Synod 2014

I know that when most people hear the word synod, they cringe. It carries with it lots of negative connotations. That is definitely how I felt … up until last week. You see last weekend I attended my first synod. For those who don’t know what synod is, it is where all the Anglican churches in the diocese (area) of Far North Queensland gather for a big meeting. At this meeting many important topics are discussed and some very important decisions are made. Decisions that impact everyone in the FNQ Anglican diocese. 

I can now see how these meeting (which go from Friday night to Sunday afternoon) can get bogged down or off course if people are not careful. However, I can also see the importance and value of synod and especially of being there. It provides great opportunity to network with other churches in our wider area, it helps us to make effective change, it also helps us ensure that we stand firm in the Gospel truth.

One thing we did discuss at synod this year was the future direction of the diocese over the next 5 years. What is it we want to focus our energy on and be committed to? An outcome of many discussions was that our mission needed to be to “make Christ known through His Word and through our lives, to the glory of God.” Now, as synod went on, it occurred to me that although this was, and is, our mission we were not spending much time talking about it (I am not trying to put down synod, this was just an observation). But it did get me thinking about TGS and if we are the same. We love Jesus. We hold firm to the gospel that saves us. And we desires others to know Jesus. But are we actively living as individuals or a community to make Jesus known to others? If so, how? (Don’t get me wrong – we have many wonderful ministries that are aimed at the outsider, but we are a church of about 300 people and Cairns is a city of many thousands). Our mission statement as a church is “Empowered by the Spirit we are to make disciples of Jesus, of all people and all ages to the glory of God the Father”. As I reflect on synod I am thinking how I personally am making Christ known to others. Friends, can I encourage you to think about how you are actively seeking to make Christ known to others as well? There are probably things/ministries we can be doing at TGS that we aren’t. If you have ideas please speak with the leaders.

Chris Forder

 

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