From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ACNS: Council in Canada Gives Green Light to 'Gold' Fundraiser

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Fri, 21 Jun 2002 07:20:16 -0700

ACNS 3024 - CANADA - 18 June 2002

Council gives green light to 'gold' fundraiser

by Jane Davidson

[Anglican Journal] A new fundraising proposal, aimed at injecting fresh life
into the Anglican Church's work and nailing down an amount that residential
schools negotiators can offer to the federal government, was presented to
Council of General Synod (CoGS) at its spring meeting. CoGS approved the
proposal, dubbed the Marigold Report, with one amendment.

Developed by a sub-committee of the Financial Management and Development
Committee, Marigold heralds potentially radical changes in approach and

It aims at ensuring there is a strong central church body to keep the church
going in areas such as social justice, overseas partnerships, the Council of
the North, new partnerships with indigenous Anglicans, congregational
development and support to dioceses and parishes.

The report was so named because it was printed on gold paper and "because we
like the reference to gold," said Betty Livingston, a committee member who
introduced it.

CoGS members were surprised to receive the report because an earlier
fundraising initiative was shelved a year ago after wide-ranging
consultations in Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto. Bishops, clergy and lay
people from across the country attended the sessions, discussing ideas for
rebuilding the finances of General Synod and of some dioceses shaken by
residential schools litigation. At that time, Canon Philip Poole of Trinity
Church, Aurora, Ontario, told the Journal that the reason for stopping was
uncertainty about the national church's financial situation. But as
government and church officials seem to move closer to a final agreement
over residential schools, the brakes have clearly come off, and the Marigold
sub-committee sought permission to move ahead.

"Our goal is to establish an adequate foundation of financial and
non-financial resources for both diocesan and national church ministry and
mission," said Mr Poole. "The sub-committee is eager, enthusiastic and full
of energy. They are ready to go, they're in a race so fire the gun and we
can move on. We have the right skill sets."

Outlining details of the proposal, Geoff Jackson, one of its authors and the
executive officer of the diocese of Ontario, said the church needs a
fundraising process "and not a capital campaign. It's no secret that our
assets have eroded and continue to be eroded.

"Dioceses are suffering from litigation costs, but not just those costs,"
said Mr Jackson. "They need renewal and refreshment to go forward."

Mr Jackson said that the Marigold group believes there should continue to be
a "strong central body" of the Canadian church, and "it should be General
Synod." If negotiations with the federal government fail, "we still believe
that we should have some form of a strong central structure." Jim Cullen,
national church treasurer, who answered questions about the proposal, said,
"We will need a lot of money no matter what happens. In terms of timelines
and the erosion of our assets, we need a settlement."

Mr Poole asked council members to adopt the proposal even though they were
seeing it for the first time. "We need to obtain a high degree of buy-in for
this to be successful at all three levels of the church," he said.

Archbishop David Crawley, metropolitan of the province of British Columbia
and the Yukon, who also sits as a new member on the church's federal
negotiating team, linked council's approval to a successful outcome with the
federal government.

"The negotiating team needs some kind of indication of what figure we can
table with the government," he said.

A key part of the proposal is a national communications plan to help
dioceses and parishes accept the ideas. The proposal calls for the
development of an organisation plan and timeline starting in November 2002
and ending by May 2003.

Outside the discussions, Revd Alan Perry of Montreal said he was concerned
about the timelines. "In our diocese we have summer coming and then we are
into synod season. It isn't going to be easy," he said. Mr Perry and other
council members also raised the issue of donor fatigue. "We have to be
careful how we go at people," he said.

Bishop Ann Tottenham of Toronto suggested the proposal was "wildly
unrealistic without a residential schools settlement."

Dean Peter Elliott of New Westminster said his concern was the proposal's
breadth. "It covers a waterfront that covers General Synod work. I have a
desire to narrow that and to see how much is achievable," he said.

Archdeacon Jim Boyles, general secretary of General Synod, said the
sub-committee is "convinced we will have one crack at this. We can't do it
in bits and pieces. One year on restoration and one year on reconciliation
won't work."

One of the funding objectives is a stewardship program to "engage every provide additional funds for funding a new diocesan-based and
national strategic direction." The plan would include every constituency in
the church - parish, diocese and national ministry levels.

"People give to vision and people will give to other people who are taking
action to carry out that vision," said Archdeacon Boyles.

In the end, the council authorised the Financial Management and Development
Committee to proceed with the proposal with one amendment: that the
committee would consult with the national church's planning and agenda team
and with the Faith Worship and Ministry committee to review and refine a
large section of the proposal, "mindful of the intentional listening

Jim Sweeny, who is an officer of General Synod, was the only dissenting vote
on the Marigold motion. "I don't think that the church as a whole is ready
to launch into a fundraising campaign without some agreement that the assets
are protected," he said.

The ACNSlist is published by the Anglican Communion Office, London.

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