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An online virtual meeting of the Synod Council of the Diocese of Ontario was held on Tuesday November 23, 2021. Highlights of the meeting include:

The new Synod Council (as ratified at Synod 2021) met for the first time on Tuesday November 23, 2021.

The meeting was opened with a devotion lead by Archdeacon Wayne Varley.

Following an update from the Bishop, Council engaged in discussion around the recently updated AMBER STAGE guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic, utilization of Rapid Response Test (Antigen) for those under 12 years of age and those who cannot be vaccinated. Diocesan senior staff will review the input from Council.

As per the Canons, elections were held for the vice chair of Synod Council and two positions Council elects for the Executive Board. Council elected The Venerable David Selzer (Interim Dean of Ontario and Priest-in-Charge of St George’s Cathedral) as vice chair. Council also elected Barb Gilbert and the Rev Sandra Hounsell-Drover to be its members on the Executive Board. The Bishop announced the Rev Canon Michael Read and Russ Grant as his appointed members. Together with the bishop (chair), the Diocesan Executive Officer (DEO) and the Archdeacon for Ministry and Program (AMP), these four comprise the Executive Board for the next two years.

Council re-appointed Cunningham Swan (Kingston) as our Diocesan Solicitor and Wilkinson & Company (Kingston) as our Diocesan Audit Firm.

The DEO and Bishop lead a discussion on good governance, the role of Synod Council and how Council operates.

Following a discussion on the recent 2021 Synod, Bishop Michael advised Council he is travelling to each of the Synod Hubs and offering members of Synod, and others who may wish to join him, the opportunity to meet and discuss their Synod experience along with expressing any concerns that they may have. The highlights of those discussions, along with the results of the survey which is being sent out to members of Synod, will form the main parts of the summary report which will be provided to Council in the new year.

As part of the Finance Update, the 2022 Stipend, Salary and Housing Grids were approved along with the mileage reimbursement and Sunday Supply Clergy rates. These will be issued to Wardens and Treasurers in the next week as part of the 2022 Financial Guidelines and Planning Information Package from the DFO.

Consistent with the motion passed at Synod 2021 to tithe a share of the net proceeds of all property sales, Council passed a motion directing the DFO to transfer funds to the Healing Fund or such other Indigenous Ministry that may be designated by the National Indigenous Archbishop. Discussions have begun with Archbishop Mark MacDonald on both the use of and the appropriate marking of this gift from our diocese. This first 10% gift will come from the proceeds of the recently completed sale of the former rectory in Marmora.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of Synod Council will be Tuesday January 25, 2022 at 6pm. This meeting will be online only.

The approval of the minutes of the November 23 meeting are pending. For questions about Synod Council, please contact Alex Pierson, Diocesan Executive Officer, by email at or by phone at 613-544-4718.