General Synod passes environmental justice resolutions

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General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada passed four resolutions on July 13 related to the church’s public witness for social and ecological justice. Each resolution was on the synod’s no-debate list—meaning the resolutions were presented, moved and then immediately voted upon. They all passed with limited opposition.

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General Synod first passed “A200 – Amendment to Public Witness of Social and Ecological Justice Coordinating Committee Terms of Reference,” which adjusts the terms of reference by which said committee operates.

Afterward, the synod passed “A201 – Single-use Plastics” and “A202 – The Season of Creation,” both of which recommend the church adopt new ecological practices. A201 encourages dioceses and parishes to curtail their purchase of single-use plastics, with the aim of ending their use by 2023 (with an exception for accessibility needs). It also asks individual Anglicans to reduce their reliance on such plastics, and calls upon the Anglican Church of Canada to “develop and promote resources aimed at supporting local efforts toward plastics reduction.”

Likewise, General Synod resolved, via A202, to adopt the Season of Creation in the church as “an annual time of prayer, education and action from September 1 – October 4.” It also encourages dioceses to engage with the season, developing initiatives, resources and suitably authorized liturgies for use during the season, and it directs the “Creation Matters Working Group to monitor, network and share Season of Creation initiatives through the General Synod website and in other ways.”

Finally, by passing “A203 – The United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development,” General Synod opted to encourage use of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which the resolution’s explanatory text says “build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals.”

 

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Matthew Townsend
Matthew Townsend has worked in editorial, journalistic, and web development roles with a variety of organizations, including the The Living Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, NY, and the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida. He is a member of Episcopal Communicators and has consulted with a variety of ecumenical organizations, including Atlantic School of Theology, the Presbyterian Endowment Network, and the Associated Church Press.

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