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Thursday May 28th, 2020

Dear friends in Christ,

God willing, on Sunday 31st May, 2020, The Very Reverend Shane Parker will be consecrated a bishop in Christ’s one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Because of the current circumstances with the coronavirus pandemic the minimal number of people will be present in Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Sunday evening. Consultations have been held with local health officials and everything will be in compliance with provincial and local regulations. In order that members of the diocese and the wider Church may be ‘present’, the service will be livestreamed beginning shortly before 7pm. Please consult the Diocese of Ottawa’s website for details about logging into the service.

I invite you to join with me in offering this prayer:

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts, in your divine providence you have appointed various orders in your church. Give your grace, we pray to Shane, called to the office of bishop in your Church, and so fill him with the truth of your doctrine and holiness of life that he may faithfully serve before you, to the glory of your great name and for the benefit of your holy Church.

We ask you to bless the Diocese of Ottawa as they continue in their mission to enable people to know Jesus Christ and to live and share the Good News, grow in faith and serve God’s world. Keep them and their new bishop steadfast in faith and united in love, trusting in the promises of your Kingdom. Fill their hearts and minds with your grace and favour that their words and actions may embody Christ’s loving purpose in the world.

We ask this through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The ordination service takes place in the context of Holy Eucharist, and there will be a celebration of Eucharist on Sunday evening. Since the Ontario House of Bishops have requested a Eucharistic ‘fast’ during this time of pandemic, I wanted to explain why we will be breaking the fast to celebrate with the new Bishop of Ottawa on this one occasion. The Reverend Dr. Canon John Gibaut who serves as the Canon Theologian for the Diocese of Ottawa describes the importance of the celebration of the Eucharist at ordinations, including those of a bishop, in this way:

It has been the uniform practice of ordination of catholic Christianity since the earliest centuries in the life of the Church, and enshrined in Anglican ordination liturgies in the Book of Common Prayer, and its successors like the Book of Alternative Services. It is within the eucharistic community where Christians celebrate the paschal mystery of Christ that those called to lead the community- eucharistically, pastorally, missionally--are ordained to their offices. As soon as a new bishop is ordained, she or he takes their place with the other bishops in the celebration of the Eucharist. Not to celebrate the Eucharist at an ordination would be an anomaly and a departure from the practice of the Church in which Anglicans have affirmed their faith in the Creeds.

I look forward to welcoming you to the ordination of the 10th Bishop of Ottawa on Sunday evening and invite you to pray for him and the diocese in the coming days as they enter into a new ministry in faith, hope and love.

In the peace of Christ,

Archbishop of Algoma and Moosonee Provincial Metropolitan