Slideshow image

March 18, 2020

Dear Friends,

Following conference calls held with the Bishop’s Advisory Committee, the clergy of the diocese and the wardens & treasurers, I would like to provide the following brief update:

  • We have created a diocesan hub of all resources, updates and worship resources that have been received to date. The hub can be accessed on the website at I am deeply appreciative of the way in which clergy and worship leaders have responded to the need to maintain community and make sure that the Body of Christ remains connected and supportive to the people we serve.
  • We are working within a minimum eight week window in planning to suspend and cancel public worship, events and gatherings within the diocese. That window may be extended as we receive direction from provincial health care authorities.
  • The Synod Council will meet online this Tuesday, March 24th to deal with essential matters requiring their approval and to consider ongoing diocesan support as the effects of pausing our services of worship impact our financial stewardship.
  • Parish leaders and pastoral teams are encouraged to reach out to ensure that the most vulnerable, the lonely, isolated and health challenged members of our parishes have continuing contact with their faith community. I would also encourage outreach to the children and youth of our parishes for whom the magnitude of this global pandemic may be especially frightening. It is important that we continue to present the non-anxious presence that our faith instills within us even as we take actions in concert with public and private agencies within our communities.

Please be in touch with your parish leadership should you have any questions or reach out through the dedicated diocesan email address should you wish to direct your question to diocesan staff or to me.

The diocesan office will be physically closed but the staff will continue to work from home and all of the email addresses and phone numbers remain the same. Please be assured of my continued prayers for you all over these days. I often use the words of psalm 119 when offering prayer for guidance as we move into the future: “Your word is a lantern to my feet and a light upon my path.” May the illuminating presence of the Spirit be with you all.

Our Primate, Archbishop Linda Nicholls and Acting General Secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada Peter Wall, recently were in communication with diocesan office. I want to share the last lines of their letter which are particularly uplifting in the midst of the current moment: 

We are in this together as God’s people called to be beacons of hope and calm in a sea of anxiety and fear. Thank you for the creative ways that clergy and parishes are responding to the shutdown of gathered worship. Thank you for your leadership day by day to encourage and offer hope through e- mail, blogs and video messages. God is with us – we are not alone – and we have fellowship with each other. 

With gratitude for all you are doing to be faithful and hope-filled servants of the Mission of Christ,
Bishop Michael