This article first appeared in the November 2016 issue of the Diocesan Post.
Bishop Logan Writes
“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”—Nelson Mandela
Our walk, as a diocese, on the journey of reconciliation is not over. I believe we are called to continue that journey, learn from the journey and be transformed by the journey. I am therefore calling the diocese into a year-long examination of reconciliation. The journey will begin on Advent 1 2016 (November 27, 2016) and finish on the Reign of Christ Sunday 2017 (November 26, 2016). We will continue our journey with the First People and examine what reconciliation means and looks like with them. We will also look at reconciliation in our congregations, in our homes and in our personal lives. Paul, in his letter to the church in Corinth, reminds us that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19). He also says that God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. Over the next year, I hope that we will have opportunity for learning and being open to experiences that will shape us as ministers of reconciliation. If you have any suggestions as to how this might happen for you, your parish or your region I would be very open to hearing from you.
Our 2017 diocesan conference and the clergy conference will focus us on reconciliation. I also envision a pilgrimage somewhere in our diocese that will be open to all to participate in as a personal act of reconciliation. At a time when the world and political leadership are becoming more and more fragmented, our call is to walk together and be one regardless of our different views of the world and faith. Our diocesan vision calls us to be involved in faith formation. “We are called as individuals and congregations to learn the disciplines and skills that help us define ourselves, engage each other in non-anxious interaction, and maintain emotional contact even when we disagree.”—John Paul Lederach, Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians.
I am calling us to ask the question, how does becoming ministers of reconciliation shape our liturgy, how is it shaping our youth and other lay and ordained leadership in the diocese? I am excited to see what God will do with and through us in these areas. In a world that is constantly looking for retribution, our witness in Christ must be centred on forgiveness. So please begin to pray and be attentive to scripture and the conversations that are taking place on a local and global level. What is God calling us as the people of this diocese to be and do on this journey of reconciliation?