Dear faithful people of the Diocese of
and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
can all be forgiven for feeling a bit these days like the Israelites
during their 40-year-long trek through the wilderness. Although our
pandemic perambulation has only endured 24 months, it feels a lot
longer, and it’s often hard to tell if we’re getting any closer
to the promised land of life after COVID-19.
we do seem to be collectively moving into a state of learning to live
with the coronavirus, and returning to some of our former routines
while still exercising caution, especially for the sake of the more
vulnerable among us. In the life and work of our churches, that means
gathering once again for annual vestry meetings, which are now
permitted under public health guidelines.
this will be the first annual vestry meeting that most of our
congregations will be having for in two years, annual
vestries are asked to approve verified financial statements for 2019
(if not already approved in 2020), for 2020 and 2021.
Even if these are minimal and somewhat incomplete, they are
nevertheless essential for the diocese’s overall financial
vestry meetings should take place, and completed annual
congregational reports (which can be downloaded at
quebec.anglican.ca/resources) be submitted to Church House, no later
Although it is not my intention to convene our diocesan Synod in the coming year, each congregation is nevertheless requested to choose at their annual vestry least one layperson who will be prepared to attend Synod. In the unlikely event that Synod is convened this year, those individuals will join a pool of other nominees in their deanery from which Synod delegates will be subsequently elected. Synod Secretary Stephen Kohner explains the process (which was used for the first time before the 2019 diocesan Synod) in detail in the attached letter, and the necessary forms to be completed at the annual vestry meeting are also included.
Congregations who did not have a lay member attend the 2019 Synod are also reminded that their annual vestry meeting should also designate a layperson to represent their congregation on their respective deanery council.
would also be helpful if you could inform Director General Marie-Sol
Gaudreau (firstname.lastname@example.org) if
there are plans to replace the heating systems in any of your church
buildings in the near future.
As of 2024, the Quebec government will forbid the installation of
heating systems powered by fossil fuels, such as oil furnaces. If we
know of any upcoming replacements of heating systems, we may be able
to assist congregations with applications for grants to help purchase
buying new, non-fossil-fuel equipment.
pandemic has been a time of trial in so many ways. I would therefore
invite you to spend some time during your annual vestry meeting not
simply trying to pick up where you left off. Yes, approve financial
statements, choose people to serve in various roles, and discuss
infrastructure. But please also consider some of these questions in
the light of the experience of the past two years:
What has COVID-19 taught your congregation about being the church? What insights have you gained? What challenges have you faced?
How does your congregation see its ministry developing post-COVID? What short- and long-term future do you see for your congregation?
What dreams might your congregation be dreaming about your ministry in your community? What are your greatest fears? Your greatest hopes?
discuss these questions with the trust and confidence in God’s
future, embodied in this beloved prayer:
God, you have called your servants
to ventures of which we cannot see the ending,
by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.
Give us faith to go forward with good courage, not knowing where we go,
but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
yours in Christ,
Rt. Rev. Bruce Myers
Bishop of Quebec