The annual Synod of the Diocese of Quincy meeting in Moline on Friday and Saturday remained focused on moving forward with mission and ministry inside the diocese, around the county and around the world, even as it seeks to secure its relationship to the wider Anglican Communion.
Presentations were made about continuing relief efforts coordinated with the Free Church of the Annunciation in New Orleans, earthquake relief for Peru, an upcoming medical mission to the Dominican Republic, and new outreach work in Haiti and Quincy’s companion Diocese of the Upper Shire in Malawi.
During the synod banquet Friday evening, Deacon Phil Fleming, the diocese’s disaster and relief coordinator, received a national recognition award for his Katrina relief work in New Orleans, and also received the St. Paul’s award for meritorious service to the diocese.
The synod took steps to consider possible relationships with other branches of the Anglican Communion. Quincy is presently affiliated with the Episcopal Church in the US. A number of decisions were made that open the door for possible alignment with a different branch of the world-wide Communion.
“As a Diocese our goal is to remain in fellowship with the wider Anglican Communion,” said the Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, Bishop of Quincy. “Over a year ago we asked for alternative oversight from an archbishop outside the US. We re-affirmed that request at this synod.”
“No final decisions were made about our affiliation at this synod,” according to Fr. John Spencer, press officer for the Diocese. Spencer said a number of decisions are currently being made in various parts of the Anglican Communion that will affect not only the US church, but all 38 provinces of the Communion. “Decisions will be made in the next few weeks about who will or will not attend next year’s Lambeth Conference,” a meeting of all Anglican bishops held every 10 years. Many bishops, including a significant number of bishops in the Church of England, have indicated they may not attend if American bishops are present who have continued to reject the scriptural and moral teaching standards of the Communion.
“Also, several of our sister dioceses in the Anglican Communion Network will be considering canonical changes in the coming weeks, ” Spencer said. “We want to discern a way forward together in a reasoned and prayerful manner over the coming months.”