SOKOTO TO HOST GENERAL SYNOD IN FEBRUARY
It makes use of a peculiar word, the meaning of which is not all that clear. The word is "special." On two occasions this is used: "The Anglican Diocese of Sokoto is upbeat as it prepares to host a special meeting of national church delegates," and, "Over 600 delegates of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) ...are expected at the special General Synod of the Church, scheduled for February 6th to 8th, 2007."
It is special, among other reasons for being held in a predominately Muslim area of Nigeria. There is a lot of excitement about the possibility of witness and good relations between Muslims and Christians in that venue. But there is a second layer to the word 'special.'
The bishop of the host diocese, Bishop Omole, said, “It is going to be a history making event. It is expected that there will be an amendment of the constitution of the Church of Nigeria at this meeting. So it will be on record that this amendment was made in Sokoto.”
The article noted, " The General Synod of the Church of Nigeria is a triennial meeting of delegates from all the dioceses in the province who gather to pray, share and encourage each other in the service of God and mission of the Church.
The Synod is the body responsible for any constitutional changes as well as appointments of many provincial officers. It also considers recommendations from the smaller Standing Committee which meets twice annually. The last General Synod was held in Onitsha, South East Nigeria in 2005 where a major constitutional amendment was made."
If this were a regular, rather than a special, meeting of General Synod and the last meeting was in 2005, one would think the next regular meeting of a triennial would be in 2008. So perhaps this is a special General Synod because it is especially called.
The announcement of the Synod on the web page is posted today, February 2. It is dated January 31. The meeting to be held begins in just 4 days. It is over on February 8, which gives the Archbishop just time enough to get to Nairobi for the pre Primates strategy meeting prior to the beginning of that meeting in Tanzania on February 14.
Busy times. Special times. What, I wonder, will be the nature of the change in the Constitution of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) this time? Last time it was to remove all reference to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It was of course the Church of Nigeria's right to do so, but it gave everybody snit fits.