From the Bishop's OfficeWritten by Rt. Rev. Michael Oulton
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Blessings to you all on this rainy October day. I trust you all had times of renewal and refreshment over the Thanksgiving weekend and that the fall events in our parishes are now into full swing. I want to share with you some observations, thoughts, announcements and general information from the context of my office.
1. Synod Council
The report of the Resourcing Ministries Task Force Report, accepted at a special meeting of Synod Council on August 22nd, will soon be sent out for your information under a separate cover. Further to the report's reccomendations, the Council established a Finance Committee whose membership include three members of the Council, a representative from the Regional Deans and a representative from the Archdeacons. The committee may also co-opt an additional two members to assist in their work. The current membership includes from Synod Council Mr. Alex Pierson (Chair) Mr. Al Borthwick and Canon Michael Read along with Canon Chris Doering (Regional Dean) and The Ven. Bill Clarke (Archdeacon). Mr. John Secker, our financial officer supports the work of the committee in an advisory capacity.
The Finance Committee operates under the following terms of reference as it assists the Council in its governance reponsibilities:
(a) The review of annual parochial returns and all the financial statements of the parishes.
(b) The provision of a standard financial return form to indicate the complete finances of the parish.
(c) The securing of planned budget requirements for diocesan needs and responsibilities.
(d) The adjusting and coordinating of all estimates in consultation with appropriate bodies.
(e) The recommending of a CMM rate for the next calendar year.
(f) The periodic review of the CMM rate with responsibility to recommend any change.
(g) The submission of a draft budget and a recommended CMM rate to the Synod Council.
(h) The study and interpretation of financial policy and the recommendation of policy change to the Synod Council.
(i) Study and recommendation of the approval of exemptions for consideration by Synod Council.
(j) Annually review all items contained in the balance sheet.
(k) Such other duties as assigned to it by the Synod Council.
(l) Review financial results quarterly and provide Synod Council with an updated budget view/projections and recommendations on any actions.
The committee has quickly taken hold of its work and presented at the September meeting of Council a series of recommendations to deal with the projected budget deficit for 2011. This proposal included reducing diocesan expenditures in the fourth quarter by $25,000, deferring the proportional gift to the National Church in the fourth quarter and covering the remainder from reserves and available cash. This proposal was amended by the Council raising the reduction in diocesan expenditures to $35,000.
The Finance Committee is now working on the budget proposal for 2012 and a preliminary report will come before the Synod Council at its meeting tomorrow evening (October 25th)
2. Synod Council Membership
I have filled two of three vacancies on the Synod Council with the appointment of Mr. Alex Pierson of Christ Church Belleville to complete the term of Mr. Andrew Innes of St. Mary Magdalene Picton and we thank Andrew for his time and effort on the Council as a Bishop's appointee. The Rev. Brad Smith of the Parish of Tyendinaga has been appointed to complete the term of Rev. Richard Pitcher who has moved from Quinte Deanery and is now Interim Priest in Charge of the Anglican Churches of Quinte West. Thank you to Richard for his work as clergy member of Council from Quinte and thank you to Brad for taking on this responsibility.
I have one more vacancy to fill following the resignation of Mrs. Kate Anne Follwell of Christ Church Belleville who was a Bishop's appointee to Council and we thank Kate Anne for her work and for taking up work on the Events Committee as well as continuing as a candidate for the vocational diaconate.
I have an idea for how I want to go about filling this vacancy. I want to solicit your help in locating a candidate for appointment to the Council. I am sure that many of you know of folk in our parishes who bring a wide range of skills and gifts that we need in leadership within our Church or perhaps you have just needed that little nudge to say along with the Prophet Isaiah "Here am I send me!". If you would take the time to consider this or chat with someone you think would be a good candidate, it will be much appreciated by me. What I would like you to do is provide me with a brief biographical outline, the gifts and skills this person posesses and why you feel he\she would make a positive contribution to diocesan leadership on our Synod Council. I must admit to a bit of an ulterior motive here because this will also help me to begin to get a catalogue of potential leaders for other diocesan activities.
3. AWARE Conference
I want to extend thanks to the organizing committee of the just concluded AWARE conference which took place again this year at the beautiful facilities of Camp IAWAH. The guest speaker this year was Mrs. Emma Marsh, wife of retired Bishop Eddie Marsh of Central Newfoundland and about ninety women from our diocese gathered to be strengthened in faith, in mutual relationship and to be renewed by the Spirit. This year marked the tenth anniversary of AWARE in our diocese and Jeanie and I enjoyed their hospitality on Saturday night. I would encourage women in our diocese to consider coming to the event next year as a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and grow in faith.
4. Regional ACW meetings
I want to extend thanks to the organizers of the four regional ACW meetings which have just concluded. The welcome is always warm and along with the delicious lunch, comes some food for thought and soul with the guest speakers. This year I learned about the amazing work of a local charity, "The Guatamala Stove Project" which is based out of Perth and whose leaders presented at the Quinte deanery meeting. Debra Fieguth spoke to Leeds and Grenville about the many faceted aspects of hospitality and Anna Hamilton spoke to the Hastings meeting about their life in the Diocese of Moosenee. The Frontenac Deanery heard a presentation on the work of "Grandmothers to Grandmothers" which deals with the crisis situation in Africa due to HIV/AIDS among many other things.
The ACW make a tremendous contribution to the life of our Church locally, regionally and in the diocese as they live out the words of their prayer to live the love of God in prayer and work and stewardship. One more note of fun was the opportunity to surprise Canon Thora Rowe during the meeting of the Hastings region with a certificate honouring her twenty-five years since being ordained a deacon. Congratulations Thora and thanks for all your have given to the ministry of the the Church of Jesus Christ and your service to the ACW!
5. Thirty-fifth Anniversary of the Ordination of Women to the Priesthood
Speaking of anniversaries, the celebration of the thirty-fifth anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood will be held in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia from November 29th to December 2nd. The Rev. Nancy Beale will be attending this gathering and will bring information back for us to share upon her return. There is a facebook page set up to mark the anniversary and more information can be found there. Just type in `35th anniversary of the ordination of women priests in Canada``.
The following parishes are receiving expressions on interest at this time:
The Parish of Christ Church Belleville (received until October 31) (Rev. Geoff Howson, Interim)
The following parishes are continuing in the process toward interviews:
The Parish of St. Mark`s Barriefield (Interim: Canon David Ward)
The Pastoral Unit comprising Church of the Redeemer, Rockport (Interim: Ven. George Lambert) and Christ Church, Gananoque (Interim: Canon Bob Hales)
The following parishes are clergy vacant and being served in the interim:
The Parish of St. Mary Magdalene Picton (Interim: Rev. Ian Martin)
The Anglican Parishes of Quinte West (Interim: Rev. Richard Pitcher)
7. Bishop`s Principal Engagements
Tuesday, October 25th: Synod Council at Christ Church Cataraqui, 5:30p.m.
Sunday, October 30th: St. James, Maitland anniversary service, 10a.m.
St. John`s Portsmouth, Parish Supper, 5:30p.m.
Friday, November 4th: Synod Planning meeting
Sunday, November 6th: Parish of the Rideau
Saturday, November 19th: Lay Readers AGM at St. Paul`s Brockville.
November 20th-24th: National House of Bishops
Sunday, November 27th, Trinity Parish
Blessings to you all as you continue to serve the Church of Jesus Christ in the various callings and offices you hold.
Yours in the Service of Jesus,
- Bishop of the Diocese of Ontario
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