MANITOULIN-ALGOMA—Members of the Anglican Diocese of Algoma have for the first time elected a female as their new bishop.
“Yes, the new bishop, Anne Germond, is the first female bishop selected for this diocese,” stated Reverend Aidan Armstrong, incumbent of the Manitoulin Island parishes. Bishop Germond, “will officially become the Bishop for the Anglican Diocese of Algoma as of next February with consecration to take place in Sault Ste. Marie.
Rev. Armstrong explained, “she is presently with the Church of the Ascension in Sudbury and right now is the Arch Deacon of the Sudbury-Manitoulin Diocese, which is how the people of Manitoulin Island know of her.”
“I love all the churches and the people I’ve met on Manitoulin Island,” Rev. Germond told the Recorder on Tuesday. “Presently I am the Archdeacon so I have some responsibility for the church and people of our church on Manitoulin Island.”
Rev. Germond told the Recorder, “I’m originally from South Africa. I grew up there, where I was a teacher. My husband and I moved here 30 years ago, because of a job my husband Colin was hired for. When we got here I took additional religious studies. My plan was to teach in Canada, but that has not happened. God has a way of bringing us to places and positions that we don’t always plan.”
She went to Thorneloe University in Sudbury to pursue her Anglican studies and was involved in Sunday school as a teacher, “being very much one of the people. But 20 years ago other people around me felt I might have a higher calling to do in the church and I have been with the church of the Ascension here in Sudbury for 16 years as a priest, having been ordained as a Deacon in 2001 and becoming a priest in 2002.”
In a letter to members of the Algoma Diocese, Bishop Germond left a message on the Diocese website, dated October 24, 2016, which states, “Dear friends in Christ, I am writing to thank you for the heartfelt messages of congratulations and assurances of prayer that I have been receiving from across Algoma and elsewhere since the electoral synod just ten days ago. My election as your next bishop was surprising, overwhelming and unexpected, and I am filled with the weight and responsibility of the office that I will hold.”
“I count it a great honour and privilege to have been elected as bishop and I will do everything I can to be a faithful pastor to you as we continue to share in the gathering work of Christ so that His newness of life overflows into our hearts, homes, churches and community.”
“The role of bishop is one that I will be growing into over the years and I am expecting there to be a steep learning curve,” wrote Rev. Germond. “It is good to know that I have the support of the knowledgeable Archdeacon Harry Huskins, our Diocesan Administrator and Executive Archdeacon, the gifted Synod office staff Jane Mesich, Liz Hamel, Marjorie Ingram, and Jay Koyle, as well as the Archdeacons, Deanery officials, members of the executive committee, and all of you.”
“I am looking forward to getting to know you as I travel across the diocese in the coming years. This diocese in all its beauty and all its diversity is where I feel very much at home,” wrote Rev. Germond. “Even though I’ve been a part of Bishop’s Council and the Diocesan Executive Committee for several years and have heard about the good things that are happening in your congregations, there is still so much for me to learn and discover about Algoma. I see my role and our life together over the next several years as continuing the good work that have been going on in Algoma for so many years now.”
The Archbishop has set the Consecration for February 11, 2017 in Sault Ste. Marie, said Rev. Germond.
In taking over as Bishop Rev. Germond pointed out that Algoma, “is made up of 93 congregations I will be visiting (Thunder Bay to Muskoka), a total of 70,000 square miles.”
“We call this time transition,” said Ms. Germond. “When the previous Bishop left an administrator was appointed for the transition, and I’m also preparing to leave and say goodbye to my parish and my congregation that I have loved for the past 16 years.” She added, “there are lots of wonderful people and things happening in the church. I will give whatever I can to contribute.”