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The opening of the 178th Synod of the Diocese of Huron on Sunday, May 26 was marked by a tree dedication in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The Right Reverend Marinez Rosa Bassotto, Bishop of  Amazonia, the special guest at this year’s Synod, joined her host Bishop Linda Nicholls, as together they planted a purple beech tree in celebration of the  renewal of the covenant between Huron and Amazonia and growing relationship between the two dioceses.

With this act Bishop Linda has also called on the Provincial Government to reconsider the cancellation of its Ontario tree planting program. Bishop of Huron is encouraging congregations and individuals to consider making tree planting and advocating for tree planting in Ontario part of their missional work with others in their communities.

The 30-foot high beech tree will be a living symbol to the commitment of the diocese to the marks of mission: “To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”.

The ceremony of dedication was preceded by the traditional Synod BBQ on the Cathedral lawn. True to our call to protect the environment and leave the smallest imprint, biodegradable serving ware was the order of the day as were personal refillable water bottles.  It was a time to renew acquaintances and make new ones; connections were made, ideas exchanged, support and encouragement given for the continuing missional journeys of our diocesan community.

In the evening all came together with a Eucharist service; nurtured in word and sacrament for the work of Synod ahead.

Bishop Marinez was the guest preacher and brought “greetings from the people of the Anglican Diocese of Amazonia” and the Venerable Graham Bland provided the translation. She affirmed the Synod theme – “sent into the world“ – with the Biblical text chosen, Luke 10:1-12.  She noted that in Huron and in Amazonia the missionary challenges may be different but they are “equally great”. Bishop Marinez prayed that “the faithful giving of our life to God impels us to work in His name, to seek His kingdom, to truly engage in His Church to act in our communities; and then, in His name we will also be involved in the growth of the Church, committed to the word of God.”

Bishop Linda installed two new Canons to the Cathedral Chapter of Canons, The Rev’d Valerie Kenyon and The Rev’d Tom Patterson.  Also during the service Donna Gingras was commissioned by the Bishop for the Ministry of Diocesan Server.

Some 400 registered participant will continue their work on Monday and Tuesday at the London Convention Centre.

Rev. Cheryl Highmore
Photos: M. J. Idzerda and Davor Milicevic

Bishops Nicholls and Bassotto with Rev. Canon Valerie Kenyon and Rev. Canon Tom Patterson

Synod – a time to renew acquaintances