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From Our Bishops

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow, Bishop Kevin and I are looking forward to joining the Youth Leaders Theology Training Day. It’s an annual gathering of our talented youth leaders, coming together for a time of  fellowship and to benefit from some practical and spiritual education about our Anglican faith and tradition, helping them to grow into their roles for discipling the youth of our Diocese. Representatives from both Trinity and Wycliffe colleges will be on the Zoom call, and they will be encouraging participants to consider increasing their theological education through courses and programs.

Deepening our faith through intellectual engagement is a worthy goal for all baptized Christians. You too may want to look into possibilities for taking a theology course, or learning more about Anglicanism. If you’re a reader, it’s a good thing to have a Christian book on the go at all times. Lent is coming up in a month, and that is a wonderful season to find something to read that’s a bit theologically or spiritually challenging. You have 40 days to work your way through it! I still haven’t decided what my own Lenten book will be this year. Any suggestion? Let me know.

Last week, I wrote about the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and how the Universal Church is one Body, united in our faith in Jesus Christ. The cooperation and mutual respect of the many Christian denominations through the ecumenical movement gladdens the heart of God. Understanding each other better leads us to a deeper appreciation for our own faith and tradition.

It’s in the same vein that I invite you to consider World Interfaith Harmony Week, which starts today. World Interfaith Harmony Week was established by the United Nations in 2010 and falls over the first week of February to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith. You can find out more about this annual event and see its many special events in its calendar.

Here in the Diocese of Toronto, this important work is spearheaded by our Bishop’s Committee on Interfaith Ministry, co-chaired by the Rev. Roshni Jayawardena and the Rev. Jeff Nowers. The committee is our first point of contact for interfaith ministry in the Diocese and can provide resources and contacts on interfaith activity. (I’d like to particularly thank the Rev. Deacon Jim Leatch, our newly appointed representative to the Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Toronto, an interfaith dialogue that the Diocese of Toronto initiated in 1962.) The Bishop’s Committee on Interfaith Ministry is planning to host an annual educational event for all clergy and laity in our diocese, and in the meantime, has provided a refreshed webpage – – that contains some helpful liturgical and prayer resources. Over time, they hope to add more resources such as a calendar of multi-faith events and celebrations, a glossary of key terms, a recommended reading list, and a new video series featuring interviews with local leaders from other faith traditions.

In this Interfaith Harmony Week, I wish you all the blessings of Peace – Shalom – Salaam – Shanti.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto