+ The Diocese of the Northeast Anglican Church in America
Office of the Bishop September 10, 2020 Synod Update
Dear Friends in Christ,
Many of you have asked questions about our scheduled diocesan synod: will the synod be “in person?”; will it be conducted virtually?; will it be safe to attend?; do I have to be present to participate?; will you accept proxy votes?; and what about clericus and the Lay Leadership Conference? I will attempt to answer these and other questions in this letter. First, the diocesan synod will be accomplished virtually, primarily through Zoom. We have held several meetings over the past three months using Zoom technology. Though far from ideal (it is far better to be together in the same room), the covid pandemic requires us to practice safety. Accordingly, both the Standing Committee meeting and the Diocesan Synod business meeting will be accomplished using Zoom. Those who call in using the Zoom technology will be able to participate in the meeting. Some of us may be unfamiliar with Zoom. Still others are just getting used to this technology. You may wish to join together at your parish church and join the synod as a parish. St. Luke's plans to do just that. A small group of delegates who practice distancing could participate safely in the meeting using one Zoom system. A small number of clergy and lay delegates will, however, be present for one or more meetings. This is necessary for a variety of reasons. An ordination, for example, is scheduled for Saturday morning, October 31 at 11:00. Ordinations cannot be performed virtually. This sacramental act requires that a bishop, the ordinand, a sponsoring clergyman and a congregation be present for the laying on of hands. All necessary precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of participants. Nevertheless, should any health emergency occur, such as a severe spike in covid cases, the ceremony will be postponed. Our tentative Synod schedule is as follows: 9:00 – 10:30 Saturday morning, October 31. Meeting of the Standing Committee via Zoom. 11:00 Saturday morning, October 31. The ordination. God willing, Mr. Michael McKinnon-Dane will be ordained to the diaconate. We hope to have the ordination, along with the Synod Mass live streamed. A video should also be available on the diocesan website. 1:00 – Saturday afternoon, October 31. Meeting of the Synod of the Diocese of the Northeast. Proxy Form A proxy form is being developed by our chancellor, Wally Jones. We are requesting that every delegate sign a form and return it. Proxies will be recorded as present and votes cast in their names. This will ensure we have a quorum and enable us to conduct the business of the diocese. Once completed, the proxy form will be distributed by email attachment or, if necessary, by snail mail. Clericus Clericus is scheduled for Friday morning, October 30 in the Trinity Church parish hall. Once again, this will be a virtual event. A few presenters will be available, as will the media team. Though the clericus is normally reserved for clergy, this clericus will be open to all. The presentations, which focus on evangelism and growth, are certainly of interest to all members of the diocese. Presenters include: Canon Jeff Monroe, Father Matt Mirabile and Father Gary Drinkwater. Lay Leadership Conference The Lay Leadership conference is under the direction of Barry Vaill, who has developed the program over the past two years. Barry has expressed a desire to go forward with an in person program and it will likely be held on Friday morning, October 30. Please note that this is a change in the schedule; originally, the conference was scheduled for Thursday, October 29. The Lay Leadership Conference will be held at the hotel. Final details should be forthcoming prior to the meeting date. The Synod Planning Team Finally, I must offer thanks to all who are planning the Synod events. Alice Snow has done a superb job responding to the necessary changes. She has, along with Canon Linnea Shaver, issued several updates on hotel reservations, changes in registration information and fees, as well as a multitude of other details.
Allan Wylie will once again put together the synod booklet. We typically produce hard copies for synod delegates, but I expect that the booklet will be distributed this year by email attachment. Should anyone require a hard copy, please let me know. Many thanks to Allan for producing an attractive and useful synod document.
The new media team is doing some exceptional work in preparation for the synod. Canon Jeff Monroe chairs the team. Father Matt Mirabile and media coordinator, Father Brad Matthias, are assembling the necessary technical infrastructure. The team has done some remarkable work over the past several months and I encourage you to watch the various services and interviews that are available on our diocesan website.
Please know of my prayers for you all as we prepare for the diocesan synod.
Your Brother in Christ,