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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The Anglican Church should be growing as it seems to be one of the few which is trying to deal with the important issues of the day.

    First of all, Congratulations on being chosen as your Parish's Delegate. They chose wisely as you are so committed to dealing with what needs to be dealt with and not brushed under the rug.

    I wish you the best...………….if only we could ALL open our eyes and truly see what needs to be done. I am proud of your dedication.

    27 days ago
  • -POOKIE-
    I have said before how forward thinking and inclusive your church is. It deserves to thrive as not all are as positive as yours.
    28 days ago
    Sounds like a great experience.
    28 days ago
    What a wonderful and rewarding experience, Gail. It is a huge honor that you were selected. And the issues discussed are very crucial. I’m so glad you went and that you shared your experience in this blog.
    28 days ago

    Helping each member of your church find their niche that assists them to be an active member of the "Church Family" is a way to keep your existing member and hopefully draw the younger folk to your flock.

    28 days ago
    It sounds very interesting.
    28 days ago
    Thank you for helping with such important work!
    29 days ago
    29 days ago
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