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This is a brief outline of theme of the fifty -third session of the This is a brief outline of theme of the fifty -third session of the Synod of the Diocese of Athabasca, October 14 -17, 2010. The slide show will progress automatically and take about two and a half minutes to complete. You have the option of watching again or closing the window. Thanks.

The Synod of the Diocese of Athabasca 2010 MAKING GOD’S HOUSE YOUR HOME The Synod of the Diocese of Athabasca 2010 MAKING GOD’S HOUSE YOUR HOME

As I stood at the back of the nave, welcoming worshippers before the service, As I stood at the back of the nave, welcoming worshippers before the service, one five year old boy said cheerfully, “Hi, God!” I’m not the first clergyperson who’s been so elevated. After all, Mom had said that they were going to God’s house. Since I was greeting people to the house, I must be God. But this is God’s house, to which we are seeking to invite people.

God’s house is built upon a firm foundation. To strive to safeguard the integrity God’s house is built upon a firm foundation. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth. To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom. To seek to transform unjust structures of society. To teach, baptize and nurture new believers. To respond to human need by loving service.

We decorate that house, inside and out, using… Scripture Tradition Reason Divine Inspiration We decorate that house, inside and out, using… Scripture Tradition Reason Divine Inspiration

This is God’s house, to which we want to invite people. We want to This is God’s house, to which we want to invite people. We want to invite them to make God’s house their spiritual home.

But we’ll have to add on some extensions, to make room for the community But we’ll have to add on some extensions, to make room for the community outside.

These extensions will have no doors in the doorways, so that anyone may come These extensions will have no doors in the doorways, so that anyone may come and go as they need. These extensions will have no window coverings, so that all those inside may continue to witness what is going on outside. These extensions will have no comfortable pews, but rather only hard chairs, so that those inside will be encouraged to go outside.

If we are to invite people to God’s house, then there must be something If we are to invite people to God’s house, then there must be something to which to invite them. If they are to “come home to God”, then there must be a home to return to. It is up to those of us inside to provide a home. But if we are to provide a home, we must also earn the privilege to invite them. We must listen others into free speech, so that we might earn the privilege to speak freely.

The goals of the fifty-third session of the Synod of the Diocese of Athabasca The goals of the fifty-third session of the Synod of the Diocese of Athabasca include providing time and a format in which the Synod can reflect on the kind of house we are to provide and the means by which we can earn the privilege of free speech in northern Alberta. Think and pray about these things.