On Saturday, 4 February over 50 members of the St Luke’s community gathered for a Town Hall Meeting with Bishop Patrick White and Peter Tovell. The purpose of the meeting was to allow parishioners time with the Bishop to discuss the next steps in the Peterborough Covenant process. Bishop Patrick is serving as Commissary for the Covenant and Peter Tovell is a congregational consultant who volunteers his service for the diocese.
Father Glenn welcomed people and thanked them for making the time to attend. Then Amy Milburn and Randy Guest, parish representatives to the Covenant Council and Commission, outlined the agenda, provided a summary of the work of the Covenant over recent years, and outlined the next steps in the process.
Then Bishop Patrick explained the motion that stemmed from the Final report Recommendation of the Covenant Commission. At other Town Hall meetings held with the other parishes, Bishop Patrick noted that questions had been asked about the exact meaning of the term “in principle” contained in the motion. He elaborated that the motion presents each parish with the opportunity to opt in or opt out of continuing to implement the recommendations. The term “in principle”, he explained, means that if a parish accepts moving ahead and that, if in the process of the implementation there were concerns or problems, these matters would be worked out to address such concerns in the continuing implementation. Basically, if a parish opts in, then the parish is venturing a commitment to stay the course.
On 12 February each Anglican parish in Peterborough will hold a Special Vestry Meeting to vote on the motion which asks for a decision on opting in or opting out. Bishop Patrick outlined the motion:
BE IT SO MOVED that
the option as recommended by the Bishop’s Commission in their Final Report of Options for the Best Use of the Resources to Support the Mission and Ministry of the Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran Church in the City of Peterborough of October 19, 2016 to reduce the current five parishes of All Saints’ Anglican, Christ Evangelical Lutheran, St John the Evangelist Anglican, St Barnabas Anglican and St Luke’s Anglican to two parishes, each with a new name, two governance structures, worshiping at two locations be approved in principle;
AND that the Anglican Bishop of Toronto and the Bishop of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) establish an Assessment Commission made up of two Anglican clergy and two Anglican lay members of Synod, nominated by the Anglican Bishop of Toronto, plus one Evangelical Lutheran member, nominated by the ELCIC Eastern Synod Bishop, to evaluate and assess each parish facility, programs and ministries and recommend which two parishes are best suited to implement the recommended option and report their findings/recommendations by May 31, 2017 to the Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran Bishops.
There were a number of questions asked of the Bishop during discussion and dialogue that followed. These were thoughtful questions that pertained to the next steps of implementation and on the actual mechanics of how the implementation would take place and how the amalgamated parishes would work through establishing themselves as new communities created from the present parish communities.