Thank you for holding the Arctic people in prayer. Your outward demonstration of obedient love helped plant the Diocese of The Arctic so many decades ago. Let me report to you that though we are a small group of people, we are experiencing the favour of God even when most of our communities do not have a shepherd to lead the flock. You may ask why such a shortage is there? Well, we got behind in our recruiting and in the past 30 years, 52 clergy have retired or died. To remedy this lack of leadership, we prioritised the need to recruit and reopen our Arther Turner Training School. I am happy to report that we have recruited 10 clergy, trained 5 more and over 40 people across the Arctic are enrolled in our Deacons training program offered by the ATTS. They meet weekly via Zoom and twice a year they gather for face to face in person training. 

The Western region of our 3.7 million sq km diocese has a few roads by which students use to drive the 5-hour journey to Hay River where Rev Francis Delaplain first hosted a weekend conference on friendship. The week of studies were then led by Bishop Joey Royal. He reports, ‘It’s been a great week so far in Hay River leading Module 4 in our Deacon Training Program. Great discussions on liturgy and worship, teaching the faith, and church leadership! Thanks to Rev Francis Delaplain and St Andrew’s St Andrew’s Anglican Church for their hospitality.’

The means of transportation for the rest of the Arctic is by 737 ATR or Twin Otter. Before going to Hay River, Bishop Royal visited our students in Taloyoak who were mourning the damage a fire had caused to their church. The church is beyond repair. To make matters worse our church insurance company has been raising our premiums so much that communities like Taloyoak have not been able to purchase fire insurance. Yet Bishop Royal shares the community has a positive attitude. ‘It’s been a great visit in Taloyoak. Beautiful land, friendly people. The community’s church building was recently damaged in a fire, but there is energy and enthusiasm here to begin fundraising for a new church building – a bigger, multi-use building with housing. In the meantime, pray for God’s blessing on this community. Pray especially for the lay leaders who, in the absence of clergy, minister faithfully and tirelessly.’ UPDATE: A building fund has been established at the Synod Office. Cheques or money orders can be mailed to: PO Box 190, Yellowknife, NT X1A2N2.

We had a wonderful worship service this morning at the community hall in Taloyoak. I preached on the Lord’s Prayer as training in the priorities of the kingdom of God. Then we had Holy Communion and a time of intercessory prayer for individual and community needs. It was so nice to sing again in Inuktitut. I have been missing those Inuktitut hymns and worship songs since leaving Nunavut.

Along with training in Taloyoak and Hay River, Archdeacon Alexander Pryor and Rev Ann Martha Keenainak led the Iqaluit training school, and Rev Jared Osborn led the school in Arviat. The training we are offer is well-rounded. It includes growing the students in prayerfulness for evangelistic opportunities for gospel conversations about Jesus.

In the fall when the students were in Yellowknife, they hit the streets as they did recently in Iqaluit. The students prayed, then went to see where God led them. They all returned with exciting stories to share. During the Iqaluit school, Share Word Global taught students new ways to do evangelism. Celebrate Recovery taught them how to guide people through the 12 Steps/8 Principles, and to provide a safe environment for accountability and building authentic relationships. They were also taught by Dr Ephraim Radner, professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

Please pray for Nick Kigeak, our most recent graduate of ATTS who will be ordained to the diaconate on 17 December 2023. Nick is our Diocesan Youth Coordinator. Our hope is that some future day every Arctic community will have an ordained youth pastor.

In closing, thank you for your partnership in prayer. Your prayers are effective and much appreciated.

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

David W Parsons

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