The following are highlights of some of the issues discussed by the Executive Committee at its recent meeting in Yellowknife.
Regional Deans are important to the success of ministry in the Diocese because they have regular contact with parishes in their respective deaneries. It was decided that they would be required to attend all future Executive Committee meetings. They would have a voice at the meetings but they would not have voting rights.
Our Chancellor provided an overview of the issue on paying for the cathedral. This is a crisis situation. Bishop David will meet with a media consultant to get the message out to solicit help and to let the receiver and general public in on our discussions.
Policy for Protection of Children/Screen Policy
The Chancellor provided an overview of the document indicating that it was adopted from the policy used in the Diocese of Toronto. He stressed the need to have such a policy in place. The Chancellor was asked to develop a summary of this approved policy. The policy be translated prior to distribution.
Building Use Policy
The Chancellor said that based on the current use of the buildings in the Diocese, a policy was drafted to help us better use our buildings and facilitate better planning of timing for different groups. We need to ensure that there are no issues with contact between groups using our facilities. We also need to make certain that users are responsible for activities in our buildings and there is no parish or diocese responsibility. He also stressed that each parish should have set rates for use of their buildings (to cover costs). This policy was approved.
Bishop Darren said ATTS has been a location for many years and has produced clergy but not lay leaders. It is being suggested that ATTS be made a program that can move from parish to parish. He has spoken to different colleges about this training as distance education course that can be provided on DVD and request reading and coursework. Perhaps we could get 5 or 6 people together in one place and bring in an instructor and have 2 to 5 weeks training. Have different locations doing different modules. This is a possible new image for ATTS – a school that travels from parish to parish throughout the Diocese.
Compass Rose Visit
Bishop David indicated that he has been in discussions with Bishop Philip Poole regarding the possible visit of the Compass Rose Society to the Diocese of the Arctic in either 2014 or 2015. They plan to invite the Archbishop Canterbury to join them. It is being suggested that the Society visit Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Yellowknife.
Circumpolar Conference – Inuvik Summer 2014
Bishop David said that a circumpolar conference is being planned for Inuvik during the summer of 2014. He has been in contact with the Inuvialuit Development Corporation to see how we might be able to help. He asked members to think about this and we would discuss it during upcoming teleconferences. Caleb thought this might be a good opportunity for youth to perhaps lead gospel jamborees every evening. Plans will be developed as the event gets closer.
Bishop David said that he would like to have more contact with the Executive Committee and suggested that regular teleconferences be established. It was decided that Executive members and Regional Deans teleconferences would take place every 2 months.
Regular Clergy Teleconferences
Bishop David said that he would like to begin monthly clergy teleconferences as a way to catch up and encourage one another. There would be one English and one Inuktitut teleconference. It was suggested that parishes without clergy could certainly have layleader(s) join in on the calls. It was decided that the English teleconference would take place on the 3rd Tuesday of every month at noon (MST) 2:00 (EST) and the Inuktitut teleconference would take place the 3rd Wednesday of every month at noon (MST) 2:00 (EST).
Bishop David stressed the need for a clergy conference for people to come and share with us to build us up and encourage us in our mission. This conference could be for clergy and layleaders. The Clergy “ministers” Conference will have some educational component, some inspirational and encouraging component, sharing of parish/personal items and concerns, Bible study and prayer. A possible date might be a week or so after Easter or a few weeks before Easter, and very likely in Baker Lake.
Bishop David indicated that we have been asked to have weddings outside of church buildings. Either in other buildings such as community halls or outside. Other dioceses have given permission for weddings to take place outside of the sanctuary, in gardens, private homes, etc., but our Diocese has not allowed this. Our ongoing policy is that the ceremony must take place in the church building. Other church buildings can be used at the clergy’s discretion, but community halls of various descriptions, gardens, etc., cannot be used without the Bishop’s prior consent. This is because the church building has a sense of the sacred about it and the clergy have a better control of the events that will take place in the ceremony. Following discussion a policy statement was developed and approved.
Because of the potential impact that mining may have on the Inuit of the High Arctic, the Bishop agreed that priests and layleaders could be directly involved in the Inuit Impact and Benefits Agreement process.
Clergy Care (Suicide Training)
The issue of sharing the work we do with in this area with organizations in our respective areas was mentioned. The amount of time clergy spend in crisis situations was also highlighted. It was also noted that the clergy and layleaders are involved after a suicide takes place. Secular organizations are ok but unless they involve the clergy there is no way they can touch people. Instead of reacting how can we deal with this issue. David Simailak mentioned BLAST a youth program in Baker Lake. BLAST does events such as walks and workshops. The church is the only one able to fight powers and principalities. Is there something the church can do in terms of active prevention. Let’s stop being reactors and find a way to be proactive in prevention.
Next Diocesan Synod
The next Diocesan Synod will be held in 2016. Investigation as to the best place to host Synod will be undertaken and a location determined at a future meeting.
Date & Location of Next Meeting
The next meeting will be by teleconference on November 26, 2013, at 9am (MST) and the next face to face meeting will be held from September 17 – 24, 2014, in Yellowknife