Incumbent Priest, St. Clement Anglican Church, Diocese of New Westminster (D. Min., M.Div., B.A.)
Curriculum Vitae: Lynne McNaughton.pdf
Every call to ministry, to serve Christ, is affirmed at baptism, and the role of the ordained, bishop as well as priest and deacon, is to equip the ministry of the baptized. My sense of a call to the ministry of a bishop is based on my strong call to priestly ministry, which over the past 26 years has been honed and strengthened, as I have developed pastoral, preaching, teaching and leadership gifts. I feel deeply privileged to have been able to serve Christ in my capacity as priest.
The good news is that God loves the world, and in Christ is reconciling us and drawing us into new creation. I believe this good news is for all people, personally and communally, as well as for Earth and all its creatures. Creation is groaning (Romans 8: 22), longing for redemption. A key challenge of our time to which all people must respond is a call to cherish Earth, and to confront the greed and exploitation which are threatening our “island home”. The church needs to be involved in the conversations about pipelines, water, mining, species, and climate change. We bring not necessarily superior knowledge, but respect, reverence and gratitude for Earth as gift, with a sense of stewardship for the future and a community of faith to sustain us through change.
My relationship with Jesus is child-like and personal - Jesus loves me! - as well as a challenging call into healthy community life. Jesus summoned the religious and political establishment of his time to authenticity and compassionate justice for those who were marginalized or disenfranchised. His summons still calls into question the values and priorities of my life, church and society.
A call to episcopal ministry has developed for me gradually over the years. My children are now young adults so I have a freedom to commit to further demands on my time and energy. I do understand a call is always a two-sided coin; a felt personal call, which I have, needs also to be a call of the church. Should the church decide not to select me to the episcopate at this time, I will joyfully continue to live out my call to priestly leadership in this diocese. As I look at the questions addressed to a bishop-elect in the Book of Alternative Services, I find that these are commitments I am willing and able to make, knowing of course I can only do so in the grace of God.
I have discovered that although I enjoy parish ministry, I have a deep passion and a lot of energy for the wider church: diocesan, national and global.
I enjoy the ministry of supporting clergy and parishes, tending the leaders and structures of the Anglican Church so it can be faithful to the task of living out the Gospel. The national church gives me a bigger picture that reinvigorates my local work.
I appreciate and love the gifts of our Anglican tradition. Having taught Anglican Studies at Vancouver School of Theology for 13 years, I believe I am good at articulating the strengths of our liturgy, polity, and spirituality. Being rooted in our history allows us to carry with us what is vital (e.g. Bible, worship, liturgical year, prayer,...), while letting go of what may be secondary (e.g. structures, buildings, worship times!) in order to travel more lightly into the future. While deeply Anglican, I thrive in interdenominational settings, and one of the gifts I would bring to the episcopacy at this particular time in the life of the church is the ability to enter into creative dialogue and practical endeavors with other Christian traditions and other faiths, maintaining my Anglican identity and yet bringing clarity to what we hold in common. I believe very strongly in the Lund principle that we must act together ecumenically wherever possible.
I am fiercely committed, wherever I work, to figure out and enact the next steps in the Truth and Reconciliation process, to find ways for the Anglican Church to walk in solidarity with aboriginal members. I have been privileged to teach aboriginal elders preparing for ordained and lay ministry in several Anglican dioceses across the country. This has been transformative for me. Vivid images of incredible poverty make me ashamed of Canadian policy. Yet more vivid still are stories of courageous aboriginal people who live out the Gospel in spite of the wounds inflicted by the church. Our diocese must find new ways to minister with the over 50,000 Aboriginal people who live here.
Vancouver is a city of the Pacific rim, with increasing ethnic diversity. In the next decade our Anglican Church will need to learn better to reflect this reality.
I respect and celebrate diversity, and work intentionally to hear all voices.
As Director of Anglican Formation at Vancouver School of Theology, I worked with theological students of a wide range of age and experience as they discerned their particular call to ministry, ordained or other. Through this I myself practised a ministry of pastoral oversight: challenging, inspiring, affirming and supporting students. I learned to be pastor and build trust at the same time that I had an evaluative role. I think I was good at this task which is central to episcopal ministry. I learned much about discernment of gifts and formation for ordained and lay ministry. I will do everything I can to continue to support the Diocesan School of Leadership, building leaders for change.
May I also say I have developed a “Teflon” skin, tough enough to deal with complex politics and an occasional student who was angry at my evaluation or denial of their perceived call. Although I am pastorally sensitive, I also have the ability to deal with conflict and to be firm. My skills in building relationships are part of what I would bring to the office of the episcopate.
I am an excellent teacher, who loves her work, good at designing programme to suit the needs of a particular group, and trusting the learner in experiential process. I have good facilitation skills; I am able to plan an effective process and lead people through it, adapting as needed. Very much a team player, I have a consultative style, but at the same time I am not afraid to make my own decisions after I listen carefully.
I have a healthy, grounded spiritual life, gardening, cycling and walking, silence and singing.
I see spiritual leadership as a ministry of accompanying people on our journey through the unknown. What I can bring from experience is the assurance that God is with us when we wander in the wilderness, that times of uncertainty are, in fact, the preferred realm of the Holy Spirit. A leader keeps reminding people of God’s presence in change, and of the angelic message: “Fear not”. As a parish priest while we are developing a new model of ministry team in North Vancouver, and as archdeacon through the closing of St. Richard and now St. Monica, and the agony of transition for St. Clare in the Cove, I have experience of leadership as accompaniment through change, loss, and new life. I have a sense of humour. I can build resilience for change and I am full of hope! My hope is grounded on centuries of the faithfulness of God.
The church needs fearless bishops. In immense transition (such transition often feels like death), leaders need to be unafraid to experiment with new ways of being church. We need to be more nimble, flexible, able to respond to the changing needs of the world. I am able to make space and inspire the Church for creative, imaginative response.
Respectfully submitted, Lynne McNaughton All Saints Day, 2013