A Message From Our Interim Priest in-Charge
This past week I was privileged to attend Diocesan Synod. This is a bi-annual meeting of all clergy in the diocese, as well as lay delegates from every parish, much like an annual general meeting or like our yearly vestry meetings. Resolutions are discussed, finances and budgets are approved, and people from around the diocese have a chance to get to know one another as we do the ‘business’ of the church.
One of the most significant resolutions that passed was this: that in consultation with appropriate Indigenous leadership, that one-tenth of the money made from sales of Anglican church properties in Metro Vancouver be given to indigenous groups and projects. This would be retroactive to January 1, 2018 and the money involved will amount to millions of dollars. The resolution is a gesture of restitution and reconciliation guided by our baptismal covenant, the Five Marks of Mission, the biblical jubilee, and our diocesan commitments to Indigenous, Inuit, and Metis justice. Is it perfect? No. Is it enough? No. But it is one step beyond the territorial acknowledgements that we have on our bulletins, a recognition that the journey of truth and reconciliation with the original people of this land is an ongoing process.
This coming Sunday, the last Sunday of Easter, is set aside by the National Anglican Church as Jerusalem Sunday. The Anglican Church of Canada has had a long and meaningful relationship with the Anglican (Episcopal) Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East. They are a diocese of some 7000 members formed into 30 parishes who worship in the name of Jesus and serve faithfully in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. They oversee an enormous outreach ministry of some 30 institutions, employing more than 5000 people providing education, vocational training, medical care in hospitals and clinics, rehabilitation for the hearing impaired, care for children with disabilities, and residential support to the elderly. They are a vibrant faithful community offering a bold witness to the compassionate love of God in action. They need to know that they are not forgotten, not ignored, but recognized and valued as part of our oneness in Christ.