Message from the Bishop

Message from the Bishop

Below is the letter written from the Bishop to the clergy
in the July edition of the Aurora.

Grace and peace to you!

This is a profoundly important time of transition in the life of our diocese, as we say goodbye to one Canon to the Ordinary (CTO) and prepare to welcome another.

When I first became aware that there was a serious possibility of being a nominee in our 2006 Bishop election, I immediately began to think and pray about who I might possibly invite to be my CTO. As I was Bishop Lamb's CTO at the time, I had a deep appreciation of what such a position could mean to the ministry of a Bishop, and to the health of a diocese. My model for the relationship between Bishop and CTO was the one that I had enjoyed with +Jerry, characterized by mutual trust and respect; shared vision and values; clear communication; and combined gifts, skills, and interests that were different but complementary. I had loved being a parish priest, but my four years as CTO were truly joyful.

It was with that ideal in mind that I invited Britt, whom I knew from Diocesan Transition Ministry Officer circles, to be my CTO. It was an inspired choice. She was exactly the right person at the right time, and I will forever be grateful that she discerned God's call to this ministry.

I was consecrated Bishop in September 2006; Britt arrived here in December 2006. She has participated in almost everything that I have dreamed, decided, planned, taught, organized, witnessed to and fought for in my episcopate up until now. All the growth and progress we have made as a diocese in that time has her fingerprints on it. She has been invaluable to me and a great gift and blessing to us all.

And now it is time to say goodbye, in the light of the very happy news that her husband Bryon Hanson is the new Pastor of Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle. I have no doubt that, in God's economy, a call to a new and wonderful ministry awaits Britt in that part of the world.

Britt and I had been discussing the possibility of her departure for several months, and so I was able to undertake the same basic CTO search process as before: reflect upon the best models for this ministry; assess what this diocese and its Bishop most need at this time, and in the years ahead, to do God's mission in Northern California; explore which suitable persons might be available when the time came; consult with wise friends; and pray for God's guidance throughout.

The result of this process is, once again, an occasion for us all to rejoice! As you now know, I have chosen Andrea McMillin to be my new CTO, effective September 1st; she has accepted, and the Board of Trustees has unanimously consented. You will have many opportunities to get to know her in the very near future, and you will be working with her for years to come. I am pleased to be able to introduce her to you now, and to tell you how very excited I am about this new ministry.

Please join me in taking every suitable opportunity this summer to thank Britt, to celebrate her ministry with us, and to bless this change in her life. Please also prepare to welcome and support Andrea and her family as they arrive and she begins her ministry in September. Pray for both Britt and Andrea, and all of the Office of the Bishop staff in this time of transition. However we have worked at making this transition seamless, it will be a demanding time, and there will no doubt be a few challenges.

God provides us with all that we need to do the work that God is calling us to do in Northern California. Britt's ministry has been an important example of that truth; Andrea's coming to us is another. All thanks and praise to God, in whom we are so greatly blessed!

Yours in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Barry L. Beisner


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