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Report of the 134th Synod (2004) of
| The 134th Synod of the Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in
the Province of the West Indies was held over the period April 13-16,
2004 under the theme "One God One People One Destiny" The
Synod started with a service held at the Parish Church of St. Peter
The Apostle, Falmouth, Trelawny on the Tuesday at 4:30pm.
The Bishop's Charge
Lord Bishop's Charge (Part 1)
The full text of the first part of the Bishop's charge, which was the sermon he delivered at the Tuesday evening service, is available at the church office. In his sermon the Bishop focused on Isaiah 45: 18 & 20-22 and spoke of the need for the church to have a shared vision. He expressed that the Lord did not make men as zombies to simply follow His orders but as individuals with minds who were free to choose to follow Him and the destiny He had in store for them. He called on persons to take responsibility for their own lives and not to take on the terrible mantra of "Nuttin nah gwaan fi mi". The Bishop said that the Church whose members used to sing songs like "I know where I am going… forward ever, backward never…" seems to have lost its way. He encouraged the Church not to wait on one person to take the lead but to seek from the same Holy Spirit Joel followed, the shared vision of the Church. This Vision is crucial for the renewal of the church. The members of Synod were then encouraged to keep their focus on the Lord Jesus Christ as they discussed the various matters of the Church over the next few days.
Lord Bishop's Charge (Part 2)
The Lord Bishop in the second part of his charge dealt with news from the Province and wider Anglican Communion, highlighting:
Condolences were expressed to members of the church family who lost loved ones during the year. Those mentioned included, mother of Rev. Georgia Jervis, father of Rev. Alton Tulloch, sister of Bishop Herman Spence and uncle of Mrs. June Spence. A moment of silence was held.
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Diocesan Budget Year 2004
Mr. Michael Fennell, Chairman of the Diocesan Financial Board presented the 2004 Diocesan Budget indicating:
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Jamaica Church Missionary Society ("JCMS")
The Chairman of the JCMS, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Harold Daniel presented the report on the Society. Congregations contributed $ 3.2 million, an increase of 22% from $ 2.6 million the previous year. Special mention was made of Holy Trinity Church, Westgate, Montego Bay whose contribution exceeded $ 300,000. St. Andrew Parish Church, among others was mentioned for contributing over $ 100,000. As in previous years allocations exceeded Contributions. Grants were disbursed to a number of projects including Greater Portmore Mission ($ 250,000), Diocesan Retreat Centre ($ 300,000), St. Martin's Mission, Bull Bay ($ 200,000). A loan of $ 436,748 was made to St. Paul's Church, Chapelton for emergency repair to its Rectory.
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Update on Previous Resolutions / Canons
A number of Canons were amended at the Synod. The full details of which may be requested from the Church Office. Of note were the changes:
Education and Youth Department
Our own Ms. Sasha Lumsden who is currently the Youth Director of the Diocese reported on Youth Ministry. Rev'd Michael Allen, the Director of Education and Mr. Arthur Wint, the Director of Schools also made presentations.
In her thought-provoking presentation the Youth Director defined Youth Ministry as an "intentional, deliberate and structured way of meeting the needs of young people in every aspect of their lives, as we lead them to abundant life in Christ." There was therefore a need for a Youth Ministry network which would consist of the Youth Ministry Director, Deanery Youth Coordinators and Cure/Congregational Youth coordinators. Persons needed to be properly equipped for the task and a training programme is being put in place. There are training courses planned at the local level and in foreign institutions. Ms. Lumsden also encouraged the Synod to encourage and facilitate young persons to attend the upcoming Diocesan Summer Camp 2004. Junior Camp - July 9-16 (9-12 years), Intermediate Camp - July 16-23 (13-15 years) and Senior Camp - July 23-30 (16-20 years). Handouts of activities for young persons and application forms were distributed.
Rev. Allen informed the Synod of the great need for education and the challenges being faced. He highlighted Anglicans lack of knowledge about the Bible and the Anglican Way of Worship as existing unfavorable conditions and then made suggestions of the way forward. The Synod was the informed of the activities the church would be involved in during education week, 2 May to 8 May 2004. The Synod was also informed of the Christian Teaching Conference to be held at the Golf View Hotel 15-17 October 2004, which will look at what it means to be an Anglican. It was pointed out that there was a need for Sunday School teachers, Bible Study Leaders, Anglican Teachers in our schools and stewards in general. Synod was encouraged to have a Church that gives Jamaica a sense of hope that is rooted in Christ Jesus.
The Synod was informed of the performance of the students attending Anglican Secondary Schools in external examinations. These were overall fair. The Synod was called upon to increase its involvement in these Schools e.g. participating in morning devotions, acting as teachers etc.
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The Synod for the year 2004 carried on the trend of passing timely resolutions with potentially far-reaching impact.
Resolution Concerning Department of Communication
The Synod was informed that there were persons who worked in the field of communications on behalf of the Diocese. As these persons were otherwise fully employed they were not able to carry out the tasks necessary to have thriving communications facilities. The Synod passed a resolution requiring the establishment of a Department of Communication (with the understanding that this department could consist of at least one person working at least one half week) and that the Department be furnished with the necessary staff and equipment to enable a comprehensive and efficient programme of communication. During the discussion members of Synod spoke of how necessary media is in today's world. The production and use of videos, cassettes, DVDs, CDs, station time production etc would prove invaluable.
Resolution Concerning the Ordination of Women to the Episcopate
This timely resolution followed on the heels of the Diocese celebrating ten (10) years of the ordination of women to the Diaconate and Priesthood. The Synod approved a resolution requesting the Diocesan Bishop to move an appropriate resolution at the Provincial Synod that would initiate the process of gaining provincial approval of the ordination of women to the Episcopate.
Resolution Concerning the Establishment of an Endowment fund
This resolution was passed as a follow-up to resolution no. 12 in 2003 which called for steps to be taken to identify and preserve the historical architectural and artistic resources of the Diocese. The resolution mandated the Diocesan Financial Board to initiate the establishment of a fund to enable the implementation of the project.
Resolution Concerning Youth Representation on Church Committee
After much discussion on this matter the Synod passed a resolution that Synod acknowledges the importance and the desirability of having at least one person between the ages of 18 and 25 years on church committees and that congregations be sensitized and strongly encouraged to ensure that outcome.
Resolution Concerning Term Limits for Church Committee and Lay Representatives To Synod
In an effort to have new and younger persons being given the opportunity to actively participate in the running of the Church and decision making process at the Diocesan level, the Synod, after a spirited discussion, passed a resolution that the Church encourage local congregations to observe a maximum term of three (3) consecutive years for membership on church committees and set a maximum term limit of three (3) consecutive years for lay representatives to Synod.
Resolution Concerning the Appointment of a Diocesan AIDS Committee
AIDS was on the agenda of the Synod and very enlightening presentations made on the topic by Rev'd Patrick Cunningham and others. The Synod, being moved by the experience of one young lady who shared, during the presentation, "passed around a hat". In excess of $65,000 was collected to be used to assist her and her children. The Synod was informed that there was an upcoming concert that would be held at St. Luke's, Cross Roads, for which there would be no charge to enter. A collection would however be taken to assist the same young lady and others living with AIDS.
The point was well made that the Church had to be sensitized on how to relate to persons living with the deadly disease and on the role the Church can play in the fight against the spread of AIDS.
The Synod then passed a resolution that a committee be formerly appointed consisting of a chairman and a representative from each of the Diocesan organizations, to carry forward the work of the present committee and that persons with special interest in the area be co-opted to enhance its effectiveness.
There were a few resolutions that were not passed as they had not been properly tabled and required that the Synod have some time to seriously consider them. One such resolution called for clergy and church workers to be assigned to specific cures for no more than ten years. Another concerned the selling of the Negril Youth Camp and the establishing of a new one on an eight-acre property in Moneague owned by the Diocese.
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Restructuring Of The Diocese
Resolution No. 4 of Synod 2001 resolved that the Diocesan Council and the Diocesan Financial Board conduct a study to determine actions necessary to revitalize the Church and examine the present regional structure and the possibility of establishing a fourth Diocese.
The Synod was advised that the Canons provided a notice period of six (6) months be given to the members of Synod of a proposal that would affect the structure of the Diocese. As insufficient notice had been given the Synod was not prorogued but adjourned to allow its members to consider and return to debate the revolutionary and important matter of restructuring the Diocese.
The matter was, however, thoroughly reviewed. The Bishop addressed the Synod on the proposal to restructure the Diocese as follows:
* - Albert Town would return as a cure in Trelawny and not Manchester and be a part of the Montego Bay Region again.
The Synod was divided into six (6) groups to discuss the matter.
A report was made to the Synod as a synopsis of the results of
the group discussions and a committee was formed to consider the
proposals and issues raised and report same to the Synod when
it reconvenes later this year.
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Cross Roads / Rectories Committee
Rectories Development Programme
A proposal to develop Rectories in Cures where no Rectory exists or where the Rectory was in need of significant upgrading was presented; 19 Rectories were identified. The proposal envisages the construction of six (6) Rectories in the first phase at an estimated cost of $ 65 million. The locations chosen are Frankfield Cure, Fellowship & Moore Town Cure, Kew Park Cure, Mavis Bank Cure, Old Harbour Cure and the Trinityville Cure. Rev. Louis Hurst has prepared a prototype design of the Rectories, which will be adapted to suit the particular location.
Development of Cross Roads Lands
There are plans to develop the Church lands in Cross Roads. The
plan envisages the development and expansion of Deaconess House
to be better able to carry on its programme of care and the expansion
of St. Peter's Court to make it self-sustaining. The land has
been surveyed and preliminary drawings done by Mr. Denny Repole.
A bond issue is being explored with Jamaica National Building
Society to assist in funding the project.
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Appointments Of Members Of The Church
Please note that the following members of our church serve at a
Diocesan Level and will welcome your input.
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Each day started with Matins at 6:30 am and the Eucharist at 7:00
am and then closed at with Evensong at about 5:00-5:30pm (evening
sessions started at 8:00pm). This helped to set the tone for the
Synod and this time spent with the Lord was essential and invaluable.
Copies of documentation are available at the Church office.
Go forth in peace choosing always to follow the Lord.
Lay Representatives to Synod 2004
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Page last updated: January 1, 2005
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