This article also appeared in the April issue of the Diocesan Post.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Over the past few years, we together, in this diocese have done much to articulate and bring to life our shared vision for life as Anglicans on these islands and inlets. We have been looking forward to checking in on our progress, and moving forward to the next stage, at a diocesan synod. Under our canons, a synod must be held every two calendar years. We had been planning that synod for April 20-22.
At last week’s meeting of Diocesan Council (our synod between synods), the decision was made to reschedule synod to September 28-30. I concur with that decision. Many of us are already saving those dates for our next “We Together” conference. I regret having to displace that event, especially since the last conference was so well received.
One of the key goals of this synod, which came out of the regional gatherings last fall, is “for delegates to understand and approve a realistic five-year financial plan that includes a substantial fundraising component.”
A lot of good work has been done towards that goal. Our short-term strategy, adopted at synod 2016, was to use interim funding sources to support the diocesan vision over three years to the end of 2018. This approach has borne much fruit in wonderful projects and initiatives across the diocese. But we always knew that it is not sustainable in the long term. We are therefore working towards the creation of a financial campaign and a clearly articulated “Case for Financial Support” for the diocese.
As we have moved into the current round of regional gatherings, it has become clear that we still need more information, more conversation and deeper shared understanding before synod delegates will feel ready to come together around a course of action for the future.
So, our work to prepare delegates for synod will continue during the next few months.
Make no mistake, we are not pushing the “pause” button. On the contrary, we are redoubling our efforts. New synod delegates have been elected at parish vestry meetings and we will arrange ways to reach out and engage them between now and September. New regional representatives to Diocesan Council have also been elected and we are looking into ways to bring them onto council, to further enhance continuity and engagement as we prepare for the crucial decisions that lie ahead.
I ask for your support and your prayers as our work continues. I believe that God’s Spirit is blowing in this place, and that our responsibility is to discern it and help join that work to emerge. As always, if you have any comments or questions, I would be happy to hear from you.