A Word from the Bishop-Elect

The Ven. Dr. Kara Mandryk presents the newly elected Bishop with a pair of beaded earrings.

“The beginning of a beautiful relationship …”

As my husband Rob drove past the outskirts of Brandon at the end of the day on 25 November, that thought kept coursing through my mind.  “I pray that this decision the Synod of the Diocese of Brandon has made will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”  As I write these words, I truly believe that they will be realized.

​At the Episcopal Synod in November, your delegates – clergy and laity – granted me the privilege and honour of what feels like the greatest invitation I have received in my vocation.  In your decision to call me to be your servant shepherd, you have issued the call for me and my husband to be part of the Brandon Family.  (And in case there was any question, we say “absolutely” with no hesitation!)

​In my post-election words, I spoke of adoption and my sense that I have been adopted by the Diocese.  I am not a child of Brandon.  I have not yet served in this vast and glorious geography. I admittedly know very little of it, but I am eager and giddy with joy to know that the Holy Spirit allowed our paths to

cross and encouraged us to come together as family.

​In the months since +William was called to serve in Ontario, I had been praying for him and for all of you.  I knew that there would be tears of joy that he had been called to serve in a new and exciting way, but I also knew that there would be tears of grief as one who had loved you and walked beside you was being called from your midst.  Not knowing that the road I was walking would join yours, my prayers were simply for a beautiful people walking a hard road through difficult times.  Through the summer I carried you in my daily prayers and simply asked that God would guide you and the one who would be called to join you.  Little did I know where my own road was leading.

​At the time of writing, I do not yet know when I will be consecrated 8th Bishop of Brandon.  My hope is to be on the ground the first of March as your Bishop-Elect, learning the diocese, meeting people, celebrating with joy when we can, and coming alongside those who are in sorrow.  My plan is to spend time in the first while sharing in what my Padre husband calls “a ministry of presence.”  My greatest desire is to learn who you are, what you love, what you don’t, and to witness the ways that each of you seek and serve Jesus Christ in the place where God has planted you.

​I believe that I have been placed in your Diocese by the Spirit in much the way my sister was placed in my parents’ arms the evening she became part of our family: with gentleness and a true call to love you and to be loved by you.  Together our Brandon Family will continue to seek out the will of the Lord and do His bidding right where we are.


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