Representatives from at least six church organizations-including Bishop Michael Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church (TEC), and Archbishop Josiah Atkins Idowu-Fearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion-are expected to speak at General Synod when it meets in Richmond Hill, Ont. next month, event organizers say.
According to an event agenda made public earlier this month, Curry is slated to speak to General Synod on Friday, July 8 at 1:30 p.m.; Idowu-Fearon is expected to address the gathering Saturday, July 9 at 2:30 p.m.
Other confirmed speaking guests include: Bishop Susan Johnson, national bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada; Bishop Griselda Delgado del Carpio, diocesan bishop of the Episcopal Church of Cuba (Iglesia Episcopal de Cuba, or IEC); Jose Bringas, director of the IEC’s office of development and mission; and Archbishop Francisco de Assis da Silva, primate of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, says Andrea Mann, the Anglican Church of Canada’s director of global relations.
Other guests expected to attend part or all of General Synod include: the Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell, moderator of the United Church of Canada; the Most Rev. John Boissonneau, auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto; and Willard Metzger, executive director of Mennonite Church Canada.
There will also be representatives from ecumenical bodies to which the Anglican Church of Canada belongs, such as KAIROS Canada and the Canadian Council of Churches, and local ecumenical and interfaith leaders will be invited to General Synod’s opening service and reception, says Bishop Bruce Myers, coadjutor bishop of the diocese of Quebec and the Anglican Church of Canada’s former co-ordinator for ecumenical and interfaith relations.
These guests will be welcome to take part in the activities of General Synod as much as possible, Myers says, “including helping us discern our way through some of the issues we’re dealing with as a church.”
Having them present, he says, is a way of recognizing that no church, including the Anglican Church of Canada, exists completely apart from the rest.
“We’re part of a much larger Christian family, and it behooves us to take our sisters and brothers in other churches into account in our decision making, and to be attentive to what they have to say,” he says.
“Simply having full communion and ecumenical partners present at the General Synod is a visible reminder to us that the things we say and do as the Anglican Church of Canada have implications beyond ourselves.”