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From Our Bishops

Letter to the Diocese from Bishop Andrew

Dear Friends,

June is Pride month.

Wonderful celebrations are taking place across our Diocese. Last week, Anglicans from the Nottawasaga Deanery gathered for Barrie Pride. Around the same time, the Rev. Dana Dickson was present with community leaders in Bradford to raise the Pride flag at their city hall. A few days later, parishioners at the Church of the Redeemer on Bloor Street were taping their steps with Pride colours, to remind the people of Toronto that they are a proud, welcoming and inclusive parish. In a few weeks, Anglicans from across the Diocese will gather under the banner of Proud Anglicans at the annual Toronto Pride Parade. There are more examples.

Pride is also being celebrated beyond the Diocese, too, of course. Our own Bishop Kevin Robertson is the honoured guest of the Diocese of Missouri’s Pride celebrations this weekend. We are so proud of him and his witness to the wider Church.

Pride is a celebration of the beautiful diversity of God’s beloved children.

But Pride is both part celebration and part protest. The work of inclusion continues both in the Church and in society, and sometimes it feels that our efforts often seem “two steps forward, one step back.”

Homophobic and transphobic voices seem to be getting louder in public discourse, on social media and even in parts of our Church. We must continue to strive for peace and justice among all people and respect the dignity of every human being. That is one of the promises of our baptism, and our faith compels us to live it out each and every day.

However you choose to celebrate, however you choose to raise your voice this year, let us remember that it is the love of Jesus that prompts us and guides us. Love is love. And the clear call for Christians is to love God and love neighbour.

Let us join with the Queer community, with allies and friends, to show our love – God’s love – during Pride once again this year.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Asbil
Bishop of Toronto