I have been a member of the Parish Council for almost two years and have really enjoyed seeing the background workings of the church. When it came to preparing for Synod, it was noted that we did not have any reserve Synod Representatives. I was reassured I would not need to do anything so I put my name forward to Carli. Then, unfortunately John Jarvis couldn’t make it…
The Run-up to Synod
As a precaution to John Jarvis not making it to Synod, it was suggested that I attend the Pre-Synod briefing. In the car with Jamie, Suzanne and Alf, I was brought up to speed on what usually happens at these events and once there, I quickly settled into reading the supplied documentation. Archdeacon Julie ran this briefing very effectively and covered all the required topics quickly. Any relief felt from the efficiency was quickly quashed on the drive home, as I was promptly informed that Synods rarely run to time.
John Jarvis was slowly improving and was back in Australind. However, Rev Jamie was keen to have me attend. So I found myself filling out the Synod Representative profile and submitting the required documentation. What followed was the biggest eye opener for Synod 2018: the size of the Diocese. When I first joined St Nicholas I thought the Diocese covered the Australind Minster and the Bunbury Cathedral. The Diocese actually covers all of the Anglican communities from Mandurah down to Albany. Altogether, there were about 16 reports that needed to be read. I won’t bore you with the minutiae here!
Synod 2018 started at 1pm on Friday at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar in the Chapel. I found myself being snapped up for discussions at any available opportunity. People were keen to see who I was and what I thought about it. I think that this was partly due to me being the youngest there.
Archdeacon Julie ran the Synod with the same punctuality that she drove the Pre-Synod Briefings. By the end of Friday, we had already discussed and passed half of the Saturday agenda items. However, once again on the drive home, my relief from the efficiency was quashed. The most controversial topics were specifically left to Saturday and most of the time gained would be needed.
For me, the evening meal on the Saturday was an opportunity to spend time with the representatives from Donnybrook and their partners. We sat together at the same table and I listened to stories from when they were young and learnt a bit about their lives. During the meal, a certain conversation made it clear of the difference in age. They were talking about their children who I commented were the same age as my parents, which made everyone laugh! It was an enjoyable and enlightening evening.
Listening to the concerns and opinions from, dare I say, the older generation really opened my eyes to the need for younger people to get involved within church. For them to understand the changes that are being made and to hear the reasoning behind it. As young people, we need to voice our approval to those in positions of making changes, and let them know of any concerns when required. As a member of the younger generation who has been getting involved in different aspects of church life, I would like to encourage you to proactively step into where you feel God may be calling you and not just wait until there is a void which desperately needs filling.