Faith Worship and Ministry Report to General Synod
To the Most Reverend Michael Peers, Primate, and Members of the General Synod.
The structure and responsibilities of the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee emerged from General Synod (1995) and its approval of a new Strategic Plan. In this plan Faith Worship and Ministry undertook the work done by the previously constituted: a) Doctrine and Worship, b) Ministry, and c) Inter-Church Inter-Faith Relations Committees.
This report consists of three major sections. The first is an account of how we as a committee worked and functioned in this incarnation of Faith Worship and Ministry - with particular reference to our terms of reference. The second section is a summary of actions and developments that took place with each of the tasks undertaken by Faith Worship and Ministry during this triennium. The third section consists of documents and further background information, referenced in the first two sections.
|1. Working Together||3|
|Our meeting, communicating, intentional prioritising and collaboration||3|
|The Mechanics of Moving the Tasks Forward||5|
|A job description for 'Anchors'||5|
|2.Terms of Reference||6|
|A. Articulate standards and develop resources for worship and liturgy||6|
|Liturgy after 2001||6|
|Supplementary Liturgical Material||7|
|Consultation on Common Texts||8|
|B. Foster and facilitate collaboration between Canadian theological colleges, and with the national church||8|
|C. Develop policy for, monitor and engage in inter-church dialogues||8|
|Joint Working Group with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada||8|
|Diocesan Ecumenical Officers Conference||10|
|D. Develop policy for, monitor and engage in inter-faith dialogues||10|
|Guidelines for Religious Ceremonies Involving More than one Faith Tradition||10|
|E. Promote theological reflection, and provide resources and education on issues of doctrine, ethics, ministry, ecumenism, leadership, evangelism and mission||10|
|Emerging Ethical Issues||12|
|Theological Education for Ordained Ministry||13|
|Discernment for the Diaconate||13|
|Use of Scripture||14|
|F. Monitor work of the Anglican Communion in the areas of liturgy, doctrine, authority and identity||14|
|International Anglican Liturgical Consultation||14|
|G. Monitor work of the World Council of Churches and the Canadian Council of Churches in areas of faith and order, ethics, theological education, and inter-faith relations||15|
|H. Convene gatherings and develop networks related to the work of the Committee||15|
|I. Work alongside the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples around aboriginal spirituality||15|
|J. Work with the House of Bishops to define doctrine where necessary||16|
|K. Use the Lund principle to work ecumenically wherever possible||16|
|L. Report to the Council of General Synod||16|
|M. Encourage theological reflection on stewardship and on the committee's mandate||16|
|4. Volunteer Development||17|
|5. Identified Tasks for the Next Triennium||18|
|6. Committee Membership 1998-2001||19|
|7. A Word of Thanks||19|
Section II: Tasks 1998-2001
Section III: Documents
Section IV: French Translations of portions of the BAS
- 1. Working Together
Our meeting, communicating, intentional prioritizing and collaboration
During this triennium three of our committee meetings, took place in Oakville, Ontario, at St. Michael's House - Community of the Sisters of the Church (15-18October 1998, 16-19 October 1999, 24-27 February 2000). Additionally, the Committee met alongside the other standing committees of General Synod, and the Council of General Synod, in Mississauga, Ontario, 3-7 March 1999, and in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 22-25 September 2000. Due to budgetary constraints only the Steering Committee met 2-3 February 2001 in Calgary, Alberta.
Communicating our life and work with those beyond the committee structure of General Synod continued to be an ongoing concern- both in the sharing of what we were discussing, and also in finding opportunities to listen to the concerns and work of others in the church.
We regularly reported to the Council of General Synod, and submitted material for publication and distribution through Ministry Matters. The Committee investigated the setting up and using of an internet list-serve as well as making better use of General Synod's WEB site. However we were not able to provide either adequate time or the resourcing to complete these goals at this time.
We continued this triennium to invite both individuals and groups active in the life of the Anglican Church (both within and outside its organizational structure) to come and give a brief presentation either regarding current issues in the life of the church, or on their life, ministry and concerns. In addition to meeting with the Anglican Council of Indigenous People at our March 1999 meeting, we welcomed Archbishop Tom Morgan, and the General Secretary, the Ven. Jim Boyles who on several occasions brought updates regarding Residential Schools issues. At other meetings we also welcomed:
Prioritization and Process
- representatives from Fidelity and Integrity who are part of the ongoing dialogue in the Diocese of Toronto regarding human sexuality;
- representatives from the North American Association of the Diaconate; and
- Fr. Philip Hobson from the Diocese of Toronto who was the recipient of a St. Basil's Scholarship for study of the Oriental Orthodox in Armenia.
At our very first meeting an overview was undertaken of the tasks and projects relating to the mandate of the Faith Worship and Ministry Committee - through the actions of General Synod, the previous committee's work, various task forces, networks, and matters proposed for action by current committee members. We utilized an 'open space' technique to discuss the tasks, make recommendations about how to pursue them, and identify who might be involved. An indication of how much energy (actual enthusiasm as well as in terms of anticipated levels of needed expenditure of energy) was made for each of the identified tasks. The identified tasks will be found in section II of this report.
Although the list is long, there is a coherency in these tasks being considered within a common framework. The number, complexity and nature of these varied tasks require, particularly in light of the numbers of committee members and the availability of staff resources, the discovery of new ways to accomplish these tasks. We continued to use a model of "anchoring" for the tasks (a "job description" for anchors will be found below) - and further grouping those tasks (and those taking responsibility for working on them) into the following working groups: Ethics, Ministry, Relationships, Theological Reflection, and Worship. At each meeting time was allocated to working groups meeting and then bringing forward to the whole committee those tasks needing the attention of the whole. Because of the number of the tasks (54) and the size of the committee (15), committee members undertook to anchor and resource several tasks each - sometimes in more than one working group. This provided real challenges in scheduling to enable members' participation in the working groups within which their tasks fell.
Priorities were set for tasks requiring time and attention. It needs to be noted that the establishing of a "priority" for each task was not an evaluative judgment of its 'worth', rather it had to do with a finite amount of energy in the life of the Committee, and how best to prioritize the allocation of that energy in meeting the requirements of each task. Hence in our listing of tasks the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation (task W6) received a 'low' priority regarding the need for committee energy, because the task is one of monitoring the meetings of this group. However Human Sexuality (task E6) received a 'high' priority rating regarding the need for committee energy, since this task was not only sent to Faith Worship and Ministry by the General Synod, but also because of the need to move forward this highly charged set of issues in the awareness and life of the community.
A re-evaluation of priorities for tasks took place midway in the triennium - prompted by the uncertainties of the future of the structure of General Synod and its committees. Committee members rated each task in terms of whether it should be a short term priority, its "doability", how it connects with others, and how it relates to healing and reconciliation.
The Mechanics of Moving the Tasks Forward
In the work of Faith Worship and Ministry, the ability to move tasks forward in a coordinated manner has depended on the Chair, Director and staff being able to bring information together from those working on tasks, synthesizing it, and then encouraging and engaging in facilitative communication. The goal of this was aimed at maximizing collaboration, and minimizing duplication of effort. An example of this is contained in Section II - the development and regular updating of task list sheets which outline and summarize the state and stage of dealing with each task. With the large number of tasks that comprise the agenda of Faith Worship and Ministry, the use of task sheets has been invaluable in maximizing the usefulness of agenda time - assisting with discussion of pertinent issues and questions, and helping to minimize the need to continually review the history and nature of the task at hand. The Chair, Director and staff worked collaboratively in both the accurate recording of information, and in the ensuring that there was an articulation on the part of "anchors" as to not only where the task was at the moment, and also in identifying what was needed for the next step in that task's moving forward to occur.
The agenda for each meeting was formidable and required from the Chair not only a determination to keep "noses to the grindstone" and maximize the time we had together, but also required a discerning ear to ensure everyone who needed to be heard on an issue was given the opportunity and encouragement to contribute. As we approached more than one issue which could spark intense involvement, it was critical to always see issues as issues, apart and distinct from the personalities and personal passions of those around the table. While always respectful of one another, holy humour carried us through many a moment of tiredness and despair over "too many tasks - too little time".
With such an agenda, we developed a plan of action that invited each committee member to "anchor" one or more tasks. The description of what that entailed emerged and was refined in the course of our work.
A job description for "Anchors":
When a person agreed to "anchor" a task, he or she would: Gather and receive information from other committee members, through research, from persons contacted, and in committee meetings pertaining to the area of responsibility. Their responsibility was then to:
- Communicate information to relevant committee members;
- Monitor the area of responsibility and analyze and summarize material obtained, for report to Faith Worship and Ministry;
- Act as a link to other relevant group(s) and relay information where needed;
- Enlist people from beyond Faith Worship and Ministry Committee for particular tasks, as needed, and report names of people proposed for such tasks to the Chair and relevant staff;
- Know (or discover) how to find the entry points in their area of responsibility;
- Report all relevant information to Faith Worship and Ministry;
- Periodically advise the appropriate staff person of what is happening in their area of responsibility, and seek staff assistance as necessary.
We have sought to work collaboratively - with one another and with other committees, networks, councils and groups. Reporting to the Council of General Synod, we have also, as occasion demanded or invited, attempted to coordinate overlapping issues through the Mission Coordination Group. There were a number of people and groups we connected with over the triennium including: the House of Bishops, EcoJustice, Information Resources, the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, Partners in Mission, Diocesan Liturgical officers, Diocesan Ecumenical Officers, the Churches' Council on Theological Education; Heads of Theological colleges; the World Council of Churches; the Canadian Council of Churches, and various
offices of the Anglican Communion.
2. Terms of Reference
- Our "Terms of Reference" guided us as a committee. These terms of reference are accompanied below with commentary outlining the major ways in which we have carried out our work.
- Faith Worship and Ministry shall:
A. Articulate standards and develop resources for worship and liturgy.
- Liturgy after 2001 (see Section II - Task W8, see also W15)
The Committee's task was to help the church at large engage the issues regarding future direction of liturgical life and possible revision of currently authorized liturgies in preparation for this Synod - as well as to assist this Synod in setting future directions for liturgy for the next triennium and beyond. Amidst much discussion and input from various sectors, it was decided to engage the church in a series of four regional consultations. Summary points from these consultations will be found in Section III of this report.
The reports and recommendations of the four provincial worship consultations were forwarded to the House of Bishops and the Council of General Synod for discussion. The Committee is asking General Synod to consider effective means by which regional liturgical forums might be established which would meet regularly and continue to address the recommendations made by the consultations. Such forums might include representatives from each diocese with adequate indigenous and youth representation, at least two diocesan bishops, regional members of Faith Worship and Ministry, and Anglican liturgists and theologians from the region.
In addition, this General Synod is being asked to extend approval for the use of the BAS until such time as General Synod determines otherwise.
- Development and Evaluation of Supplementary Liturgical Material (See Section II - Task W1, W5, W7, W10, W11-12, and also C1)
The task of preparing collects for use with the three year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary was given Faith Worship and Ministry by General Synod 1998. Consultation with the House of Bishops, and an exploration of collect collections from the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches in Canada and from the Consultation on Common Texts Collects project was undertaken. The recommendation before this Synod is that as an initial provision, permission be sought from the Anglican Church of Australia to reprint the three year cycle of Revised Common Lectionary related collects of the Australian Prayer Book 1995, for study, use and evaluation in the Anglican Church of Canada - where authorized by the Ordinary.
In addition, during the triennium, Faith Worship and Ministry responded to requests to assist in provision of liturgical materials regarding Jubilee concerns, healing and reconciliation, and to work in collaboration with the Anglican Council of Indigenous People.
Work on Night Prayer was completed and approved for use by both the House of Bishops and the Council of General Synod. Additionally evaluations received concerning the supplementary liturgical material approved for trial use by General Synod 1998 did not call for any necessary substantial changes. These materials have been approved (by the House of Bishops and the Council of General Synod) for alternative use where authorized by the Ordinary.
Regarding the task given by General Synod 1998 to Faith Worship and Ministry of translation of texts from the Book of Alternative Services into French, this General Synod is being asked to approve the work completed by CLEF (Comité liturgique episcopale francophone).
- Music resources (See Section II - Task W2 and W9)
The new hymnbook, Common Praise, has been published and a words only edition is now available. A survey was undertaken through a questionnaire sent to six small parishes in each diocese (as identified by diocesan Bishops). This questionnaire set out to identify the needs of smaller parishes concerning music resources. Twenty-six of thirty dioceses participated, with responses received from 68 parishes (154 congregations). The results are being forwarded with recommendations to the next Faith Worship and Ministry Committee.
- Consultation on Common Texts (See Section II - W3 and W8)
This ecumenical consultation (which has brought us the Sunday three year Revised Common Lectionary) is one on which the Anglican Church has had ongoing representation. Faith Worship and Ministry has endorsed the circulation and use of the Revised Common Lectionary. The Council of General Synod agreed to request Anglican Book Centre to print the Revised Common Lectionary (currently approved for use) in future editions of the Book of Alternative Services.
B. Foster and facilitate collaboration between Canadian theological colleges, and with the national church. (See Section II - Tasks M2, M6)
- Ongoing monitoring and participation in networks - particularly the meetings of 'heads' of Anglican Colleges, the Churches' Council on Theological Education (an ecumenical organization of theological educators in Canada - have been undertaken.
C. Develop policy for, monitor, and engage in inter-church dialogues.
- Joint Working Group with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) (See Section II - Task R6)
The past triennium has seen extensive work, study and consultation being done with the leadership, direction and encouragement of the Joint Working Group, which was established to oversee the process leading towards full communion between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. The first draft of the Waterloo Declaration was circulated widely within both churches and throughout the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran World Federation. It has received overwhelming endorsement from diocesan synods, with some minor changes being proposed in the light of comments received. The text of the revised Waterloo Declaration, along with commentary, will be found attached to this report (Section III). This General Synod is being asked to adopt the declaration, and if approved, to establish a Joint Commission to oversee and nurture the new relationship of full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
Questions have been raised about two issues which require some further explanation.
One has to do with an occasional practice in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada of authorizing, for limited periods of time and in situations of isolation, lay persons to preside at the eucharistic liturgy. This practice, which comes from the Norwegian pietist tradition, has been viewed on the well-established Lutheran 'emergency principle' which argues that, for the sake of the Gospel, some matters of polity may be suspended. (It was this same emergency principle which Martin Luther invoked in ordaining 'superintendents' to a ministry of episkope when no bishops in Germany supported the Reformation.)
In Canada, this practice was limited to one of the churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church Canada, which was party to the merger which led to formation of the ELCIC. Occasionally diaconal ministers were so authorized, and occasionally theological students were so authorized in their summer placements in remote communities. The Conference of Bishops of the ELCIC agreed in 1991 to phase out the practice, but it does continue in two synods (Alberta and the Territories, and Saskatchewan). The issue of bishops continuing to act differently from the policy of their church is an internal issue for the ELCIC. It is important for Anglicans to consider the stated theology and policy of an ecumenical partner, rather than occasional breaches of that policy. Similarly, we would not wish to have our ecumenical partners evaluate us by our stated and agreed upon theology and practice rather than by the actions of a few individuals which might appear to be in contradiction to them. It continues to be the stated policy of the ELCIC to phase out the practice.
The second has to do with the fact that two Lutheran bishops were ordained pastor by a pastor, rather than by a bishop. The practice of pastoral ordination is another practice which existed in a predecessor church, but at the time of the merger which formed the ELCIC it was discontinued. It is the unfailing practice of the ELCIC to have pastors ordained by a bishop.
All the present bishops of the ELCIC were installed in their office by the laying on of hands by the national bishop together with other synodical bishops. In 1997, the ELCIC National Convention agreed to consider the installation of bishops as ordination to a life ministry, and the liturgical rites are being revised to reflect this intention clearly.
It is part of the understanding of The Waterloo Declaration that the Anglican Church of Canada recognizes the full authenticity of ministries presently existing within the ELCIC, in the full knowledge that some practices may seem to some Anglicans to have been anomalous in the past, but that the clear policy of the ELCIC now is to have only episcopal laying on of hands with prayer for the ordination of pastors and of bishops.
The text of the final Report of the Joint Working Group will be found in Section III of this report.
- Ecumenical dialogues (see Section II - Tasks R3, R4, R5, R10, R11)
Faith Worship and Ministry continued to engage in and monitor the ongoing work of Canadian and international ecumenical dialogues. "The Gift of Authority" - published by the International Anglican/Roman Catholic Consultation was the focus of much discussion and consideration, particularly in relation to the Virginia Report which has been circulated throughout the Anglican Communion for comment and feedback. Leaders of the Roman Catholic and Anglican Communion met in Mississauga in May, 2000 - a meeting that attracted a great deal of interest and attention. The Roman Catholic Church's issuing of "Dominus Iesus" also stirred discussion, particularly with regards to how it referred to other Christian bodies, as well as other world faiths.
A number of exploratory meetings have taken place between representatives of the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church. A series of four regional meetings were held, which positively supported further efforts of dialogue and cooperation. Efforts at establishing relationship with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada have also been made.
- Diocesan Ecumenical Officers Conference
Most dioceses have an Ecumenical Officer appointed by the Bishop. This is one of the existing networks that Faith Worship and Ministry monitors and supports. (See Section II - Task C2)
D. Develop policy for, monitor, and engage in inter-faith dialogues.
- Guidelines for Religious Ceremonies Involving More than one Faith Tradition (See Section II - Task R9)
Discussion following the experience of the interfaith service after the crash of Swiss Air-111 was initiated in the Canadian Council of Churches as a response to the request of Senator Lois Wilson. Guidelines for assisting in planning such services were developed and circulated both with the constituent members of the Canadian Council of Churches, but also the CCJC and the NMCLCC. These guidelines are intended for use by interfaith bodies.
- Inter-Faith Dialogues (See Section II - Task R7 and R8)
There was some discussion, but no official response, to the document of the United Church of Canada entitled 'Bearing Faithful Witness.' A difficulty with current Christian - Jewish dialogue is the intertwining of issues religious and political - particularly with increased tensions in the Middle East. There have been some efforts to re-establish dialogue with the Muslim community. Difficulties in doing this have included the lack of staff resourcing and the identification of a national Muslim group with whom to be in dialogue.
E. Promote theological reflection, and provide resources and education on issues of doctrine, ethics, ministry, ecumenism, leadership, evangelism and mission.
- Throughout the triennium there was no shortage of challenges, concerns and issues in the task areas of Theological Reflection, Ethics, and Ministry. The reader is referred to the task reports of these areas found in Section II of this report - particularly regarding tasks not directly commented on below, namely: monitoring exploratory work regarding the possibility of establishing an Ecumenical Network on Health Care Concerns (see Task E2), and the North American Ecumenical Round Table re. issues on faith and science (see Task E4); revision, publication and distribution of the "Care in Dying" report (see Task E3) and a pamphlet on "Advance Care Directives" (see Task E10); exploring ways to reflect on and to resource dealing with issues of litigation and conflict resolution (see Task E7); paying attention to issues arising out of ACPO (Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination) (see Task M1) and from meetings on the heads of Anglican colleges (see Task M6); participating in the Churches Council on Theological Education (see Task M2); engaging in opportunities for theological reflection on ministry and leadership (see Task M7); beginning conversation with ACIP regarding appropriate methods of discernment for ministry in indigenous communities (see Task M5); awaiting with interest the sharing of the work of the Primate's Theological Commission (see Task T4); and acknowledging areas inviting theological reflection but not having time and resources to engage those areas (see Tasks T2, T3, T5).
What follows are comments highlighting specific focus points of our work during this triennium.
- Human Sexuality (See Section II - Task E6)
As will be seen in the task summary further exploration and work focused on the mandate given Faith Worship and Ministry by General Synod in 1995 (Act 58 "Continuing Dialogue on Homosexuality and Homosexual Relations"). During the triennium the need to continue work on these issues was highlighted by motions regarding the blessing of same-sex unions being brought before the Diocesan Synods of Cariboo and New Westminster. In light of the repeated insistence of our Church on the dignity and worth of all persons regardless of sexual orientation, and in view of the growing persecution of homosexual persons by certain governments around the world, the Committee commended the Cambridge Accord to the members of the House of Bishops for their consideration and signature. This Committee also commended it to the Council of General Synod, requesting their voice be added in support of this initiative.
The Cambridge Accord (published October 1, 1999 Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts) states: "In the name of God, we, the bishops of the Anglican Communion who have affixed our names to this Accord publish it as a statement of our shared opinion in regard to all persons who are homosexual. We affirm that while we may have contrasting views on the Biblical, theological, and moral issues surrounding homosexuality, on these three points we are in one Accord: that no homosexual person should ever be deprived of liberty, personal property, or civil rights because of his or her sexual orientation; that all acts of violence, oppression, and degradation against homosexual persons are wrong and cannot be sanctioned by an appeal to the Christian faith; that every human being is created equal in the eyes of God and therefore deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We appeal to people of good conscience from every nation and religious creed to join us in embracing this simple Accord as our global claim to human rights not only for homosexual men and women, but for all God's people."
Diocesan sexuality commissions were asked to respond to the document "Emerging Common Ground" and the Primates' Statement issued in Porto, 2000. (The Porto Statement is available on the Anglican Communion website, http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/acnsarchive/acns2075/acns2094.html, and copies of these documents will be available at synod.) Representatives from diocesan sexuality commissions gathered for a consultation earlier this year - a report of that gathering will be found in Section III.
While the Committee is not bringing a motion to General Synod, this Committee is recommending that Synod engage in continued listening and conversation regarding issues of sexual identity, pastoral care of, and ministry to, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered members of our church - respecting the integrity and dignity of each person, and in a spirit of working "towards healing, reconciliation and the new life" in our relations with one another.
The Chair accepted an invitation to participate in a meeting of the New Commandment Task Force (http://members.aol.com/newcmndment/index.htm#1) - established by concerned "conservatives" and "liberals" in the Episcopal Church of the United States. These week long gatherings have been designed to explore ways of maintaining community particularly in the face of the divisive nature of stands taken on issues relating to sexuality that are now before the church. The approach and design of this process is commended for consideration to the next triennium of Faith Worship and Ministry.
- Emerging Ethical Issues (See Section II - Task E1, E2, E5, E9)
The proposal to form two task groups relating to biotechnological issues was received from the previous work of Faith Worship and Ministry. There have been difficulties establishing the groups - in particular the group to work on biotechnology issues around agriculture and pharmaceuticals (animal cloning c.f. Dolly). The Canadian Council of Churches cosponsored a conference organized by the Canadian Food Grains Bank in Winnipeg - to which representatives of the Committee attended.
These issues are receiving attention and action from the Federal Government of Canada. The Government organized a consultation on the biosafety protocol, to which Canada is not a signatory. On another front, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned a lower court decision against the fellows of Harvard University allowing the patenting of the onco-mouse and arguing that patenting of higher life forms including mammals is allowed under the patent act. The Federal government has appealed that decision. It was felt that such major shift in public policy should be made by parliament after full public debate.
Our concern for public discussion of these issues is reflected in motions coming before this Synod calling for task groups to work on this area. Recent changes in the United States of America and in the United Kingdom concerning the harvesting of embryonic Stem Cells suggest that the government of Canada will likely address this issue early in the next session of Parliament. There are many issues here including:
- the status of the embryo;
- the source of the embryos and the adequacy of consents involved in access to embryos; and
- the appropriateness of creating such embryos for "therapeutic cloning."
These are areas that need the leadership and voice of the church. There is likely some lead-time at the moment, but these developments offer further evidence that the current voluntary moratorium on embryo research is not enough.
- Theological Education for Ordained Ministry (See Section II - Task M3)
Beginning with Core Curriculum Feasibility Consultation the work of this task group examined common standards and expectations of theological education, rather than the more restricted task of attempting to establish what a core curriculum would look like. Ordained ministry is intended to resource the ministry of all the baptized. In light of the questions which form the second part of the baptismal covenant following the creedal affirmations, the following were considered key questions to ask. What is the knowledge, what are the skills and competencies, what are the habits, and what are the experiences that the ordained need to assist the baptized in fulfilling their ministry. A process was devised by Patricia Bays to help engage these questions and issues. This process was used in gatherings in each of the ecclesiastical provinces (see the Report of the Task Force on Theological Education for Ordained Ministry in Section III). Members of General Synod are invited to participate in a conversation on theological education during this session of Synod.
- Discernment for Diaconate (See Section II - Task M4)
There is a growing interest and development of the ministry of the diaconate in a growing number of dioceses in the Anglican Church of Canada. Over the triennium a great deal of information was gathered from dioceses regarding their experiences and processes of discerning, training, formation and support of deacons in their ministry. Five Canadian deacons were assisted by a grant from the Committee to attend a meeting of the North American Association for the Diaconate (NAAD). In August of 2000 an Association of Canadian Deacons was established at a conference held in Winnipeg. Members of General Synod are invited to participate in a conversation on diaconal ministry during this session of Synod.
- Use of Scripture (See Section II - Task T6)
Scripture is used in the Church in different ways, in different contexts, and for different purposes. We read the Bible in hospitals, in homes, to children, in private devotions, in Bible study groups, in seminary classes, for the purposes of argumentation, for comfort and for confrontation. Lessons from scripture are proclaimed in worship (and in some places signed for the non-hearing) and scripture features prominently in the liturgical texts we use in our worship. Biblical texts, images, and stories are part of our literature and western culture in ways in which we are often unaware. Our reading of scripture affects both the mind and the heart. Throughout its history, the Church has employed a rich diversity of approaches to understanding the Bible.
Some of these diverse ways we approach scripture bring us into conflict. We too easily caricature and pigeon-hole others for their use of scripture, and we are often not aware of the assumptions we bring, and the lens through which we see and understand biblical texts. The following needs were identified:
- To raise the level of self-reflection in how Scripture is used in development of church policy and in decision-making structures;
- To encourage a more disciplined, more vigorous engagement with scripture;
- To develop and propose models of meaningful dialogue.
After much enthusiastic discussion and consultation about possible contributions that might be made to carry forward this task, a proposal was developed to produce a video on the use of scripture which would stimulate thought and discussion (see Section III). This is being referred for consideration to the next Faith Worship and Ministry Committee.
F. Monitor work of the Anglican Communion in the areas of liturgy, doctrine, authority and identity.
- Monitoring the work of the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation (See Section II - Task W6)
- Anglican Communion (See Section II - Task T1)
In addition to hearing reports from those active in meetings and work of the wider Anglican Communion, attention was focused on the Virginia Report which is the work of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission responding to the call of the Lambeth Conference of 1988 to consider in some depth the nature and meaning of communion. The Virginia Report was presented to the Lambeth Conference 1998, and was referred by Lambeth to the Primates to initiate and monitor a study of the report - alongside an examination of "the issue of a universal ministry in the service of Christian unity." In addition to committee members, responses to the report were requested from Bishops and Diocesan Doctrine and Worship committees. An initial response to the Virginia Report was formulated by a Joint Task Force comprised of members of both Faith Worship and Ministry and the Partners in Mission Committee. This report was received by the Council of General Synod and sent to the Anglican Communion Office (see Section III). Although response to the Virginia Report was not asked for before 2008, the Committee felt strongly that in light of pressing concerns in the Communion regarding issues of authority, collegiality, jurisdiction, communion, and the limits of diversity, gave this matter a different kind of urgency over and above simply responding to a document. The matters of authority, ecclesiology and Anglican identity are matters which underlie and affect everything that goes on in the life of the church and Communion.
The Committee wishes to affirm the high priority of rigorous theological work on issues related to matters of Anglican identity, the need for self-reflective engagement with Scripture and doctrine in the life of the church, and the high need for resources (people as well as materials and projects) to assist the church at all levels to engage theologically.
During this session of Synod the members of General Synod are invited to participate in a conversation on issues of unity and authority in the Anglican Communion raised in the report.
G. Monitor work of the World Council of Churches and the Canadian Council of Churches in areas of faith and order, ethics, theological education, and inter-faith relations. (See Section II - Tasks R1 and R13)
H. Convene gatherings and develop networks related to the work of the Committee (Section II - Task C2).
- Networks - actual and proposed - which relate to the work of Faith Worship and Ministry, will be found referenced in the various task descriptions in Section II. Gatherings were convened during the triennium as need and budget allowed (e.g. the Consultation on Theological Education for Ordained Ministry).
I. Work alongside the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples around aboriginal spirituality. (See Section II - Task C1 and also M5)
- Recognizing the need to study and engage contemporary issues of inculturation and, in particular the question of the integration of traditions of aboriginal cultures and spiritualities in the life, ministry and worship of the Church, Faith Worship and Ministry continues to commit itself to work together with the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, honouring the principles of partnership set out in the Covenant of 1994 and in the Strategic Plan.
J. Work with the House of Bishops to define doctrine where necessary.
K. Use the Lund principle to work ecumenically wherever possible.
- One of the difficulties we encountered this triennium was the lack of ecumenical partners being available to serve as members of Faith Worship and Ministry. Despite our requests to both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, representatives were not able to be appointed by these bodies to our Committee.
L. Report to the Council of General Synod.
- At each meeting of the Council of General Synod, reports were submitted by Faith Worship and Ministry requesting action when needed, describing its life and work, and reflecting on the carrying out of its mandate.
M. Encourage theological reflection on stewardship and on the committee's mandate.
- During this triennium members of Faith Worship and Ministry found it a challenge to work as well as reflect on all the matters demanded and requested of it. One of the frustrations we experienced was the limitation of both time and energy to reflect on matters beyond the tasks falling within our mandate.
Throughout the triennium, Faith Worship and Ministry responded to a number of requests for nominating individuals to various committees, boards and consultations. Most often these nominations were forwarded on to the Council of General Synod for their consideration and decision.
- Canadian Council of Churches Faith and Witness Commission
- Canadian Anglican Roman Catholic Dialogue
- Churches' Council on Theological Education
- Worship Committee of General Synod
- Anglican Consultative Council (Priest or Deacon)
- Ecumenical Leadership Award (Centre for Ecumenism in Montreal)
- Anglican Observer for the Roman Catholic - United Church of Canada dialogue
- ARC Canada
- Canadian Anglican - Roman Catholic Dialogue
- Board of the Centre for Ecumenism
- Council of General Synod - Task Force on Jurisdiction
- Volunteer Development (see Section II - Task C3)
Many requests were received for funding and we were able for the first part of the triennium to give financial assistance in the following ways with projects falling within the mandate of Faith Worship and Ministry:
- assisting in sending individuals to the International Symposium on Local Collaborative Ministry in San Francisco;
- assisting with expenses of attending the Consultation on Common Texts;
- assisting attendance to the meeting of the Working Group on Christian Discipleship;
- assisting with expenses for attending the Shared Ministries Consultation;
- a grant to the Trinity Alumni Conference for producing a video
- support of the work of the Urban Shared Ministries Conference in Lumsden, Saskatchewan through staff time and travel;
- grant to assist with the funding of the Vision TV video and broadcast of the opening service of the World Council of Churches Harare Assembly;
- assistance for attending the Canadian Deacons Conference;
- assistance for a volunteer to attend a meeting of the Canadian Health Network;
- grant to assist Cursillo Niagara hosting a national Cursillo conference;
- grant to assist the World Conference on Religion and Peace to assist with their publication of a newsletter;
- a three year grant to First Nations Ecumenical Liturgical Resources;
- Providing limited assistance in attending / presenting papers at the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation
In the face of receiving requests for far more funds that we had at our disposal, questions were drawn up to help us prioritize these requests in light of our Committee's mandate and areas of responsibility. Each request was asked:
- Does it come out of an ancestor committee?
- What kind of project is it? (Conference, network meeting, research project)
- Has the Committee encouraged the development of the network/conference/ research?
- Who is applying: student, Committee member, someone presenting a paper? Does this person have access to Continuing Education funds?
- What other sources of funding are available / have been applied for?
- What value is added to the life of the Church as a result of the object of this request?
- What is the cost? What is the amount being requested?
- Does it fit with the mandate for Faith Worship and Ministry as provided by the Strategic Plan?
- If it does not, are there compelling reasons to support it?
- What other demands are there for these funds on this budget line?
- Has this person previously received funding from Faith Worship and Ministry, or other church sources?
With the necessary revision of budgets, it was no longer possible to provide financial assistance for volunteer development.
Identified Tasks for the next triennium
In addition to actions taken by this General Synod, the Committee commends to its successor the following tasks for consideration and action. It is recommended that Faith Worship and Ministry:
- Continues to assure that theological reflection on matters pertaining to Anglican identity, diversity and communion, ecclesiology and authority retain their high priority, and that ways be found to engage the Canadian Church in theological reflection on these matters in light of challenges emerging at the level of the Communion as well as in the Anglican Church of Canada;
- Identifies available recordings and accompaniment tracks which would be suitable for use in small congregations so that this information can be made available to all dioceses;
- Considers the feasibility of producing a common scripture index for Common Praise, the 1971 Hymn Book, the 1938 Book of Common Praise and Songs for a Gospel People, and make this available in hard copy and electronically via the ACC Website;
- Evaluates use of the book of Australian collects related to the Revised Common Lectionary; follow the progress of the Consultation on Common Texts prayers for the Revised Common Lectionary; and to commission either internally in the Anglican Church of Canada, or ecumenically, a set of Canadian-authored prayers;
- Encourages the continued work on French translation and encourage a needs assessment and prioritizing of translations into aboriginal languages;
- Continues the initiatives begun in the Consultations on worship after 2001;
- Considers, designs and promotes ways in which live music can be encouraged and enhanced in parishes with limited resources;
- Establishes a process whereby resources for education and theological reflection may be acquired and/or developed to promote discussion and public debate within the Anglican Church of Canada regarding the use of embryonic stem cells for research and therapeutic cloning.
Committee Membership 1998-2001
|The Rt. Rev. Barry C.B. Hollowell (Chair) *||Calgary|
|The Very Rev. Stephen Andrews * |
(member of the Council of General Synod)
|The Rev. Dan Ash||Edmonton|
|The Rev. Tim Chesterton||Edmonton|
|The Ven. James A.J. Cowan ||British Columbia |
|Mrs. Ann Cruickshank||Montreal|
|Dr. David Gould * |
(representative on the Mission Coordination Group)
|The Rt. Rev. Fred Hiltz||Nova Scotia|
|The Rev. Canon Helena-Rose Houldcroft *|
(member of the Council of General Synod)
|The Rev. Mark Loyal||Calgary |
|The Rev. Canon Judy Rois||Toronto|
|Ms. Cynthia Scammell||Nova Scotia|
|The Rev. Kay Schmitt||New Westminster|
|Dr. Eileen Scully||Huron|
|Dr. Lela Zimmer |
|* indicates member of the Steering Committee|
|Staff:||The Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan||Director of Faith Worship and Ministry|
|The Rev. Eric Beresford ||Consultant for Ethics and Inter-Faith Relations |
|The Rev. Barbara Liotscos ||Consultant for Ministry and Worship|
(until September 2000)
|Ms. Jo Abrams ||Resource Production Coordinator|
|Ms. Kathy McClellan ||Office Administrator|
A Word of Thanks
In many ways this has been a triennium of transition both for the Committee as we faced a necessary reduction in budget, a reduction in staffing, and no reduction in terms of demands on time and energy, and for me personally (moving from being rector of a parish and an Archdeacon in the Diocese of Niagara to becoming Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary). It has been an honour to and privilege to once again chair Faith Worship and Ministry this triennium, and I thank the Primate for the opportunity to serve in this manner.
As Chair I would like to give a profound and grateful word of thanks - first to the members of the Committee, and secondly to the Director, the Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, and staff of the Department of Faith Worship and Ministry. It has not always been easy working with an agenda that felt all encompassing and at times all too weighty. Our ability, though, to work and make progress on the tasks at hand was only possible through the knowledgeable and hard work of each member of the Committee, and because of the active presence, work and contribution of a very talented staff. Both the Rev. Eric Beresford and the Rev. Barbara Liotscos brought invaluable expertise and energy to the tasks of the Committee - alongside carrying out their other work commitments in the Department of Faith Worship and Ministry.
Coming not only from widely different parts of the country, committee members represented a variety of perspectives and concerns alive in the church today. We strove for consensus in decision making - whether it was dealing with processes being proposed or positions being recommended. In all these things our work was facilitated by staff who did not hesitate to 'go the extra mile' in assisting whenever possible.
The Rt. Rev. Barry C.B. Hollowell