After two years of being hosted online, the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church will meet in person this year at St Paul’s & St George’s Episcopal Church in Edinburgh, from Thursday 9 June to Saturday 11 June 2022.
The meeting has been arranged in hybrid format, to allow a small number of members to join remotely using the technology that allowed a ‘virtual’ General Synod to go ahead in 2020 and 2021.
The agenda and papers have now been sent to members and published here on the Scottish Episcopal Church website, detailing the business scheduled.
Proceedings will begin on the Thursday with the Opening Eucharist at Ps & Gs, with the offering going to the Ukraine appeal by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).
As might be expected, one of the first business sessions of Synod will involve discussion of developments and experiences during the Covid pandemic. The day’s agenda will also include the second reading of the Scottish Liturgy 1982 with Alternative Eucharistic Prayers, followed by motions on liturgies for first reading, and the commemoration in the Scottish Calendar of figures of the Reformation Period until the Repeal of the Penal Laws.
On Friday morning, Synod will consider revisions to the process for electing bishops, and the second session of the day will include a focus on the war in Ukraine, with Synod to be addressed by Sabine Chalmers of Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees. Synod will also hear from the Rev Markus Dünzkofer, Rector of St John the Evangelist in Edinburgh, who travelled to the Poland/Ukraine border as part of an aid mission from Scotland, helping refugees escape from the war in their country.
Synod will then be asked to endorse a statement about Ukraine in the name of the Primus, the Most Rev Mark Strange, as part of a motion which also states that Synod deplores Russian aggression in Ukraine.
In the afternoon, committee updates will include a presentation from the Provincial Environment Group as the SEC continues its ‘Towards Net Zero 2030’ journey, and a report from the Ethical Investment Advisory Group along with a motion to adopt a new Ethical Investment Policy Statement for the SEC Unit Trust Pool.
The final day’s agenda features safeguarding, budgets and quota, and elections, before business is concluded with a presentation from the Provincial Youth Committee and then the closing act of worship.
As usual, the proceedings at Synod will be live-streamed online.
The return to an in-person General Synod meeting means that associated events are also able to take place this year after a two-year break. A Freshers’ Meeting for new members will be held in the Upper Hall at Ps & Gs shortly before Synod opens, and later that day, the Synod Dinner will be held at the George Hotel Edinburgh. On the Friday evening, Cornerstone Bookshop will host a reception for Synod members at its premises on St John’s Church Terrace, Princes Street, as has happened in previous years.
Additionally, the opening day will see the Provincial Global Partnerships Committee warmly invite Synod members to take part in Thursdays in Black, where participants wear black every Thursday as part of the campaign to end violence against women. Anyone can take part, regardless of gender, and participation is not obligatory.