Dear Sisters and Brothers:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
It is indeed a bittersweet task for me to announce that the Rev. Dr. Hannah Anderson will be retiring as the Canon to the Ordinary as of January 31, 2018. I am deeply grateful for the five years Hannah has devoted to God’s mission as we have together sought to pursue that mission in this Church of New Hampshire. The bitter part is that I will profoundly miss her presence at Diocesan House and her many gifts of leadership, spiritual listening and counsel, offered generously, wisely, and prayerfully. However, there is sweetness in hearing how God is calling her to new ventures in creativity, coaching, art, and in the blessing of more time to share together with Bob and their family.
Thankfully, we have time remaining to work together at Diocesan House. I have begun to consider the shape of this office’s ministry after Hannah’s retirement. Owing in large part to her diligent and creative work and the talents of the Diocesan staff, we are in a very fortunate place. I can take some time to reflect on what the Church needs and how the Bishop’s office can best adapt to these needs. Rather than hurriedly filling the traditional role of the Canon to the Ordinary, I have been spending some time in prayer, reflection and consultation about next steps. I will inform you as soon as a plan emerges.
In the meantime, I ask for your prayers for us as we express our gratitude to Hannah and prepare to say farewell to her as the Canon to the Ordinary at a festive gathering, date and place to be determined, in January. Please read a note from Hannah below.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld, Bishop, Episcopal Church of NH
Dear friends and colleagues in the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire,
With sadness and joy, I announce to all of you my retirement as Canon to the Ordinary, effective January 31, 2018. It will mark five years since accepting the call to serve with Bishop Rob Hirschfeld, a colleague and friend since our days of parish ministry in Western Massachusetts. What a privilege it has been to work with Bishop Rob, the entire staff at Diocesan House and many of you as leaders throughout New Hampshire. Together, we have grown steadfastly in our capacity to follow Jesus and help birth a new creation in the world.
My departure marks a new phase of life into which I will follow God’s call to serve others by offering life coaching, spiritual direction, and creative consultation through my own business. It is also a new season of life that will allow me an opportunity to spend more time with my family members, travel, and art making.
This marks a new chapter in your shared diocesan life, as well. I pray that, with the Bishop’s faith-filled leadership, you will explore creative and courageous ways to respond to the movement of the Holy Spirit. I have every confidence in Bishop Rob, diocesan staff and the leadership throughout the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire.
During the four months that remain in my ministry as Canon to the Ordinary, there is much to complete in the churches and leaders with whom I have made commitments. We can trust in the time allotted for our goodbyes, as we trust in God to oversee this transition.
As with any clergy transition in our diocese, I want to honor the importance of setting boundaries with clergy, lay leaders and parishes as I retire. I will not be in contact with you for a period of at least a year. Any attendance at a diocesan event would require the Bishop’s knowledge and approval. Please know that this is not in any way a reflection of my care and affection for all of you. It is a necessary process that, as painful as it might be, frees up energy and relationship-building for all of our futures.
Please know of my deep gratitude for your kindness and relationship in ministry during my tenure. You have shaped and formed me over the years through the love of Christ.
The Rev. Canon Hannah Anderson, DMin, Canon to the Ordinary, Episcopal Church of NH