Getting hyped for Synod June 26, 2007Posted by Ninja Michael in General.
Next month in Halifax clergy and laity from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada will gather for their national synod, a triennial event, and the first synod the diocese has held in Atlantic Canada. The hosting of the synod, coupled with the Halifax parish moving into their wonderfully refinished new-to-them church, makes for an exciting time in the life of that congregation, and their rector, the recently minted Suffragan Bishop Craig Botterill. The parish will also host an ordination the Sunday before synod starts – a new priest for Cape Breton Island.
It’s also an exciting time for the Ninjas, who will be taking the opportunity to do a little road trip through the East the week before the synod, and for me personally, who was chosen by lot (or by one of the bishops, perhaps) to be the organist. An exciting challenge. Also, the chance to meet new people, hear great sermons, and observe lively debate and discussion.
Ahh… that last one, the awful cry of church politics. After spending the last several days following (and praying for) the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod in Winnipeg, I am especially grateful for the atmosphere that our diocesan synods are known for. We won’t be debating whether issues of human sexuality are “core doctrine” of the church or not, or whether to change the definition of marriage (or whether to have “blessing” services for couples we would not marry ourselves… whatever side of that debate our readers may be on, you must find that proposal to be far too clever), or whether we support a complete ban on tobacco, for that matter (yes, that was among the motions put forward).
For those in the ACC, please do not take this as triumphalism on my part. We are not without our politics, of course, but what we are anticipating most of all is gathering for worship and fellowship, united in communion with God and each other through the Eucharist. We will be gathering to celebrate the life of our diocese (even party a little bit, perhaps), which admittedly is far from perfect – we do have many things to discuss; I’m just grateful that the essentials of the Christian faith are not among the things we will be discussing. I’m also grateful for our leaders – we have amazing bishops – and look forward to their leadership as they walk with our clergy and laity through these proceedings.
We do have many ways we need to grow and develop and deepen our Christian faith, and this synod may give us the opportunity to reflect on some of those things – and more importantly, to “fall to prayer”. Personally, I have been spending time in prayer beforehand – praying that I play well, of course, but more importantly, praying for a genuine outpouring of the grace of God on our gathering, that the Holy Spirit would fill our hearts with His Love, and that we would be prepared to reach out to our communities, nation, and world with the Gospel of Christ. Knowing the little I do about my church, I believe we have a great deal to look forward to.
There are a million things to do before we leave. Finalize travel arrangements, pack, last minute prep for music… Less than a week until we’re on the road. I’m really getting hyped.