2007 Session of Synod Resolutions
1/07 Mr Richard Lambert
Synod notes that this will be Richard Lambert’s last session of Synod. Synod gives thanks to God for Richard’s 35 years of active participation in the life of the Synod, as a member of its Standing Committee and Chairman of the Finance Committee. On St Lambert’s Day we wish him God’s blessing on his life after Synod.
(Mr Robert Tong 17/09/07)
2/07 Ministry of women
(a) gives thanks to God for the gifted and diverse ministry of women in the Diocese of Sydney, including women currently licensed to preach in the Diocese, and
(b) notes that congregations under the leadership of their rectors and parish councils are free to determine the make-up of their ministry team within the framework of our diocesan ordinances, and
(c) calls for parishes and parish members who differ on aspects of the exercise of ministry by women to continue to show generosity to one another.
(The Rev Stephen Semenchuk 17/09/07)
3/07 Faithfulness in Service
Synod adopts the amendments to the code for personal behaviour and the practice of pastoral ministry by clergy and church workers Faithfulness in Service as set out in the report entitled “Amendments to Faithfulness in Service” received by the Synod at this session noting that the Standing Committee of the General Synod has approved these amendments and has recommended that these amendments be adopted by all dioceses.
Synod further notes that the effect of this motion is to –
(a) adopt Faithfulness in Service as the voluntary ethical code of conduct for all clergy and church workers in the Diocese, and
(b) import into the Discipline Ordinance 2006 the amended definitions of child abuse and sexual abuse for the purposes of that Ordinance.
(Mr Philip Gerber 18/09/07)
4/07 Moore Theological College
(a) notes the involvement of Moore Theological College in Christian ministry outside of the Diocese, including the running of missions in other dioceses in Australia, the links established with evangelical work in other countries such as Chile, its recent association with the newly established Alexandria Theological School in Egypt and its ever expanding correspondence course provisions in countries such as India, and
(b) encourages the College to continue to explore ways and means by which it can assist in Christian ministry around the world, particularly with regard to theological education, and
(c) recognises the need for Christian people of the Sydney Diocese to continue to support the students, staff and faculty of the College in prayer and to provide financial assistance for the work of the College in the years ahead, and
(d) commends the college’s partnership in the teaching of PTC courses in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, India, Chile and throughout Latin America, and encourages the College to continue to make PTC material available as cheaply as possible in these, and other developing countries, and
(e) commends parishes in the Diocese to consider “releasing” their clergy to travel overseas for short periods to teach PTC “intensives”.
(Dr Barry Newman 18/09/07)
5/07 Arch Hart conference
Synod thanks the Northern Region staff for organising and hosting the Arch Hart conference on Personal Challenges in Ministry and affirms that the spiritual and physical health of ministry staff in the churches of our Diocese are important for both the Diocesan Mission and the ongoing of work of the gospel.
(The Rev David Clarke 18/09/07)
6/07 Retirement of the Rev Neil Flower
Synod gives thanks to God for the ministry of the Rev Neil Flower, who retires from Synod at the end of this year, and in particular –
(a) his faithful ministry as rector of the parish of Thornleigh-Pennant Hills since 1988, especially enabling the consolidation of ministry onto the one site and his support of Chinese ministry, and
(b) his diligence in his role as Hornsby Area Dean since 2000, and
(c) his vibrant contribution to the life of this Synod for more than three decades and his representation of the Diocese on the General Synod for 14 years, and
(d) his former ministry in the parishes of Cabramatta and St Andrew’s Wahroonga in the CMS as Youth Secretary, and
(e) his commitment to the work of the gospel and the glory of God over 42 years of ordained ministry.
Synod expresses its gratitude to Neil and wishes him and his wife Jane God’s blessing upon their future life and ministry.
(Bishop Glenn Davies 18/09/07)
7/07 Retirement of Mr Rodney Dredge
Synod gives thanks to God for the dynamic, faithful and strategic service of Mr Rodney Dredge as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sydney Diocesan Secretariat from 2001 to 2007, as well as his membership of the Diocesan Standing Committee from 1993 to 2007. In all he has done Rodney has sought to honour God and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in and beyond this Diocese.
During Rodney’s time as the Secretariat’s Chief Executive Officer, the net assets of the Diocesan Endowment managed by the Glebe Administration Board have grown significantly. It is people, however, not money, that really matter, and Rodney’s enduring legacy will be the transformation of the Secretariat, and the people within it, into a dynamic team fully committed to the Diocesan Mission: a team that has become an active supporter of both Parish and organisational ministry, and yet also a team that itself takes the lead in new Diocesan initiatives.
In all this Rodney was, and is still, supported by his loving wife, Jenny, and they remain stalwart members of the Parish of Castle Hill, where, among many other involvements, they were founding members of the Church plant at Oakhill.
Synod thanks God for Rodney’s fellowship in the Gospel and prays that God’s blessing might rest on Rodney and Jenny for a long and fruitful retirement.
(Dr Laurie Scandrett 18/09/07)
8/07 Lidcombe: Reclassification as a Parish
Synod assents to the reclassification of Lidcombe as a parish with effect from 1 January 2008.
(The Rev Joseph Thiem 18/09/07)
9/07 Cranebrook: Reclassification as a Parish
Synod assents to the reclassification of Cranebrook as a parish with effect from 1 January 2008.
(The Rev Richard Goscombe 18/09/07)
10/07 Kriol Bible
Synod gives thanks to God for the release of the Kriol Bible. We also offer encouragement and our prayers to the producers and other translation teams who are working together to put God’s Word into other Indigenous languages.
(Miss Jennifer Flower 19/09/07)
11/07 Church membership
(a) notes that the last report into Anglican Church membership was delivered in 1975 (‘31/73 Church Membership’, pp361-379, 1976 Year Book), and
(b) asks Standing Committee to convene a committee to investigate the theology and practice of church membership and to make recommendations to Synod as to what changes to our ordinances and structures, if any, would best strengthen and deepen church life and promote the meaningful involvement of members in ‘partnership in the gospel’.
(Mr Andrew Mitchell 19/09/07)
12/07 Parish reviews
Consistent with resolution 26/06 passed by this Synod last year, and noting Standing Committee’s report on the matter at item 8.9 of its report to this session, Synod again –
(a) urges the filling of vacancies in the membership of the Parish Review Monitoring Panel and the rapid convening of that Panel, and
(b) requests the Panel to develop, and publish by 31 March 2008, guidelines as to the process and best practice for the conduct of parish reviews, along with a list of suitably trained, experienced and gifted review group facilitators and members, which it has accredited, and
(c) encourages every parish to undergo a development review utilising the terms of the Parish Development Review Ordinance 2001, within the next 5 years.
(Mr Andrew Mitchell 19/09/07)
13/07 Resourcing Christians in Africa
Synod, mindful of the estimate that by 2050 there will be over 1 billion Christians in Africa, asks the Archbishop to convene a committee/taskforce to investigate ways our Diocese can support and help resource these brothers and sisters in Christ. This taskforce would comprise at least one representative from Moore Theological College and one representative from the Church Missionary Society and make their recommendations available to Synod and churches in our Diocese.
(The Rev Philip Wheeler 19/09/07)
14/07 Menangle: Reclassification as a Parish
Synod assents to the reclassification of Menangle as a parish with effect from 1 January 2008.
(The Rev Craig Fulton 19/09/07)
15/07 Newtown with Erskineville: Reclassification as a Parish
Synod assents to the reclassification of Newtown with Erskineville as a parish with effect from 1 January 2008.
(The Rev Peter Rodgers 19/09/07)
16/07 Coogee: Reclassification as a Parish
Synod assents to the reclassification of Coogee as a parish with effect from 1 January 2008.
(The Rev Craig Segaert 19/09/07)
17/07 Climate change
Synod accepts the emerging scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and supports the need for Christian responses to the potential problems and opportunities that arise from climate change including –
(a) praying for our world and using every opportunity to speak of the Lordship of Jesus Christ;
(b) Christian ministry to those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as farmers, rural communities, the homeless and refugees;
(c) the setting of a godly example of good stewardship in our personal and communal lives;
(d) education of our children about a biblical understanding of creation and our role as its stewards and carers;
(e) the development and implementation of an environmental policy within each Parish and Diocesan organisation which expresses principles of good environmental stewardship and care; and
(f) encouraging governments at all levels to take climate change seriously and to make wise policy decisions to deal with its effects.
(Mr Darren Mitchell 19/09/07)
18/07 Publishing of ordination lists
Synod requests that the Diocesan Registry publish lists in Southern Cross or on the diocesan website of those proposed to be ordained as deacons or presbyters at least 1 month before the ordination is scheduled to take place. This will encourage prayer for the candidates and allow any concerns to be reported to the Archbishop.
(The Rev David Clarke 24/09/07)
19/07 Responsibilities of Synod members
Synod requests that –
(a) the Standing Committee be asked to produce a brief paper outlining the role and responsibilities of lay Synod members to be available to members of the parish 2 weeks before the vestry meeting electing Synod representatives, and
(b) Mr Robert Tong’s booklet be sent out to those subsequently elected to Synod, and
(c) as soon as possible after the receipt of the Synod Summary Circular to Ministers, Churchwardens, Parish Councils and Synod Representatives from the Diocese, the parish make copies of this Synod Summary available to all church members requesting copies over a 2 week period and the Synod representatives be available to discuss the Summary with parishioners.
(Mr Brian Flower 24/09/07)
20/07 Reporting of diocesan organisations
Synod, noting that Anglican Retirement Villages and Anglicare are not due to submit their annual reports until 30 September 2007, affirms the principle of diocesan organisations reporting to the Synod and asks that these reports continue to be made available, when available, in the most cost effective way.
(Mr Peter Kell 24/09/07)
21/07 Retiring members of Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation
Synod give thanks to God for the work of Mr John Brew as Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Sydney Anglican Schools Corporation since 1999 and Mr Philip Butcher as a Board Member of the Corporation since 1997, both men having indicated their intention of retiring from the Board at the next Corporation meeting in November. Synod thanks them for their considerable efforts on behalf of the Corporation during a time of significant growth and development, thanks their wives and families for enabling them to undertake their various roles on behalf of the Corporation and asks for our Lord’s continuing blessing on their lives and works.
(Dr Laurie Scandrett 24/09/07)
22/07 Human tragedy in Zimbabwe
Synod, lamenting the appalling human tragedy in Zimbabwe caused by the regime of President Robert Mugabe, urges the Archbishop on behalf of our Synod to contact the Primate of Central Africa to encourage him to gather the support of his fellow bishops in denouncing publicly the regime of President Mugabe and to distance himself and themselves from those who publicly support the Mugabe regime.
In so doing, Synod recognises the enormous difficulties facing the Anglican Church in Central Africa and wishes to assure the Primate and bishops of our prayerful support.
(The Rev Dr Roger Chilton 24/09/07)
23/07 Poker machines
In the light of the recent news release of Peter Holmes a Court’s move not to reinstate the 60 poker machines within the new building for the South Sydney Leagues Club – this Synod wholeheartedly supports whatever financial profit may be foregone for the benefits and rewards to the community that will flow. This Synod commends with acclamation such a bold initiative against the tide of revenue raising from gambling and supports the education of the destructive effects of looking for “gain without pain” resulting when we are not content in whatever situation the Lord assigns us.
This Synod calls upon our government, clubs and community groups to work together in reducing reliance upon the revenue of gambling and alleviating the crippling effects of gambling within our communities.
(The Rev Shane Rogerson 24/09/07)
24/07 Keno machines
Synod objects strongly to the introduction of Keno machines into pubs as announced by the NSW Government, and urges the Government instead to reduce its reliance on revenue from gaming machines and in so doing help those families and individuals in the grip of gambling addictions.
(Dr Karin Sowada 24/09/07)
25/07 Retirement of Mr Geoff Kyngdon
Synod gives thanks to God for the ministry of Mr Geoff Kyngdon as Assistant to the Bishop of Wollongong.
(Bishop Al Stewart 24/09/07)
26/07 Parish Annual Financial Returns and Audited Accounts
(a) noting that only 37% of parishes submitted its annual audited financial returns by 15 April this year, thanks those parishes for their diligence and reminds the remaining 63% of parishes of the Diocese of the need to submit their returns for 2007 by 15 April 2008, and
(b) requests the Standing Committee to report to the Synod each year information regarding the parishes that have submitted their financial returns by the due date.
(Mr Graeme Marks 24/09/07)
27/07 Anglicare and CLAN donation
Synod notes –
(a) that Anglicare as part of its response to the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into Children in Institutional Care reported to Synod in 2005 that –
‘Anglicare has provided financial assistance to CLAN in the sum of $5,000 per annum following an initial request in 2002.’ (2006 Diocesan Year Book page 552) and
(b) that to date only one such annual payment of $5,000 has been made by Anglicare to CLAN, that being in 2002.
Synod welcomes the inclusion of the provision for a donation of $3,000 to CLAN as part of the 2007-2008 Anglicare Community budget and expresses its hope that Anglicare will retrospectively provide the assistance to CLAN, referred to in the fore-mentioned 2005 report to Synod, of $5,000 for each of the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 but not yet paid.
(The Rev Chris Albany 24/09/07)
28/07 CBD Outreach
In furtherance of the desire to connect with people working in this Diocese, this Synod –
(a) commends the outreach of groups such as Ecom to workers in various business districts such as Sydney, North Sydney, Chatswood, Parramatta, Norwest and Penrith;
(b) encourages all members of the church to obtain more information about the ministry of Ecom from the website www.ecom.org.au.
(Dr Rod James 24/09/07)
29/07 Government intervention on child abuse
Synod welcomes the recent determination by the Federal Government to address problems of child abuse, violence and substance abuse in Indigenous Communities in the Northern Territory. Synod wishes to express the following –
(a) remorse that there has been inaction about these matters for so long and inadequate support for our Christian brothers and sisters in the affected areas;
(b) concern at the limited consultation with Aboriginal communities over the Federal Government’s legislative package, when so many instances of limited consultation in the past have led to good intentions being ineffective and damaging, when it is clear that many communities are in fact not dysfunctional;
(c) commendation of the Bishop of the Northern Territory for his initiative in calling a conference of indigenous Christian leadership on the matter of the intervention;
(d) recognition of those who over many years have attempted to help at risk Indigenous children and communities in the NT often with little acknowledgement or support;
(e) support for the stance taken by the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Alliance, of which our own Indigenous Peoples' Ministry Committee is a member, as outlined in NATSICA's policy statement released following a national conference held in Alice Springs in July;
(f) concern about the qualifications of the Racial Discrimination Act made necessary by differentiated treatment of Aboriginal communities;
(g) concern about the avoidance of the requirement of the constitution that property can only be acquired on just terms;
(h) acknowledgment that child abuse is happening in all communities across Australia and should be addressed as a matter of high priority by the Federal Government and State Governments;
(i) calls upon the New South Wales Government to give a high priority to addressing the problem of child abuse in this State, and in particular urges the Government to address the issues raised by the report into child abuse in NSW Aboriginal communities entitled Breaking the Silence as a matter of urgency;
(j) requests Anglicare to report to Standing Committee about issues of child abuse in Sydney and the Illawarra, the services available in the Diocese to assist victims and their families, and what practical steps can be undertaken to promote healthy relationships and the understanding of the behaviours that are found in abusive relationships, and asks Standing Committee to take appropriate steps to disseminate the information to parishes and other interested parties;
(k) commendation of this whole matter to the prayers of all members of the Diocese; and
(l) requests the Diocesan Secretary to send copies of this resolution to all members of the Federal Parliament, the Northern Territory Assembly and the NSW Parliament as soon as possible.
(Archdeacon Deryck Howell 24/09/07)
30/07 Use of Raffles and Other Games of Chance
Synod considers that parishes and diocesan organisations should not use raffles or other games of chance as methods of raising funds.
(Mr Richard Lambert 24/09/07)
31/07 Dangers of Gambling
Synod encourages all ministers to teach their congregations about the dangers of gambling in all its forms and to encourage contentment, generosity and good stewardship of our God given resources.
(The Rev Phil Wheeler 24/09/07)
32/07 Diocesan Policy Statement on Education
(a) requests that a copy of the Diocesan Policy Statement on Education, or the relevant part or parts thereof, be circulated to all parishes and Diocesan organisations, and
(b) requests that each parish and Diocesan organisation review its own policies where necessary to ensure they are consistent with the Diocesan Policy, and
(c) authorises the Standing Committee to amend the Policy Statement from time to time provided that any such amendments are reported to the Synod.
(Dr Bryan Cowling 24/09/07)
33/07 Connect 09 (Funding) Ordinance 2007
Synod enthusiastically endorses the campaign of evangelistic contact with all people in the Diocese known as Connect 09 and encourages all parishes, regional councils and diocesan organisations –
(a) to work in fellowship with the Standing Committee, its Mission Board and Evangelism Ministries to ensure the effective planning and implementation of Connect 09, and
(b) to consider assisting parishes which are struggling financially to pay the charge for gospel resources under the Connect 09 (Funding) Ordinance 2007, and
(c) requests the Archbishop, Bishops and Archdeacons to promote and facilitate such partnerships between parishes that ensure that this campaign is equally effective across the whole Diocese and requests the Archbishop to report the progress of such partnerships to the Synod in 2008.
(Canon Jim Ramsay 24/09/07)
34/07 Bishop Martyn Minns
The Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney congratulates Bishop Martyn Minns on his installation as presiding bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America on 5 May 2007 and assures him of our prayers as he, along with many other faithful men and women, seeks to encourage faithfulness to God and his word amongst American Anglicans.
(Mr Robert Tong 24/09/07)
35/07 Theological and pastoral debate
That this Synod,
Thankful to Almighty God for the inheritance of the Book of Common Prayer, and mindful of the biblical injunction for believers to gather together regularly as the Body of Christ –
(a) asks the Doctrine Commission to prepare a report for the next Synod presenting a theology of Christian assembly which can help shape authentic, biblical and Anglican orders of service suitable for the contemporary church, and
(b) asks the Archbishop’s Liturgical Panel to review its Sunday Services in consultation with the Doctrine Commission and the Diocese as a whole, and
(c) requests the Archbishop to appoint a committee to investigate and report on the architecture of buildings for contemporary church with special attention to the impact of technological changes, and
(d) invites members to submit written comments about any of the matters referred to in (a), (b) and (c) above to the Diocesan Secretary by 31 December 2007.
(The Rev Canon Sandy Grant 24/09/07)
36/07 Penal substitutionary atonement
(a) notes with concern recent public comments denigrating a penal substitutionary understanding of the atoning death of Christ, for example during Easter 2007 from the Dean of St Alban’s in England, and affirms the biblical teaching that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son truly incarnate as a human being, died in our place, bearing the curse of the Law and paying the penalty for our sin, and by so doing he reconciled us to God, expressed God’s determined love for us and together with his resurrection accomplished a complete victory over the principalities and powers, and
(b) requests the Diocesan Doctrine Commission to provide a report which explores the importance of penal substitution in understanding the Bible’s teaching on the atonement.
(The Rev Dr Bill Salier 24/09/07)
37/07 Biblical pattern of marriage
(a) affirms that the relationship of loving, sacrificial leadership of a husband and the intelligent, voluntary submission of a wife is the Biblical pattern of marriage, and
(b) totally rejects the use of this Biblical pattern to justify any form of domestic abuse, and
(c) totally rejects all forms of domestic abuse, and
(d) expresses its concern for those children, women and men, who are victims of domestic abuse, and
(e) calls on Christian husbands and wives to use their God-given responsibilities for the good of their families, and
(f) calls on ministers to teach congregations the Biblical model for marriage and also to teach against domestic abuse.
(Mrs Lesley Ramsay 25/09/07)
38/07 Fellowship meal for the proclamation of the Lord’s death
Synod requests the Diocesan Doctrine Commission to consider the appropriateness, with respect to the teaching of Scripture and the Anglican formularies, of Anglican churches having a fellowship meal for the proclamation of the Lord’s death, and to bring a report to Synod at a convenient time.
(Dr Barry Newman 25/09/07)
39/07 Mission funding strategy
(a) receives the report from the Mission Board Finance Committee about Appropriations and Allocations for 2009-2011, and
(b) agrees that the Mission Board Finance Committee, the Mission Board and the Standing Committee use the principles outlined in the report to shape the Synod allocations for the 2009 – 2011 triennium, and
(c) asks the Standing Committee to bring both a strategy report (including percentages by policy area) and a detailed Synod Appropriations and Allocations Ordinance for the 2009-2011 triennium to the Synod in 2008.
(Bishop Peter Tasker 25/09/07)
40/07 Parish Administration Ordinance
Synod, noting the report from the Ordinance Reform Group about the exposure draft for the Parish Administration Ordinance –
(a) supports in principle the approach taken in preparing the exposure draft, and
(b) requests that members provide comments in respect of the exposure draft to the Diocesan Secretary by 31 December 2007, and
(c) requests that a bill for the Parish Administration Ordinance 2008 be brought to the Synod in 2008 incorporating, as appropriate, comments made by members about the exposure draft.
(Bishop Robert Forsyth 25/09/07)