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From Our Bishops

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago, I asked what you were going to read this Lent, or what you would recommend for me to read. I really enjoyed receiving your responses and your great suggestions. I now have a good list, and just need to find the time to dig in!

Some of you reminded me that every year the Archbishop of Canterbury selects a Lenten book, and this year Archbishop Justin Welby has chosen Embracing Justice by Isabelle Hamley. It looks excellent. Two years ago, the Archbishop’s Lent Book was Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio. That book considers from a place of repentance our relationship with the created world, using Genesis 1 as a framework. “Reconcile all things in Christ and make them new” we pray regularly in our Eucharistic Prayer 3 from Colossians 1:20, “whether on earth or in heaven,” but we often fail to really reflect on our participation in that renewal, in our own lives and actions.

In this upcoming season of repentance and renewal, I commend to you the fabulous Lenten study prepared by our own Bishop’s Committee on Creation Care, “Ecological Grief and Creational Hope – A Lent Curriculum for All Ages.” I am beyond proud of this excellent resource – chock full of scripture passages and reflection pieces, questions for discussion, action items and worship aids – developed right here in the Diocese of Toronto. Suitable for individuals, families, parishes or any small group, with even some activities specifically for children, it explores these same themes of lament and hope for God’s creation, and the ultimate redemption of the whole earth. I urge you to give it a look and consider adding it to your Lenten practices this year. My thanks to Dr. Sylvia Keesmaat and the Rev. Susan Spicer, co-chairs, and all the members of the Bishop’s Committee on Creation Care for their hard work in developing this amazing resource.

As I write these words on a beautiful winter’s day, surrounded by fresh snow and sunshine, I am reminded of the opening words of Psalm 24: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and all who dwell therein.” Amen! I wish a wonderful, happy Family Day weekend to my beloved diocesan family. I thank God for all of you and our life together in Christ Jesus.

Yours in Christ

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto