A Word From Our (Departing) Bishop

The Bishop and the Rev'd Chris Evetts after his ordination to the priesthood in 2017.

This will be my last article for The Mustard Seed, as this will be my last column as I serve as your bishop. I have a great deal to say, but I am not sure I have the words to say it. Nevertheless, here goes:

Thank you. I came among you in 2016 as a southern Ontario boy who knew what rural Ontario was like, but had no idea of what rural Manitoba was like. I had little idea of what was awaiting me. You have been kind, generous and compassionate to me. You have taught me an entire Encyclopedia Brittanica’s worth of knowledge in the experiences I have had serving you. I have come to love this place and all these people, both north and south, and I give thanks to God for your patience and wisdom in teaching me how to do this job.

It has been my privilege to walk with you, to learn from you, to advocate for you and to tell the world about the wonderful dedication and ministry that I have seen in Brandon. I am in awe of the laity who keep our parishes working, the clergy who are preaching and visiting and working day be day to care for the people of God in this place.

After 31 years of being ordained, I would like to observe that it is the nature of ministry that we are in a never ending cycle of beginnings and endings. Births and deaths, time turns on, and our lives change. I have imprinted on my mind many faces who are no longer with us – who have been gathered to Jesus and serve and praise him in his nearer presence. I give thanks for all of them too.

As I prepare to move to Kingston, Ontario, I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage you. The Diocese of Brandon has a great deal to offer to the whole church. We are living witnesses to a form of reconciliation and walking together that is a possibility in the church. We wait for each other. We listen to each other. We bear one another’s burdens. None of this is to say that there haven’t been difficult times, there have! But the ability to bear with the crises and trauma of every day life are in fact a sign of the resilience and gospel love which we have for one another.

I believe the next steps for the Diocese of Brandon are healthy ones which will deepen our commitment to reconciliation, broaden our educational offerings and deepen the commitment to discipleship which is already active in our midst. I am proud that for the 7 years, 6 months and 15 days I have served you as the Bishop of Brandon, I have been a part of your lives and part of the tremendous changes we have made. Not to us, but to God be the glory. God has done great things in our midst and will do greater still if we keep to the right path and walk with one another in trust of his plan and his will. I ask your blessing as I go, and tell the friends and family over in Ontario about your wonderful souls and the joy of knowing you. God bless you all.


Keep on reading

Skip to content