An online virtual meeting of the Synod Council of the Diocese of Ontario was held on Tuesday April 27, 2021. Highlights of the meeting include:
- The bishop introduced the new Program Engagement Co-ordinator, Taylor Lynch, who has begun this contract position, focused on developing community ministry strategy and plans in North Kingston, centered on our new Adelaide Street Mission Centre. She is engaging a range of community groups providing services, gathering available research and talking to individuals to understand the needs, current services and opportunities to serve ourselves or with partners. The intention is that her work will also create a template and framework for use in other places in the diocese.
- Robin Jones made a presentation on behalf of the Executive Board for a New Ministry Grant Program focused on supporting and encouraging churches and groups with new ministry initiatives. The program builds on the spirit and legacy of the previous “Covenant Grant” program. There will be two levels of the program, with a simple and easy to navigate application and approval process. Synod Council approved the program, along with an allocation of funds from the New Ministry Fund. More information will become available soon as the program begins.
- The DEO/CFO presented Council with the first quarter financial package. This included the Diocesan Operating Fund (a slight surplus in QI), year end forecast (balanced and on budget), parish receivables (flat from last year), the Central Investment Fund (up just under 5% for the quarter) and parish income reduction/CEWS. There was also discussion about the 2022 budget process and the challenges developing it.
- A request for approval for a capital project was received from St George’s, Trenton, for work on the parish hall exterior. The request was approved. All churches should note that any project which requires a building permit or a large expense is required to come to Synod Council for approval.
- Canon Michael Read and Alex Pierson updated Council on plans for Synod 2021 this October. This is planned to be a “hybrid” Synod, with a number of “hub” sites connected to the central site. If necessary, we can defer to an “at home” Synod that is entirely online (if COVID-19 remains a major restriction in October). The plan is still to hold the full content of Synod (business, worship, program, booths/exhibits, fellowship, etc). Options are being kept open to adapt as required in response to changing pandemic conditions.
- Council also heard updates from the Worship Committee, Stewardship & Congregational Development Committee and the Archdeacon of Ministry and Program on ongoing ministry.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of Synod Council will be Tuesday May 25, 2021 at 6pm. This meeting will be online only.
The approval of the minutes of the April 27 meeting are pending. For questions about Synod Council, please contact Alex Pierson, Diocesan Executive Officer, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 613-544-4718.