Departing, but only to Next Door.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I greet you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. May you always know His mercy and power in your life as you seek to serve Him.
I find myself in a position in having to say good bye to a Diocese and it’s people who have been my home and family for 34 years. (I was elected Bishop of the Yukon on May 15). In 1976 God call me through his servant Bishop John Sperry to my first parish at Cambridge Bay. I remember as if it was yesterday standing at the window of the mission house and watching the plane fly off which carried my Regional Dean the Rev. Peter Bishop. The only words I could thing of was “God what have you gotten me into?”
What a journey it has been. Sheila and I moved to the diocese for 2 years. God however had other ideas. Since then it has been our home. We have seen God do amazing things in the diocese and in the lives of people. When Bishop Sperry hired me he told me, “Your job is to work yourself out of a job.” Leadership Building has always been part of my ministry, as it has been in our Diocese. I would like to share with you two of my greatest joys among many that I experienced in my ministry in the diocese.
The first was during my time in Baker Lake. During the first years there God seemed to be guiding me to call a young lady of the parish to be a lay reader. I went to the vestry and suggested that Mrs. Jean Simailak would make a good lay reader. They looked at me in an odd way and one of them said, “But she is a woman.” That began a time of teaching that resulted in Jean becoming a lay reader. I have had the privilege in being involved in her early training and formation as a minister of the Gospel. I watched God shape her into a parish lay leader and then a diocesan lay leader. It seemed that God had a special place for her. Later Jean was ordained and eventually became the Priest in Charge of the parish in Baker Lake. She is now retired but still active. I do not know if she is aware of it but during her first sermon as a lay leader, 3 men
walked out of the church. (One of the greatest joys any minister can experience is to see one of the people you have trained become ordained.) It was a joy for me to see her if only briefly, at the recent Clergy Conference in Yellowknife.
The second great joy happened in the long term care of the Inuvik hospital. I had just returned from Fort McPherson, NWT where I was part of the ordination of two deacons. The actual ordination was done by Bishop Christopher Williams. I went in to see a Gwich’in elder by the name of Sarah Simon. I said to her simply “it is done.” Tears starting to flow from her eyes and she said “After 40 years God has finally answered my prayers”. Sarah was the widow of the late Rev. James Simon, one of the last Gwich’in men to be ordained and Sarah had been praying for 40 years for more of her people to be ordained. It was the ordination of Rev. Mary Teya and the Rev. Hanna Alexsie that I had just returned form. To watch Sarah’s joy at this great event gave me a joy that truly was “joy unspeakable and full of glory” that is His Glory.
During my time with the diocese we have witnessed many other “joys unspeakable”. The following is just a few;
- The ordination of the Rev. Sam Kikpak as deacon at Kugluktuk. The first person of the Central Arctic Inuit.
- The Consecration of the Rev. Paul Idlout, the first Inuk bishop.
- The election of the Rt. Rev. Andrew Atagotaaluk as the first Inuk Diocesan Bishop of The Arctic.
- The ordination of the Rev. Georgina Basset of Hay River. The first member of the Slavey Nation ever to be ordained.
It has been a journey and an adventure the likes of which I could never have imagined. God truly is good.
Now God is calling me in a different direction as the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Yukon. Although I am Bishop Elect I will remain with the Arctic Diocese to finish some work. I will take holidays in August and will start with the Yukon Diocese September 1, 2010. The Installation date will be September 18 at the Cathedral in Whitehorse. As Sheila and I make this move I want to assure you of our continuing prayers, and I ask for your prayers for this next part of the journey God has in store for us.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord surround you with his love and mercy.
Your brother in His service.
Part of theInuvik Musrat Jaboree tent Team
Welcome to the website of the Right Rev'd Larry Robertson DD, the Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of the Arctic, supervising the Episcopal Region of Mackenzie and Kitikmeot.
Here you will find material for your prayers, stories of mission in the Arctic, and a weekly Calendar for the Bishop's activities. Included are connections to the websites of a number of the parishes in his Episcopal Region, complete with Contacts, Service Times, History, and Photos.
Enjoy the stories, the photos, and the hard work of the parishes for Christ. Remember to pray for them all, and for me, Larry Robertson, a Suffragan Bishop of the Arctic.
Copyright 2007 - Diocese of the Arctic