As the province began to open more and more places, so we could come out of isolation, a friend of mine took to social media to share her “365 Days of Gratitude”. It was a very basic concept — to share one thing, every day, for which she is grateful. Her list took us from the “expected” (family, friends, faith, etc) to the unexpected (including cabbage steaks and small barbeque units).
Her list reminded me that there is indeed much in our lives for which to be thankful. However, in days of COVID-19 and isolation and political confusion, we often forget to name the many blessings in our lives. Her action also reminded me that we can be thankful at any time (not just Thanksgiving or New Year’s). We are called to be a people of thanks-giving every day, all year.
And so — in this my final issue as Editor of the Niagara Anglican — let me offer my own list of thanksgivings:
For Bishop Susan — who gave me the opportunity to serve as Editor this past year. Who trusted me to hold up the mission and ministry of the Diocese of Niagara through this publication. Allowing me to tell and re-tell your stories. Sharing the good news of this diocese with its members, and across the country. I am forever grateful for this opportunity.
For our Diocesan staff — whose ministries are life-giving, and parish enabling. A fine group of people who generously responded to all my requests for stories about what they are working on, and parishes in which they can see hope and faith in action. In pre-pandemic days, I enjoyed walking through the office and hearing story idea after story idea.
For the staff of the Niagara Anglican – Craig Fairley, Angela Rush, William Pleydon, and John Ripley. Together the best team an editor could ask for. And to Canon Rob Park for taking this newspaper and sequentially posting our stories online so that people around the world can read about the good things that are happening in The Diocese of Niagara.
For the columnists — who challenge us, uphold us, and even make us laugh. Who (for the most part) observed column length and deadlines, but whom I trusted when they didn’t … and we were richly rewarded. Also, for the many contributors to “The Deacon’s Bench”, for showing us the various ways in which diaconal ministry benefits our church and our communities.
For the contributors — parishes and individuals, who offer up their stories for publication. Doing so can be a frightening task, and I admire all those who have stepped forward to do so … and my prayer is that you will continue to do so.
And finally I am thankful for you, the readers — from my first day in this ministry I have enjoyed interacting with you. Your emails, phone calls and in person conversations have been a tremendous support to this ministry. Your feedback on various stories, your suggestions for others, your comments and concerns, have all helped me in my desire to make the Niagara Anglican truly representative of the diversity of our diocese.
For this, and so much more, I am truly, truly thankful.
The Reverend Rob Towler