The name for this blog comes from the Hebrew word merchab. Merchab is a masculine noun that appears most often in the Psalms of the Hebrew Scriptures. It means a broad or roomy place, an expansive place, a wide place. Read more...

March 7, 2010

Primate's Closing Reflections

At the end of Synod, the Primate Archbishop Fred Hiltz reflected on his experience of the Diocese of BC Synod.

He said in part:

It's pretty clear to me that your Bishop is a good steward over the household of God. He has chaired this meeting with his usual precision, clarity and charity.

To the folks of Brentwood Chapel, St. Mary's Nanoose, St. Mary's Metchosin, St. Matthias Victoria, who have been affected by developments on the part of the Anglican Network in Canada I want to say, thank you for your loyalty to the Anglican Church of Canada and to everything we try to do in loyalty to Christ.

I want to ask, do we have the courage for the journey. I have seen courage and grace here in this Synod. I have seen your willingness to listen respectfully to one another and to listen for the Spirit.

It seems to me that since the Diocesan Transformation Team Report came out there has been a flurry of activity and there is something good in this. The Report has created conversations in the parishes and throughout the Diocese.

The extent of consultation on the part of the DTT has received a mixed review - some people were calling for more. But let's not blame the team but let's call for continuing consultation.

My sense is that, in this Synod you have perhaps learned more about each other and your deep desire to work together as one family in Christ. My sense and my hope is that the Spirit in which this Synod has moved will impact the way you pray for each other.

There's no blueprint that fits every situation.

We have to be willing to listen to the story of the church local. We've learned a lot about how diverse we are and the need to be patient with each other as we work things out situation by situation.

Sometimes the church suffers from its own limited vision. We can never lose sight of the fact as Anglicans we belong to a Region, to a Diocese, a National Church, a worldwide Communion. And we are strengthened by being part of a much larger whole.

There are five marks of a healthy church:

1. People know who they are before God
2. They know what they are called to do
3. They have the resources to carry out their calling
4. People are experiencing the gospel
5. The church is making a real difference in individual lives, the community, and the world.

I maintain those five marks apply to the church at every widening circle of expression of church. How does your community measure next to these five marks of the healthy church?

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