The Rt. Rev. Riscylla S. Shaw

Ordination Dates

Deacon: May 6, 2001 Diocese of Toronto
Priest: November 18, 2001 Diocese of Toronto
Bishop:  January 7, 2017 Diocese of Toronto

Age: 45

Academic Background

2017                   Honorary Doctorate, Wycliffe College
1996 – 1999       Master of Divinity, University of Toronto, Wycliffe College
1991 – 1996       Honors Bachelor of Arts, University of Toronto
2018                   Succeeding at Leadership coaching
2017                   Living Our Vows Residency, Episcopal training school
2015                   Indigenous Knowledge course, Humber College 
2012                   Fresh Start Facilitator Training
2011 – 2016       St Clement’s College of Preaching, Lester Randall Preaching Fellowship
2009                   Ambassador of Reconciliation Training 
1994 – 1998       Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Training

3 Most Important Professional Qualifications

Suffragan Bishop of Trent-Durham since January 2017 ~ teacher of faith

Ambassador of Reconciliation to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools (TRC) since 2009: Diocesan and National church role to interpret the findings of the TRC to the church and the broader community as co-creators of a right-relationship with God and each other

Primate’s Commission on the Doctrine of Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice, 2014-present as member and co-chair: Reconciliation strategies in education, practices and implementation for our national church 

Parish Placements and Ministry History

2017 – present     Suffragan Bishop of Trent-Durham, Diocese of Toronto
2009 – 2016         Incumbent, Parish of Christ Church, Bolton, Diocese of Toronto
2009 – present     Ambassador of Reconciliation for the Diocese of Toronto
2014 – 2016         Regional Dean, North Peel
2014 – present     Archbishop’s Committee on Intercultural Ministries, anti-racism
2014 – present     Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice
2014, 2016, 2017 Walked with Proud Anglicans in World Pride, Toronto Pride
2013 – present     Diocesan Council and Executive Board (2013-2015)
2012 – 2016         Fresh Start for Clergy – facilitator
2004 – 2015         International Anglican Women’s Network
2004 – 2016         Area Council member Trent-Durham and York-Credit Valley
2003 – 2009         Incumbent, Parish of Minden-Kinmount, Diocese of Toronto
2001 – 2004         Archbishop’s Committee on Spiritual Renewal
2000 – 2002         Assistant Curate, St Stephen’s Maple and All Saints King City
1999 – 2001         Youth Minister, St Mary’s Richmond Hill and Holy Trinity Thornhill
1996 – 1997         Student Chaplain, Toronto General Hospital

Describe your spiritual journey and your prayer life:

I am inspired by theologies of ‘Ubuntu: human beings are called to be persons because we are created in the image of our triune God’ from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and ‘all my relations’ from our indigenous siblings. My Métis-Anglican-priest heart was critically broken and reshaped in compassion and resilience by participating in the TRC, in which I listen with my soul for God’s voice in the wilderness. Reconciliation is a spiritual discipline for me, taught by St. Paul; I live it out through integrating prayer, intentional learning and practice.

What is the most significant leadership role you have played in your Diocese?  What was your role and how did it contribute to your development and the mission of the Church?

My vocation as Bishop has deepened my faith in the resurrected Christ and brings me joy and delight. I engage in teaching the faith, pastoral care, executive administration with collaborative governance and bold, informed stewardship. My leadership is in discernment and prayerful reflection, deep listening to and encouraging of God’s people in our parish neighbourhoods, and real support of priests and deacons in their ministry and innovative mission. Through my national church work I have a strong linking role with our indigenous churches; building respectful relationships with those on the margins and in the halls of power, embracing diversity and fostering our unity in Christ.

What is the most significant challenge you have faced as a priest or bishop to date?  How did you address that challenge?

Adapting our traditional parish structures of church, both to meet the needs of existing congregations and to deal with the realities of dwindling attendance and building maintenance crises, addressed by integrating my listening to God’s prophetic voice with listening to the voice of the people. I pray, urge and encourage us together to discern new ways ahead as a minority faith tradition in our culture and society. With collaborative and creative thinking we respond to God’s call in faith and action by intentional catechesis and courageous expansion into experimental and missional worship.

Describe what you intend to do in your first 100 days as the Diocesan Bishop (between January 1, 2019 and March 31, 2019) to address the vision of the Diocese of Toronto and Growing in Christ, the strategic plan?

Championing and building on the momentum of our Strategic Plan and the strong leadership that has gone before us, I will engage in active-listening throughout the dynamic theological and cultural diversity of our Diocese to discern needs, hopes and dreams to raise up a robust collaborative vision; to move forward the longer-term goals of enabling healthy, sustainable, missional communities of faith, ministry to the margins and creation care.

Given the realities of numeric decline in congregational participation and the need to steward our resources (including people and capital resources), how would you address the present situation?  What do you see as the future of an Anglican presence in the geographic area of the Diocese?

We are in a transformative time in our traditional church.  Jesus teaches ‘do not be afraid.’ Jeremiah says ‘God has a plan for us.’ This time of decline is an opportunity for resurrection as the Anglican body of Christ. We will work to cultivate a stronger culture of lay ministry and deacons, continue with scaled models of traditional church, honour and work with the people we have, and deepen our roots in loving service, justice and reconciliation.

Video transcript