How Does Our Church Order It's Life?

 

Jesus Christ

 

By His Word and Sacraments, Christ pours out His Spirit upon the Church and

draws us with His love to the Father.

 

The Church

 

The Church holds together by her union with Christ through the Sacraments and

by a shared faith revealed in the Bible, defined by the Creeds (Apostles',

Nicene, Athanasius) as maintained by the undivided primitive Church in the

undisputed Ecumenical Councils (or see a summary).  The creeds and

councils are a part of the rich Tradition she shares and she prays to be led into

all truth.

 

The Anglican Communion

 

Anglicans Christians around the world are held together additionally by common

forms of worship (the Book of Common Prayer) and a shared theological

tradition (see the 39 Articles, the Homilies, the writings of learned Anglican

Christians).  Other instruments of unity in our Communion are, locally, its

bishops and, internationally, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth

Conference, which is a meeting of all Anglican bishops every 10 years, the

annual Primates Meeting (the heads of Anglican churches in different countries,

called  provinces), and the biannual Anglican Consultative Council (with

clerical and lay representatives of all 36 provinces).  These last four instruments

of unity have moral but not legislative authority over individual Provinces.

 

In Canada, Anglican Bishops have divested some of their authority to three

bodies - the National Synod, the Provincial Synod and the Diocesan Synod (see

map of Canadian Church).  In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island this

means:

 

THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA

Has a foundational statement called the Solemn Declaration of 1893 (click the link or see page vii of the Book of Common Prayer).  It is governed in part by the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, made up of the bishops of all dioceses and clergy and lay representatives of each diocese (they are elected at Provincial Synod).  General Synod meets every 3 years.  In between Synods, the business of Synod is carried out by the Council of General Synod and other committees elected and appointed.  The General Synod has a Constitution and Canons.  There is an ecclesiastical court to rule in certain matters of discipline.

THE PROVINCE OF CANADA

Is governed in part by Provincial Synod of the ecclesiastical province, made up of the bishops of the dioceses and clergy and lay representatives of the dioceses (elected at Diocesan Synods).  Provincial synod meets every 3 years. The Provincial Synod has a Constitution and Canons. There is an ecclesiastical court to rule in certain matters of discipline in the province.

THE DIOCESE OF NOVA SCOTIA AND PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND  –

Is overseen by the Diocesan Bishop and Suffragan Bishop governed in part by the Diocesan Synod, made up of the bishop, suffragan bishop, licensed clergy, lay representatives of every congregation in the diocese and ex officio members.  In Nova Scotia and PEI, it meets every year.  The Diocesan Counsel is the body, representative of clergy and laity, elected at diocesan synod to oversee the affairs of the Diocese between Diocesan synods (meets 4 times per year).  There are other committees with elected and appointed members.  Our Diocesan Synod has a Constitution and Canons which defines our responsibilities and how we govern ourselves.

 

 

The Parish

 

Is overseen at a local level by the licensed cleric or lay minister, and governed

by the Parish Council and by annual Parish and Congregational meetings

Responsibilities of cleric, vestry and congregational members are laid out in the

Induction Service in general terms and in some detail in Canon 35 (and

Canons 36-41) of the Diocesan Constitution and Canons.  In the Diocese of

Nova Scotia and PEI, the responsibilities of parishioners and priest are

developed and agreed upon by both parties in a Covenant in Ministry.

 

 

The Christian – 

 

Every Christian should from time to time frame for him/herself a RULE OF LIFE in accordance with the precepts of the Gospel and the faith and order of the Church; wherein he/she may consider the following:

     The regularity of his/her attendance at pubic worship and especially at the holy Communion.

     The practice of private prayer, Bible-reading, and self discipline.

     Bringing the teaching and example of Christ into his/her everyday life.

     The boldness of his/her spoken witness to his/her faith in Christ.

     His/her personal service to the Church and the community.

     The offering of money according to his/her means for the support of the work of the Church at home and abroad."

 

 (this Rule of Life is taken out of the Canadian 1962 Book of Common Prayer on page 555)