The Rev. Anna Greenwood-Lee, incumbent at St. Laurence Anglican Church in the diocese of Calgary, was elected bishop of the diocese of British Columbia Sept. 26.
She was elected on the seventh ballot during a virtual synod.
Greenwood-Lee says the diocese’s vision of transformation spoke to her. “It felt like my gifts and what they were looking for in terms of their vision lined up.”
Greenwood-Lee points to her interest in social justice, particularly in the creation of the Wisdom Centre, an online network that connects people with events and resources. She also has experience with and teaches courses on congregational development, and teaches courses on the topic. In 2006, when she became the incumbent at St. Laurence, she was given three years to “either turn the place around or close it,” she says. “It’s still here!”
Greenwood-Lee says she has an interest in helping the church try to enter a new stage of its life. “I feel like we’re called to be midwives of what God is birthing in our midst…. Death is a natural part of life, so some parts of our institutional life are dying. But at the same time, I think amazing things are struggling to be born, or are being born in our midst.”
The midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is a “strange time” to be elected to episcopal leadership, Greenwood-Lee says. “It’s harder to build relationships when we’re not able to be physically together in the ways that we’re used to. But it is possible.”
Greenwood-Lee says she will be consecrated Jan. 30, and is planning to move from Calgary some time in January. “It’s a bit complicated, because I have two kids who are 12 and 17, my husband, and my in-laws live with us.” She hopes to commute back and forth until the end of the school year and then move her family to B.C.
Greenwood-Lee was ordained a priest in the diocese of Calgary in 2001. She holds a B.A. in religious studies, a clinical pastoral degree, a M.Div and a MBA. She has served as a priest in the diocese of Calgary and diocese of Toronto.
She will be the diocese’s 14th bishop, and the first woman to hold the position.