Magazine article Anglican Journal

Beardy Returns to Ministry: Bishop Says He Needed a Break

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Beardy Returns to Ministry: Bishop Says He Needed a Break

Article excerpt

Bishop Gordon Beardy, who served as the first aboriginal diocesan bishop in the Canadian Anglican church, rejoined the diocese of Keewatin in mid-April to assist the current bishop, David Ashdown.

"I know that this appointment will bring great joy to many ... and I invite you to join with me in extending to 'Bishop Beardy the warmest welcome and assurance of our prayers as he undertakes this new phase of his ministry and the next step on our journey together," Bishop Ashdown wrote in an April 15 pastoral letter to his churches.

Keewatin, based in Kenora, Ont., straddles northwestern Ontario and eastern Manitoba and about half its members are aboriginal. Bishop Ashdown, who is not aboriginal, was elected in 2002 after sewing as then-diocesan bishop Beardy's archdeacon.

Bishop Ashdown's letter said Bishop Beardy will perform confirmations and ordinations, "provide pastoral counsel and direction to the clergy in conjunction with the diocesan bishop," give advice and counsel to the diocesan bishop and participate in the wider church through house of bishops and other meetings.

In an interview at the mid-April house of bishops meeting, where Bishop Beardy's appointment was 'announced, Bishop Ashdown said his friend and colleague has "a lot of wisdom and has long had a reputation in healing and reconciliation work (between native and non-native peoples)."

Bishop Ashdown also mentioned (as previously reported in the Anglican Journal) the diocese's new plan to carve a self-determining native diocese out of the northern Ontario part of Keewatin and an aboriginal area ministry in the northern Manitoba parishes.

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"The people are having a general assembly to establish the process for selecting their bishop. Whoever becomes the area bishop, it's a new concept. There may be some opposition and misunderstanding. …

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