The theme for the 148th Synod of the Diocese of Niagara has been announced. “God’s Church for God’s Mission” is the theme chosen by Bishop Susan Bell, drawing inspiration from the theme of the recent Lambeth Conference. This year the Synod will take place November 4-5, 2022.
Throughout the Synod, members will explore and pray on this theme alongside our diocesan Mission Action Plan and Lambeth Calls. The Book of 1 Peter, the biblical foundation of the Lambeth Conference, will also be used as a lens for reflection throughout the Synod. “It’s a book that raises an utterly compelling and inspiring vision of God’s kingdom,” says Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. “Through our faith in Jesus Christ, Peter encourages us to live lives of witness, hope and holiness as God’s chosen people.”
Synods are a key structure in the governance of our diocese, but they are much more than that. The Synod seeks to build up the whole Church through prayer, story-sharing, relationship-building, discernment, and decision-making. This year Synod will convene virtually on Friday, November 4 and in person at the Burlington Convention Centre on Saturday, November 5.
On Saturday, Bishop Susan Bell will share her charge to members, reflecting on the Synod’s theme and drawing our attention to the ways the Spirit is working in and through us in Niagara.
Over the course of the Saturday, there will be several presentations about our shared ministry as a diocese. Members of synod will hear how, through the diocesan Mission Action Plan, we are enlivening our faith, reshaping our culture and structures for mission, and fostering God’s justice, with particular attention to environmental action in response to the climate crisis.
Archbishop Anne Germond, metropolitan of Ontario and archbishop of Algoma and Moosonee, will be our very special guest during the Synod. Archbishop Anne’s pastoral and visionary leadership has been a blessing to our province, especially during the pandemic, and we will be richly blessed by her presence among us at Synod.
The business parts of the Synod will include receiving the 2021 auditor’s report, consideration of the 2023 diocesan budget, as well as some changes to the canons.
This year only Synod Council representatives will be elected (no elections for Provincial or General Synod delegates are required) and this will once again happen using online voting in advance of the Synod.
To learn more about the upcoming Synod, be sure to review the convening circular which includes all Synod reports and resolutions, on the Diocesan Synod webpage.
In the coming weeks, I would also invite you to hold the members of synod in your prayers as they discern how best to equip our diocese—and our parishes—to be a Church for God’s mission!