The hope of the Christmas season shines through the dark of winter in the December issue of the Anglican Journal.
Anglicans are striving to create a brighter future even in the shadow of challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing legacy of colonialism. In this issue we explore how the pandemic has greatly complicated efforts to sponsor refugees in Canada—and how Anglican parishes continue to persevere and move forward with plans for sponsorship.
We describe how Michael Hawkins, bishop of the diocese of Saskatchewan, and Adam Halkett, the diocese’s Indigenous bishop, joined residential school survivors and members of the Woodland Cree Lac La Ronge Indian Band to observe a search for unmarked graves at the site of Lac La Ronge Indian Residential School, once operated by the Anglican Church of Canada. The bishops came at the invitation of Chief Tammy Cook-Searson, who said their presence was important for reconciliation and for conveying support and apology to the community.
Through diverse areas of ministry, Anglicans are looking for new ways of doing things. The Council of the North has received a “game-changing” $400,000 anonymous gift that will help fund ministry training, while the council seeks alternatives to three-year residential programs in order to make theological training more accessible.
In the second of a two-part series on the pandemic and long-term care, we look into the role that Christian faith might play in rethinking how society cares for its most vulnerable. Meanwhile, the third instalment of our Companions in Faith series details how Anglicans and Lutherans have used shared gatherings to create a mutual framework for youth ministry.
New faces are filling important positions across the church. October saw the election of Helen Kennedy as the 13th bishop of the diocese of Qu’Appelle. The Anglican Journal and Anglican Foundation of Canada also came under new leadership. Longtime staff writer Tali Folkins became the new editor of the Journal, while Scott Brubacher—after several years as executive administrator—took over as executive director of the Anglican Foundation.
As Christians celebrate Advent, many are finding renewed hope in the stories of the season. In this issue, Anglican Voices contributor Diana Swift reflects on Luke’s story of the shepherds and why even today it holds us in wonder. Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, describes the place of Advent and Christmas in the liturgical calendar and the vision of hope promised through the reign of Christ. National Indigenous Archbishop Mark MacDonald compares the birth pains that accompany every act of Creation with the pain and promise of efforts to create a new world, through renewed discipleship and renewed humanity.