May 5, 2022
Dear friends in Moosonee,
May 8th is the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday or Vocations Sunday. In John’s Gospel, Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd who knows us and calls us by name, and who loves us and guides us along life’s way. It is a blessing for each of us to be known and loved by the Good Shepherd.
In Sunday’s Gospel, we will hear Jesus say that the sheep of his fold hear his voice and follow him. There is a beautiful unity of hearing and doing in these words that binds the sheep to the shepherd. In our lives, we are similarly bound to Jesus in a lifelong relationship with him, and invited to participate in the Good Shepherd’s mission and ministry of disciple making and loving service in the world. We see the transforming love of the Good Shepherd in our church as faithful followers are raised up to bear witness to the love of Christ by leading holy lives.
When Jesus prays with and for his disciples, he prays that they may be consecrated, or made holy to God. This holiness of living is an ‘interior fire, a passion for living in and for God' and is a way of life we are all called to emulate. Some of the Good Shepherd’s followers are called to lead holy lives by serving in various lay ministries within the Church. Others are called to ordained ministry, serving as deacons, priests, or bishops to be living, sacramental images of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, devoting their lives in a particular way to the service of God’s people.
I am calling Anglicans around the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario to turn to the Good Shepherd in prayer in a particular way on May 8th that God will continue to call people to serve in the church.
In Moosonee, we have been making our way through the Season of Discernment under the wise guidance of our Assisting Bishop Fred Hiltz and the Diocesan Discernment Working Group. Representatives from around Moosonee will gather in June for a diocesan Assembly where we will have the opportunity to listen to the report of the DDWG and respond to their recommendations. One of the items in their report will be about developing a more robust discernment of vocations and postulancy process within the diocese. I was delighted to read about the process that is suggested in Sacred Circle’s The Covenant and Our Way of Life and hope Moosonee can be one of the first places that it is used within the Anglican Church of Canada.
The first iteration of the Moosonee School for Ministry was intended to raise up locally trained clergy and the new Bishop Thomas Corston School for Ministry intended for continuing education and formation for clergy and lay. It is not intended for ordination purposes.
As we anticipate the Assembly and a new discernment for vocation process you are invited to pray for those who are presently discerning a call to ordained ministry or who are beginning their theological studies for formation, education and training in lay or ordained ministry, as well as for those graduating this year. Pray for theological schools and universities as they continue their important work of preparing students or enriching them for ministry in the church—Thorneloe University, Wycliffe College, Trinity University College, Huron University College, St. Paul’s University, the Niagara School for Missional Leadership and the Bishop Thomas Corston School for Ministry.
Remember our Canon Pastor, The Rev. Diane Hilpert-Mcilroy, Principal of the Bishop Thomas Corston School for Ministry and her support group The Ven. Joan Locke, The Rev. Julia Gill, and The Rev. Ross Gill.
We rejoice that (God-willing) the Rev. Canon Grace Delaney will be ordained as a priest at the June Assembly and we pray for her as she prepares for this important moment in her life and in the life of the wider church. Canon Diane will be leading Grace’s pre-ordination retreat on May 11th and May 25th.
Pray for those living in religious communities, especially the Sisters of St. John the Divine and the Society of St. John the Evangelist.
Pray for clergy everywhere that through their life and witness they may serve as wholesome role models to their parishioners encouraging those they sense have the gifts needed for ministry in our Church in these changing times, and pray by the gift of the Holy Spirit they will continue to be worthy of their own vocation and calling.
Offer this blessing prayer for the clergy of your parish.
“Almighty God, our heavenly Father, fill the heart of your servant(s) (N) with eager love in caring for your people; joy in affirming all that is good in this community; courage in challenging all that is mean and destructive; and unceasing thankfulness in celebrating your Holy Mysteries among them. Give them a vision for preaching, faithfulness in teaching, diligence in visiting, empathetic listening in pastoral care, compassion in declaring your pardon for the penitent, and the peace which passes understanding in their daily walk with Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.” 
Finally, pray for +Fred and I that we will in the name of Christ, the shepherd and bishop of our souls continue to encourage and support all baptized persons in their gifts and ministries, nourishing them from the riches of God’s grace as we pray for them without ceasing.
In the loving name of the Good Shepherd,
The Most Rev. Anne Germond
Archbishop of Moosonee
- Peterson, Eugene, (2007) The Jesus Way: A conversation on the ways that Jesus is the way. William Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids Michigan.
- Webber, Christopher, L (2004) Give Us Grace: An Anthology of Anglican ABC Publishing Toronto, Ontario.