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Synod set to re-examine same-sex blessings: conservative group lobbies delegates.



The most intense issue on General Synod's agenda is expected to be, once again, the church's view of homosexuality.

The 300 delegates to the weeklong meeting, to be held June 19 to 25 in Winnipeg, will take up a resolution deferred from the last synod, held in 2004, that would allow dioceses to decide on an individual basis whether to offer blessing ceremonies for gay couples.

As it considers this, it will take into account the opinion of the Primate's Theological Commission that such ceremonies are a matter of doctrine, since they touch on the doctrine of marriage, but not such core doctrine as the divinity of Christ.

The governing convention will also consider its response to another document, the Windsor Report, produced by an international commission in 2004, which in the course of examining 'how the worldwide Anglican Communion Anglican Communion, the body of churches in all parts of the world that are in communion with the Church of England (see England, Church of). The communion is composed of regional churches, provinces, and separate dioceses bound together by mutual loyalty as  might stay together, urged bishops not to approve public rites of same-sex blessing until a "new consensus" emerges among Anglicans. In Canada, one diocese, Vancouver-based New Westminster New Westminster, city (1991 pop. 43,585), SW British Columbia, Canada, on the Fraser River, part of metropolitan Vancouver. Founded in 1859 as Queensborough, it was the capital of British Columbia until Victoria was made capital after the union of British Columbia , allows such rites.

Two Canadian Anglican groups on opposite sides of the issue, Integrity (a group for gay Anglicans and their supporters) and Essentials (a group that upholds the traditional view that Scripture says homosexuality is sinful) will be present at General Synod The General Synod is the title of the governing body of some church organizations. Church of England
In the Church of England, General Synod was instituted in 1970 and is the culmination of a process of rediscovering self-government for the Church of England that had
.

Both have planned events leading up to Synod to gather support.

Integrity has scheduled an Ottawa conference to be held April 13 and 14 called The Whole Message, featuring an address by Archbishop Michael Peers The Most Reverend Michael Geoffrey Peers (born 1934) was Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1986 till 2004.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1934, Archbishop Peers completed an undergraduate degree in languages at the University of British Columbia in 1956
, former primate of the Canadian church. According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 the conference Web site, participants will "discuss means of ensuring that the Anglican Church of Canada reaffirm its commitment to the via media, the traditional broad path, to be an inclusive church."

Ron Chaplin, conference organizer, said Anglicans "need to think about how a change in ecclesiology ec·cle·si·ol·o·gy  
n.
1. The branch of theology that is concerned with the nature, constitution, and functions of a church.

2. The study of ecclesiastical architecture and ornamentation.
 (the study of doctrine) will affect the way we do theology in the Anglican church."

On March 7, at a pre-conference speech in Ottawa, Bishop Michael Ingham
For the footballer, see Michael Ingham (footballer). For the BBC radio football correspondent of a similar name, see Mike Ingham.


The Right Reverend Michael Ingham (born 1949 in Yorkshire) is a bishop and theologian.
 of New Westminster said the church needs "a better theology of sexuality" that would involve a "better understanding of the complex role sexuality plays in our human nature."

As for the synod meeting itself, Integrity will be present "as it has been since 1983," according to Chris Ambidge, a member of Integrity's Toronto chapter. A display booth will be staffed by Integrity members and supporters, he said. Some delegates to General Synod are also Integrity members, said Mr. Ambidge, adding, "We will not be without a voice on the (convention) floor."

Integrity is also collecting signatures on an open letter to Synod delegates in support of same-sex blessings. The letter and the ability to sign it appears on a Web site called Living God's Blessing (www.gods-blessing.ca). As of early March, it had collected about 250 signatures.

Essentials, meanwhile, has mailed a letter to synod delegates (which it said it compiled from public-sources), inviting them to various events during the Winnipeg meeting. The letter, from Rev. Brett Cane of Winnipeg, chair of the Essentials initiative at the convention, noted that the group's vision is "to be the theological and spiritual rallying point Noun 1. rallying point - a point or principle on which scattered or opposing groups can come together
point - a brief version of the essential meaning of something; "get to the point"; "he missed the point of the joke"; "life has lost its point"
 for historic orthodoxy in the Anglican Church of Canada."

The letter informed delegates that the Essentials presence at Synod is intended to assist delegates sympathetic with Essentials to bring that perspective to current issues and to help all dele de·le  
n.
A sign indicating that something is to be removed from printed or written matter.

tr.v. de·led, de·le·ing, de·les
1. To remove, especially from printed or written matter; delete.

2.
 gates "in clarifying the issues and in developing a consensus that is faithful to Scripture."

The letter was accompanied by a booklet from the Zacchaeus Fellowship that "contains testimonies of those who have experienced same-gender attraction yet do not commend its practice."

In an interview, Mr. Cane noted that Essentials will host a pre-Synod event in Winnipeg June 18 and 19 called Encouragement 2007 that will feature an address and Bible study Bible study may refer to:
  • Biblical studies, the academic examination
  • Bible study (Christian), sometimes known as "Devotions" or "Quiet times"
Other terms related to the study of the bible:
  • Biblical criticism
  • Biblical hermeneutics
 led by Rev. Andrew Goddard, tutor in ethics at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University.

"He will be focusing on the worldwide church and the ethics behind the issue and the Windsor Report. There will also be a public meeting (on June 18) at Holy Trinity Church Holy Trinity Church, or variations on the name, may refer to: Churches
In Australia:
  • Holy Trinity Church, Adelaide
In Bulgaria:
  • Church of the Holy Trinity, Svishtov
In Canada:
  • Church of the Holy Trinity, Toronto
 (Winnipeg) focused on the Windsor Report and the international situation," said Mr. Cane.

"There is concern for our spiritual life if we (at General Synod) authorize something that God does not," he said. (Please see related stories, p. 12.)

Essentials has reserved a conference room at one of the synod hotels and will host updates and addresses each evening during the meeting. "In addition, we will be producing a daily news sheet, hosting a display booth with a 'book of the day' for sale at a nominal cost, providing e-mail accessibility as a service to delegates and prayer support," according to Mr. Cane's letter.

Two sub-groups of Essentials, the Essentials Federation and the Anglican Network in Canada, will also be represented, Mr. Cane said. "The Federation is trying to steer the church away from the rocks; the Network is looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 a lifeboat," he said. The Network's mission statement says it intends to "provide a national ecclesial Ec`cle´si`al

a. 1. Ecclesiastical.
 structure" in the event that the Anglican Church of Canada or any of its dioceses "walk apart" from the worldwide Anglican Communion.

However, said Mr. Cane, Essentials "is not a separatist sep·a·ra·tist  
n.
1. One who secedes or advocates separation, especially from an established church; a sectarian or separationist.

2.
 group; we really are committed to the Anglican Church of Canada."

SOLANGE DE SANTIS

STAFF WRITER
COPYRIGHT 2007 General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2007, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:GENERAL SYNOD
Author:de Santis, Solange
Publication:Anglican Journal
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Apr 1, 2007
Words:880
Previous Article:Everything is not settled.
Next Article:Support for Journal.
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