Report from our Synod Representative - Susan Van Tijn
This year's theme was Love thy neighbour
The 160th Synod of the Toronto Diocese, which took place this past weekend, was unlike any other that has gone before it. Instead of 400 plus participants turning up at a hotel to spend a day and a half not only ratifying the business of the diocese but renewing acquaintances and exchanging ideas, the time was spent in front of our individual computers in our individual offices where we pushed electronic buttons to confirm our votes. Not as much fun!
Essentially Synod is about the housekeeping of the work done by the various committees of the diocese during the year. Bishop Asbil announced that the diocese will move forward with three bishops instead of the previous five: one diocesan bishop (Bishop Asbil) and two suffragan bishops (Bishop Riscylla Shaw and Bishop Kevin Robertson) . This episcopal team will be augmented with Territorial Archdeacons which will be chosen from both lay and clergy.
A motion to commit financial support to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and communities was overwhelmingly supported.
A motion to reorganize the Governance, which had been presented last year, was ratified this year and will lead to a simpler structure which will hopefully move more quickly on various issues.
Finally, a deficit budget was approved reflecting the difficult times the pandemic has presented.