January 8, 2020
39 years ago today I began to work for the Anglican Church of Canada, as a lay catechist in the Parish of Twillingate, in the Diocese of Central Newfoundland. All those years ago, I could not have dreamed where answering a call to ordained ministry would lead me! I have tried throughout the years, to seek God’s leading for myself and those congregations which I have served. In this season of Epiphany, I am calling our diocese to a time of discerning God’s leading as we seek to clarify our priorities in mission and ministry. I have taken my own advice and sought to discern what my role in that ministry might look like at this time.
My time of prayer has led me to decide to resign from the office of Diocesan Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and as Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Canada as of July 31, 2020 and it is my intention at that time to enter into retirement.
In making this decision, I have considered both personal reasons and the fact that we have begun to discern a Mission Action Plan for the diocese. Change has marked the life of the church over the four decades in which I have been ordained. Seeking to be people of hope and living the reality of God’s kingdom at this time will mean continued and significant change. Since April 2014, I have tried to lead the diocese in ways that would open up new avenues and resources in which to enter into God’s mission for this time. It is time for someone else to lead in the new vision for the diocese.
The timing of my resignation will allow the new coadjutor bishop to attend the Lambeth Conference of Bishops in July. I had the good fortune to attend the last conference in 2008 and it was an extraordinarily formative gift as I began episcopal ministry and one that I wish to give the next bishop. I will not be attending the conference.
The diocesan council will set the date for an electoral Synod and appoint the search committee when it meets on February 7 and 8. The process for the election of a bishop is governed by our diocesan Canon 1.
I am thankful for the opportunity you have given me to lead. I am grateful for the people I have had the opportunity to work with over the years and especially during the last 5 1/2 years. There are real struggles in sustaining ministry in communities throughout Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island but there are also wonderfully gifted leaders, both clergy and lay, throughout the diocese. Together we have an opportunity to bear witness to the vision of God’s kingdom and invite all to share in its joy. It has been a privilege to be your bishop.
I ask that you continue to pray for our diocese, for those who will discern a call to the ministry of episcopal leadership and for the members of our synod.
In Christ’s service,
The Most Rev. Ron Cutler
Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, look on your Church with grace, and guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this diocese, that we may receive a faithful servant who will care for your people and support us in our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.