is doing work outside of the church and we must join in God’s work. We must partner with other churches in a communal way as to how to be missional and decern what it means to be a gospel people. 

God’s grace is for all people. Christ is there for everyone despite status in society.  In colonial times we kept marginal people marginalized like our indigenous peoples. The gospel is not about colonial power. We need to get a right relationship with our indigenous peoples where we are to talk on equal terms. We must learn from our history. The second reformation is good news for people on the margins. 

Shelly King reported on Friday night the attendance. She said there were 128 out of a possible 149 delegates and 57 clergy. One hundred and fifty-one ballots were cast. I have the results of the election attached to the email. 

The Resolutions that were passed or tabled are as follows:

Resolution L1: The Social Justice Committee no longer needs 14 to 18 members as they were hard to recruit and leaves the sized requirement out giving the bishop and the committee to appoint members as required.

Resolution L2: The term youth replaced young people and age for consideration is now 16 to 26 rather than 16-21

Resolution L3: The Anglican church is adding or approved ecumenical partner to permit more formal cooperation with Lutheran parishes as Anglicans are now in full cooperation with Evangelical Lutheran churches. Other churches do not allow full communion but cooperation with other denominations such as the United Church of Canada. 

Resolution L4: Appointment of an administer has dropped the term of territorial as this position has not existed for a while.

Resolution L5: A Diocesan Lay Prolocutor (one that gives voice to lay issues at the highest level of decision making) shall be elected by Diocesan Executive council. The change is tabled for the Executive council to reword the resolution on work on proposal because election by Synod would mean delay until the next Synod. 

Resolution L6: Canon 5 refers to the purchase and sale of property. After much discussion of Executive Council they have decided and it has passed that the overall intent of the Canons is that such transactions should be approved by the Bishop and Executive council upon the recommendation of the Administration and finance committee. 

Resolution L7: The Diocesan Development fund, Canon 10A. The DDf serves two purposes: to provide low interest loans to parishes for capital improvements and to fund ministry initiatives of the Diocese. The initial Canon said $750,000 was to be kept in reserve for these initiatives. This money was never required. The amount was lowered to 650,000 so that 100,000 would be released which is needed to fund the transition of subsidized ministry to a more sustainable model. The DDF is now invested separately from the Consolidated Trust fund to avoid possible seizure if the diocese would be sued.  Both funds are invested separately now at competitive rates. Passed but suggested that the DDF be examined separately.

Resolution L-8: Canon 3-Licencing of Clergy. Rather than be licensed for only one year at a time with renewal at the sole discretion of the bishop after age 65 when the clergy member turns 65 and receives their pension there would be periodic review of clergy performance. The reason for this change is so as not to conflict with the Alberta Human Rights Act because it could be perceived with the initial canon that one is discriminated based on age. It was also added that clergy performance should be applied to all clergy.

Resolution R-1: Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton on Reparations.  The Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton requests that the executive council, the Property and Planning Committee and the Administration and Finance Committee- in consultation and collaboration with the local indigenous, Metis and Inuit partners- to develop for presentation and implementation no later than 6 months from now. the conclusion of the 68th Synod the following:

A. Policies and procedures to ensure that material benefits that result from the benefits of the lands and infrastructure our churches occupy are equitably shared with first nations, Metis, and Inuit partners in accordance with the spirit and intent of the treaties. 

B. Policies and procedures to support parishes and diocese in giving away generous portions of accumulated saving accounts to fund Indigenous led community projects and healing initiatives.

C. Policies and procedures to support parishes in the diocese in giving away a minimum of 10% of all future sales of diocesan properties, assets, and lands to fund local indigenous led community projects and healing initiatives. 

The above passed changing the policy development time from 6 months to one year. 

Resolution R2: The Synod of the Diocese of Edmonton request the bishop to pursue in consultation with other denominational leaders in Edmonton and the Central Alberta Region to create a regional Shared Ministry Coordinating circle. 

A. The EMS Circle will see where Anglican parishes could engage in more shared ministry programs, worship services, clergy, buildings with other denominational expressions of the church. 

B. Be comprised of appointed members of Anglican, Evangelical Lutheran and Moravian churches.
C. To encourage membership from other ecumenical churches such as the United, Presbyterian, Christian Reformed and Mennonite churches. This resolution passed

Resolution R3: Affirming LGBTQ2SIA+ persons. 

"We will affirm and declare publicly, intentionally, and explicitly our commitment to the safety, and full access of siblings and LGBTQ2SIA+ communities within our churches and will support these commitments with requisite diocesan policies and training." Finding Our Way: Discerning a Strategic Path for the Diocese of Edmonton. Goal 10

 In the past several months there have been conversations initiated with queer clergy and laity. These talks are in their infancy stage, best described at the grassroots level. 

The resolution passed.