To the People of the Diocese of New Westminster
It is with mixed feelings that I write to inform you all that the School for Parish Development sessions scheduled for the summer of 2022 have been cancelled. Those of you who have registered will be contacted directly and deposits refunded.
Based on the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia’s College for Congregational Development created by the former Archbishop of the Diocese of New Westminster, the Most Reverend Melissa Skelton, the Diocesan School for Leadership began here in our diocese in 2012, inspired by several diocesan clergy and lay leaders who attended the College in Olympia. This initial cohort went on to be the first instructors and mentors. For years the school was successful and following Archbishop Melissa’s election as bishop of our diocese, the name of the school was changed to The Diocesan School for Parish Development and continued with a variety of course opportunities scheduled to serve the diverse needs of the laity and clergy, i.e., weekend sessions, week-long intensive sessions and more.
Due to the many changes and subsequent adjustments made during the COVID years the Mission and Ministry departments of the Diocese of New Westminster under the oversight of Director, the Reverend Tellison Glover and in close collaboration with me and others have decided to seek other programmatic opportunities to encourage growth and development in our parishes. This is an exciting time, and we look forward to designing new programs and improving existing programs like Groundwork that address the needs and desires of Anglican parishes gathering in this new era post-COVID restrictions.
Hundreds of folks from our diocese and beyond graduated from the Diocesan School for (Leadership) Parish Development and the knowledge and the skills gained have been of substantial benefit to the life of our parishes and our diocese. For those of you who would like to attend the school I recommend that you check out the College for Congregational Development in the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia or in any of the other locations. Your inquiries and registration will be welcomed.
Blessings and Peace
The Right Reverend John R. Stephens
Bishop, Diocese of New Westminster