Bill Cliff’s farewell column: If you seek after anything, seek joy

By Rev. Canon Bill Cliff

There is an old saying that if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.

I wrote in the October issue of Huron Church News that I hate change, and that in spite of that, it is my responsibility in Christ to be open to change.

Well, now we know that God reads the Huron Church News.

Having been elected to be bishop of Brandon, I will have to leave my home, the Diocese of Huron, and its college, Huron University College.

I am deeply grateful for my years as a priest in this diocese and at the college. I came to faith in Jesus Christ in the cathedral and was baptized. I finished my degrees in the college and was ordained in the cathedral.

I have loved my ministry here and you are genuinely my family. I will always be praying for you as I go to the next portion of ministry for which God has prepared me.

I want to say that the joy of service is always the central fact of ministry. No matter how tired I am, or aggravated or grumpy (these things are real, just ask my friends), I have always had a sense of the joy of service in what we do together for the Lord.

If you are going to seek after anything, then seek after joy, for it will always reveal a certain proximity to Jesus — and if you are close to Jesus, you cannot be lost in what you do.

Leaving the college and diocese  may be the hardest thing I have to do in my life to this point. The roots run that deep. There will be a significant amount of pain, but it will be mixed with the joy of the faces and lives that crowd my thoughts as I will be thinking of life here.

We are a happy diocese with so much to offer. Never forget how God has blessed you in this place and never fear to share that blessing with the rest of the world.

I hope to return for visits often, as so many of my friends are here, so I will be back.

In the meantime, pray for the Diocese of Brandon — which runs from Churchill in the north (with the polar bears) to the American border in the south. Pray for their ministry and that they begin to sense a renewal in that ministry as we start this new relationship.

And finally, thank you for all the opportunities to serve, to sing, and to proclaim the wonderful love of Jesus Christ.

I’ll just be over there in Brandon. Come visit.

Rev. Canon William G. Cliff is rector of the Collegiate ­Chapel of St. John the Evangelist. [email protected] 519-438-7224, ext. 294.