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Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Russ Grant to serve as community engagement coordinator for a period of one year. This is a contracted position that follows on the work of our previous coordinator, Taylor Lynch.

One of the great joys I experience in visiting the parishes of our diocese is witnessing the community outreach work that is being undertaken in many places. It is critically important that as Anglicans, we make our presence felt in the communities we are called to serve. This is certainly a key missional objective and in line with Jesus expectations for us individually and collectively.

There are many opportunities for us to use our talents, time and facilities to support projects within our communities. This must be a central area of focus for us in the months and years ahead. With this objective in mind, Russ will work with all the parishes of the diocese to learn about what they already are doing or would like to do to engage with their communities.

Russ is grabbing onto this work with both hands, starting with reaching out to each parish of the diocese prior to Synod at the end of May. The focus of this initial outreach work will be to establish an inventory of ideas, plans and ‘on the ground’ activities that can be shared with other parishes. Additionally, Russ will look to learn from success stories within other dioceses across the country and how those initiatives might be transferable to the context of our diocese.

Russ brings a wealth of experience from his ministry within his home parish of Your Anglican Church in North Hastings, including his ministry as a lay reader and long association with the Anglican church. The facilitation skills that Russ has developed over the course of his professional life will be invaluable in his work with individual parishes. Russ looks to come alongside parishes to assist them in their visioning and development of outreach projects that will make our presence felt within the communities we serve.

In short, together with Russ, we will look to consider how we are being called to serve the people of our communities, responding to Jesus call to mission in the world. Please hold Russ in your prayers as he begins his ministry in this important area of our collective mission.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop Michael Oulton