Report Number: 024

Mission Co-ordination Group

Report to the Members of General Synod.

The Mission Coordination Group works to promote more effective ministry of the whole church by receiving information from its constituent members, identifying areas of collaboration and co-operation, with special emphasis on networking, education, advocacy and fundraising. This past triennium, members also reported progress with respect to initiatives on the New Agape and anti-racism.

The Mission Coordination Group is composed of members of standing committees, councils, and boards, including the newly incorporated PWRDF board and the Anglican Journal board. This triennium the following people represented these constituent groups:

Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples Verna Firth  
  Andrew Wesley Toronto
Council of the North Donald Harvey E. Nfld. and Labrador
EcoJustice Fiona Brownlee Quebec/Keewatin
Faith, Worship & Ministry Helena Rose Houldcroft Qu’appelle
  Dion Lewis Montreal
Financial Management and Development Geoff Jackson Ontario
Information Resources Committee Judy Darling Ottawa
Partners in Mission Committee Jennie Davis Montreal
Pensions John Sharpe Frederiction
  Ann Tottenham Toronto
Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund Board Marion Saunders Ontario
Chairs were: Cynthia Haines Turner, Western Newfoundland
Nick Parker, Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (until November 2002)
Bill Prentice, Ottawa (from November 2003)

The meetings were held twice yearly at St. Michael’s House, Community of the Sisters of the Church in Oakville and varied in length from 2-3 days.

The attendance at the meetings fluctuated somewhat over the three years, as for various reasons people were unable to attend, resulting in less than ideal conditions for the type of reporting and participation in the process that this group requires. The concern was brought to the Council of General Synod and was attended to by the constituent groups.

The Mission Coordination Group is not a decision making body, although it does bring motions to the Council of General Synod through its co-chairs. This allows for a more relaxed and informal atmosphere in the meetings. Reports are made and the group, as a whole, seeks to identify key issues, concerns, any areas of work that may have fallen through the cracks. The group also works to identifying areas or overlapping or areas where collaboration may be helpful, allowing for better stewardship of volunteer and staff resources.

As a vehicle for monitoring the work of General Synod, this group functions well. Certainly, if this group did not exist, this work would have to be done by another body. In this forum, the governance of General Synod by its members is strengthened as the volunteer members of committees and members of the Council of General Synod in cooperation with the staff accomplish the oversight for its mission. Final decision-making responsibility rests with the Council of General Synod.

In response to the problems surrounding litigation, two groups were incorporated to form their own board. It is vital that the connection between these groups and General Synod remain strong as they are still very much a part of the life and mission of the Church. The Mission Coordination Group is one area where that connection can be maintained and nurtured.

In addition to the reception and discussion of ongoing reports, a number of important projects, issues, etc. were highlighted/monitored/discussed over the three years:

Because of financial restraints, a joint meeting of sub-committees and the Council of General Synod did not take place during the last triennium. Such face-to-face interaction is valuable to the whole Church as it allows committees to understand more fully the structure of General Synod and their role within that structure in a way that sharing reports and receiving information does not. It is the recommendation of the Mission Co-ordination Group that there be a meeting of committee chairs early in the new triennium (September 2004) to provide orientation to the chairs on the work of the various committees, with a further a combined meeting of the committees and the Council of General Synod midway through the triennium (fall 2005) to facilitate networking and information sharing.

As the General Synod adopts a new strategic plan, coordination of its mission will continue to be a necessary and important part of the work to be done. The Mission Coordination Group, having now grown and developed over six years, will be able to play a valuable role in the effective implementation of that plan.