In Canada, October is the month for Thanksgiving. There are many things that the Diocese of New Westminster has to be thankful for - despite our disputes and complaints, doubts and fears.

We have 80 parishes. The great majority of those parishes, large and small, are alive and in good shape, financially and otherwise, doing the works of ministry Christians are supposed to do.

Together as a diocese we are well off. The financial five-year plan to become deficit-free is ahead of schedule. We're continuing to support the good work of Stewards in Action. The Church Depot and Get fit! Keep fit! programs aid in parish revitalization. There's no shortage of talented clergy who wish to work here.

Special mention needs to be given to the Honouring Our Commitment campaign to help the national church raise what is needed for the Residential Schools Settlement Fund. Without a residential school in our territory for decades, we were under no legal obligation to contribute. We took up the task; Anglicans in this diocese agreed to contribute and work to restore right relations with Aboriginal peoples.

Finally, we are a diocese that knows what we're about. We are a diverse diocese that respects differences, a diocese with a place for the young and old, the urban and suburban, the big and the little, the traditional and liberal. We continue as Anglicans in this part of the world who are full-fledged members of the Anglican Communion, contributing in real ways to its world-wide work.

The future will continue to bring challenges to us - as a diocese, a national church, and an international communion. Of course there are problems and disagreements about which is the right path to take. Our church is made up of very fallible human beings. But still we have much to be thankful for, and this Thanksgiving we should thank God for it.