It is a great joy and privilege to assume the role of Editor of the Niagara Anglican, as part of my position as Diocesan Communications Coordinator. I am deeply grateful to Bishop Susan for her trust in appointing me to this role, and to the Reverend Rob Towler for the warm welcome he has extended to me, and for his diligent work as Interim Editor. I am also thrilled and humbled to work with such an extraordinarily talented group of columnists, contributors, and staff. Gifts and opportunities abound, and I look forward to all that we can accomplish together.
As I have begun to settle into this new role, I have been reminded of the importance of telling our story. Individually, as communities of faith, and as an expansive and yet united diocese, telling our story matters deeply and profoundly. The story of salvation is given to us in narrative form, saturated and enriched with human culture, context, and experience. Our own efforts to live out our baptismal call to proclaim in word and action the faith that we have inherited is often most effective, natural, and winsome when we find ways to move from abstract notions into the realm of lived experience and good storytelling. We find that the spaces between us are somehow bridged when we recognize common experiences, share in lamenting challenges and struggles, and begin to live into the truth that we are not alone.
In the beginning, St. John writes, the Word of God spoke everything into being. Divine love, joy, and creativity found expression in the creation of the world so that relationships might flourish and a new story might emerge. In the midst of that beautiful and expansive story, our own small parts are played out in moments of grand significance as well as stretches of divine banality. From beginning to end, it is a single story, and it all belongs to God.
It’s an extraordinary thing to consider.
From rummage sales to life-changing refugee sponsorships, from tentative first steps creating digital church space to weighty celebrations of shared ministry, from prophetic calls to action in the service of social justice to contemplative reflection on challenges and tensions of our time, this publication creates space to tell our story. And, crucially, to discover the endless ways in which our respective stories are caught up in one another and bound together by the God who speaks our stories into being.
May we find the courage to tell our stories, whether they feel big and important or cozy and ordinary. May we be given the vision and creativity to speak in new and resonant ways, both in conversation with one another and as we seek to share our joy with the world. And may we always remember the overarching story within which our lives find form, as the Word of God continues to speak truth to a world longing to hear good news.
The Reverend Jeff Potter, Editor