What is the primary action of the Church?
Is it feeding the hungry? Is it singing hymns of praise? Is it clothing the naked, or celebrating the Eucharist, or visiting the prisoner, or praying the prayer that Jesus taught us?
Those are all fine answers.
However, another possible answer is having a meeting.
A meeting, you say? Boring!
Isn’t that what is wrong with the church, too many meeting and not enough action? Are not the results of meetings just empty words and meaningless statements?
However, the Church has defined itself by synods and councils (fancy church-words for meetings) since the beginning – the councils of Jerusalem, Nicaea, Constantinople, Chalcedon…etc. These are some of the most important markers when we talk about the history and development of the Early Church.
The results of meetings can have profound impacts, moving people to tears of despair, or joy. Both were shed at this most recent General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
All this to say, meetings matter.
It is important for us to gather, to take council together, to dream, to make decisions, to connect with each other, and to remember that we are part of something bigger than just ourselves.
Meetings are imperfect, but the Spirit still moves through, and sometimes despite them, for the building up of the Kingdom.
There are many reasons to celebrate this most recent meeting that took place in Vancouver:the election of our first woman Primate, the creation of a self-determining Indigenous Church, the authorization of new liturgical resources, important decisions on eco-justice, interfaith and interreligious relations, and more. And, despite the failure of the second reading of the proposed amendment to the Marriage Cannon, this will be the meeting that will be remembered as the one after which equal marriage became widely available across the Anglican Church of Canada, including in our own diocese.
So, remember this next time you are sitting in a meeting. You are doing Kingdom-building work – the Spirit is moving.
Thanks be to God!
To read more about some of what happened at General Synod 2019, please go to the News section of our website and click the link to the list of articles.