A Minute from a Warden

Two weekends ago, two of our clergy (Trevor Saggers and Cameron Wills) and two churchwardens (James Sartain and Richard Unwin) travelled to Townsville to join with representatives from 50 other ‘ministry units’ (e.g. churches and schools) for the 2018 annual Synod (meeting) of the Anglican Diocese (region) of North Queensland.

One thought on everyone’s mind was that this was Bishop Bill Ray’s final synod after 11 years at the helm. Other than God’s mercy, this may have been the reason that there were no contentious issues debated, as there have been on many previous occasions!

In terms of procedural matters, it was however an ‘election synod’: many roles within the Diocese have 3-year terms, for which clergy and lay appointments are voted upon by the ‘house of clergy’ and the ‘house of laity’ respectively. Trevor was again appointed to the Diocesan Council, which is the group, led by the Bishop, in charge of the Diocese. Both Trevor and James were appointed to the ‘Bishopric Election Nomination Committee’, which seeks to ensure the process surrounding the appointment of the new Bishop is Christ-centred, thorough and fair.

Additionally, synod was a time to hear about different ministries within and supported by the Diocese, and an opportunity to build or strengthen bonds of fellowship between TGS and other ministry units. In the Bible (e.g. Ephesians 4:1-3) we are constantly exhorted to put love into action in practical ways – we are exhorted because it’s not always easy! Over his time in the Diocese, Bishop Bill has modelled the apostle’s instruction that among the body of believers we are to, ‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.’ Even when we (inevitably) disagree, we are to, ‘Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.’ In a similar way, may each one of us here at TGS, with God’s help, strive to ‘live a life worthy of the calling we have received.’

James Sartain        



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