Diocese welcomes new team members

Bishop Bruce Myers is pleased to announce the appointment of four new gifted and committed individuals who will be contributing the ministries of communications and administration in the Diocese of Quebec.

Matthew Townsend, Missioner for Communications
As Missioner for Communications, Matthew Townsend will serve as editor of the Quebec Diocesan Gazette, manage the diocese’s web and social media presence, and support the diocesan leadership and congregations in sharing stories about their life and work. A journalism graduate of the University of South Florida, Matthew has worked in editorial, journalistic, and web development roles with a variety of organizations, including The Living Church, the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, and the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida. Currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, he is also the editorial supervisor of the Anglican Journal and a member of St. Paul’s Church. Matthew can be contacted at communications@quebec.anglican.ca.

Jody Robinson, Archivist
The diocesan archives, based at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, will be under the care of Judy Robinson. After earning a bachelor of arts degree at Bishop’s, she continued master-level studies in history at the Univeristé de Sherbrooke. She has also worked as the archivist for the Eastern Townships Resource Centre, an organization committed to the preservation of the heritage of the Eastern Townships. For more than a decade, Jody has worked with many heritage organizations on special projects as well as an archival consultant. Jody has also served on the board of directors for a variety of heritage and community organizations and is presently vice-president of the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network. Jody can be reached at jrobinson@quebec.anglican.ca.

Sean Otto, Registrar pro tempore
As diocesan Registrar, Sean Otto will be responsible for ensuring that all of the diocese’s official records—from land registers to parish registers—are properly completed, recorded, and stored. Currently registrar of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique in Quebec City, he previously served as assistant registrar of Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. Sean earned a doctorate in history and theology at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, and also holds degrees from Wycliffe College and Dalhousie University. He is a parishioner of the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. As Registrar pro tempore, Sean’s appointment is initially on an interim basis until the diocesan Synod makes a permanent appointment in November. Sean can be contacted at sotto@quebec.anglican.ca.

Isabelle Morin, Executive Assistant
Day-to-day administration at the Synod Office in Quebec City will be overseen by Isabelle Morin, who will serve as Executive Assistant on a part-time basis. She has a degree in business administration from the Université du Québec à Montréal, and spent several years as an administrator in the hotel industry. More recently Isabelle has pursued a vocation as an interior designer. She can be contacted at imorin@quebec.anglican.ca.

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Delegates to Diocesan Synod elected

The Secretary of Synod, Canon Stephen Kohner, has released the results of the elections determining the lay and clergy delegates to the 85th Ordinary Session of the Synod of the Diocese of Quebec, which will be held 21-24 November 2019 at the Monastère des Augustines in Quebec City.
 

LAY DELEGATES (in alphabetical order):

DEANERY OF GASPÉ
Candace Atikens
Lynden Berchervaise
Bethany Fehr Paetkau
Janet Harvey
Sharon Howell
Margaret Ann Major
Rhonda Stewart

DEANERY OF THE NORTH SHORE
Dale Keats
Jody Lessard
Mary Spingle

DEANERY OF SAINT FRANCIS
Jane Bishop
Sam Borsman
Lorna Gordon
Linda Hoy
Marilyn Mastine
Spencer Nadeau (youth)
Donald Nixon
John Rassmussen
Ruth Sheeran

DOYENÉE DU SAINT-LAURENT
Jean Thivièrge
Samuel Sinayigaye

DEANERY OF QUEBEC
Louisa Blair
Anne Chapman
Samuel Croteau
Lucas Demers (youth)
Marie Garon
Andrew Reeve
Meb Reisneer Wright

(The Region of Kawawachikamach will select its two lay delegates in a separate process.)
 

CLERGY DELEGATES (in alphabetical order): 

The Rev. Jesse Dymond
The Rev. Canon Giuseppe Gagliano
The Rev. Francie Keats
The Rev. Canon Jeffrey Metcalfe
The Rev. Deacon Silas Nabinicaboo
The Rev. Joshua Paetkau
The Rev. Cynthia Patterson
The Very Rev. Christian Schreiner
The Ven. Dr. Edward Simonton
Le vén. Pierre Voyer 

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Diocesan synod officially summoned


Bishop Bruce has formally announced the next gathering of our diocesan Synod, which will take place November 21-24, 2019, in Quebec City. More details about this important gathering of our diocesan church will come in the weeks and months ahead.
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An open letter to the Premier of Quebec concerning Bill 21

The Honorable François Legault
Premier of Quebec
Édifice Honoré-Mercier, 3e étage
835, boul. René-Lévesque Est
Québec, QC  G1A 1B4

Dear Premier Legault,

As representatives of the Anglican Church, which has been present and active in Quebec for more than 250 years, we feel compelled to respond to your open letter, published in several of Quebec’s daily newspapers on Monday, April 1.

We share your conviction that “in a secular society—which we have been since the Quiet Revolution—common sense dictates that religion must not interfere with the affairs of the state. Nor the reverse.” We also agree with your observation that “state laicity respects freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. Everyone is free to practice the religion of his or her choice, and is also free not to practice a religion.”

However, rather than maintaining a religiously neutral state, Bill 21, An Act Respecting the Laicity of the State, would in fact legislate the very kind of governmental interference in religion that you claim to oppose.

As Christians, we believe that the earth and its creatures have an abiding relationship to their Creator. Seeking to participate and give expression to this relationship in some form is a part of being human. For some this will mean wearing religious symbols and attire—such as a hijab, yarmulke, or cross—objects that can be intrinsic to the practice of one’s faith, and which cannot be removed at a whim.

We therefore embrace the vision of Quebec as a secular state that is pluralistic, privileging no particular religion, yet creating the space in which Quebecers of whatever (or no) religious tradition can fully participate in public life and contribute to the common good, including as public servants.

We appreciate your recent call for the debate around this proposed legislation to be conducted in a manner that is respectful and not divisive. However, we know too well that proposed laws such as Bill 21 risk contributing to a climate of suspicion and fear of others—especially Muslim Quebecers—at a time when we need our government to help protect, rather than further and needlessly target, our neighbours. The horrific mass murder at the Grand Mosque in Quebec City in 2017 calls us to be mindful of how our debates might stoke the fires of fear, and put people’s lives at risk.

We agree with you, Premier, that it is time for Quebec society to move forward on this matter. However, our own experience has taught us there is another way to do so.

One of our church’s principles of dialogue with people of other religions is to “meet the people themselves and get to know their traditions.” This too is common sense, and has helped us change attitudes, challenge stereotypes, and build new relationships with people of other faith communities.

We have been enriched and blessed, not impoverished or threatened, by face-to-face exchanges with these neighbours who have now become friends. It is only in encountering our differences honestly and openly—rather than hiding or suppressing those differences—that we can hope to build a truly secular and pluralistic Quebec that provides all of its citizens with the opportunity to flourish.

Yours sincerely,
The Rt. Rev. Mary Irwin-Gibson
Bishop of Montreal
The Rt. Rev. Bruce Myers
Bishop of Quebec
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A letter from Bishop Bruce

Bishop Bruce writes, “I wish to bring to your attention two especially important matters in the common life of our diocesan family. One has to do with another important meeting of our church; the other regards our collective responsibility to safeguard vulnerable people in our midst.”
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