Today was our final day of CoGS meetings until the new year. 

Thinking back on the last four days, a lot has happened. We went from a group that didn’t know one another very well, to a group learning to work together. We started as a group where the vast majority of our members had not served on the Council of General Synod before. Over our days together, we learned about the national church’s current structure, our roles and responsibilities as a council. We learned about and participated in different decision-making modalities - experimenting with consensus-based models alongside a more parliamentary procedure - and also started the work of crafting proposals and motions for our work moving forward. 

I have been grateful for our table group and the opportunity it provided to get to know a small group of people in a deeper way. We have had good conversations made more trusting through time spent together, offering glimpses into our own lives, lineages, and longings. Through prayer and Bible study, through conversation, through proposing motions, through mealtimes, and casual conversations in the breaks, we had the opportunity to come to know one another as we would wish to be known.

[From Left to Right] Kim Chadsey, Skyeler Quilty, Rosie Jane Tailfeathers, Andrew Stephens-Rennie, Cynthia Haines Turner, Murray Still

One of the final exercises we participated in focused on how we would like to take these experiences home. What would we do, what would we say, and to whom? By this point, I had already started to write these daily reflections. 

Members of the group representing the Province of BC and Yukon suggested that one thing to do would be to make sure that folks in our dioceses had a chance to read them. And so, in addition to putting these reflections on the Diocese of Kootenay’s website, I’ve shared them on facebook, emailed links to Diocesan Bishops in the Province, and posted them to the Provincial website. Of course, that’s one way of sharing about the work of our church at a national level. It's not the only way. 

One of the questions I'm taking home is this: “what might people want to know?” It's not a question I need to ponder only in my heart, though, so I'm throwing it over to you--whoever you may be--as you read these words.

What do people across the Province of BC/Yukon want to know about? What questions do you have about how the church works on a national level? What do you want to know about from folks who we gather with when we meet in Toronto? What do you want to hear about what God is doing in places unlike our own? What would you like to see us doing across the country, as a church together? How can we, as a group from this province, help connect what we do in our home communities with the wider work of the church?

[From Left to Right] Walter Kagura, Charlotte Hardy, David Lehmann, Andrew Stephens-Rennie (not pictured, Sarah Lehman)

I would love you to write me with your thoughts on this. I’d love to find ways to bring your thoughts and wonderings, your insights and questions with me when next we gather in May 2024. It’s one thing to have been elected to go to these meetings, it’s another to represent the needs and concerns of our provincial Anglican community well. It’s my hope that I (and that we as members from BC Yukon) can be in regular touch with folks in the communities where we live, serve, work, and worship. 

As you offer questions and insights, I would hope to include such thoughts in these reflections, as we discern our way forward as faithful Christians, as parishes, as dioceses, and as a province. As we do so, may we hold one another in prayer, that God would continue to animate our lives, and lead us to serve the world God loves, with reverence, determination, and care.