The day started, as they all do, with 7am Morning Prayer. Then our Bible teacher, the Rev Keith Ganzer, delivered the last of his series of sermons on the theme of synod “Now a people: a Bible people, a Gospel people, a Global people”. Friday’s sermon was on the last portion: “A Global people”. (Keith’s sermon series was a highlight of synod; providing much to mediate on.)
Keith+ has been teaching on the Kingdom of God, starting from the passages, Luke 24:45-48 and 1 Peter 2:10, then drawing extensively on the context of the preceding passages in Luke and even more from the Old Testament passages which are alluded to in Luke. The result was a rich feast of Bible teaching which we need to listen to again and again to fully absorb these truths and their implications for our lives.
Keith showed how God is acting through out human history to demonstrate His absolute sovereignty (He is the King of the Kingdom) and His chosen people (who are the people of the Kingdom). In the midst of rehearsing the ways He is Israel’s King and establishing the terms of the covenant, in Exodus 19, God tells Israel that their purpose is to be a kingdom of priests, mediating the presence of God to the world by being a holy nation.
Although Israel fails, God’s promised Messiah, succeeds. “Without the cross, the kingdom would be empty.” Jesus’ death for our sins, was necessary so the kingdom reality can invade us, changing our hearts of stone by the power of the Holy Spirit so we can live in obedience to our King. This makes us a Kingdom of priests who are to embody the Kingdom of God, live in Covenant obedience to the King, and mediate God to the world. Why do we proclaim the Kingship of God to the nations? To bring about the fullness of His Kingdom so the King will return
” But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV)“And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:2-4 ESV)
Following the Bible teaching, Archbishop Greg and Sylvia Venables came to the mic to say their farewells, ask for prayer and exhort us to remain faithful. (And of course, synod, in turn, expressed heartfelt appreciation for them and the role they’ve played making ANiC what it is.)
Motions (which will be posted to the website synod page as soon as possible) were passed to:
- officially remove “moderator” from our diocesan bishop’s title. (This was not easily done, as some expressed concern that the term was needed to denote ANiC’s “special” role as the largest Canadian diocese in ACNA; others rejected the concept that ANiC was “special”, felt that titles could be easily changed by synod as circumstances required, and/or thought there were better ways of addressing the objectives of those who spoke in favour of keeping the term. In the end it passed decisively, influenced in part by the perception that our new diocesan seemed to prefer the simplified title.) The constitutions and canons will be appropriately updated to reflect this change in title.
- the nominations for synod council – new and standing for re-election – were approved unopposed.
- a motion passed unanimously which strengthened and made “actionable” ANiC’s declared pro-life support
- a motion supporting the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans and the GAFCon movement passed unanimously
The financial statements from 2013-14 and a budget for 2014-15 were approved. The main news was that we were able to eliminate the deficit this year – by the skin of our teeth. However ANiC’s finances remain very tight and our cash flow is precarious. We are indebted to Good Samaritan (St John’s, NL) which lent ANiC $100,000 to provide some financial “cushion”. We have been able to draw from this fund this past year when our cash-flow dipped.
Archdeacon Ron Corcoran reported on the Time to Build campaign. He noted that tithes only cover about 75% of ANiC’s budget so giving from individuals is critically important – and will continue to be so – if ANiC is to stay in the black.
Before proroguing synod (a bit after noon), Bishop Charlie announced his hope that synod 2015 will be in Vancouver. Then everyone had to rush off to catch flights or drive home. [Which is why this posting is late. Sorry! Also, apologies for the lack of photos from November 7; the camera was tired! 🙂 ]