Responding to work that began with General Synod 2011, synod delegates met in advisory committees on Saturday to discuss proposed changes to the Book of Church Order that would allow for every-other-year General Synod meetings.

Eighteen advisory committees took part in a process to become familiar with the history and implications of two recommendations related to biennial General Synod. Input from those advisory committees was consolidated into one report, and presented to General Synod on Monday afternoon.

The report indicated a lack of support for the changes proposed, but it identified a desire for change. A new recommendation was put forward to extend the work.

“Even though we heard a definite ‘no’ to this particular proposal, we also heard synod say ‘yes’ to change. And that is something we can work with,” the report says.

The group proposed referring the biennial synod recommendations to a committee for the next year. “We are making a strong proposal for GSC to make space for this committee to create a concrete plan for a two-year cycle of General Synod which we could then consider alongside the proposed BCO changes at next year’s General Synod. This plan would include a revised purpose and agenda for General Synod, as well as a vision about the equipping for mission and ministry which we yearn to do together.”

Synod overwhelmingly approved the recommendation after an amendment was made removing the description “a two-year cycle.” The new committee will look for ways to bolster equipping opportunities and still fulfill the business and relational opportunities of General Synod.