And finally about offering people a distinctive and compelling Anglican identity in our parishes-we will, can we, wake up to the fact that particularity is always better than being generic, that heritage is a gift to be opened and shared in the present moment, that who we are in our identity can be trusted today more than ever before? For we have beauty and mystery to offer as food. We have open-mindedness and tolerance. We have liturgy and literature. We have the Bible and baptismal identity. We have reason and the rhythm of daily prayer. And these are only a small selection of who and what we are!
These three things-community, an experience of God, our distinctive and compelling Anglican heritage-these are the three ways we have been given to feed the people of God that we wil be exploring over the next two days.
When I go on parish visitations here in the Diocese, I’m often asked what the difference is between parishes in Canada and the parishes I used to work with in the US. After some rather obvious comments-that parishes in Canada serve sweet pickles and parishes in the US don’t, that parishes in Canada have a picture of the queen in their halls and parishes in the US have no pictures of rulers or political figures of any kind anywhere on their property, after all these comments, I get down to the truth: in my experience people in Canada love their parishes with a love I have never seen before. People in this Diocese love their parishes with a love I have never seen before.