Around the dioceses, October 2018

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Diocese of Toronto provides $250k for Indigenous centre

The diocese of Toronto is making a $250,000 grant to the Anishnawbe Health Foundation, a charity that works to support the health of Indigenous people living in Toronto, to help build a new health and cultural centre.

The diocese’s council voted May 24 to approve the funding. It will support the construction of a facility that will include healing gardens and outdoor therapeutic spaces, meeting and counselling space, a family, child and youth unit, plus space for providing new services for LGBTQ people and palliative care. Anishnawbe Health Toronto, an Indigenous community health service, will own and operate the new centre.

It’s planned that the four-storey building will serve as an “Indigenous hub” for Toronto, “space where the Indigenous community and the city can come together and recognize the strength and beauty of Indigenous culture,” says Julie Cookson, executive director of the Anishnawbe Health Foundation.

The grant, said Archbishop Colin Johnson, diocesan bishop of Toronto, “recognizes the ongoing commitment of the diocese of Toronto to healing and reconciliation—in this case specifically with Indigenous populations that live in the city of Toronto and beyond.” The diocese raised the money, he said, from some of its property sales.

The total cost of the project has been estimated at $31 million. Of this, $17 million is being provided by Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care; $4 million from the sale of an Anishnawbe Health Toronto property and other government sources; and $10 million from a fundraising campaign. The facility is expected to be completed by 2020.

About 70,000 Indigenous people live in Toronto—90% of them at or below Canada’s low-income line, according to a recent study.

—The Anglican

Hiltz regrets prominence of same-sex marriage debate over other issues

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, who will resign as primate of the Anglican Church of Canada in July 2019, says his biggest regret is that the church’s debate over same-sex marriage has led it to neglect other issues.

“If I have one big, single regret, it is that in my time as primate we have spent so much time on human sexuality that we haven’t given other important matters the kind of attention that is due,” Hiltz said in an interview. “I’m always reminded of that when I go to an international gathering where the picture is big, and the world is huge and complex. Some of the stuff we think is so important, so crucial to the life of the church, to the unity of the church—all of a sudden you see them in a different perspective.”

Hiltz was elected primate in 2007, at the same that General Synod declared that blessing rites for same-sex couples are not in conflict with core doctrine. In 2013, General Synod approved a resolution to bring the issue of same-sex marriage to a vote. A resolution to amend the marriage canon to allow for same-sex marriages passed its first reading at General Synod in 2016, and its second reading is slated for the synod’s next meeting in July 2019.

Hiltz also reflected on other issues, including his decision to resign, the advice he would have for his successor and what the Canadian church might learn from other Anglican churches around the world.

—Huron Church News

Edmonton seniors’ residence hires Anglican chaplain

An Anglican chaplain has been hired to provide four-day-a-week spiritual support to residents of a faith-based Edmonton seniors’ residence.

Since April 2018, the Rev. Joanne Webster has been serving as chaplain at Canterbury Court, a seniors’ residence with links to local Anglican churches.

Both her position and the residence are funded by Canterbury Foundation, a charity formed in 1972 by members of two local Anglican parishes. Webster works one-on-one with residents, and collaborates with clergy from the two parishes to provide the residents with Anglican and non-denominational services, Bible study groups, communion and support in prayer. She is also planning a special worship service for residents in the home’s dementia unit.

“If we can be healthy in spirit, the journey of body and mind can be less painful,” Webster says. “I hope to be able to bring comfort and a sense of peace to residents who are grieving the loss of things they have no control over and who may be wondering ‘Where is God?’ and ‘Has God forgotten me?’ ”

Canterbury Foundation, meanwhile, is planning to expand the residence, adding a hospice and enlarging its dementia wing.

—The Messenger

Resolutions signal change at synod of ecclesiastical province of Canada

The synod of the ecclesiastical province of Canada will no longer be required to meet every three years if a resolution that passed its first reading this June clears its second reading at the body’s next meeting.

According to the resolution, the synod will meet only if called upon to do so by a certain number of bishops and delegates, Archbishop Ron Cutler, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of Canada, wrote in an article on the synod, which met in Halifax June 8-10. Since the resolution concerns a change to the province’s constitution, it will have to be passed again before it can take effect, Cutler wrote.

Another resolution passed by the synod specifies that it will meet electronically unless at least one-third of the synod’s elected members request an in-person meeting.

In another change, the line dedicated to costs for ministry in the province’s three-year budget was removed, reducing the amount that dioceses must contribute to the province. This change, Cutler wrote, “recognizes that ministry and mission is best undertaken at the local [diocesan and parish] or national level.”

Commented Dale Keats, a member from the diocese of Quebec, “It seems as if we are in the process of eliminating what we know of as provincial synod.”

The ecclesiastical province of Canada includes the dioceses of Central Newfoundland; Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador; Western Newfoundland; Fredericton; Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island; Montreal; and Quebec.

—Quebec Diocesan Gazette

Use ‘narrative budget’ to encourage giving, say stewardship experts

Churches can encourage the generosity of donors using a “narrative budget”—explaining their expenses by telling what they have been able to do with their money, participants at a series of stewardship meetings held by the diocese of British Columbia last June heard.

Donations, expenses, deficits and budgets can be spoken of “positively” with the use of stories that give examples of the tangible good things a church has done, Susan Graham-Walker, stewardship ministry associate with the Anglican Church of Canada’s national office, and the Rev. Brian Evans, a member of the diocese’s stewardship team, told attendees.

In particular, Graham-Walker said, parishes should focus on telling stories in four main areas: worship, education about the Christian faith, pastoral care and outreach; and they should try to relate their stories to the Anglican church’s baptismal covenant and five Marks of Mission.

The sessions given by Graham-Walker and Evans were meant to introduce a stewardship workbook, Giving Our Thanks & Praise: A Faithful Response to God’s Mission, recently developed by the Anglican Church of Canada.

—Diocesan Post

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Tali Folkins
Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.

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