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Report of the 138th Synod (2008) of
Table of Contents
The 138th Synod of the Anglican Church in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in the Province of the West Indies was held over the period March 25 28, 2008 under the theme "Gods Mission, Gods People, Gods Power. The Synod started with the Service of Evensong at 4:30pm on Tuesday March 25 in the St. Peters Church, (The Trelawny Parish Church) Falmouth, with the Very Rev. Michael M Brown, Rector and Rural Dean, officiating. Mr. Audley Davidson was the organist. The Church was filled to capacity, and the dignitaries in attendance included Mrs. Marissa Dalrymple-Phillbert, representing the Honourable Prime Minister, the Hon. Mr. Justice Lensley Wolfe, Chancellor of the Diocese and Mrs. Wolfe, the Honourable Chief Justice, Mrs. Zaila McCalla & Mr. McCalla, Major General Stewart Saunders, among others.
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The Bishop's Charge
Lord Bishop's Charge (Part 1)
The Lord Bishop based his sermon on the theme "Gods Mission, Gods People, Gods Power. The text was from John 10:10 I have come that all people may have life and have it in all its fullness.
The Bishop began by saying that the aim and objective of Gods Mission and of our Vocation is that all people may have fullness of life in this world and the next. He suggested that we should give full weight to the words at the beginning of the Catechism, where it says The Chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever. The statement, he further suggested, gives rise to the questions How do we glorify God? And How can we enjoy God forever? The people who give glory to God are those who are fully alive and know that their life is tied with God in Christ (Col.3:3).
He said that Mission is an activity of God, and so it is not something that we choose to do, rather it is something that chooses us for the fulfillment of Gods purpose. The Bishop stated that the sense of Mission as something done by God primarily through his beloved Son and Holy Spirit, and through the vocation and stewardship of His covenant people, faded from Christian consciousness because of three historical developments.
Firstly, the so-called Peace of Constantine; secondly, the development of Colonialism, including the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and thirdly the understanding of Mission promoted mainly by the Jesuits during the counter-reformation. He said that the ever-growing number of the un-evangelised left to their own devices has grown, while we have mega-churches, crowds at crusades and major media blitzes. An analysis of the census figures should be a wake up call to all Churches in Jamaica, as the percentages of the population claiming no religious affiliation could perhaps be, at least, doubled over the ten year period 1991 to 2001.
Bishop Reid stated that the present reality in Jamaica and worldwide is that Christianity is no longer a dominant power. Although Christianity is said to be flourishing in Africa, only time will tell whether it will take root and be able to stand up as countries become more and more a part of the global village. Present circumstances, he felt give us the best opportunity we have had in centuries to be renewed as co-workers in Gods Mission. We still worship the idols of pleasure, power and material possessions, but we are being challenged to re-discover true Christianity. God is calling us back to our core business.
The Bishop further stated that the motivating power of Christian Mission is the love of God. God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son (John 3:16). But the world will not take our profession of love if we cannot love one another in the Church. He stated that we must exercise a real faith in the ultimate power of love as we pursue our vocation and stewardship in Gods rescue mission, because in the end it is not what we do or what we say, but what we are, that makes the difference.
In closing the Bishop said that we the Church cannot of ourselves give life, but in union with Christ; like Paul and Apollos, we can embrace the humble task of sowing the seeds of new life, of watering the tender shoots and trusting God to give the increase.
(The full text of the Bishops charge is available at the church office and on the Anglican Diocese website).
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:
Recognition of persons who received National Honours and Awards were noted and congratulations offered.
Condolences were expressed to members of the church family who lost loved ones during the year. Special mention was made of the sudden passing of Dr. Wynante Patterson.
As was done at last years Synod, a significant and historical Synod tradition was broken by the decision not to take a roll call so that more time would be provided to expedite Synod matters. Instead scrutineers were appointed to verify registration numbers with actual head count in the room. There were 93 clergy and 170 Laity present.
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Strategic Plan and Financial Matters
Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands Strategic Plan
An update on the Strategic Development Plan was tabled noting the status of different areas. The Lord Bishop also highlighted that Mrs. Kennedy from PriceWaterhouseCoopers who had worked on the development of the plan was now committed to lead the strategic review on a voluntary basis.
The financial report for the year 2007 and estimates of receipts and expenditure for the year 2008 were presented by Mr. Mike Fennell, Chairman of the Diocesan Financial Board (DFB). The Budget for the Diocese for 2008 was:
It was noted that Churches and Missions do not contribute to the capital expenditure which for 2008 was proposed at $11.46 million. This represents:
A long and spirited debate followed the presentation and it was firstly agreed that the outstanding 2007 cess must be collected as this formed the basis of the balanced 2008 budget. Secondly the estimates as presented were approved.
Based on the above the assessment for St. Andrew Parish Church will therefore move from $8,702,904 in 2007 to $11,320.016 for 2008. This represents a 30% increase.
The audited accounts for 2007 were presented and after a lively discussion the report was adopted and Auditors Messers Paul Goldson and Company was re-elected as Auditors for the Diocese. It was also agreed that a schedule of all the properties owned by the Diocese would be provided with the 2008 audited financial statements.Back to Top
Restructuring of Synod - Synod Clusters
In a bid to improve the effectiveness of Synod and arising from recommendations made at Synod 2007 six groups were organised to discuss and review all reports received. Members of clusters were assigned based on the choices that they had made at the Pre-Synod Conference. The six groups were as follows:
All groups met and presented to Synod reports and resolutions where required. There were spirited discussions on all areas and agreements arrived at are detailed in the attached Cluster Report.Back to Top
The Synod for the year 2008 carried on the trend of passing timely resolutions with potentially far-reaching impact. The following resolutions were debated and passed:
Resolution Expressing Appreciation of work
Expression of appreciation and thanks for the work of The Venerable Alvin Emmanuel Stone; The Venerable Egbert Maloney Robertson; and the Very Rev. Canon Winston M. Thomas.
Resolution on Music Ministry
The Communication Cluster recommended the establishment of a small Music Ministry incorporating the skills of personS in the Diocese who have given sterling service over the years and any other necessary to co-opt.
Resolution Appointing the secretary of Synod as a member of the Diocesan Council
Whereas the Diocesan Council is the Standing Committee of Synod that must pursue and implement the decisions of Synod
And whereas the Secretary of Synod who reports on the business of Synod is not a member of the Diocesan Council;
Be it resolved that the Secretary of Synod be made an Ex-Officio member of Council, and the Canons Committee make appropriate amendments to the relevant Canons to facilitate such appointment.
A number of other resolutions were brought to Synod; however after much discussion both in the Cluster Groups and Plenary these were not passed.Back to Top
Jamaica Church Missionary Society (JCMS)
The Chairman of the JCMS, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Harold Daniel presented the 2007 report on the Society. The Chairmans message addressed the topic of Evangelism and Mission. He said that the JCMS had offered to assist congregations in their evangelistic missions in a variety of ways, and that the offer still stands. He stated that the great challenge before us is to make Christ known to the people of our generation.
Mission work is not the job of any group or organization within the church, but one for the whole church, for all its members. Mission work also is not to be confined to any single programme or activity, but must pervade everything that the church does. This will require a major shift in our thinking. We will no longer see only our Evangelistic activity as mission, important though that is, but we will also see the connection between worship and mission, between teaching and mission, between service and mission, between stewardship and mission, and between the healing ministry and mission.
He informed the Synod that the Society was delighted that a Director of Evangelism had been appointed in September 2007 in the person of Sister Phyllis Thomas, and that it was indeed an opportune time, as the Church Army is celebrating in 2008, the 50th anniversary of its work in Jamaica, and that the celebration would include a new thrust in Evangelism throughout the whole of the Diocese. The appointment of a Director of Mission and Ministry who would serve also as the General Secretary of the Society was also announced.
The Society continued in 2007 to supplement the operational expenses of several entities, including $60,000.00 to St. Andrew Settlement. St. Andrew Parish Church was among the contributors to the Society, contributing a sum of $125,000.00. The Society received contributions by Deaneries of $3,889,193.03 while it had a projected expenditure for 2008 of $4,450,000.00.
Bishop Daniel ended his message by stating Let us now engage in united and persistent prayer that God would give us all grace abounding to work together for his greater glory.Back to Top
Education And Youth Department
It was noted that during 2007, the Department of Education and Youth completed a strategic review and developed a strategic action plan in response to the issues highlighted. The five areas of focus are as follows:
Papers were tabled on the Sunday School Ministry, Data on Sunday School attendance and Educating and Evangelizing the Next Generation. These papers and a resolution on upgrading Church Teachers College to become an independent University were passed to the Youth and Education Cluster for discussion and approval as required.Back to Top
Celebration of Church Army 50th Anniversary
The Church Army made a most enlightening, entertaining and all encompassing power point presentation on the work of the Church Army from the time of its re-establishment in 1958 to present. Captain Ernest Cousins, C.A., the first Head of the Church Army in Jamaica, also addressed Synod. A very powerful sermon was also delivered by Captain Bruce Smith, Director of the Church Army in Canada, during the Holy Eucharist on Thursday 27th March, 2008. He highlighted some of the personal experiences in his work as a Church Army Officer over the years and the rewards and blessings he had received.Back to Top
Appointments Of Members Of The Church
Please note that the following members of our church serve on the following Boards and Committees and welcome your comments.
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Each day started with Matins at 6:30 am and the Eucharist at 7:00 am which was led by the Bishop of each region each day. Each day closed with Evensong at about 5:30 pm. This helped to set the tone for the Synod and this time spent with the Lord was essential and invaluable.
Friday afternoon the Bishop thanked those who had made the Synod possible and had laboured long hours. At 1:00p.m with the singing of the doxology and the blessing by the President, Synod was dissolved on Friday March 28, 2008.
Some Final Observations:
Copies of documents are available through the Church Office.
Sisters and Brothers, once again it has been our honour and privilege to represent you and our beloved St. Andrew Parish Church at Synod. Thank you for the opportunity, and in keeping with the theme of the Bishops Charge May Gods Mission be carried out, by Gods People, through Gods Power.
Lay Representatives to Synod 2008
Andrea Chin See
June 16, 2008.
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Page last updated: August 24, 2008
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