Created in Collaboration With:
Sydney (Generation "Z", youth delegate to General Synod)
Glen (Baby Boomer, deacon)
"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians, 13:13.
Who are we?
This program was developed in collaboration with members of the LGBTQ2+ community and allies from across the generations as a way to provide all perspectives and ideas and make this program accessible for all people in the Anglican Church of Canada.
Where did this idea come from?
This study program has been released as a “resurrected” form of Justice Camp, which was meant to occur in August 2019 in the Diocese of Huron. Unfortunately, due to lack of registration, the event was cancelled, but we didn’t want all of our hard-work to go to waste, and we thought that these resources would especially be needed now in light of the current situation for the Anglican Church of Canada. The idea of Justice Camp is to unmask what is hidden:
Everyone has a story to tell. Some stories are at the edge of everyday experience, less common, less familiar, sometimes even marginalised. This is our opportunity to share stories, to listen with open ears and hearts. This is an opportunity to build respect for those we don’t often hear so that we can celebrate their gifts and walk alongside in their struggles. All are included!
Within Justice Camp, there were three-day immersions, including creation, first nations, disabilities, poverty, migrant workers, mental health, and LGBTQ2+. Our hope is to recreate the immersion in a way that it can be conducted in a congregation or at a diocesan level through this study program.
What is the purpose of this study program?
We are providing this study program as a way to help facilitate conversation in congregations, parishes, and dioceses. We know that, in light of the events of General Synod 2019, many dioceses and individual parishes are in times of discernment, particularly on the topic of marriage. This study program will provide an outline of how one could facilitate those types of conversations in a respectful, inclusive way.
What influence did General Synod have in the development of this program?
General Synod certainly did have a large role in how we chose to shape this study program. Much of the earlier program is modeled off of the community building exercises that were undertaken at General Synod, and provides participants with an understanding of the situation prior to, during, and after General Synod, specific to the amendment to the Marriage Canon and the approval of “A Word to the Church”. This is especially useful in providing an understanding of the extensive consultations and conversations that have been undertaken in this topic. However, the second half of the program is largely focused on how we can be allies and what we are called to do as Christians in light of everything that happened at General Synod and what we see happening in the world in terms of LGBTQ2+ rights.
Why is it called “Respect for the LGBTQ2+ Community”?
We take the idea of “respect” as that was meant to be the theme of justice camp, and we believe that fundamentally, our call to love one another as God loves us begins with respect. The acronym LGBTQ2+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirited people, while the ‘plus’ includes all the other people with very diverse identities who are part of our community.
What does this study program look like?
This program is designed in such a way that the facilitators of the program (pastor, bishop, deacon), can decide how to conduct the program in one of two ways. The first option is as a full-day retreat, with a short break between session one and two, a lunch break between session two and three, and a short break in between session three and four. The second option is to conduct this as an evening study program over the course of four weeks with the expectation that members commit to coming to all sessions. If you choose the second option, we strongly suggest that each week the facilitator revisit the RESPECT Guidelines and Community Contracts introduced in the first week to ensure that the conversation remains respectful throughout the program. These sessions are estimated to run for about an hour to an hour-and-a-half, depending on the length of the discussions that take place.
Is there a call-to-action?
Yes. At the end of the fourth week, if possible, we suggest that your church/diocese make a decision on how they will be respectful and inclusive depending on their particular context. For some, that might be drafting a letter for the wardens and pastor to sign to send to the bishop requesting permission to marry same-sex couples. For others, it may be to have a vote on whether or not to officiate same-sex marriages in that church or diocese should the case come up. In other parishes, you may have already had these conversations and the call-to-action is about how to continue to be allies for the LGBTQ2+ community. We trust you will have some type of action resulting from your program in the way that works best for your own situation.
Where do I find the information for this program?
This document will provide a basic outline of the program by week, in particular, referencing which documents and videos to use for each session. There have been sample PowerPoint presentations that have been created for you to use, and a Google Folder has been assembled with all the required documents and video links. See the last page for more information on how to access this folder.
If I have questions, how can I get in touch with you?
We are happy to guide you in any way that we can during the facilitation of this study program. You can send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
We know that this is a time of discernment for individual parishes and for dioceses. We know that there is healing needed, especially for the LGBTQ2+ community, in light of everything that has happened at General Synod 2019. Our hope is that this program will help with both situations, and provide a greater understanding of how we can be allies and show the love that we are called by God to show – a love that is unconditional for all of God’s children, precious and beautiful. If there is any way that we can support you in this journey, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here and happy to provide additional resources or clarify any questions that you may have. Our prayers are with you in this journey.
Community Building & Respect
Document #1: Community Building & RESPECT Guidelines
The Situation Prior to General Synod 2019
Document #2: Summary of Marriage Commission Report;
Document #3: Marriage Canon Vote in 2016 by Ecclesiastical Province
What Does Love Mean?
Video #1: What Does Love Mean in Your Marriage?
Video #2: Love Has No Labels (Kiss Cam)
What Happened at General Synod?
Document #4: A Word to the Church
Document #5: The Marriage Canon Debate (Summary)
Document #6: Marriage Canon Vote at General Synod 2019 (By Order)
Document #7: Word Map
Document #8: Inclusive Marriage in the Church (Maps)
General Synod Reflection
Video #3: Reflection on General Synod
Debunking Myths and Stereotypes
Document #8: “Shoes” Activity
Video #4: Love Has No Labels (Skeletons)
Document #9: Common Stereotypes of the LGBTQ2+ Community
Video #4: Things Not to Say to Gay People
Gender and Sexuality Are Fluid
Video #6: The Pride Flag: A Reflection on General Synod
Document #10: Gender and Sexuality “Kahoot”
Allyship for the LGBTQ2+ Community
Document #11: Check Your Privilege
Document #12: Language – How is it important?
Document #13: How to be an Ally – A Guide
Journeys of Faith
Video #7: Our Journey of Faith
Video #8: I Hope