Synod and the Synod Office

The most common way of involving the laity (people) in the governance of the Church has been through Synod meetings. A Synod is a gathering of lay and clerical members who constitute the governing body of the Church.

Synod is made up of all the licensed clergy in the diocese and lay members (non-clergy). At its Annual Vestry meeting, each parish (or congregation, in the case of a multi-point parish) elects lay members to attend the Diocesan Synod, which meets each fall.

It is at Synod that members determine, at a high level, the priorities for Diocesan Council and its committees, and refocus the mission of the church throughout the Diocese. Synod gatherings are a time of worship, inspiration and education, as well as a forum for affirming the direction of our ministry together.

In order to carry on the work of Synod, between its sessions, the Diocesan Council meets on a regular basis.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Synod Office is the Bishop-the Chief Pastor of the Diocese of Ottawa. The Executive Archdeacon functions as the Chief Operating Officer of the Synod Office. The Bishop, the Dean, the Executive Archdeacon, the Director of Financial Ministry and the Director of Community Ministry comprise the executive staff of the Synod Office.

The Synod and Council Administrator coordinates the annual Synod and Diocesan Council meetings.

There are three units of ministry in the Synod Office, in addition to the Episcopal Office: Financial Ministry, Program Ministry, and Community Ministry. These ministries are part of an integrated structure designed to serve the ministry of the Diocese as a whole.

Program Ministry
Program Ministry staff includes the Stewardship and Development Officer, the Baptismal Ministry Formation Missioner and the Youth Formation and Vocation Missioner. These are salaried personnel who are accountable to the Episcopal Office (through the Executive Archdeacon) for their ministry.

The Archivist/Registrar assists the Episcopal Office with recordkeeping. Contract staff, such as the Parish Growth and Renewal consultant and communications people, report to the Episcopal Office.

Financial Ministry
The Director of Financial Ministry, also known as the Director of Administration, is responsible for the financial and other business administration of the Diocese, which includes issues related to all church properties; insurance, legal, and audit matters; the investment portfolio; as well as the central pay, group benefits program, pension plans the budget and the budgeting process. An Accounting Staff of three assists the Director.

The Director oversees the Administrative Assistants, who function as a pooled resource for the Synod Office, support staff (paid and volunteer), and maintenance contracts and concerns. Financial Ministry may also have a number of other issues and concerns assigned to it as needs arise. The Director works closely with Property and Finance, and Audit, as well as their numerous subcommittees and working groups.

Community Ministry
The role of the Director is to oversee the Community Ministries of the Diocese (Anglican Social Service - Centre 454, Cornerstone/Le Pilier, The Well/La Source, and the Ottawa Pastoral Counselling Centre), working with the directors to ensure effective ministry on behalf of the Diocese.

The Director of Community Ministry has responsibility for the various subcommittees, task forces and working groups relating to Outreach. The Director oversees Hospital Chaplaincy, consisting of the Volunteer Coordinators of the Ottawa Hospital and the Anglican Chaplain there, and Anglican ministry at the other hospitals in the Diocese, including volunteers and neighbouring congregations. In addition, the Director represents the Diocese in social justice issues and concerns at the discretion of the Episcopal Office.

Governance Overview



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