Archive for June, 2010
Monday the sex talk continued – but not in parliamentary session, and that’s just as well. Been there, done that (though a motion or two may yet come up). In parliamentary debate, even assuming everyone is brief, you get only 20 people per hour getting air time, and it’s likely to be the usual suspects [moi included, I realize] saying the usual things. As if we haven’t all read the same bible or something. Yesterday was the first session with smaller collections of people (mine had 17 noses), sitting in a circle, each getting to voice what they want to say, listening to the others. The rapporteur in the room (who is not a member of synod) was “the child amang ye takin’ notes”, and the 15 rapporteurs got together with thems wot is organising all this to find commonalities. I understand that today we’re getting feedback on all that, summaries of all 15 conversations.
My group went well enough – it wasn’t a love-in and sweetness and homo-affirming light, but I didn’t hear either any vituperation, or any heel-digging-in. We were handed the House of Bishops’ 2008 statement, and asked what as GS members we hoped GS would do with this, messages from this statement to make. We went round the circle, and I was somewhat dismayed when I found myself sitting between the bishop of Yukon on the one side, and an unknown-to-moi priest from the diocese of Saskatchewan [and thus almost certainly conservative] on the other. Even more joy when Bp Buckle started us off (with two sentences, both quite uninflammatory, no objections there), which left ME up next to speak.
I said that I would like synod to say something and not leave things under a rock – my apprehension is that we’ll come to Friday, prorogue and that will be it “been there done that, move on”, because there very definitely is issue fatigue. I also don’t want to be shoving anyone out – I’ve been excluded enough that I don’t want it to happen to others; that’s just revenge, and not to be countenanced. I want all to be welcomed, and I’d hope for an openness to local option, realising that some will opt in a way I wouldn’t. I also noted that several dioceses didn’t do anything by way of study, despite direct call from GS07, and thought (and said) if they don’t want to, then they shouldn’t – it’s silly to force that exercise. [as I have joked on many occasions when calling for local option, “don’t like same-sex blessings? Then don’t have one!”, and this is really an extension of that idea]
We went round the circle a couple of times, and it went fine. A few still wouldn’t tip their hands, but there was a lot of feeling for wanting to be gentle with each other, and not rending church.
A first-nations priest was concerned about change, and spoke of God’s time being not the same as ours. He and I had a good long talk afterwards, and we’re best of friends – I spoke of people who wait and wait, and who won’t get a silver wedding anniversary because of time delay. I spoke of couples for whom anything less than “the real thing” / “the whole enchilada” is just not good enough, and of those who find it ironic that they are accepted everywhere in their lives, except in church, where they should be more than in secular society. He thought (correctly) that the couples I know are sure that God does bless them – “so why do you need me, a priest, to say that? I spoke of living in faith communities, and we came to an understanding.
Back at the discussion we had – we spoke around the circle twice, a youth member said she would have a hard time if something positive in terms of blessings didn’t happen. A priest from the province of BC reported having changed his mind now being positive; and wanting synod to come to some conclusion. and the rapporteur took his notes and they were pooled. What I have reported here is clearly only one of fifteen groups, but talk in the corridor indicates to me that it was fairly typical. I’ll post this and move on to Tuesday’s action.
Here’s another attempt at live blogging. The Presiding-Bishop’s address began with greetings from Episcopalians and thanks for partnering in relief efforts in various parts of the world. She commented that this synod is focussed on mission, which is the restoring of all creation toward the commonweal of God. This is Isaiah’s vision of all creation living together in peace. This sense of mission shaped much of what Bishop Jefferts Schori said in her presentation. In what follows, I’m going to leave out the external narration (“she said…”) and just give what I heard as closely as possible.
Our baptismal covenant has increasingly roused us toward mission, but this is not shared across rest of Communion in the same way. Only New Zealand and England reflect this in their service books. This covenant emphasizes dignity and respect for the image of God in all peopl. God’s mission is about speaking, doing, being the good news by creating shalom, a community of peace and justice. Baptism is a commissioning for service in which all are ministers and servants of God’s mission. We are one body with many gifts and we aren’t the same churches we were 30 years ago because of that baptismal covenant.
The two churches share common roots and history. The first service of communion in Canada took place in Frobisher Bay in 1578, while the first in the US was held a year later. The first baptism took place on Roanoke island in 1587. None of these early communities survived, but mission is like that. Some don’t survive, but it keeps going. In those early years, the Bishop of London had charge of the church in colonies and largely ignored us. There were no ordinations or confirmations, so lay leadership became essential and vital and women took significant leadership roles. This experience has shaped the two churches whose common history is often about shared mission possibilities
In order to ordain an American priest, the church appealed to the Scottish church, which said yes, with a promise to model the young church’s prayer book on the Scottish one. This was the beginning of the Communion. The two North American churches share an intertwined history of successive ordinations from London and our histories have included quite a bit of consensual border-crossing. [much laughter ensued at this point]
Canadian and American mission work through 19th century was often a shared endeavour and the churchwide mission of today has many facets that bear the five marks of mission.
One of the focusses is the development of partnerships with other denominations inside the country and mission work is presently strongly shaped by the Millenium Development goals. Currently, The Episcopal Church is seeing numerical growth in most of overseas dioceses but only in four American dioceses, demographically among young adults, Latinas, and young mothers, who seem attracted to mixture of structure and flexibility that marks the Anglican ethos. It seems likely that it will appeal to immigrant and ethnic groups and those seeking.
Together we have the ability to speak truth to power, especially with government on topics like biotechnology, human sexuality, preserving traditions and life ways of indigenous people, resource use, poverty, injustice, war around the world. Episcopalians deeply grateful for friends north of the border. “Fair winds and following seas and the blessing of the spirit on us all.”
I’ll add a really bad photo taken with my camera later.
And the photo
First, the Presiding Bishop is in the building–she arrived last evening and there was much excitement. And she hadn’t even said a word yet.
There were some interesting moments yesterday. The first was a report that after the presentation on Sunday on the various events that have transpired around s-s blessing, delegates from the Arctic commented that the presentation made the whole business much less alien and frightening. That this conversation happened is a huge change. Later, + Larry (Arctic) came by the booth and we conversed for quite a while in useful ways–this too is significant progress.
Even later than that, a fellow displayer came by and commented that earlier she went over to the Zaccheus Fellowship booth and, from the images and phrases that made up the backdrop to the display, assumed that what she was encountering was a prison ministry. Oddly true.
After a number of wistful comments along the lines of “didn’t you always have jelly beans before?” we succumbed to the pressure of popular demand and made an expedition to the Atlantic Superstore to acquire said. Two large bags are nearly gone and there are many contented delegates.
If you haven’t seen it yet, here is a link to Kenneth Kearon’s letter from the Anglican Communion Office (sounds weird since he was just here and knows exactly what has and has not been decided by GS).
A statement from Integrity Canada to the members of General Synod
Text of the statement:
Conversations about Sexuality
“All the Sacraments for All the Baptized”
Delegates to General Synod 2010 will be discussing – and perhaps
making decisions about – our Church’s pastoral care of gay and
Because gay and lesbian people may not be included in each
discussion group, Synod delegates are asked to give voice to the
following minimum standards of pastoral care under the theme of
“All the Sacraments for All the Baptized”:
• Insist that Canadian bishops, dioceses, and parishes stop
discriminating against gay and lesbian Anglicans and their
children at the baptismal font and communion rail.
• Urge Canadian bishops to lift their five-year old moratorium on
same-sex blessings and allow parishes and clergy to support
lesbian and gay couples within the parameters of current church
• Call on the Council of General Synod and its committees to
follow-though on the Synod’s earlier directives to explore
changes allowing the church marriage of same-sex couples.
• Resist efforts to create yet another “pastoral statement” about
LGBT people that falls short of our full inclusion as equal
members of our Church.
This morning there was a significant chunk of time on the agenda to present, debate, and vote on amendments to Canon III , The Primacy. However, after the initial presentation of the motion, there was only one comment when in committee of the whole, and no debating at all when we were back in session – it passed easily. That meant we were (prepare to be gobsmacked, I certainly was) an hour ahead of agenda schedule. So the no-debate motions scheduled for this evening were brought forward.
Two motions worth mentioning on that list (that passed – we vote on these motions separately). One was to continue the dialogue between bishops that +Colin reported on yesterday in the sexuality reporting. The second was about possibly getting out of the marrying business altogether.
This was actually presented by someone who is afraid that churches could be forced (FORCED!) to perform marriages that they wouldn’t normally approve of, and mis-quoting the Prime Minister in the process. In fact the Civil Marriage Act explicitly recognises the freedom of religion clause in the Charter in saying ministers of religion DON’T have to marry any just couple that presents itself.. I suspect that the motivation behind this person was he didn’t want to be forced (FORCED!) to marry homo couples, but never mind. The motion calls for a task force to study the implications of the church moving to the European model, where people get married with the civil authorities first, and then those who wish, get a blessing from the church. That task force would report back to General Synod 2013.
A number of people wanted that removed from the no-debate list, but a motion to that effect failed, so any actual debate on it became out of order. The motion itself passed quite handily, I suspect since it was only calling for information, and leaving the actual decision up to GS13 (or later).
I would not be at all heartbroken if that happened. It would put same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples, with civil marriages, on exactly the same footing when it comes to church blessing.
Here’s most of the gang. We didn’t manage to catch a moment when all of us were here, so we’re missing our New Brunswick pals: LA, Barb, and Dave. Photo credit to David Neelands (Trinity), all round good sport.
Here are my notes from yesterday morning’s discussion—they’re a bit choppy but represent my best reconstruction of the the fragments I managed to write down. My hat is off to the live bloggers in the world! I think Chris’s account is rather more coherent, but some of these details may be useful.
++Fred is now at the podium and introducing this morning’s session, “Faithful Reporting Back,” in which there will be a report of activities and news from the past triennium on the topic of same-sex blessings both in Canada and around the Communion. He hopes that this session will give information and context for the discussions that ensue.
Janet Marshall, chair of Faith,Worship, and Ministry, is now at the podium. The first speaker will be +Linda Nichols (Edmonton), chair of the Primate’s Theological Commission, followed by other members of the Commission. Janet will speak next on behalf of Faith, Worship, and Ministry, followed by several bishops (whose names just blew by me).
The Commission from 2004-7 responded to the question of whether the blessing of same-sex unions was a matter of doctrine. The St. Michael’s report, in which the Commission concluded that blessings are adiaphora or non-core doctrine, was presented to the Council of General Synod in May 2005. General Synod 2007 then directed the Commission to consult with parishes and dioceses and report on whether the blessing of same-sex unions constitutes a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine and to consider Scripture’s witness to the integrity of every human person and the question of the sanctity of human relationships. +Linda noted that the Commission came to consensus on the second question, but not the first in the Galilee Report that was the result of these deliberations.
Jamie Howison noted that members of the Commission approached the questions predisposed in one way or another. His sense was that we needed to make some real headway on inclusion of GLBT Christians in the life of the church, but wondered whether there could be agreement. All members saw same-sex blessings as matter of theological and doctrinal weight that required theological consideration, rather than simply a tactical/pastoral response. Over time, he found that Commission members experienced a collapse of the terms they understood as oppositions (e.g., liberal/conservative, more/less scriptural etc) and a developing awareness that issues looked different in different contexts (e.g., Inuit community in Arctic, urban community in Winnipeg). They agreed that rooting their work in the Eucharist, prayer, and Bible study gave the activitie of the Commission a solid foundation and broke down some of the barriers among members, despite their differences. His sense is that for movement to mean anything at all, it will need to happen not through debate and divisive votes, but rather through the kinds of interactions that the Commission had, i.e., through speaking and listening to each other.
Members came to the task with differences in the weight they attached to scripture, tradition and reason. He saw the referral of the questions to the Commission as a political request, an instrument needed for the working of General Synod. He also had a sense of people from various perspectives expecting theologians of their particular stripe to represent that view. Ultimately, it didn’t work that way and didn’t break down along liberal/conservative lines or clergy/lay. He also pointed out that the St. Michael’s report has been misinterpreted as saying that because blessing of same sex unions is adiaphora the door is open for dioceses to do as they wish.
The Galilee Report and the documents produced with it were circulated on the national church website and to dioceses, theological colleges etc. In the fall of 2009, CoGS requested that the Commission examine three questions: 1/ what are the distinctions between a blessing and a nuptial blessing 2/ blessing of marriage and blessing of a union 3/ blessing of civil marriage of same-sex couple. The January 2010 meeting marked the end of Commission’s 7 year mandate.
Also at GS 2007, CoGS was asked to consider revision of the marriage canon, including a theological rationale to allow marriage of all legally qualified couples. A task force was appointed to produce what became The Rothesay Report (May 2010). As it worked, the task force began to lean to a more conservative position because it seemed like they were being asked to produce something for one side only and they backed away from that, feeling that they needed to work for all positions on the question. The journey on this issue has been 34 years to date. There is no consensus on what the church could or should do.
Lela Zimmer (Faith, Worship, and Ministry—Associated Parishes of the Central Interior)
The task group asked to step away from the issue of same-sex blessings to consider the broader issue of human sexuality. It held focus groups attached to diocesan and provincial focus groups. In May 2008, facilitator training with Stephen Andrews and pscyhologists who work as therapists was undertaken. They then asked to conduct groups at synods and other groups who might produce a cross-section of the Canadian church. The response was lukewarm from both dioceses who felt there was no appetite/desire for this type of discussion and others who felt they whad already done this work. In the end, 6 groups were conducted: 2 provincial meetings (Canda, BC?Yukon), 3 diocesan (Arctic, Toronto, Ontario), 1 with Canadian Forces Chaplains.
The questions included: why does sex matter? what stories/passages from bible influence your thinking about sexuality? what elements/institutions influence? what issues need to be discussed? what resources are needed for study? [there were other questions, but I lost it in the middle]. Responses to these questions had some common ground, but not entirely. For example, respondents indicated that dxpression of sexuality should be grounded in testimony of bible, but there was no agreement on what that testimony should be. They agreed that families, role models, mentors, conferences, institutional policies (to a degree) influence attitudes/thinking about sexuality and that amany of these, primarily socially constructed, are grounded in scripture and religious belief. Media constitutes another influence. There was also agreement that churches ought to take more active stance and that healthy expressions affirm standards and values of societies/culture (monogamy, faithfulness, mutual love respect, biblical teaching). Unhealthy relationships were typically seen as opposite to these. There was agreement that we need a robust conversation in the church about sexualty that gets beyond the place of GLBT people in our communities and the physical aspects of sexuality. The conversation should be holistic and engage youth on subject. There was interest in considering single and celibate people in the discussions. Little was gleaned on the types of resources people would like. The task group created web resource, “Created in the Image of God” (attached to the Faith, Worship and Ministry report as appendix). In light of disagreements in the Communion, they felt that international conversations would be useful and initiated inter-diocesan conversations between Canadian and African dioceses.
Niagara was linked with Central Tanganyika (Tanzania). 8 papers reflecting on theological issues were produced and sent to CT, from whom they received responses. A second set was crafted and sent back. In February 2010 +Michael travelled to London (UK) to meet with the partner bishops (6 African, 5 Canadian). They considered a number of matters, including what dialogue should be about, sharing stories, being open to other, passion for proclaiming gospel, making disciples, responding to the Holy Spirit, dialogue not being about changing other people’s positions. While they started with sexuality, the discussions moved on to talking about mission and ministry. They met with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Later, the bishop of Central Tanganyika came to Niagara to meet the reflection team. From the London communique came a statement that all were committed to walking together in bonds of mutual affection and to working as members of the body of Christ.
In the Diocese of Toronto there has been engagement with African bishops over food with several papers The face to face conversation was largely about partnerships. There was a later trip to Uganda for prayer, study. Toronto has been part of the continuing Indaba process. 15 diocesan bishops are to meet in July in London for continuing Indaba process. Over the next year the goal is to deepen partnerships and relationships around mission of church (not primarily sexuality). Links are being forged with Hong Kong and Jamaica for these discussions
+Michael Ingham–not available this morning.
House of Bishops major developments: 1/shared episcopal ministry document (2004) still a resource should dioceses wish it 2/ April 2007 statement concerning pastoral generosity. From Lambeth 2008 he came away mindful of the request for gracious restraint around the 3 moratoria and the Canadian church was one of the first provinces to have discussion about what this might mean. The statement from H of B fall 2008 was made after receiving reports from dioceses who have had requests for development of public rites for blessings, dioceses who anticipate this request, dioceses who have experienced cross-border interventions and engaging in Indaba within house. It resulted from a desire for “something to take home” from that meeting. The third session began with comments by ++Fred that were incorporated into the statement. ++Fred has made efforts to stop cross-border interventions at several meetings, but without much success. The H of B has made a continued commitment as far as possible to the 3 moratoria until GS 2010 and to walk together and hold each other in prayer. There was also a commitment to establish diocesan commissions to discuss same sex blessings in preparation for GS 2010. The H of B articulated a continued commitment to pastoral generosity and to shared episcopal ministry. The document was produced by consensus and communicated immediately to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communioin Office. Since then, the province of Rupert’s Land issued a statement that would maintain their commitment to honour moratoria. At the same time, there has been activity in a number of dioceses across the country around blessings (enumerated many requests to bishops for various configurations of blessing). memorials to GS from Saskatchewan, Central Nfld and Kootenay on this matter. Other discussions in synods didn’t result in resolutions or decisions. The majority of dioceses have had significant conversations and developments. From the perspective of the national church and Communion the H of B statement of October 2008 stands as the position of the house as a whole. ++Fred ended with the A of C’s comment that the tensions that assail us do not reflect the whole life of the community, but part of it.
The reporting session – what has been happening in the sexuality discussion at the church level over the past few years – was this morning. I don’t process stuff as fast as I might, so this will be incomplete, but a few passing impressions.
There were reports from different sources: Bp Linda Nicholls (as chair) and a couple of other members of the Primate’s Theological Commission spoke of their work in the last 7 years (a mandate finished with this GS); Janet Marshall and Leila Zimmer spoke of the discussions of the Faith, Worship and Ministry committee; we heard from two bishops (Bird of Niagara and Johnson of Toronto) on discussions they and three other Canajun bishops had with bishops from elsewhere in the communion, in London; and the Primate walked us through the discussions of the House of Bishops, and actions in various dioceses in the last triennium.
It was a significant information dump, and not a whole lot of it was new to me. The PTC came up with the St Michael report for GS07 (same-sex blessing is a question of doctrine, but not core/credal doctrine); and they were unable to come up with an agreed on theology (or theological reflection) for the blessing of marriage / same-sex marriage / unions; and uncomfortable so didn’t come up with theological underpinnings for blessing same-sex marriages.
Faith Worship and Ministry held a series of consultations, and Janet Marshall (chair, reporting) said that the committee was, after much discussion, “cautiously conservative”. We heard about what they did, and what people discussed (and didn’t). Some groups did do homework assigned by General Synod 2007, others felt [correctly] they had already done that work, and others just didn’t do it. The discussions just came up with a series of dipoles “some of us thought/felt A and some of us thought/felt B”
Bishops Bird (Niagara) and Johnson (Toronto) reported on discussions that they and three other Canadian bishops had with other bishops from, shall we say, more conservative parts of the world, in London, meetings set up by Lambeth. They were fruitful, especially when discussing mission (as opposed to Them Thar Homo Things), and will continue. A classic case of understanding when you meet and see the whites of eyes – +Colin Toronto told of being in Uganda and a layman being incredulous after a visit and prayers that he (Colin) could be an north American bishop, as he (the Ugandan) had been under the impression all NAmerican bishops were dreadful heathens, but this one proved to be Christian.
The Primate brought Synod up to date on the situation with the House of Bishops. They made a statement in spring 07 commending fullest pastoral generosity (a situation ++Fred acknowledged is insufficient / inadequate for many – including yr scribe, in the long run); and again in October 08. The statements made then form the current policy, and will advise our discussions tomorrow and the rest of the week. They referred again to ‘gracious restraint”, observing moratoria (no homo bishops, no blessings, no crossborder interference). The primate is still committed to avoiding crossborder interference from other provinces, though he admits his efforts and discussions with other primates have not met with a lot of success). He mentioned that the commitment from several dioceses to moratoria was until this synod – so who knows (I add) what will happen come Saturday when GS10 is past?
There have been moves in the landscape since then – both in secular society in this country, and in church-land. He gave a summary of various dioceses:
- Huron has passed a motion 08 to bless civil marriages of same sex couples, and the bishop has consented
- Rupert’s Land provincial House of Bishops have issued a statement that they would maintain moratoria
- Saskatoon narrowly defeated a motion similar to Huron’s
- Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior requested blessing of civil marriages, pointing out that their predecessor diocese Cariboo approved full inclusion in 2000.
- Diocese of Ontario [Kingston area] had a motion similar for blessing, ruled out of order by the chancellor [yr scribe isn’t convinced that wasn’t at the request of the bishop, but that’s purely speculation]
- Rupert’s Land diocese passed a similar blessing motion, with a clause awaiting approval of General Synod
- Toronto has pastoral guidelines for blessing unions/marriages (which initiative came from the bishops, rather than by vote of synod), and which was later discussed in diocesan synod indaba groups.
- Ottawa passed the same bless civil marriages motion, and has one parish (St John’s in Ottawa city) as the designated venue
- Niagara passed the same resolution, and has developed a rite.
- Diocese of BC (Vancouver Island + gulf islands) passed motion requesting blessing in spring 10.
- New Westminster has a limited number of parishes who have been blessing couples for seven years now.
What the primate didn’t say was there have been blessed marriages in Niagara, Ottawa and Toronto in the last three years. I think the recitation of this list may have had an impact. Nine out of thirty dioceses, and nearly all the major urban centres, and the dioceses containing the vast majority of Anglicans, have all moved. It’s the smaller population, rural, northern dioceses that have not moved.
“All across the church, many dioceses have had significant discussions, and some development. This is our changing landscape. The 2008 House of Bishops statement (full text is http://news.anglican.ca/news/stories/1971 here ) remains the House position; alongside a changing landscape. What I hear is a plea for us to walk together, talk, pray, stay together”
As I said, nothing was new here, though hearing it all delivered in a lump is somewhat disheartening. I don’t sense much of a problem in my diocese, my part of church-land; but that’s not the case across the country. My fear is that we’ll talk , not do a whole lot, and that will be it. GS will have “done” sexuality and move on. Bishop Linda spoke of a lot of “issue fatigue” out there, and I can certainly understand that. Heck I’m tired of it. I really don’t have a sense of where we as a synod will be going.
I’m sure there will be motions coming forward from various places, and I don’t envy the resolutions committee their job of sifting through them.
I must allow, the “we really didn’t like being asked to come up with only one side of the argument” stuff from the Primate’s Theological Commission smelled strongly to THIS teacher of excuses for not doing their homework. I’m sure they DID have extensive discussions, and I’m sure they were distressed at the apparent one-sided nature of the questions asked of them (which I have not fully rehearsed above). My answer to that is, ok, fine, then cast complementary questions and come up with responses to both. But don’t be petulant and refuse to answer questions you don’t like. Do your homework.
That ire, however is aimed at water well under the bridge, so I’ll just write it off as letting off steam on my part. There were information sessions in various venues afterwards, but I didn’t have the oomph to go to them. I did have a significantly long and very helpful (and supportive) talk with +Linda afterwards, and I need not to shoot the messenger – she was just reporting, I’m not blaming her. The lack of progress over the last triennium was deflating.
So instead I went up to the display and relieved the gumball machine of several Smarties™, and harassed Patti, who was getting the invitations to the Integrity Eucharist ready for the printer. Shortly after that, I saw all of the staff people off as they went to the printer and thence to lunch, abandoning the display as everyone else was off-site.
This afternoon was a big celebration at an arena just outside of Halifax – this is in honour of the 300th anniversary of Anglican worship here, and in Canada; and 100yr of the Cathedral. Very impressive (all of synod, and many many NSPEI Anglicans), very purple (all the bishops, including (a personal fave of mine) Bishop Susan Johnson [big-chief-bishop of the Lutherans] – she came in in the middle of what looked like an honour guard of our four metropolitans), very big (I’m guessing 4-5000), vice-regal (the Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia, mit aide-de-camp, was in attendance), very long (just over 3hrs). Everyone had the evening off, and most dioceses took all their people out to dinner – Niagara and Toronto on a boat that toured Halifax harbour. I’m not sure if the rocking was the boat, or the two glasses of wine. But I’m back here, the rain is making a lot of noise on my window, and it’s time for bed.
We’re discussing sexuality stuff in groups of three Galley groups (ie about 25 people) tomorrow. Further bulletins to follow, &c
I have to begin this entry with a confession: I mostly wasn’t at synod today. Caleb and I went off and did kid things: the Citadel, the Marine Museum, tall ships etc. It was much fun, even with the rain that began a little after noon. However, we were replete with staff today with the welcome presence of Bob, Dave, Penelope, Peter, LA, and Barb for much of the day. My hope is that we’ll get a group photo (minus Dave, who left late this afternoon) tomorrow morning.
Thanks are due to Steve Schuh for preparing a half-page handout, complete with spiffy “all the sacraments for all the baptized” logo, for members in preparation for the sex talk that begins tomorrow morning. Through the wonders of technology, Steve made up the sheet in Vancouver, emailed it to the FedEx shop in Halifax where it was printed, and Peter and I drove the wrong way up a one-way street to pick it up. It was very exciting.
The evening session opened with two presentations, both really informative and beautifully put together. The first was from the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, for which Susan Rumsey is undertaking “Le Tour de PWRDF,” during which she will ride her bike 1300 km from Halifax to St. Anne de Bellevue to raise funds and awareness. If you wish to donate online, it can be done at www.pwrdf.org/our-work/le-tour. Judy Steers followed with a presentation on Youth Initiatives, through which a remarkable array of programmes is being both launched and sustained, all with a 1/4 time staff position. The evening closed with a gorgeous jazz vespers.
Here are the photos promised yesterday:
More tomorrow when there’s something to report. I might even take a stab at some live blogging. Sleep well, folks.
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