As we move towards Synod later this month, it is important that, as a diocese, we fully understand the focus and importance for us of the financial initiative, Transforming Futures.
It was never my intention to allow my name to stand as Bishop to oversee the death of an institution. Neither was it my intention to lead the diocese in a direction to maintain the status-quo. I laid out for the diocese a three-point direction for renewal which would help us face the challenges of our generation.
The focus of our vision is Renewed Hearts, Renewed, Renewed Spirits, Renewed People. We focus on this because we believe (as we prayed together as a diocese and listened to each other and God) we heard that to become a renewed people we should focus on the action of Reconciliation, Emerging Communities, Engaging God’s World and that we should also raise up in our midst the formation of Lay Leadership, Worship Resources, and Youth and Family Life Ministry.
We have seen these areas identified and supported through the vision fund in the parishes of our diocese. I give thanks for the leadership of the vision fund team, but I also give thanks for those parishes of our diocese which, through this fund, have implemented the vision in their local context. The focus of the diocesan vision is to renew the parishes of our diocese. As we focus on the areas of the vision we believe that God, through the Spirit, will renew us and our communities on these islands and inlets.
I believe that we have a unique place in the Anglican Church in Canada. I believe that this vision that God has created is a contextual vision for us living on these islands and inlets. I also believe that living out this vision will be a witness to the communities in which we live and to the greater faith community.
I have been asked what gets me up in the morning to come to work to save a dying institution. I do not get up in the morning to save a dying institution. I get up because I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ has something transformative to say to people in our neighbourhoods, and ultimately because we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, are called to speak peace and justice to the world. As I travel around these islands and inlets I see the Gospel lived out in the communities I visit, and I see what the parishes of our diocese can and could do with more resources.
We are stronger together and together we can enable each other to foster growth and maturity. As we journey toward Synod 2018, let us continue to pray for each other and our diocese.
Walk gently with one another, walk gently on these islands and inlets, and walk gently with the Creator.
Huy tseep q’u! Kleco, Kleco! Gilakas’la!