A Word from the Bishop – April 2024

We're hoping that the artist can draw another picture of the Bishop soon - this time in a purple shirt!

Alleluia! Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed. Alleluia!”  Easter is here again. The birds are beginning to chirp. Soon we will see flowers peeking their wee heads up toward the sun and the days will be longer and warmer. It always seems that with it, Easter brings a sense of freshness; the ability to take a deep breath; and invites us to sigh deeply as we exhale the fustiness of the winter and Lenten season past. So, I invite you to take your Mustard Seed and a cup of coffee outside onto the front porch, stretch your neck and shoulders as you look up to the sky and breathe out slowly those beautiful words: Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

​When we breathe out deeply, we allow our bodies to expel the heaviness that can get caught in our souls. When we stretch our necks and shoulders as we look up, we open our chests and stretch those muscles that hold tension and worry. The very acts of stretching and breathing deeply are actions we take that facilitate wholeness and health. The season of Easter is our season of wholeness and health. It is the springtime of our souls, and we should relish the gifts of newness and hope that come with it as we say, Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Over the past year our Diocese has lived what may have seemed like an exceedingly long Lenten season. As a community of faith, you pulled together in a strength you may not have known you had but of which God was always aware. You elected this new Bishop who asked that you might wait for her as she prepared her own parishioners for her leave-taking. And then finally, she was here – in time to walk through Lent with you! It seems fitting that the consecration of your new Bishop would be smack dab in the middle of Lent, reminding all of us that hope, and new life, and divine possibilities are indeed coming … in due season. The season in which we can sing out together: Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

​Your due season is here. Jesus Christ is risen, and we have risen with him! The Diocese of Brandon is poised to begin a new Easter adventure with storytelling, faith-sharing, memory-making, family-expanding. Through our preparatory (and extended) season of Lent we have gained new perspectives, dreamed new dreams, and promised the Creator that we will walk in gentleness and peace into this Easter future unfolding before us.

​As a newly minted Bishop, I can tell you that there are times when the light of our Risen Christ is blinding. I am caught in my tracks as I consider the call that I share with you as we prepare to explore the Easter Garden that is our beautiful and expansive Diocese. I wonder if I can do this … I wonder if we can do this … and then I hear a quiet voice in my ear whispering, “Christ is risen indeed.  Alleluia!” As that insistent voice keeps whispering, I realize that I am being called to step out on my front porch – and into the parishes across the length and breadth of this Diocese, into AMC, north and south of this land Creator shares with us – and I am called to stretch out the fustiness of muscles tense with Lenten fears and breathe out the worries that come with new things, and I am called to yell out, “Christ is risen indeed.  Alleluia!”

​This Easter Season brings with it all sorts of brand-new things, but it first brings with it the truth that we are walking together into a new thing that Christ himself has prepared for us.  Right now, it is our call to stretch those muscles, take those deep breaths, and together cry out to the world, “Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!”

Editor’s Note: This column appeared in the print edition of the Mustard Seed under the heading “A Word from the Bishop-elect.” As of March 18, Bishop Rachael is no longer the Bishop-elect, but the duly consecrated eighth Bishop of Brandon! My apologies for the error.


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