Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Posted on September 25, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

Yesterday, Diocesan Council reconvened for the first time since March 26. Council had delegated to Executive Board and the Trusts committee its duties and responsibilities during the early stages of the government-declared state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like parishes across the Diocese that have been re-opening their buildings, Council now picks up work that has been left undone and grapples with an ever-shifting present reality.

One word that was expressed again and again by many during the meeting was gratitude. Gratitude for the gift of faith and community, for resolve in a time of uncertainty, and for the generosity of Anglicans in our Diocese who have offered their time, talent and treasure to keep us moving forward with confidence and passion. This sentiment was captured most eloquently in a motion that was brought forward:

“MOVED by Suzanne Lawson, ODT and SECONDED by the Rev. Kevin Wong, that we as Diocesan Council take this opportunity, through the Diocesan Bishop and the Secretary of Synod, to thank the clergy and lay leaders of the Diocese for the amazing hard and creative work they have done through the first six months of COVID-19 to keep our faith communities together and alive in our spiritual, service and social justice ministries. And that we ask the Diocesan Bishop as well to extend our appreciation to the staff of 135 Adelaide St. E. who, working separately away from their usual workplace, have given their all to support and guide coordination and care for parishes and parish leaders. We are amazed and grateful for the way that our Diocese has lived through this time and we wish that those who have led us know how much they are appreciated.”

The motion was passed unanimously!

On behalf of Diocesan Council, it is my profound joy to express gratitude to our bishops, priests, deacons and lay leaders who are serving so faithfully. You are working so hard and with such deep devotion in a time when it is so easy to feel discouraged. Thank you for all your efforts, large and small, that lets the light of Christ shine!

On behalf of Diocesan Council, it is my delight and honour to share our deepest thanks to all the staff at 135 Adelaide St. E. and our two satellite offices in York-Simcoe and Trent-Durham. Thank you for taking on more than you could ask or imagine to help our parishes and ministries survive and thrive in this time of pandemic. Thank you for your care, patience, and support.

May the wisdom of God continue to guide us on our way. May the love of Christ continue to inspire us in our service. May the joy of the Holy Spirit fill our hearts as we go. Amen.

Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto