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House of Deputies President urges Canadian Anglicans to 'develop and expand our relationship'

By ENS staff

Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies  

[Episcopal News Service]  Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies, told the Council of the Anglican Church of Canada's General Synod on November 10 that she sees a growing relationship of mutuality and respect between the two Anglican provinces.

"I think we have before us, as the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church, an opportunity to create a model of mutuality and conversation in the Anglican Communion," she said.

"How might we, as sisters and brothers in Christ, together model mutuality? Could we work together to develop and expand our relationship in an intentional manner that would build trust and communication in our region among and between all orders of ministry before our bishops go off to Lambeth in July of 2008? Could we work together in faithfulness to God's mission to eradicate world poverty through the Millennium Development Goals?"

Anderson attended the Council at the invitation of Anglican Church of Canada Primate Andrew Hutchison and secretary general Michael Pollesel. The Council met in Mississauga, Ontario, just outside Toronto, November 10 and 11.

During a part of the meeting agenda titled "Partnership with the Episcopal Church, USA," Anderson gave a brief summary of the history of the General Convention and the role of deputies. She also spoke about the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In an open forum following her talk, Anderson answered questions from Council members regarding the Episcopal Church's anti-racism efforts, environmental concerns, governance, and mission.

The agenda for the meeting included a proposal to revise slightly the province's primate election process. The General Synod will meet in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in June. The clergy and lay representatives will elect a Primate, selected from a slate of nominees prepared by the bishops. The new Primate will be installed at the close of the General Synod meeting and will take office at that time.

The Council of the General Synod is the body that oversees the implementation of General Synod decisions and any matters referred to it by the Primate. It meets twice a year between General Synod sessions. It is responsible for overall strategic planning and visioning within the mandate of the General Synod, according to the Church's website. It also coordinates the work of all committees, councils, boards, commissions and divisions of General Synod.

Its membership is made up of the Primate, prolocutor, deputy prolocutor, chancellor and general secretary (ex-officio), and 32 members, both lay and clergy, elected to represent each diocese, one from the Military Ordinariate and four youth, elected from each ecclesiastical province at General Synod.

Anderson traveled from the Council meeting on November 11 to a meeting in Chicago of the Episcopal Church's equivalent body, the Executive Council.