THIS WEEK at St. Stephen’s … for September 25, 2011
This Friday night and Saturday, as many members of St. Stephen’s roam our aisles, wine glass in hand, perusing stunning artwork from some of Calgary’s top artists, others will be sitting in small table groups poring over the diocesan rule book. It may not seem fair, but some work so that others may play.
The work of Synod is to govern the life of our diocese. We are an episcopal church, meaning we are led by a bishop (one with “oversight”, which is the combined meaning of the Greek words epi and scopé). But we are governed by a democratic body—Synod—which is composed of clergy and lay members elected from the parishes. Synod meets annually, or at the call of the Chair, to govern the diocese through its laws, or “canons”, which prescribe how parishes operate, how clergy are employed, and how the diocese manages its funds. From time to time, as at this week’s Synod, those laws need to be revised to reflect changing times.
This may not sound as exciting as an art show, but Synod does have a vital place in the life of the church. Unlike the business world where, all other considerations aside, a company must reflect its success on a bottom line, the church succeeds where it embodies the teachings it espouses. In other words, how we do things is as important as what it is we do. Thankfully, next weekend, our Synod delegates will be attending to this on our behalf.