On Sunday February 12th, Bishop Michael made a pastoral visit to St. John’s, Shaughnessy for only the second time in almost 20 years. Under previous leadership, St. John’s had refused to allow the Bishop or other diocesan personnel through its doors.
The small but growing congregation seemed pleased that the relationship between the parish and diocese is now being restored. A choir of beautiful voices filled the brilliant acoustical space of the sanctuary with sacred music. In his sermon, Bishop Michael spoke of the healing ministry of Jesus, based on the Gospel reading for the day. “If God could reconcile the world to himself through Christ” he said, “then God can heal our broken church, and reconcile relationships in our church.”
During a reception afterwards in the Trendell Lounge, a lively question and answer period took place. Bishop Michael thanked the Venerable Andrew Pike for his warm and grace-filled ministry over the last several months. The Bishop spoke of a diocesan financial plan to support the re-building of ministry in three parishes (including St. John’s) over the next few years, and said he hoped soon to put forward names of clergy to be considered for the position of Priest-in-Charge after Easter.
Members of the congregation offered their thoughts on the future options facing St. John’s, but all seemed aware that this is a time of uncertainty and transition in which the efforts of many will be required to restore a venerable Anglican community to its former glory.