The 2023 Anglican Joint Synods and affiliated meetings were held October 9-13, 2023. While there were no major new announcements made during the week, the bishops present sounded a note of patient optimism, emphasizing the ongoing work of building trust and strengthening relationships. Bishop Stephen Scarlett summarized the mood during his homily at the Friday Solemn High Mass, noting that the Scriptures call blessed the person who has endured testing.
“We may not have any particularly momentous thing to report to our people after this, but significant steps toward unity have been taken. Just being together again builds our unity. I’ve been around this battle for a while. I feel a different spirit among us as we gather this year. We are in a different and better place. Let resolve to continue to build on our unity and to fight with vigor against any temptation to put asunder what God has begun to join together.”
The theme of a movement toward unity was apparent at several other points during the week, not least when attendees gathered during breaks and in the evenings for fellowship and shared meals. Bishop Paul Hewett, who made the first important step into formal union by leading the Diocese of the Holy Cross into the ACC, was a ubiquitous presence, meeting and talking with attendees. Archbishop Mark Haverland, with the unanimous agreement of the ACC College of Bishops, appointed ACA Bishop Patrick Fodor as Episcopal Visitor to the ACC’s Diocese of the Midwest. And there were many informal meetings of church leaders, the results of which did not become fully apparent until after the Synods.
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