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A hybrid meeting of the Synod Council of the Diocese of Ontario was held on Tuesday, April 16, 2024 at 6 pm at St. Mark's Barriefield. Highlights of the meeting include:

Dean Doug Michael led devotions, focusing on Thomas in the Gospels. He told a story of a blue-collar parish in South Africa that offered to provide food for a nearby preschool. The people prepared food for the youngest of children, and gave it to them. There was food left over, so they offered it to the next youngest group, and then the next, and then the next, until the whole school was fed. In all around 500 children were fed. The effect on these people feeding 500 people was profound.  The parish ended up by funding three feeding programs, and an HIV/AIDS program in the diocese.

The question is – do we believe this? This is the same question of Thomas in the Gospels that we wrestle with today – do we believe this?

The Bishop spoke about his parish visits. Thanks to Mark Hauser, they are now published every week in the e-newsletter.  The Bishop attended his successor’s consecration in the Diocese of Brandon, and also celebrated at the funeral of Bishop George Bruce, his predecessor.

The minutes of the February 27 were approved with modifications.

The Audit Committee had Colleen Laurie, CA, presenting the 2023 Audit. Colleen described the audit process and then presented the highlights of the 2023 audit. The audit was approved by Synod Council, and will be published in full on the diocesan website.

Archdeacon Wayne Varley presented the ministry and worship reports.

  • The Reach and Stretch grants have received 4 Reach and 3Stretch grant requests. The Stretch grants have a more stringent criteria than the Reach grants. The Panel empowered by the diocese will interview all grant requests, and make decisions on them. These decisions will be announced when they are made.
  • DOORS – to date there are 15 applications, with 11 of those moving forward. The federal and provincial governments are looking to rural sites as well as urban. There is a new pathway – Economic Mobility – which will focus on displaced academics, for example. Archdeacon Varley reported that we have two bishops – the Roman Catholic Archbishop and our Bishop William – who fully support this program.

The report from Archdeacon Nancy Beale, administrator for St George’s, Trenton, was received.

Alex Pierson, CFO, reported on property and legal issues:

  • Waupoos – the former parish does not own the cemetery, it has been discovered. There is the thought of reestablishing the church as a summer community in the next year or so.
  • Legal – there are three statements of claim in process, and negotiations with insurance.
  • Insurance bills for congregations are being processed and will be sent out next week. The average bill is $7,511, and the Median is $4,700.

The bishop noted that of the $50,000 projected deficit, $29,000 has been raised to date.

St Mary Magdalene, Napanee, presented a motion to approve the electrical upgrade in the parish with funds provided by the parish Green Group.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of Synod Council will be Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at 6pm.

The approval of the minutes of the April 16 meeting are pending. For questions about Synod Council, please contact the Ven. David Selzer, Diocesan Executive Officer, by email at or by phone at 613-777-0540.