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Rector's Message

Posted May 3, 2024

Dear Fellow Pilgrims:


I am delighted and honoured to serve as Interim Priest-in-Charge during your transition. I love interim work. Everything I know about Christ Church leads me to be so glad for this opportunity.


On my first Sunday – in accordance with the lectionary readings that “happened” to be prominent that day – I preached on shepherds. You just said farewell to one shepherd, work is being done on calling another, and I am transitional, stuck in the middle between Once and Future priests.


All human shepherds are temporary. Temporariness is built into my appointment, a six-month contract. But even Byron, here for almost two decades, was temporary. As will be the next priest. We are all temporary and our primary role is to point to the true Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, the Lord Who Is Our Shepherd. Early in my ministry (four decades ago already!) I wondered how to understand the peculiar practice of pastoral ministry. The job description included different tasks: preaching, presiding, pastoral care, greeting people, attending, and sometimes chairing meetings, picking litter from the floor, visiting. How did all this hang together? Everything I do as a pastor ought to remind us of God’s grace, encourage us to draw near to God, point, and orient people to God and the priorities of God. I love the word “orient.” Originally, it was a noun, simply meaning “east.” Eventually it became a verb, “to orient,” and meant to face or turn east. Why? As scriptures teach that Jesus the Christ will return in the east ancient Christian traditions insisted Christians should face east when worshipping and praying and constructed buildings accordingly. Our church worship literally faces east. (If I have my geography correct; I’m new to Brampton and in my first week already got lost – disoriented – at least once.)


There are times and periods where we feel oriented: things make sense, life works, God is clearly on God’s throne, the world mostly feels right. But then we get disoriented: things don’t go well, we are not at ease, we experience losses. This can feel like dying or being in the wilderness. But Christians are not left here. The heart of our faith celebrates how God works through dying and rising. God’s mercy and grace can bring us to a new place where we are reoriented. Being reoriented is pleasant and echoes life when we were oriented. But now we know the cost and suffering that got us here. Through my biggest disorientations I gradually came to see God at work even in the most difficult times. I was deepened as a Christian and could minister more faithfully. Christ Church’s transitional phase may feel like disorientation and some will grieve. That’s normal! Some will be anxious. That’s normal too! None of us know exactly what the future holds, but we count on God.


I am glad to be on this pilgrim journey with you. We trust and pray that God walks alongside us and is moving us steadily toward a grand reorientation.



Arthur +

Arthur Boers

Interim Priest-in-Charge

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