One of 600+ delegates at Toronto Diocesan Synod
Thursday, November 14, 2019
I am a political animal... i admit it. I follow election campaigns, work for my favourite candidates, put out lawn signs and attend meetings whenever I can. I love watching the results come in, and don’t go to bed until a decision is asked. And yes, there are politics in religious gatherings too!
I was very pleased, humbled, and proud to be elected at our last vestry meeting as the parish’s delegate (along with Mark, our priest) for the next 3 meetings of the Diocesan Synod.
Arriving at the hotel ballroom was rather intimidating... there were 80 tables for 8, so tightly packed that people sitting back to back couldn’t pull out their chairs at the same time. Then I realized that I knew only 3 people in the whole room... Mark, Dana (our former priest), and a friend of a friend I’d met a few times.
Archbishop Andrew, head of the Toronto Diocese, brought the session to order and set the tone for the 36-hour Synod by telling us that the next 5-10 years would be very crucial. Of the mainstream churches in Canada, Anglicans are decreasing at the fastest rate. The Toronto Diocese had 400 churches 200 years ago... now there are 200, and very few of them are growing, or even maintaining. Bishop Andrew said that in 10 years, the Anglican church could be closing, combining with another denomination, or taking off.
At Synod we talked about same sex marriage, the crisis facing us in the environment, homelessness, reaching the marginalized, eliminating single-use plastics, living with less (one priest I met is committed to not buying even one piece of clothing in 2019... she has already run out of pantyhose)!
I met lots of interesting people... Mark has been a priest for 30years and seemed to know everyone, so when I go to the next Synod, probably in 2 years, I will recognize a lot more people.
I came home from Synod with more questions than answers, and look forward to working with the people at St. Paul’s to address some of the issues. I am also committed to talking to family and friends about the environment. Every one of us needs to get involved if we want to leave an earth where our children, grandchildren, etc. etc. etc. can live.