Consultations 2000 Final Report
In May 2000 meeting the Council of General Synod appointed the Planning for the Future Taskforce and gave it two tasks one of which was to oversee consultations with dioceses and others.
Twenty-seven dioceses held consultations - 23 either as a separate meeting or with a portion of the executive council meeting, and; four as part of the diocesan Synod. Three dioceses declined the invitation. We are grateful for the level of interest shown by dioceses in the consultative process and we appreciate the willingness of participants to share their stories of diocesan life with us. .
A volunteer from the Council of General Synod or one of its standing committees and a staff person from the national office facilitated each consultation for General Synod. A list of volunteers and staff are attached.
The consultations were set in two parts - hearing from General Synod and hearing from the dioceses. The Council endorsed the following topics for discussion:
However, if the time set for the consultations was one day or less, it was agreed that the only General Synod topic for discussion would be Planning for the Future.
A background paper Consultations 2000 was prepared and it was circulated to participants, prior to the consultations, along with copies of the Anglican Journal supplement Sins of the Fathers and Ministry Matters, Winter 2000 - Residential Schools Legacy and Hope.
- Planning for the Future
- Liturgy after 2001
- Anglican/Lutheran relations
- Fundraising for healing and reconciliation
- What does Covenant mean?
- International partnerships
- Dignity, inclusion and fair treatment
Consultations 2000 provided background information, current as of August 2000; reflections on healing and reconciliation; and proposed for directions for the mission of General Synod. It set the context of the issue as follows:
"Canada is at a crossroads in its relationship with Indigenous persons, and the Anglican Church of Canada faces a turning point in its own history.
"Collectively - Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike - we confront a crisis that will lead us either onward to repentance, renewal, healing and reconciliation, or backward to increased conflict, bitterness and alienation.
"The most visible symbol of the crisis we face is the thousands of lawsuits stemming from the Indian Residential Schools."
A 15-minute video - Residential Schools Information & Perspectives, produced by Anglican Video was shown at each consultation. Many participants requested a copy for parish use and as a result, the video, accompanied by a brief study guide, is now available from the Anglican Book Centre for $10.95. A copy has been sent to each diocesan office.
The following pages summarize the messages from these consultations. Please note that not every diocese is reported on in every section. Also, messages which were intended for specific national committees and councils are not contained in this report but have been passed on to the appropriate body.
In 1995 the General Synod adopted Preparing the Way, a strategic plan that included the following priorities:
- Strengthen our mission and development partnerships outside Canada
- Clarify Anglican identity, doctrine, liturgy and worship
- Nurture ecumenical relationships
- Advocate social justice and prophetic mission within Canada, especially in Indigenous people's concerns and social, economic and environmental justice issues.
- Strengthen commitment of the whole Church to domestic mission in partnership with the Council of the North, and work with the Council of the North to move toward self-sufficiency
- Provide services to dioceses - information, financial, administration
Consultation participants were asked to discuss the priorities and answer the questions
- Which of these priorities are most important to you?
- Which are the least important?
- Where would you rank healing and reconciliation work in relation to these priorities?
Not all dioceses discussed the priorities, however, almost all dioceses indicated that the priorities are still valid. Priority #4 - advocate social justice and prophetic mission within Canada, especially in Indigenous people's concerns and social, economic and environmental justice issues - received a high ranking. The consultations indicate that healing and reconciliation should be included in future priorities.
General Comments about Priorities
- Algoma: Algoma added five priorities to the six presented: healing and reconciliation, stewardship support for parishes and dioceses in delivering programs focusing on the education and nurture of their people; e.g. congregational development, children's unit work; investigate ways to develop partnerships with regions and/or ecclesiastical provinces and/or dioceses to accomplish initiatives that cannot be done nationally; evaluate General Synod structure for efficiency and effectiveness in delivering program. Define General Synod.
- Arctic: Highest priorities: 5, 4, and 6. Suggest new priorities: Preach the Gospel to bring people to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ; nurture people in their faith and help them grow in understanding and grace; secure in our own faith in Jesus, to reach out to any in need of healing for whatever cause (not just residential schools). Not priorities: Anglican identity, doctrine, liturgy and worship; nurture ecumenical relationships.
- Brandon: Highest priorities: 4, 2 and 5. Individual comments about priorities: "priority-making divides rather than unites"; "too much has been downloaded on the Council of the North"; "listening to the grassroots needs to be a priority"; "some things could be done locally"; "there is a need for aboriginal resources".
- British Columbia: The consultation took place in the middle of a diocesan synod which was already focusing on healing and reconciliation. The issues interwove throughout the synod. The bishop's charge contained a strong commitment to all facets of national program and addressed issues of the residential schools legacy both nationally and as they affect the Diocese of British Columbia. Increase resources for the Council of the North in order to provide resources for healing and reconciliation in areas where our ministry to native peoples has been significant for the past 100 years.
- Caledonia: Highest priorities: 4, 5, and 2. Include eco-justice -poverty and natural resources in the priority in #4. There was no support for priority #1.
- Calgary: Highest priorities 4, 2 and 3. Add: communications and networking services to dioceses.
- Central Newfoundland: Highest priorities 4, 5 and 6. Healing and reconciliation received a high ranking, however, the report notes the following: "Many of us do not see us(Central Newfoundland) as part of the problem re litigation against the National Church. It is too far removed. Possibly educating others as to the facts of what took place and how we could support the National church is in this process. (It would be easier to do more once we've identified where we are coming from.) We need education throughout our diocese.
- Eastern Newfoundland: Highest priorities 4, 1, 2. Healing and Reconciliation is important.
- Fredericton: Highest priorities 4, 5, 2. Healing and reconciliation is of specific importance in priorities 4and 5. Comments further to the priority of healing and reconciliation for the Church, and work of General Synod included the view that ' healing and reconciliation is needed in all our parishes, with one another and across society. Ongoing is our sin against one another. … We are ignorant of our prejudices and don't listen to the 'other'. We are thoroughly contextualized. …I see in this that God has shown up. We should be honoured, humbled, and primarily about witnessing God's presence among us. …We are being saved from the sin of our past, must humble ourselves and seek forgiveness not financial solvency….How much mercy and forgiveness will we receive from Native People, and will we receive it?….Women who gave as teachers are feeling wounded, betrayed and misunderstood. Theirs is a story that needs telling too and they are in need of healing.
- Huron: Healing and reconciliation is an important priority. It will happen by education, listening and fostering relationships. We see priorities through the lens of healing and reconciliation, inter-related with other priorities instead of separate.
- Keewatin: In the 1995 priorities, justice and advocacy are still a high priority. Work in the North is important. Council of the North needs to be re-examined - perhaps it could be more of an advocate for issues involving indigenous people. The Primate's apology is deeply appreciated and they are proud that it was made in Keewatin. There is strong support for the healing fund.
- Moosonee: Reconciliation is a personal, a parish, a church conversion process with God. It is not about cutting this and that program…A conversation about healing and reconciliation is different than a conversation about program priorities. Healing and reconciliation is about what we are becoming not what we do…Healing and reconciliation is in everything, and everything we can be and do is right here in front of us . It is not [only] the national church's responsibility. Suggested General Synod activities toward healing and reconciliation included:
- Provision of resource materials of accurate information as widely as possible across the Anglican Church of Canada and Covenant e.g. Ministry Matters, the Journal
- Proactive, timely media relations
- Press releases written in simple understandable language
- Development of liturgies for healing, and for separate Days of Prayer for victims/abusers/staff/lawyers
- Education for youth
- Encouragement of discussion between indigenous and non-indigenous politicians involved in the issues; and
- Education of the church in the south that the legacy of residential schools, healing and reconciliation is not "a northern problem".
- Niagara: Healing and reconciliation as described is a priority but it must not be the whole thing. Reconciliation is for all we do; there is no need to "specialize".
- Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island: Highest priorities: 5 and 4 and 1. Comments further to this ranking included: 'We are responding to what is in front of us here in Canada….who else is there to raise issues of social justice, with not one word [about justice issues] from political candidates leading up to the election? Is not social justice what the church is about? Is it not always the wider message? …the commitment of the church to strengthen what is lost in one part is the commitment of all'. As a way of working and helping to clarify Anglican identity, ecumenical relationships were encouraged in all priorities. It was suggested that the wording of each priority may need to be brought up to date e.g. "Continue to clarify Anglican identity…". Healing and reconciliation - Anglicans need to consider carefully what they are prepared to lose in a singular focus on healing and reconciliation. Until now, the discussion has been largely academic.
- Ontario: Top three priorities 4, 1 and 5. Healing and reconciliation is an important priority and needs to have resources allocated to it. Healing and reconciliation could become a priority within 4 or 5 and needs to happen everywhere in the church. Healing and reconciliation need to be worked into the top three priorities rather than set apart. This would help enable healing and reconciliation work to take place in many arenas. There was no clear consensus about which priority would not be done but some felt that Anglican identity and ecumenical relationships could be done elsewhere e.g. theological schools.
- Ottawa: Stay balanced with respect to General Synod priorities. Healing and reconciliation takes time, two or three generations. A long-term plan is required. There is no "quick fix".
- Qu'Appelle: Highest priorities 4, 6 and 2 Keep on the course - of all the models, we preferred staying the course at present.
- Rupert's Land: There were mixed views on the current priorities. Some saw the priorities as fine but felt that they needed to all be re-examined to see how they might be vehicles for the ministry of healing and reconciliation. Some wanted a much more radical re-appraisal of the church's priorities with healing and reconciliation as a priority in its own right and clearly in first place. Another suggestion was that "Preparing the Way is no longer a plan, but a set of priorities for dealing with uncertainty," and in this context, healing and reconciliation would make an appropriate new top priority provided the other priorities were not neglected. Some concern was expressed about rushing change. Concern was also expressed about the potential to neglect other central concerns in the life of the church.
- Saskatchewan: The Healing and Reconciliation Fund needs more local control. Lot of anxiety over reductions to the Council of the North grant while increasing healing fund. Healing happens at the parish level. A feeling that Toronto does not understand the local politics of the diocese.
- Toronto: We need to celebrate Anglicanism - restore pride; dioceses and provinces should have clear, measurable priorities; our main mission has always been telling the good news; the national priority is to do what can't be done locally; continue to support the Council of the North; justice priorities run throughout (all the work); international partnerships could be done in the dioceses as could Anglican identity; services are national; healing and reconciliation must be a top priority; affirm the 1995 priorities and intertwine healing and reconciliation among them (Model A); this would be a wonderful time to remodel the whole thing; national focus should be on content and communication, ecumenical issues, justice and advocacy and Anglican unity; maintain Primacy as focus, Council of the North and overseas partnerships; Metropolitans could handle liturgy; the Resource Centre is vital; ensure the Anglican Book Centre remains ours.
- Western Newfoundland: Highest priorities: 4, 2, and 5. Healing and reconciliation is a high priority.
- Yukon: The consensus was that the General Synod should carry on with the current priorities, but that healing and reconciliation , as a priority in its own right, should top the list. One person commented "You are basically doing a good job in Toronto but add healing and reconciliation at the top, and reduce the weighting on the top."
- Why the choice of 'survival' as a goal for the church? Are we just concerned about institutional preservation?
- Several comments about having a smaller version of the national office
- Many comments value the work done at the national office
Working Toward Healing and Reconciliation
Advice and suggestions for National Church
- Several dioceses expressed support for General Synod and gratitude for leadership shown by the General Synod volunteers and staff.
- Listening is the most important thing we can do, before we can ask "how can we help, what can we do?" (This was noted at several consultations)
- Communicate. There should be wider distribution of the video and other similar materials. Use of these should be encouraged in sermon times in church, with time for conversation.
- If we are going to think about healing and reconciliation we need to think also about the healing of the earth - environmental issues. Although we have focused on these issues anew as a result of the residential schools crisis, they are not new but part of the character of the church ministry - so we need to think about healing and reconciliation in a variety of contexts.
- Focus on healing and reconciliation
- Look wider…to apartheid in South Africa, to Aboriginals in Australia, to grassroots movement and healing initiatives.
- Need a national native bishop
- There is concern in one diocese about increasing the Healing and Reconciliation Fund because the grant to the Council of the North is being decreased. In another diocese they want to know the outcome of the projects we fund (vs. a list of locations/events.)
- Healing and reconciliation is a local issue. Healing can only happen at the parish level: it is NOT the task of General Synod (3 consultations)
- Consider developing liturgies on healing and reconciliation.
- Be sure to involve indigenous people in healing and reconciliation.
- The Council of Indigenous peoples needs more time to develop leadership and vision.
- We have to be careful that we do not continue to focus too strongly in one direction. While healing and reconciliation are important we need to remember that we have always prided ourselves on being a "mission oriented" Church. We seem to have forgotten that and seem to be focusing our attention in one area at the expense of what it is that made us strong in the past.
- We are still hearing a lot of "them" and "us". We are one family. We need to learn what has happened to our family over the years in order for it to heal. (2 consultations)
- We may need a national council to coordinate healing and reconciliation work.
- We need training to understand what healing is all about.
- The needs of the North are different from those in the South.
- If healing is to happen in the church, we have to develop a Christian perspective on healing.
- We cannot expect that one program will have the same effect for all dioceses.
- Healing and reconciliation is a process, it takes time. It can be painful when an invitation is not responded to, but there is a long history of distrust to overcome.
- Can we really "pastor" ourselves? Perhaps we need outside help. Litigation is producing new victims. (2 consultations)
- Need to get more First Nation communities involved in the healing and reconciliation fund. Bottom up rather than top down.
- Try working on a class action approach; annual pension rather than a lump sum; continue to explore ADR and other alternatives to litigation, more pilot projects and workshops across Canada. Recognize that these suggestions have to be a First Nations decision.
- The healing process must include individuals being ready for healing - no amount of cash can heal if the person is not open to moving from victim.
- Facilitate discussion between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people and have up-to-date information on the national web site about the Healing and Reconciliation Fund.
- Develop tools (such as video and study resources) that we can use locally.
- Consider having a national convocation on this issue.
- Ensure that the Anglican Journal's approach is conducive to healing
- Continue dialogue with First Nations people and do not be afraid to ask assistance from dioceses and people
- We need a quicker response to issues, e.g. letter writing campaign considered to be too late.
- A long term program is needed. Current action sounds as if it is for next year only.
- Reconciliation is for all we do; there is no need to "specialize".
- COGS is on the right track. Healing and reconciliation is needed in many local communities, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, on many issues, and in our church…. Healing and reconciliation frameworks and programs should include all peoples, not just former residential school students… Long term effort of Anglican, Roman Catholic, United and Presbyterian churches and government, is needed. We must change attitudes and church formats, and change takes time…. Pay close attention to the advice and counsel of ACIP. Long term implications of this priority include healing in all aspects of life and community, education, empathy and equal partnership. Another implication is the diminished capacity of the national church for other priorities."
- The work of the church's national program should take place in close cooperation with provinces and dioceses, encouraging active partnerships between and within parishes and dioceses and keeping regions informed.
- Develop pastoral and doctrinal theologies to help in understanding the spiritual and emotional grief in our relationships with indigenous peoples, to expand our understanding of solidarity, and to lead to redemption.
- Look at the option of withdrawing from the court system.
- Work with all denominations to listen, to pray, to support one another (cf. June 21, Aboriginal Day)
- We like what the National Church has done to date.
- Provide support and encouragement to the National staff
- Continue to keep the faithful path we are on re healing and reconciliation with aboriginal people
- Continue communicating with us. Keep updates on the residential schools issue coming
- Keep sending us stories around the healing and reconciliation fund
- Get the new out about gatherings of healing (of aboriginal, and non-aboriginal) that occur across the country.
- We should continue partnership on other issues that are common to aboriginal and non-aboriginal (i. e. Jubilee, Year 3, land claims.
- Be open to participate with native-originated programs
- Perhaps Native people need their own time to firm up their own views. There should be no firm time lines. This will be an on-going challenge for decades, not a "flavour of the month".
- When the lawsuits no longer threaten to absorb all our money, engage in major fund raising re healing and reconciliation programming for the national and local program.
- The National Church should not become a one-issue church. It should not cut other ministries (such as support for the Council of the North) in order to shift its entire emphasis to native healing and reconciliation.
- The National Church appears to be into "crisis" management. What about healing and reconciliation at the pew level for "the whole community"?
- Facilitate communication between dioceses and provide leadership in understanding regional differences.
- We need to affirm the good work being done at General Synod under the present difficult circumstances. General Synod staff should not feel obligated to carry the burden alone. There are skilled and willing people across the country who are ready to work in partnership with them.
- We should not remain mired in the past.
- Has anyone asked indigenous people what they want?
- Preparing the Way Priorities - This is fine….but must be looked at with new eyes (including our church structure) in the light of our need for reconciliation and healing.
- The church needs to be healed and reconciled before it can carry healing and reconciliation outside. In order for this to happen, "walls" and "barriers" need to be torn down, but the question is how to do that
- There is a need to provide safe and controlled spaces/situations where people can express their anger and tell their stories. But also, safe places are needed for people to get to know each other.
- Need to respect the grass roots.
- General Synod needs to heal itself, so it can be there for dioceses
- Give more consideration to meeting shapes and patterns. Allow time for conversation
- Clarify language and assumptions
- General Synod Canons need to be less pedantic
- Provide opportunities for inner healing
- Keep pressing the government to deal with land claims. Get justice done!
- Increase pressure of dialogue with Federal Government
- Give direction and leadership regarding the process of reconciliation and healing
- We need to develop and provide understanding. Together with Aboriginal Leaders we should educate members of the public on Aboriginal culture
- We can learn from our partners
- How much importance we attach to healing and reconciliation could be determined for us by a negotiated settlement with the government
- Be more intentional about raising awareness of the healing fund and about fund raising for it.
- Be prepared to radically re-structure.
- Trust people to respond in faith to a well articulated vision and path forward.
- If it is felt that God is calling us, as a Church, to be a new creation, then perhaps it is time for us to let the old die with the realization that resurrection and new life are at hand.
Some Ways of Working Toward Healing and Reconciliation
Three examples of how we might approach a greater focus on healing and reconciliation were proposed. Participants were asked to discuss the strengths and weakness of each example and to comment on which example (or perhaps another) they would propose as the way we approach healing and reconciliation.
"Working with what we've got"
The existing national committee structure continues to work at the priorities in the strategic plan. Additionally all committees are asked to identify work within their mandates that contribute to healing and reconciliation. We allocate a larger share of our resources to this work, reducing the resources available for other work.
|Athabasca ||It is already too late for this. |
|Central Newfoundland ||Maybe A. |
Within this structure is an ability to reach out to the various parts of our country and deal with healing and reconciliation at a variety of levels.
Could we do without the national church and look at providing national and international support from the diocese?
We need to continue - to think more than we need to speak or write.
How could this work be integrated with our people?
Right now we need more education e.g. learning about the covenant.
We need more aboriginal visitors as a means of learning about the need for healing.
One group commented that this is a "model for slow death."
|Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador ||B - does not work
We have to continue! Will radically reduce our ability to support foreign mission; healing and reconciliation is not the foremost priority of the Canadian Church and especially this diocese.|
Does not work. Can it continue in reality with less money to work with? Unlikely.
"Working with what we've got" a statement of despair. Perhaps from the ashes we will be able to build on what is just and equitable for all and what is true to the Gospel.
Primate needs to be more focused on this issue to the Government. We've apologized. Now it's time to see what's happening with Anglican Church. Do they (government) wish for us to survive?
Because of its recognition to the need for reconciliation and healing that goes beyond the indigenous peoples, this model has much to recommend it. However, the 1995 priorities need to be revisited.
|Huron ||Example A is flexible, keeps continuity with our past.|
We're working to make things better, starting with where we are and using education to improve.
|Keewatin ||Modified A with a strong focus on healing and reconciliation. Keewatin is presently a blend of A and B. We wish to walk together on the same path to healing and reconciliation - we need to be flexible - the inattention of the government has to be addressed. anything can be done if we stay together. There can be no separation but we can have our differences. Child poverty is an example of an issue that affects all people. We are concerned that example B would lead to separateness. Good results will happen if we wlk together in mutual respect.|
|Kootenay ||There was broad agreement on seeing these not as discreet examples but as steps in a journey, moving through A to B to C; originating work in B "so that we can get to "C"|
This diocese was clear in not being satisfied with Example A, but wanting to see some clear movement.
A and C are miles apart, but let's not have a narrow vision.
Example A is going on elsewhere but not here; not many First Nations in church; reserves - don't know much about them.
|Montreal ||The choice between option A and B was very close. We need to see multi-culturalism, racism as important as we see issues of sexual boundaries. They need to be given the same kind of priority in this diocese (e.g. a commission, compulsory educational days for clergy, etc.) We've come so far do we want to now move into parallel structure?|
|Niagara ||Most likely a fourth example is needed as a combination of A,B and C. A more defined plan is required.|
|Ottawa ||Majority favoured example A. Part of the thinking was that if these were the priorities set in 1995 by General Synod, then they are still relevant. Healing and reconciliation is important and needs to be a part of the overall work of General Synod. General Synod is involved in the work of the whole Anglican church and the relationships that have been built up inside and outside Canada need to be maintained. Healing and reconciliation with respect to the issue of residential schools should be funded from addition giving on the part of our church. |
|Quebec ||There was no clear consensus on either option A, B and C. Comments re option A include: "Option A needs to be adapted; the existing structure stays, but it becomes more sensitive to key issues; sensitize all parts of the church to indigenous people and include more aboriginal people in leadership; "Option A is in the past, but it equips us for where we are going";|
|Toronto ||There was a helpful open discussion of the options (in groups and in plenary) that reflected where the participants themselves were in relation to the issues. There was a feeling toward A but a clear sense that there was nowhere near enough information to make any recommendation. |
|Western Newfoundland ||Hold on to much of what we have in the national church. Do not throw everything out and create something that will only serve the present crisis. This would destroy what is working well.|
Model A may be the route to continue for now because any model that is developed to deal with the problem we face now may not fit and serve the church well when these problems are over.
"Living the Covenant"
With the consent of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP), we give expression to the Indigenous Peoples Covenant by recognizing ACIP and its Sacred Circle gatherings as parallel forms to the Council of General Synod and General Synod. Authority and decision-making for the whole church are shared by these structures.
|Athabasca||This divides us even more (idea of separate church)|
|British Columbia||Example B If we have any way to take our pain up front, divest ourselves our assets and wind down the business of General Synod, can all the income, staff and program be distributed among the provinces (not just dioceses) with or without a reincorporated central body? |
Increase resources for the Council of the North in order to provide resources for healing and reconciliation in areas where our ministry to native peoples has been significant for the past 100 years.
|Central Newfoundland||Example B is total nonsense and does not reflect our needs. Seems t place far too much emphasis on ACIP. |
|Eastern Nfld. and Labrador||No opportunities for the wider church.|
Does not work
Other aboriginal peoples of the world may want a similar model. We have very few aboriginal people in our diocese - not a priority.
Too divisive (them/us)
Living the covenant example would not work. Healing and reconciliation is one which needs to be worked at in the next while.
This not an overall priority (the indigenous issue). The priority is the issue of the survival of our Anglican Church i.e. General Synod; national office; expertise of national office going, going, gone!
Segregation, even voluntary segregation is racist. Model B would be unacceptable.
|Huron||Example B offers model of healing - portable to other issues. |
Some people aren't aware of the Covenant. We need to step back and take it from the beginning.
The downside of B is that when things are parallel, they don't intersect.
|Keewatin||Alternative B - parallel body totally unacceptable covenant equals relationship. We are committed to working together as one body.|
|Kootenay||A is only the status quo but B represents a step toward achieving C.|
Creation of "bodies" within the diocese and General Synod to meet with ACIP (i.e. creation of new partnerships).
Envisioning a new future for all Canadians (indigenous and non-indigenous).
Church and society need a new and common vision.
|Montreal||Option B - seems to risk putting competing and potentially irreconcilable options. |
Self-determination is a choice for life.
The Native Covenant is similar to B". The video with Vi Smith showed the gathering that the covenant came from and the hope that it gave.
Option B seems to institutionalize a special interest group. There are so many pots. Do we want to institutionalize a bi-cameral relationship when there will inevitably be others?
|Quebec||There was no clear consensus on either option A, B and C. Comments re option B include: |
|Western Newfoundland||Not in favour of setting up a separate body.|
|Niagara ||Example B is seen as a failure.|
|Ottawa||There was little support for B|
|Quebec||There was no clear consensus on either option A, B and C. Comments re option B include: "B has merit because it is what aboriginal people are asking for. Healing needs to be done according to their needs and schedule. Aboriginal people to be encouraged to develop their own liturgies, etc. Still, it is important to have aboriginal voices at General Synod; not good to be too separate. Needs more exploration of how this option would affect us;" "Option B and C would not allow us to address all our priorities"; whichever priority is chosen, we need to pay attention to the inclusion of all minorities, not just aboriginal people;" B is the present; we need to learn from the Sacred Circle."|
|Western Newfoundland||Not in favour of setting up a separate body.|
How would decisions be made? Where does it stop in terms of other groups desiring special status.
It would not work well having two separate groups and trying to salvage something from it. It would be better for those two groups to be one group where sharing and understanding could be better served.
"Making a commitment to a radically changed future"
Collectively, as Indigenous and non-Indigenous Anglicans, we describe the future we want for Indigenous persons a generation hence, then define the outcomes needed to move us there. For example, outcomes might include "all Indigenous children born healthy within a generation;" or "all Indigenous children prepared for success at school." We form partnerships with other organizations in Canadian society to bring about the needed change.
|Athabasca||Radical change is underway already. Status quo ante is impossible "survival" can NEVER be the goal of the church. |
|Central Newfoundland||Was it not the goal of residential schools to ensure that all indigenous children be healthy and succeed at school? Be careful with your goals - you may achieve them and pay the price. One goals was assimilation and the lawsuits are the evidence that we have succeeded. |
We need time, prayer and thought to consider the implications. Time does not permit us to do a thorough evaluation. National church should consider
Conclusions: No enthusiasm for any of the models. Anger that First Nations agenda has priority. were left out of it in 1995 and fear that another slick job will be done.
|Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador||No opportunities for the wider church.|
It does not work.
Make a commitment to a radically changed future. If we don't do it intentionally we will be forced "kicking and screaming" to do so. Have to affirm the good!!!
Recognition must be given to those in the white community who served faithfully and well. We need to get beyond feeling guilty and plan for the life of the Church in the future.
Tell the good story of those who worked and taught in these schools. There are wonderful stories to tell. Tell them!
Radical changed future seems unavoidable
Ridiculous, unrealistic goals admirable as they may be
Too narrow focus? What happens to all the rest of our mission work? Is it dropped?
Indigenous people cannot be the church's only focus. Many children live in poverty, many people suffer abuse. How does the church help them?
Reporters note: There was no one at the consultation that strongly supported any of the three examples and overall the reaction was very negative.
There is a strong distrust of this kind of exercise based on the experience of The Beginners/Preparing the Way. They believe that their voices were not and will not be heard. They definitely do not want the kind of slick presentation that was used at General Synod 1995.
Members of the consultation reconvened as the Executive Council and established a taskforce, including John Babb, the Vice-Chancellor and John Dinn, Chair of the Diocesan Program Committee to work on proposing further examples for the future of national work.
|Huron||Example C describes future and setting outcomes - is valid approach. |
Example D could possibly be A with some part of B and C. Increase the role of the Anglican Council of Indigenous People
|Kootenay||Combine B & C and add story telling and alternative liturgies encompassing elements of aboriginal spirituality.|
Several comments point to support for C. Agreement that the examples are sequential, not alternative.
|Niagara ||One group responded: "Our vision is now directed to aboriginal people. This is too narrow, we need a new mission for all looking across the world dealing with justice and advocacy. A radical change in structure is required. The question is "How do you bring the people along?". National structure is already fractured on a regional basis. Do we need to make a unity priority? We question the need for a Primate and Faith Worship and Ministry on a national level. |
|Ottawa||Strong support for example C was expressed by one group. Now is the time for such an initiative but a question is whether we (the Anglican Church collectively) have the courage to do this, or indeed the resources to make such a radical departure from our past possible. |
|Quebec||C is too ambitious. The church needs to commit to developing a national strategy that will ensure a radically improved future for all Canadians a generation hence. Requires the formation of non-traditional partnerships (this is where God is working). Cooperative national synod, where provinces develop programs and budgets and ask each other for assistance (theological work, ecological work, economic work, better use of theological colleges. At the national level the Primate is needed as a symbol of unity; needs staff; still needs work on healing; develop international relationships.|
|Western Newfoundland||Having two bodies and trying to salvage something would not work well. It would be better for those two groups to be one group where sharing and understanding could be better served. |
How would decisions be made? Where does it stop in terms of other groups desiring special status?
Other Comments and Messages
- Education around healing and reconciliation was mentioned in several dioceses - education for clergy and parishioners including young people. Many thought it would be helpful to have workshops, one diocese mentioned a national event (General Synod?). People need to have an understanding of the issues and of what healing and reconciliation means both for themselves as Anglicans and for the corporate structure.
- Some do not see their diocese, their parish as part of the problem re litigation against the National Church. It is too far removed.
- There were many expressions of appreciation and support to members of the Council of General and national staff. Several times the question was asked "What can we do to help?"
- Several dioceses said that healing and reconciliation has to begin locally. Many dioceses are reaching out to their aboriginal neighbours beginning the work of healing and reconciliation at the local level.
- We need to overcome the attitude that makes us think in terms of "them and us." We are one family, we need to build our relationships.
- We need to work for restorative justice - get out of the conflictual court system.
- We need to acknowledge that litigation is producing new victims.
- People still need time to connect with the issues. Communication needs to be simplified with regard to language and content. Grass roots initiatives at deanery and parish levels need to be encourage.
- Build relationships between indigenous and non-indigenous parishes through parish twinning schemes.
- People still not feel connected in a "real way" to things like the Primate's apology - there are structural and process issues here. Need to move beyond survival priorities.
- The options need to be fleshed out more. It is difficult to decide without more detail about budget, who would make decisions. There are implications for the local level. A federation of provinces might be a better model but we need more detail.
National Volunteers and Staff
We are grateful to the volunteers and staff who took time from their busy schedules to facilitate the consultations and many thanks to diocesan staff who assisted with agenda preparation and "at home" arrangements
|David Ashdown||Financial Management and Development|
|Rod Andrews||Council of General Synod|
|Stephen Andrews||Council of General Synod|
|Allen Box||Council of General Synod|
|Jim Cowan||Faith, Worship and Ministry|
|Dorothy Davies-Flindall||Council of General Synod|
|Peter Elliott||Council of General Synod|
|Donald Harvey||Council of General Synod|
|Helena-Rose Houldcroft||Council of General Synod|
|Elizabeth Hutchinson||Council of General Synod|
|Michael Iveson||Council of General Synod|
|Sue Mackay-Smith||Council of General Synod|
|Amy Newell||Partners in Mission|
|Jagdutt Singh||Council of General Synod|
|Linda St. Clair||Information Resources Committee|
|Jim Sweeny||Council of General Synod|
Attached: Partners in Mission Consultation Report, August 2000.