Thursday, May 13, 2010

General Synod (Thursday)

8.57am Thought I might try live blogging today!

Reflections on yesterday include appreciation at a greater honesty in speech about some presenting difficulties in our church.

Very pleased that we have achieved what has been achieved in respect of St John’s College. Somehow we have managed to not only name the elephant in the room but also to herd it out. Of course we are hoping we are replacing it with a thoroughbred racehorse, but we may yet find we have ushered a camel into our midst!

Others are blogging while here at General Synod: noticed or pointed out to me are Available Light, Colourful Dreamer, and General Synod 2010. Worth a read ... some amazing stories and reflections emerging.

9.08 Business session underway. One of the youth stewards is on the job ... taking coffee orders! However the Synod is not fuelled by coffee alone. Morning eucharist and group Bible study has already taken place.

Motion 21: asking NZ government to honour the Millennium Development Goals.

9.38 am Motion 21 carried unanimously, after good speeches supporting it, including one pointing out that most of us, in reality as rich Westerners, do very little about poverty in the world.

9.40 Terms of Reference for a Resource Sharing Commission approved. The purpose of this commission, in summary, is to find ways and means of sharing resources between Pakeha dioceses and Maori hui amorangi. Resource sharing has taken place in the past. Helpful. But more could be done with a greater share of the resources. Big question, however, is whether a GS Commission can move from 'talk feast' to 'opening the larders'. Diocesan possession of cherished endowments etc are firmly held on to ... and it is not as though there is not ministry and mission work to be done within the Dioceses. But something can be done. It is always a matter of where there is a will ...

10.25 am Still talking about the Resource Sharing Commission! The motion is not the problem. But the motion provides for each tikanga to provide names for the commission. In our tikanga caucus we have used the opportunity to share our thoughts, hopes, and dreams about the commission and what it might achieve. And to suggest some names ... always interesting to work out how best to represent seven dioceses, men-and-women, clergy-and-lay, two islands with as few people as possible!!

We may be indulging ourselves in this discussion timewise because the business before the Synod today is not excessive.

11.16 am Back in another caucus! This time on a technical matter to do with the formal suspension of the Board of Oversight of St John's College. That Board is constituted canonically; it needs to be de-constituted canonically!

11.57 am Moving along. Completed the St John's College bill. Te Kotahitanga now has a huge challenge on its hands: find a top Commissary ... today! Stirring report from Archbishop-elect Winston Halapua on the Diocese of Polynesia.

This is a very spiritual synod: we are pausing for prayer after items for business in a way I have not personally know before in my experience of General Synod.

[Humour] This is a very spiritual synod. Many members heads are bowed during business. Wait. Why are they seated about a foot back from their tables? What are their hands doing? Is that an electronic emailing device I see?

I used to wonder how Jesus achieved anything in his training and teaching without powerpoint. Now I wonder how he got anything organised without an iPhone! [Smile]

12.59 pm Middle of lunch. Synod very relaxed now. Not much business at all left (timewise), though what is left is important. It is a happy Synod overall.

2.08 pm Synod relaxedly returning from lunch. Absolutely no hurry at all :)

3.43 pm Has nothing happened in the last hour and a half? Sort of. Synod went into a 'committee' level which meant non-members were asked to leave proceedings so some things could be discussed in a free and frank manner without fear of media broadcasting the discussion. Now it is afternoon tea time. Just a little more business to go.

3.59 pm A press release re the above matter discussed in committee will be released soon. Will let you know when that is available.

4.45 pm May have to shut the blogging machine down before heading for the plane!

Friday 6.58 am Home after good flights. Missed the concluding hakari (feast), but that is good for my waistline. Members of the Post Ordination Training group are desperate to have me back ... of course they are!!

What was that committee session of GS on Thursday afternoon about? Te Aute College Trust Board and a forward moving development plan to lift it out of a very tight spot. Since I was not present for the debate of the plan please read the official news here.

Please keep in touch with the actual news service here through Taonga, representing herculean efforts by my mates Lloyd and Brian. (‘Herculean’, by the way, not only refers to the words you actually read, but also the words they write which do not make it to publication. They have to follow debates, tapping away, but in the end, the outcome of the debate might mean erasing many of those words because they contribute nothing to the story they need to tell).


Simon M said...

Hi Anglican downunder nice to see you here at synod. I have been very pleasantly suprised at the level of constructive & very informative debate. I have heard many comments like this from all 3 houses.

Anonymous said...

Peter, for your very many readers the pachyderm remains anonymous. Can you spell out the problem(s) and the perceived solutions?