Wednesday 13th March, 2024

Dear friends in Christ,

I write to share some important news with you and to ask for your prayers as the Synod office enters a period of transition and change.

Following a time of personal discernment, my Administrative Assistant, Liz Hamel, has made the decision to retire on June 1st, 2024.  Her last day in the office will be May 10th.   I know that you will join me in wishing Liz and her spouse, Norm, every blessing and happiness for this well-deserved retirement and for all that awaits as the next chapter of their lives begins.

While many people think of administrative positions as a job or a career, for Liz it has been a calling. It is one which she embodies fully as she serves Christ and the church with the many God-given gifts she has been blessed. Over the years, she has literally been at my right hand to support the office of bishop and me personally. I have valued her assistance along with her wise counsel and guidance, particularly in the early years of my episcopacy.

Professional in every sense of the word, Liz is organized, capable and a very efficient administrative assistant. She is a much loved and valued member of our Synod office team and highly respected beyond the Diocese of Algoma in the wider church.

You will have encountered Liz as the friendly, helpful voice at the end of the phone, the person to direct your call or the one you can always rely on to provide an answer to a question. Many a new clergy or warden has found a sympathetic ear and experienced Liz’s gentle care as they began their new ministry in our Diocese.

Liz’s responsibilities within the Synod office, however, encompass much more than that. It is Liz who prepares the letters of appointment and renewals for clergy; who is the ‘keeper of the calendar’ and arranges my many and various meetings and appointments. It is Liz who supports the functioning of the Executive Committee in a myriad of ways, takes care of communications for the Diocese, plays an important role in organizing Synods and other diocesan events, and who manages the filing and storage of vital records and other documents within the Synod office. Liz is valued and invaluable and she will leave a huge gap in our lives when she retires.

Plans are underway to honour Liz’s 18 years of ministry in the Diocese of Algoma where she has served since 2006. As soon as they are in place, we will let you know so that you can offer your personal greetings and good wishes to Liz.

I ask for your patience and prayers as we discern the path forward in the midst of great change in the Synod office. We trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness to provide for us faithful servants for our beloved diocese.