2 Saint Margaret Anglican Church: 2014 DMV Synod

2014 DMV Synod

The 2014 Diocese of the Missouri Valley Synod
Quincy, Illinois
The Cathedral of St. John

The 2014 Diocese of the Missouri Valley (DMV) Synod was held in Quincy, IL from June 11th through June 12th, 2014.  Fr. Todd and Frances Bragg traveled to Quincy, IL to attend the Synod this year.  Although the Synod did not officially begin until Wednesday morning, there was a dinner for the clergy and clergy wives on Tuesday evening in the social hall of the basement of the Cathedral.  After dinner was over, there were two meetings held:  one for the wives of the clergy and the other for the clergy.  After these meetings were adjourned, everyone went back to the hotel where a small reception was hosted where participants could once again mingle and talk.   This is especially beneficial for such a large diocese where the parishes are spread so far apart and, as a result, people do not get the opportunity to meet and talk in person very often.

(Pictured above at the gathering on Tuesday evening:  Fr. Bragg along with Bishop Strawn and Fr. Burgett)

The Speaker at this year's synod was Bishop Stephen Scarlett, a bishop from the Anglican Catholic Church (ACC).  Bishop Scarlett had remarks to make during the initial clergy meeting on Tuesday evening but he mainly spoke on Wednesday morning and evening to the synod.  His theme was "Mission" and how to attract new members.  Bishop Scarlett made the point that we should reach out to new members through non-traditional ways such as inviting people to get to know us through social activities first and then once people get to know us, the other things will fall into place.  In other words, if we invite someone to come to Mass, that is wonderful, but we have to keep in mind that someone who is not familiar with our liturgy may at first be confused and overwhelmed by what is going on.  As a result this may keep people from coming back again because they are overwhelmed.  Instead, Bishop Scarlett made the point, invite people to get to know you in a social setting where they can get to know you and feel comfortable with you and once this occurs, you can discuss things such as Scripture and liturgy and having a relationship with Christ.  And once people begin feeling at home with you, they will be more open to begin coming to Mass and not feel so overwhelmed by what they do not understand.

As a side-note, Bishop Strawn made the point that two or three years ago, it would be unheard of for a bishop from the ACC to speak at a synod of the ACA.  Certainly, this is a sign of considerable progress towards unity within the Continuing Churches.   At last years DMV Synod, His Grace, Bishop Larry Shaver, from the APA, was the main speaker and one year later, Bishop Scarlett, as mentioned from the ACC, is the main speaker at the DMV Synod.  So, yes, there are considerable steps being taken towards unity.

Other business of the diocese was discussed such as: seeing if confirmation can be done at a younger age so that our younger children are not denied Holy Communion; the work that the DMV and ACA is doing internationally through work on behalf of churches not only in Central America but also in Africa; helping local parishes in our own diocese which faced great obstacles this past year such as the parishes in Colorado, who were affected by landslides and fires in that state.

During the Synod, Bishop Strawn introduced the "Anglican Church of the Holy Spirit," in Greenfield, Indiana.  He asked that this church be accepted into the diocese and as a result, the delegates to the Synod voted to accept Holy Spirit Parish into the diocese.  So, now, in addition to St. Margaret of Scotland (Indianapolis), there are two ACA parishes in Indiana.

On Wednesday evening, the highlight of the day was the High Mass held in the Cathedral Church.  All of the participants of the Synod were in attendance and Bishop Strawn preached the sermon.  Bishop Strawn spoke again about the mission of the Church:  to spread the Gospel and to let people know about Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Bishop Strawn emphasized that each one of us, whether clergy or lay member, has been given the responsibility of letting people know about God.  We have been commissioned to do so and it is our obligation.

(Above:  pictures of the inside of the Cathedral and the Synod Mass held on Wednesday evening)

After the Mass was finished, the Banquet was held at the Quincy Country Club.  It was a very nice affair where once again, delegates from all across the diocese could gather together and meet with one another over a delicious meal.   Of course, the food was wonderful, but the highlight of the meal was to have the opportunity to interact with so many wonderful people from around the Diocese of the Missouri Valley.

(Above:  Fr. Todd at the Synod Banquet)

(Above: The Clergy along with Bishop Strawn after the Synod Mass in front of the Cathedral)

(Above two pictures of His Grace, the Rt. Rev'd Stephen Strawn, Bishop Ordinary of the DMV)

(Above:  the recessional when Mass was finished)

(Above:  Fr. Todd after the Synod Mass)

(Above:  A very nice picture of Bishop Strawn taken on Thursday, the second day of the Synod.)