OK, so you are a delegate or member heading off to a synod. What are you supposed to do?
- When you receive the link to the convening circular, read the reports. If there are things that seem important, but you have questions about, ask one of the other synod delegates or clergy.
- Share highlights (issues, motions, election results and other matters) with your Parish Council and other members of your parish.
- Make sure that you go to Parish Council meetings; you are a member of it automatically.
- Attend the regional gatherings. There you will have an opportunity to meet with other delegates and members of Synod, and discuss relevant issues. It’s also when you will elect the clerical and lay delegates from your region to Diocesan Council as well as the regional youth delegate to Synod.
- Meet with the other delegates from your parish to discuss the business that will be brought to Synod (remember, once at Synod you represent only yourself—not your parish).
- If a matter which is important isn’t represented in the circular, consider drafting a motion and send it into the lay and clerical secretaries of Synod. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Either download the circular from the diocesan website onto your mobile device and organize it into folders or print it and organize it in a binder. Pre-organizing your material will make things easier for you when you are on the floor of Synod.
- Review a copy of the Canons and Regulations. You can obtain a hard copy from the synod office.
- Pray for the bishop, delegates, clergy and other diocesan leaders.
- Consider letting your name stand for a committee or synod.
- Listen carefully to the bishop’s charge.
- Participate in worship.
- Listen carefully to presentations, motions and debates.
- If you feel moved to speak to a motion, consider carefully what you will say (writing it down also helps). Identify yourself by name and parish. State whether you are speaking for or against the motion. Give your reasons. Speak to the issue at hand, not some related one. If somebody has already said what you want to say, consider whether you really need to speak too.
- Vote as you see appropriate for the good of the whole church, based on your study before Synod and what you have learned at Synod. Strictly speaking, abstentions are not permitted, so be prepared to vote on the motions before you.
- Vote in the elections. Look at the information provided and get to know the candidates. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of them or about them.
- Ask questions. If you don’t understand something, chances are there a lot of other people who don’t either.
- Pray for members of Synod and our bishop.
- Be a positive ambassador for Synod in your parish. Support Synod decisions even when you personally disagree.
- Report back to the congregation on the events and decisions of Synod (a “Synod Highlights” newsletter will be sent to you from the synod office to assist you).
- If any of the motions request members of Synod to do things, review those motions and act accordingly.
- If you are a member of a committee or Diocesan Council, attend regularly and report back to your parish. Note: be sure you understand the time commitment required as a member of any committee prior to saying “yes”.
- Continue to pray for the church.
Lay Delegate Position Description
So You Want to Be a Synod Delegate informational brochure