last day without sex!

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I thought that might get your attention.  Today the members spent much of the day in “galley groups” – ie table groups, mixed up, not by diocese.  [there are all sorts of nautical references in this port city].  We actually did spend some time with the story of the feeding of the 5000, and then group-building exercises in the same group (from tossing one, two, three balls around the table in different patterns; to manipulating a tennis ball with a ring-on-strings — all to learn about working and communicating in groups).  These groups have members from all estates of the church and from across the country, and when we’re not going to be voting on motions (when we sit with our diocese), we’re in the galley.  My group has (besides moi, male laity from toronto), a woman priest from Newfoundland, a laywoman from the prairies, and two other laymen – one from PEI and one from BC.  There are two companions, including one from the Episcopal Church (who is apparently reading this blog – Hi Martha!).  Like all of them, its a diverse group.

We heard from the Bishop of Jerusalem and his wife, and the relationships built up between Canada and the diocese of Jerusalem (I hadn’t realised that (a) it covers five countries and (b) the Christian proportion of the population, which was about 20% in the 1940s is now down to 2%); and more work on the long-range planning of Vision 2019.

More work on financial reports and motions, and electing a prolocutor.  More of them-thar motions in about half an hour – they’re working us hard, 9-12, 2-5 and 7-9.

Tomorrow begins the sexuality discussions:  in the morning (in the galley groups) we’ll hear “a faithful reporting” – that is, bringing us up to speed on what synod has done up to now, and especially in the last triennium.  Come Monday, we’ll have the first of the discussion groups  (three galley groups together, with facilitator and rapporteur) on them thar questions.  Further bulletins as events develop.

For those who may not be up on the nature of General Synod:  it meets every three years.  There is representation from each diocese – all bishops, some laity and clergy (equal numbers of each, determined by how large the diocese is), and one youth member.  The smallest diocese gets four (one of each, bishop priest lay and youth), Toronto gets 22 – five bishops, eight each clergy and laity, and one youth.  While we are a large group, it’s not quite rep-by-pop:  Toronto has 25% of the Anglican population in the country, but only 8.5% of the members of GS.  Synod is unicameral, that is, there is only one debate, with bishops sitting with the clergy/laity.  We always vote separately on all motions, and in some cases there has to be a vote that separates clergy and laity.  The Prolocutor is the highest elected non-bishop – deputy chair of Synod, a cross between Speaker of the House, and (US Equivalent) Prez of the House of Deputies.  There’s just over 300 members of General Synod, and we’re meeting for eight days.

Time I was over at the plenary hall (aka gymnasium).  Sex tomorrow!

- – Chris in Halifax

Written by Chris

June 5th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Posted in General Synod