Sunday, September 1, 2013

Synod is coming up!

I have two motions to propose at the next Christchurch Synod (this weekend, Friday 6th to Saturday 7th September). Unfortunately the latest printing of the Synod papers has a draft rather than final version of the two motions. I understand the final version of each will be in the papers handed out at the beginning of Synod. Here they are:

"Motions for September 2013 session of Synod:

Mover in both cases: Peter Carrell
Seconder in both cases: Ruth Wildbore

That this Synod:
(1)  Notes a resolution from General Synod 2012,  “THAT this General Synod/ te Hinota Whanui resolves:

That given the long‐held mission of our Church to challenge and support couples publicly to commit themselves to each other,

Asks Episcopal Units to hold conversations in our Church and with the wider community about the nature of marriage,

And to explore how the Church might theologically and liturgically respond to gay and lesbian Anglican couples who request this rite,

Further, it asks General Synod Standing Committee to support and resource the Episcopal Units in this endeavour;

And for Episcopal Units to demonstrate progress to the General Synod Standing Committee and where appropriate, to Ma Whea? Mei Fe Ki Fe? Where to? Commission, in advance of the next General Synod/te Hīnota Whānui in 2014.”

(2)  Notes the existence and work of the Ma Whea Commission, as well as other work of a theological and doctrinal nature instituted by General Synod Standing Committee, with a view to the deliberations of these bodies informing further discussion of likely motions (at least two of which lie on the table from General Synod 2012) concerning ordination of partnered gay and lesbian persons, marriage, same sex marriage and liturgies for relationships at General Synod 2014;

(3)  Requests the Bishop and the diocesan representatives to General Synod 2014 to prayerfully discern the mind of this Diocese on these and any related matters which come before General Synod 2014.

      UPDATE: The following clause 4 replaced the clause 4 I originally proposed (now below the dashed line) and now forms the agreed wording for the motion:
      (4) Noting the cautions expressed in our Bishop’s charge about the care we should take in changing a long-held doctrine of the Anglican Church, this Synod believes more time is needed to give in-depth consideration to the theological foundations of the doctrine of marriage.

We therefore request General Synod in 2014 to postpone any decision concerning changing the doctrine of marriage to at least the 2018 General Synod.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

(4)  Affirms the doctrine of marriage of this church, as explained in Clause 1.3 of Title G Canon III Of Marriage.

Appendix to Motion: Clause 1.3 of Title G Canon III reads as follows:

“The minister shall provide education to the parties seeking marriage on the Christian understanding of marriage, or see that such education is provided by some other competent person, in accordance with any Guidelines that General Synod may from time to time issue.
In particular the minister shall ascertain that the parties understand that Christian marriage is a physical and spiritual union of a man and a woman, entered into in the community of faith, by mutual consent of heart, mind and will, and with the intent that it be lifelong.
The Church's teaching on Christian marriage is enshrined in the Formularies of the Church and is expressed in all the marriage services in the Formularies and in the introduction for the congregation to Christian marriage in A New Zealand Prayer Book - He Karakia Mihinare o Aotearoa, (See Schedule II of this Canon).”
Explanation: ‘Formularies’ here means the Book of Common Prayer and A New Zealand Prayer Book – He Karakia o Aotearoa. Schedule II of the Canon collects together teaching on marriage enshrined in our prayer books.

That this Synod:
(1)   Notes that 2014 is the bicentenary year of the first preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ, at Oihi, on Christmas Day, by the Reverend Samuel Marsden with Ruatara interpreting;

(2)   Encourages ministry units in the Diocese of Christchurch to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ with renewed vigour and creativity;

(3) Asks each ministry unit in the Diocese to undertake at least one new evangelistic initiative during 2014."


Father Ron Smith said...

"(3) Asks each ministry unit in the Diocese to undertake at least one new evangelistic initiative during 2014."

- Peter Carrell -

Regarding this item in your second Motion, Peter; one might suggest an evangelisitc openness to the open acceptance and encouragement of the LGBT community in society - so that they may understand that the Church is meant for 'outsiders' as well as those within.

As for your first Motion, I see this as a reminder of what always has been ACANZP's attitude towards the Sacrament of Marriage - as that between heterosexual partners, intent on producing a family or not; whereas, what Ma Whea is currently investigating - for our Church - is to see whether the parameters could be extended to include faithful, committed same-sex relationship.

Your first motion seems to want to pre-empt anything that might come out of the Ma Whea Commission. Is that really helpful, do you think?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I am sure parishes and other ministry units will welcome suggestions.

My first motion is designed to generate discussion.

Rev. Ngira Simmonds said...

Tēna Koe Peter,
If I were there Id either oppose your second motion, or offer an amendment.
Was Ruatara's role simply interpreting the sermon from Marsden? Or did he, by his actions and words, infact preach a sermon himself.
The euro-centric view that you offer is a common error in my opinion, but one held by many Pākeha in Aotearoa. I hold that Ruatara was not simply the assistant in this story. He preached too, and his words and actions had an impact that saw the seed og the Gospel sown in the whenua and in the hearts of Māori.

Kia ora ra,

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ngira
I hope you would amend the motion and not oppose it.
The purpose of the motion is to celebrate the preaching of the gospel in Aotearoa NZ, not to start, continue or finish an ongoing historical and theological argument about the character of the preaching and the characters who preached the gospel on that day!

Andrei said...

so that they may understand that the Church is meant for 'outsiders' as well as those within.

The "GLBT community" are hardly "outsiders" in 21st century New Zealand Fr Ron

There are more "GLBT" members of parliament than there are "open catholic" ones and probably more of them than practicing Anglicans.

They also are dominant in the media which they used and continue to they great purpose to proselytize their agenda.

The claim that the alphabet sexual identity brigade are "marginalized" in this day and age is one of the greatest absurdities I have ever heard.

Matthew 24

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Anonymous said...

A Euro-centric pov is not an "error" for Europeans, or those in NZ who are of European descent, anymore than a Maori-centric pov is an error for Maori.

Anonymous said...


I agree. Regardless of our various views on the issue of same-sex attraction, to describe Western people of almost any sort as marginalized is absurd. A child living on a rubbish heap in Mexico, or a family living in the slums of India, or starving to death in Africa are marginalized. Wealthy Westerners with democratic representation are not.

Chris Nimmo said...

Shawn - a Euro-centric perspective is an error if it obscures what actually happened.

That said, I'm not sure we necessarily know what really happened, although I imagine that Rev. Ngira would know much better than I would.

Perhaps a suggestion of what the motion could be amended to would be useful?

Brian Dawson said...

Hi Peter, Two thingsL just clarifying that to my knowledge there is only one motion lying on the table at GSTHW - the one from Waiapu on Episcopal Autonomy and ordination. The second motion on Same-Gender Blessings (in my name) was withdrawn.

Secondly, just noting for those commenting above that while society may have opened its doors to "the alphabet sexual identity brigade" (thank you very much-quite unhelpful) the Church certainly has not, and that's what is being addressed here.

Of course if the Church would like to be as pen as society, then there wouldn't be such claims!


Anonymous said...


The Church and "society" are not the same thing, and following the world is never a useful path for the Church. It also very debatable how "open" our society really is, rather than just captive to cultural Marxism. Some Israeli tourists would certainly have a different pov about NZ's supposed openness and tolerance. Selectively open and very hypocritical would to my mind be more accurate.

Any decision on same sex blessings or companionship blessings ( I'm not opposed to the second option necessarily ) should be made on the basis of solid and serious theological work and not on the opinion of society, especially one as corrupt and degraded as ours. The modern world is not our friend or our compass.

Anonymous said...

The problem I have with the "LGBT" label is that it reduces real human beings to just another political football, human beings with often far more complex lives than such a simplistic label allows for.