#007 GS2010: Council of the North
Report to General Synod 2010
This past triennium has been one of challenge, growth and thankfulness for the Council of the North.
The Council has been challenged in addressing the distribution of the grants from General Synod to the various members of the Council, in how to support the prophetic call for self-determination from aboriginal people within Council dioceses, and how to respond to the generosity of Canadian Anglicans in supporting the ministry of the Council.
New leadership has appeared throughout the Council with the election of bishops in the diocese of Saskatchewan, the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior, the diocese of Athabasca, the Area Mission in Northern Ontario, the diocese of Moosonee and the diocese of Yukon.
Growth has been seen with the establishment of the first Area Mission in Northern Ontario, part of the diocese of Keewatin, with ongoing conversations in northern Manitoba, northern Saskatchewan and the possibility of a new pastoral relationship between the diocese of Yukon and the western part of the diocese of the Arctic.
All members of the Council are thankful to God for the continuing care and support which has been shown to Anglicans who live in isolated communities in Canada’s north through the response by the whole church to the ‘Amazing Grace’ project and through the stability of the grants from General Synod.
General Synod in 2007 in Winnipeg passed three very significant motions.
That the Council of the North support grants be fixed at the current level for the next five years (2007-2011 inclusive).
The mover and seconder agreed to accept an amendment from the Rev. Canon Christopher Pratt, as follows:
That the Council of the North Support Grants be no less than the current level for the next five years (2007-2011 inclusive). CARRIED AS AMENDED Act 24
The Council of the North thanks the General Synod for this ongoing support. The financial stability provided by this motion has allowed the members of the Council to engage in necessary conversations around priorities within the Council and to develop a process for the redistribution of the grants amongst the member dioceses to most effectively promote active ministry and to address the sacrifices required of our non-stipendiary clergy.
At the February, 2010 meeting of the Council in Saskatoon, SK the bishops present spent a great deal of time formulating this process. The Council agreed that every diocese would receive a baseline amount of $125,000 (with the exception of Quebec and the Archdeaconry of Labrador). This is based on the motion from 2005, which outlined the needs of a Council diocese.
- A Bishop for each Diocese
- The suitable staff to assist the Bishop
- A decent number of appropriately trained clergy for the aboriginal and non-aboriginal congregations paid a stipend commensurate with those paid generally in the Anglican Church of Canada.
It was decided that the remainder of all available funds would be distributed using the method that was in place prior to 1992 for the support of stipend & benefits for clergy. At the Fall 2010 meeting of the Council the bishops will each submit full reports with all stipendiary positions required including local resources available, diocesan resources available and grant requested for each position, as well as a rationale for each position. This will become effective for the budget year of 2011.
That the Council of the North be given permission and encouraged to launch collective fund-raising activities to supplement the income received from the Council of the North Support Grants.
The mover and seconder agreed to accept an amendment from Ms. Suzanne Lawson, as follows:
That the Council of the North be given permission and encouraged to launch collective fund-raising activities to supplement the income received from the Council of the North Support Grants, in full collaboration with the activities of the Office of Financial Development. CARRIED AS AMENDED Act 25
The Council thanks the Communications and Information Resources Committee for their brilliant idea of ‘Amazing Grace’ Sunday which went beyond anyone’s expectations. The Council thanks the people from across the whole church who sang ‘Amazing Grace’ on Sunday, November 23, 2008 and contributed a ‘twoonie’ towards the ministry of the Council of the North. This has enabled the Council to dream big and begin to tackle the pastoral crisis of the suicide epidemic among young people in many communities in the north. The Suicide Prevention Project began in November of 2009 with the hiring of Cynthia Patterson as the coordinator for the project.
The project is rooted in a very clear mandate which commits the Council of the North to:
- Identify and evaluate available resources including government, health authorities, social agencies, tribal councils, churches
- Develop and recommend terms of reference for diocesan resource teams
- Establish network of diocesan resource people and interested and committed
- Organize major training event for diocesan resource leaders
- Act as consultant to bishops and diocesan resource teams
- Provide follow up support and training to diocesan resource teams ( which will be appointed by the diocesan bishops)
As the project progresses the Council will give regular updates to both General Synod and the wider church as part of our accountability to each other and to our donors.
The Council has been working closely with the Philanthropy Department through Anglican Appeal. In 2009 through Anglican Appeal promotional fundraising packages for use in the month of September were sent out to parishes in participating dioceses across the country focussing on the theme of thanksgiving for God’s bounty to us all. Hundreds and hundreds of individual Anglicans and parishes responded to this initiative. Through the generosity of Anglicans across the country the Council is now able to fund special projects focussed on leadership training for both lay and clergy. Following the success of last year’s fundraising effort it has been decided to continue with this appeal for another year. Packages will be sent out to parishes in the early summer for use this fall.
That the General Synod undertake to provide the necessary resources in stewardship and congregational development to assist all Council of the North dioceses to move as close as possible to self-sufficiency. CARRIED Act 27
The Council encourages the General Synod to take up the task of providing the necessary resources in stewardship and congregational development with a renewed sense of energy. Much of the exciting work that has been going on in the Council is around self-determination and the development of Area Missions. On Saturday, March 6, 2010 the first bishop for the Northern Ontario Area Mission (part of the diocese of Keewatin) was elected. The Ven. Lydia Mamakwa will be consecrated as bishop on Monday, May 3, 2010.
This is an exciting development. The Council is aware that there will be increased costs with the development of area missions. The Council is also convinced that increased ownership and involvement will result in increased local support both financially and otherwise. This is already evident with the establishment of the Northern Ontario Area Mission and the election of the first area bishop. There has already been a significant increase in financial support from individuals, communities and First Nations businesses in the area. This means that providing culturally appropriate resources in stewardship and congregational development becomes even more critical as these area missions move closer to becoming self-sustaining.
Membership of the Council
Archbishop David Ashdown, Chair—Diocese of Keewatin
Bishop James Njegovan, Vice-Chair—Diocese of Brandon
Bishop Mark McDonald, Secretary—National Indigenous Anglican Bishop
Bishop Barbara Andrews—Anglican Parishes of Central Interior
Bishop William Anderson—Diocese of Caledonia
Bishop Terry Buckle—Diocese of Yukon
Bishop Andrew Atagotaaluk—Diocese of Arctic
Bishop Ben Arreak—Diocese of Arctic
Bishop Larry Robertson—Diocese of Arctic
Bishop Fraser Lawton—Diocese of Athabasca
Bishop Michael Hawkins—Diocese of Saskatchewan
Bishop Lydia Mamakwa—Northern Ontario Area Mission, Diocese of Keewatin
Bishop to be elected—Diocese of Moosonee
Bishop Dennis Drainville—Diocese of Quebec
Bishop Cy Pitman—Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador
Michele George—General Synod Treasurer
Sam Carriere—General Synod Director of Communications
Staff of the Council
Fiona Brownlee—Communications Officer
Cynthia Patterson—Suicide Prevention Project Coordinator