From the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago.
140th SESSION OF THE ANNUAL SYNOD - COMMUNIQUÉ
‘Stewardship: Being Faithful’ was the theme selected for the 140th session of the Synod of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, which took place from May 16th-19th 2012. At the Opening Service, held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port of Spain, the Right Reverend Claude Berkley, Bishop of Trinidad and Tobago, presented the large congregation with a thought-provoking Charge.
The theme was inspired by 1 Corinthians 4:2 - ‘It is required of stewards that they be found faithful’. Elaborating, Bishop Berkley noted that Stewardship is an on-going process, involving every aspect of life; while being Faithful is accepting and responding diligently to God’s offer of himself. He added that a faithful steward is reliable, trustworthy and credible. Hence, as clearly demonstrated in the Book of Nehemiah, the Church must respond to challenges with prayer, vigilance and faith in God.
Further, in this, our Nation’s Jubilee Year of Independence, the Anglican Church must pledge continued allegiance to national ideals and nation-building.
The Bishop noted that as a nation we have much to celebrate, including our undertakings in education, sport, cultural expressions, fashion design and political organization which are all reflective of faithful stewardship.
Nevertheless, he highlighted several areas of national concern which cry out for action – particularly the plight of the young male, our poor care of the environment and the delivery of justice to the poor and marginalized. He asked Synod to reflect on the Church’s contribution to nation building and the need for Anglicans to uphold the same standards that are expected from others.
Bishop Berkley held fast to his metaphorical Vision of the Church as a New Wine Vineyard:‘‘where the entire community of stewards, labourers, tenants and others know and love God, in unity with each other; and where all branches are cared for and firmly connected to the vine; and in which the productive processes are high-level, sustainable and accountable functions resulting in a high-quality abundant yield of New Vine”
This, he explained, required emphasis on six main areas, which he asked the Synod to consider:
Rationalization of Resources.
He added that the perennial challenges of Communication, Compliance, Collaboration and Teamwork, Clergy Shortage, Maintenance and Repairs, Under Performance of some of our Primary Schools, Witness and Evangelism and Consolidation of the Board of Social Responsibility must also be tackled. In the face of all this, he issued a call to every Anglican, including the many who remain on the periphery, to come on-board to assist in creating an Anglican response to the challenges of these complex times.
The Budget was adopted by Synod. The Chancellor volunteered to lead a committee charged with preparing a two-year fund-raising programme to address the immediate needs of the Church. Several delegates made personal financial pledges to support the work of the Church.
The roles of Church Wardens were redefined. Synod agreed that the terms of redefinition would be incorporated into the Regulations. Objectives and responsibilities for the Board of Social Responsibility were approved.
Synod accepted a resolution for the establishment of a Christian Education Institute, with the necessary accreditation, to serve as an umbrella body to oversee all tertiary level Christian Education.
A Reconciliation Commission will be established to address the needs of individuals, including those who have been hurt by the Church. A Ministry of Prayer, counselling and healing will be offered out of the Holy Trinity Cathedral by the Cathedral Chapter.
The Bishop announced that Diocesan Family Day will be held on June7 at the Arima Velodrome – Theme “Stewardship – Being Faithful”.
Assignments were announced to various parishes in the Diocese and representation of the Church on the Trinidad Christian Council was formalised.
Celebrations recognising our Nation’s Jubilee will include:
The Synod remembered several persons who had passed on during the last year. The Bishop expressed gratitude to the retired bishops for their unstinting advice, to clergy for their support and to the laity for their kind cooperation on his maiden voyage. Archdeacon Primus congratulated the Bishop on a successful Synod. The session closed with Evening Prayer.
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