I am very pleased that the March edition of the Anglican Journal is focused on the ministry of primacy in and for our beloved church. You will learn about the nomination process among the bishops and the election process among the members of the General Synod.
As the outgoing primate, my primary task is to call the church to prayer. In the first instance, I ask you to pray for the bishops and for wisdom in discerning whom they will nominate for the primacy. Pray for those who wrestle with that invitation and for those who accept it. Pray, too, for their families and for their dioceses.
May a wave of prayer carry the clergy and lay delegates to General Synod and into their joy and responsibility of electing the new primate. Pray for the general secretary, Archdeacon Michael Thompson, as he preaches at the Eucharist that precedes the election. Pray for the prolocutor, Cynthia Haines-Turner, as she chairs the proceedings. Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Pray with me for the whole church as we anticipate even now the ministry of a new primate. He or she is called to an office of huge responsibility yet great privilege:
- leading our church in God’s mission in these times;
- visiting all of our dioceses and territories;
- pastorally caring for our bishops and nurturing them for their apostolic leadership;
- working in a particularly close relationship with the national Indigenous Anglican bishop;
- representing our church throughout the Anglican Communion;
- strengthening our relations with other churches, particularly in Canada;
- writing and speaking prophetically to the issues of our times; and
- forging relationships with people of other faith traditions and all people of goodwill dedicated to the building of a truly just, healthy and peaceful world.
This is a ministry of extensive travel and wonderful opportunity to see our church in all its diversity and to meet so many amazing people so genuinely devoted to fulfilling the vows of their baptism, to live the gospel we proclaim in the hope of reshaping the world in accord with the mercy and justice of God.
My own experience and that of my predecessors in this office is that one is much encouraged in the knowledge that day by day in the prayers of the faithful one is remembered by name and for need of grace, strength and wisdom in the exercise of this ministry.
I pray that such respect, good intent and care on the part of the faithful be a blessing beyond measure for our new primate.