Waiapu Synod 2012 revisited

I received this question from my post "Waiapu Synod 2012"
Hi John, I'm curious after reading your notes about the Waiapu Synod ... Why do people think that appointing Synods reps from every parish who are under 40 to Synod, is a fundamentally good thing to do? Isn't synod about more than that? What happens if parishes don't have any under 40s available to appoint? Sounds like the church is panicking again and grasping at straws. Did the motion pass?
A good question. My response is that we have a really old synod. I am still one of the youngest clergy, and I am well into my 50's. we have one or lay reps under 50, which doubles when the youth reps attend. The truth is many of our parishes do not have many younger people, but even when they do they tend to look for older people to attend these august functions. Being older is the norm in our diocese. We tend to think that is what society is like (my cynical view). It used to be mandatory to have one of the two representatives at either regional conference to be under 35, but I moved and out clause to that, and parishes stopped even looking.I have sat in AGM's where the people approached were both in their 70's. They were just known better. I have wathced as younger people were replaced by people in their 80's. I have wathced as synod as got older and older and older.

Why do we need younger people? They grew up in a very different time form those of us who are older. Increasingly, many cannot remember a time without computers, cell phones, the Internet etc... All of that is normal. They bring a different way of seeing the world, seeing the church, of seeing what it is we are about. And it is a view we need to have at synod. We need to take note of it. Is that what synod is about? Yes it is. representing all the views that are and need to be in our parishes, not just the older point of view.

It is also a cunning plan to get more lay people into our synod. We are really really clergy heavy. Parishes have one lay rep, but there is no ceiling on clergy reps, and they are there in their droves. And we do almost all the talking. We need lay people there to take us on and offer another perspective. So yes, this is a good thing, and yes it did pass. I look forward to the day when we look for the best person to attend, not the one who had done it for ever, not the older person who is retired so available, but the best person including young people, what ever their age. This will help our parishes move to that day.


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