The 35th session of the Synod of the Diocese of the Windward Islands is scheduled for Sept. 29 to Oct. 4 in St. Lucia.
It takes place at the Archbishop Kelvin Felix Archdiocesan Pastoral Centre, East Winds, Marisule, Gros Islet.
The Rt. Rev’d C. Leopold Friday, Bishop of the Windward Islands is expected to deliver his charge to the Synod at the opening service at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Holy Trinity Parish Church in Castries, St. Lucia.
The Diocese of the Windward Islands consists of fifty four (54) places of worship. There will be Clergy and Lay representatives from each parish at the Synod.
The Synod is being held under the Theme: “Re-imaging Ministry in Faithful Pursuit of the Call to Mission –Evangelism, Human and Organisational Development.”
The Anglican church siad ina release: I”t is important to note that this does not suggest that God’s Mission or the ministry to which we have been called has changed, nor is this an attempt to do so. For God’s Mission remains. Rather what we are endeavouring to do is to look at our present context, the various realities of our existence — health, social, educational, cultural, economic, political, ethical and religious, to see whether our current methods, or ways in which we minister are meaningful, applicable and relevant to these realities, and at the same time being faithful to our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.”
On the topic evangelism, it siad that in the Diocese of the Windward Islands, there is a large number of persons who view the Christian Church and religion as something that is positive when it comes to community work and assistance to the poor.
“Though there is an increasing number of persons who no longer attend church there remains quite a significant number who are interested in spirituality and engaged with the idea of seeking a relationship with God in some form.
“In addition there are those who find our way of worship unattractive and not easy to follow especially by inquirers. Many believe that we have too many rules and regulations, doctrines and dogmas. The question is how do we communicate the good news of God’s love for all of creation and invite people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ In the face of the above,” the release further said.
Regarding the role of the church in human development, the release said it is in the sacrament of Baptism that Christians are commissioned for ministry, we are no longer our own we belong to Christ.
“It is important for us to learn, know and more fully understand who we are in Christ. Our worship ought to be such that it helps us understand who we are in relationship to God and Jesus Christ and enable us to apply our faith convictions to the ways in which we live out our daily lives, and assist in the development of an identity in Christ that sends us out into the world equipped to build relationships of integrity and mutuality.
“Our actions arise from the interaction between ourselves and those we come into contact with, it takes us out of our buildings, out of our comfort zones to engage with the other in God’s name. Our actions emanates from who we are, what we believe and the gifts, resources and abilities we have when those things connect with the needs of those in our villages and communities. We are called to be engaged in those things that will contribute to healing, justice, reconciliation and new life in the world. As we seek to give hope to people and respond to many of the social issues which confront us – dishonesty, moral and ethical degradation, crime, violence Domestic and otherwise, break down in family life, poverty, unemployment, drug trafficking and addiction.”
On organisational development and the church, the release said: “Christians are not professional holy men and women, but representatives of Jesus Christ. We are examples of what it means to allow Christ to enter our lives and let him work in and through us. Christians are frail human beings who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ. Christian Ministry is constantly caught up in the struggle between the norms of Christ and cultural customs and values. Christians live in a society where integrity, credibility, righteousness and honesty are almost flippant terms in an age when the predominant attitudes are often ‘Save thyself’ and ‘What is in it for me?’
“Organisational development will provide us with the necessary tools, systems, structures and procedures and enable us to put measures in place to protect us from the fiery darts of the evil one. And to be more effective and efficient in mission and ministry.”