My first Synod
It was with anticipation and a little apprehension I set off to the Yorkshire Synod at Christ Church, Halton, Leeds, on Saturday the 13th October. Navigation isn't a strong attribute of mine but I made it with time to spare for a cup of tea and catch up with folk I have met at previous meetings before the opening worship began.
There was a buzz in the hall and I got the feeling that
the delegates and attendees were glad to be there. I put all my papers in order and so began a long day of listening, participating, praying, worshipping and discerning the future and purpose of the Yorkshire Synod.
I took from the worship the text from the book of Micah Chap.6 v8: And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
We were given a brown envelope to take back to our churches with various publications inside, which I am sure will be shared with you all.
Before lunch we had four items:
1. The Christian Aid Tax Bus has been visiting Yorkshire; we were urged to encourage our churches to send the postcards to David Cameron asking him to work for Tax Justice and to eradicate Tax avoidance.
2. Many are Called...a framework for mission and ministry across Yorkshire. This builds on the March 2012 Mission and Ministry document and after discussion the meeting passed the resolution to take the report's recommendations back to our churches, Mission and Care Groups and Synod Committees for further discussion ahead of the March 2013 Synod. So: be prepared to hear more about this document as it underpins the future thinking for mission and ministry in Yorkshire.
3. Reflections on General Assembly July 2012: Katie Kissack (read by Chris Reed-Synod Clerk) for the young people and Janet Virr gave their impressions of their first visit to General Assembly. Well done Janet your presentation gave us a good insight into the highs and lows of attending such an event.
4. The work of CYDO (Children and Youth Development officer) Mick Maskell is retiring from this post and discussions have been taking place in Synod about the future provision for children and youth. After discussion in the afternoon and amendments it was agreed that further discussions were needed around the creation of a Youth Chaplain to work within the existing team for children and young people. The group will report again at the March 2013 Synod. The Youth executive gave their report. They were disappointed in the lack of attendance at Synod by young people.
Before a very good lunch of soup and dessert we were asked to note the various fliers and adverts for courses during the next six months: Youth Assembly; Treasures training for children's workers and Conflict Awareness training.
Lunch revived me as I was beginning to feel an information overload! The main items in the afternoon were:
1. Radical Welcome. That dreaded title again! The task group gave a presentation on their thinking and asked us the question: When were you last shown generous hospitality? When was the door closed in your face? The meeting agreed the resolution which stated that we endorsed the task Group's programme of providing a resource in the form of Synod- wide roadshows to encourage churches to explore Welcome as they seek new ways of engaging with their local communities. Watch out for a roadshow coming to SPACE.
2. The accounts for the year to December 2011 were received.
3. The meeting accepted the report from the Office Manager Post review Group and authorised its implementation with the amendment that recruitment procedures be tightened up.
4. The Moderator spoke about his report which is a separate document in the SPACE page.
5. The last item was the review of Mission and Care groups. It was agreed that the interim report and recommendations be taken back to local churches for discussion and to give feedback by the end of January 2013 to inform the March 2013 Synod. N.B Our Mission and Care Group hasn't had a meeting recently.
I have tried to give a flavour of my first day at Synod and to inform on the day's proceedings. On the whole I enjoyed it and I think benefitted from attending. It was tiring as sitting for long periods tends to be. We should have had lots of ‘Shuffle breaks'!
We finished with an act of worship led by our Moderator entitled:
over the hill...
....but what a view!
I hope I haven't bored you all too much; that is if you have managed to read to the end! I will gladly try to answer any questions.