By Bishop Linda Nicholls
How far would you being willing to go to pray for reconciliation and unity? For one Canadian bishop the answer to that question is – ‘right across the whole country’! On Thursday, June 28 Bishop Rob Hardwick from the Diocese of Qu’Appelle cycled into Wiarton and Owen Sound as part of his cross-country pilgrimage of prayer.
Several years ago Bishop Rob took up cycling as part of a commitment to healthy living. He discovered that he loves cycling – and has discovered that it deepens his prayer life as the journeys offer insights into our relationship with God, creation, one another and ourselves.
Out of his desire to foster deep reconciliation, particularly with the First Nations of Canada, Bishop Rob decided to take a Sabbath leave from his ministry as bishop in the Diocese of Qu’Appelle (southern Saskatchewan) to cycle from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans. He began his journey in May and will – as he says, ‘dip his toes into the Atlantic at 5:32 p.m. on August 1’!
On June 28 Bishop Rob joined the parishioners of LAMB (Lutheran Anglican Ministry of the Bruce) at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church for lunch and prayer. He spoke about his journey and its joys and challenges, including a serious accident for his wife who was driving their car and trailer. Just outside of Wawa the trailer hit a gravel patch and flipped into the ditch with the car as well. Fortunately Lorraine escaped with only a few bruises but the car and trailer were totalled. Although a setback, they decided this was too important a journey to stop there – so a rental car, minimal supplies and onward they set out.
From Wiarton they were joined by Archdeacon Perry Chuipka who cycled with Bishop Rob to Owen Sound where we enjoyed tea with the parish of St. George’s Church. Again we shared in prayer for the journey and its mission of reconciliation.
Bishop Rob uses his bicycle wheel as a key to his vision. The spokes of the wheel must be in equal tension to keep the wheel round and able to move freely. Currently our country lives with an imbalance in our relationships that means we cannot live freely together. The journey of reconciliation is a long and important one that requires the participation of all. Bishop Rob has challenged all dioceses in the country to share in supporting the Indigenous Healing Fund. He has asked his own diocese to raise $200,000 and the rest of the dioceses to raise $800,000 so that the Fund will have $1 million dollars in resources for the healing needed. Our diocese made an initial contribution from the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund
To join this work – consider a donation to the Healing Fund through: https://www.anglican.ca/healingfund/
To join Bishop Rob Hardwick in prayer – follow his daily prayer journal: https://quappelle.anglican.ca/assets/docs/Prayer_Diary_FINAL..pdf
How far will we go?