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Monday, 14 September 2015

Canon Barbara Moss passes the baton as Nordic/Baltic Area Dean to the Revd Nick Howe

The Nordic and Baltic Deanery of the Diocese in Europe covers 7 countries in the northernmost part of Europe. Lay and clergy delegates from our congregations in these countries (except for our reps from St Thorlak's. Reykjavik who sent regrets) gathered in Helsinki for their annual deanery synod to discuss business and to engage in some education on issues facing the Church.

A former member of the synod, the Revd Dr Mika Pajunen, who was the assistant curate at St Nicholas's Helsinki and who is now the Theological Secretary to the Archbishop of Turku, was given a warm welcome back as he came to give a presentation on paradigm shifts in the Church's history, as a way to help us understand how contemporary issues may be causing some division among Christians.

Synod members thank Dr Pajunen for his presentation
It was the last synod for Area Dean the Revd Canon Barbara Moss. Canon Moss retires from St Andrew's Gothenburg at the end of this year, but at this synod she handed over the work of Area Dean to her successor the Revd Nick Howe. The synod paid tribute to Barbara, who then responded with a song which conveyed her own affection for us in a very warm and humorous way.

The Revd Canon Barbara Moss
Canon Moss's farewell song to the synod
I commissioned Fr Nick Howe as Area Dean, who promptly took over the chairing of the remaining sessions.

New Area Dean Nick Howe with the Synod Secretary Pauline Bang 
The synodical life of this diocese are important gatherings, essential, of course, for the business of the Church to be transacted, and for a scattered Church to come together to show our unity in worship and to enable the clergy and lay leaders to engage in some study together, But also important is the chance to relax and enjoy each other's company. It is vitally important in maintaining a sense of belonging together even though scattered over thousands of kilometres.

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