Over the next 2 weeks, the Synod of our Diocese will meet. So, what is a Synod? Essentially it is a meeting, pretty much like a 'parliament' (held over 5 afternoons and evenings each year) for representatives of the many churches which make up the Diocese of Sydney. My wife Pru and I have been elected to represent our parish, together with our Senior Minister Kerry Nagel.
We meet to make Ordinances ('rules' for the good government of our churches) and to discuss matters of mutual interest. In the words of one member: 'There will be moments of high tension and interest, speeches of passion and times of sheer boredom when you will wonder: Why am I here?'
The Bible studies which begin each session will be given this year by our former Senior Minister, Stephen Gibson. We have already been sent an initial few hundred pages of agenda and other documents! Some of the matters on the agenda include the consideration of a study into effective church planting, financial matters, policy for dealing with allegations of unacceptable behaviour, response to the Syrian refugee crisis, authorisation of lay ministry, whether marriages should continue to be conducted if same-sex marriage should become legal, and many other issues as well.
It is a tiring, but worthwhile time. Please pray for us, that the decisions made will not just be useful and practical, but that they will serve to assist the proclamation of the gospel.