Sydney Anglican Diocese: Synod Report   2017

Synod, the parliament of our Diocese, met on five days with us representing Gymea Anglican. The total membership is 808. The proceedings included the Archbishop’s address, mission reports & much business with prayer.  A daily bible study led by Rev Ed Vaughan from 2 Corinthians, examined Paul’s ‘campaign of boasting’ to establish his credentials.

Archbishop Glenn Davies’ address began by acknowledging the Gadigal people as earlier inhabitants of Australia and like us all, created by God.  He mentioned the Reformation 500 Year display from the German government now viewed at Moore College, the societal drift from identifying with Christian faith, the March 18-25, 2018 all Parish mission of our region, denounced sexual abuse in the church and community, expressed concern at the irreparable consequences of allowing same sex marriage, and among other things, commended us to continue to reach out to the lost. The full text of the Archbishop’s address is found on SDS website.

The level of work presented, the speeches and debates were of a very high standard.  Business was carried out in a respectful, cordial and open way.   While some sessions were very dry – a lawyer’s picnic when ordinances governing church life were debated – most of the material was of high interest and brought helpful Christian thinking to many burning issues of our day.

Some Highlights from Synod

  • expressed support for increased palliative care and concern that a euthanasia bill is coming to the NSW Parliament next week. Asks Synod members to approach their state MPs. (Alan Watson has sent a letter to Mark Speakman. Copy available from a.watson@unsw.edu.au).
  • noted Safe Ministry Training is now available on line – https://safeministry.training/booking.
  • Resisting Porn, a new website set up by the Diocese, draws attention to the pernicious & widespread influence of pornography; “not just a private matter but a public health issue”.
  • commended support for Syrian refugees by congregations for use of Church properties.
  • presented excellent work & guidance of Social Issues Committee for the increasing problem of Gender identity confusion. By Drs Megan Best, Claire Smith and Karin Sowada.

*  implemented Property Receipts Levy (PRL) on income gained from property owned by parishes. The PRL is for ministry development administered by the Diocese.

*  reclassified the beautiful Kangaroo Valley as a parish.

*  thanked God for Archbishop Davies joining the consecration of Bishop Lines as missionary Bishop  to Europe for clergy dissenting from SSM approved in Scottish Episcopal Church.

    *  endorsed a framework for voluntary Lifelong Ministry Development of clergy and encouraged nominators to enquire about clergy participation.

    Commended the brave women who spoke out on TV against same sex marriage.

Many more matters were resolved. The full text of the Archbishop’s address and a summary of business will be available at www.sds.asn.au

Barbara Archer, Prof Alan Watson, Rev Graham Crew