Updated: Oct 9, 2021
If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart
On behalf of me and my family, I’d like to thank you for the prayers, support, messages and love you’ve offered us since I was elected to become the next Bishop of the Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. As some of you will know, this year has been an incredibly difficult one for my family, COVID-19 aside. My father died at the beginning of January and my stepfather of over 30 years died in early September, just the week before the episcopal election. As we’ve tried to come to terms with these losses and the many transitions we’ve been facing as a family (not to mention the enormity of the task that lies ahead), I know without a doubt that it is only through your prayers and the grace of God that I am able to even attempt to take on this ministry among you. Throughout this challenging and changing time, I have felt upheld in a way I have never quite experienced before. Thank you for your part in that, however small it might seem to you. It might have been as simple as praying for me as a candidate or Bishop-Elect or now as your Diocesan Bishop, but know that your prayers, spoken and unspoken, have sustained me “through all the tumult and the strife.” I ask for your continued prayers in the years ahead.
Thank you also to those who made it possible for us to be united in prayer and celebration for the service of Consecration and Installation earlier this week. The livestream of the service made it possible for people across our Diocese and beyond to watch and participate virtually, many of whom would never have been able to attend in-person on a Monday night even if there were no pandemic restrictions in place. I know for sure that there were people across Canada, in Mexico and the United States, and in England and Scotland who were praying and celebrating with us. And then there were all those who have gone before us whose presence was felt among us. The Cathedral might have looked empty, but what a great cloud of witnesses encompassed us ‘round about on Monday night!
As the Rev’d Dr. Joanne Mercer noted in her homily, no one ever has all the gifts needed for the ministry to which God calls them and I am no exception. I owe a great deal of gratitude to the Consecration Planning Team who met weekly – and sometimes more often than that – to ensure that everything would go smoothly. I am also deeply grateful to Cathedral Organist Paul Halley and his family bubble for selecting and providing music that welcomed us into this holy space and time. And thank you to Diocesan and Cathedral staff and clergy who worked behind the scenes in advance to ensure that everything was ready for us on Monday night.
As the pandemic restrictions increased in parts of HRM and we wondered whether we could even proceed, it was the dedication and faithfulness of all of these people and so many more, including our Diocesan Chancellor and provincial Medical Director, that made it possible for me to make my vows and take my place as your next Bishop. To all of you, and to my family who have loved and supported me through it all, and to God, I say thank you. It somehow doesn’t seem like enough, but I’m willing to trust Meister Eckhart on this and hope it will suffice.
With gratitude and the assurance of my continuing prayers for you,