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Bishop Stephen London is pleased to appoint the Rev. Canon Susan Oliver as Archdeacon for Youth, Children and Family Ministries and the Rev. Canon Dr. Scott Sharman as Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Edmonton. 

Archdeacon Oliver brings to the newly created portfolio of Archdeacon for Children, Youth and Family Ministries great enthusiasm for and a deep desire to continue to work alongside parishes and the bishop to “encourage children, youth, and families in their walks with Christ.”

By creating an Archdeacon of Children, Youth and Families position, the Edmonton diocese acknowledges that supporting young people is a core area of ministry. With Oliver at the table during key planning conversations, the needs of young people will be front and center as we chart a path forward together. 

Oliver will also be available to parishes throughout the diocese to share her experience and creativity regarding child and youth programming. She looks forward to collaborating with parishes, and she welcomes questions and discussion about ways of creatively involving young people and families in church, from launching a Sunday school program to implementing Godly Play or Messy Church and beyond... She will work with existing youth members and leaders within our community to encourage the growth of existing ministries, look for new points of connection and innovation, and champion the importance of including young people in our vision of the Church. 

On any given Sunday morning in her parish of Christ Church in Edmonton, you will find Sue leading worship surrounded by a gaggle of kids, as well as glitter, balloons, robots and popcorn. “Children and youth, with all the energy and holy chaos they bring, are gifts to our communities,” she says.

Canon Sharman will be entering a new position in our diocese called Canon to the Ordinary. (For more information about what a Canon to the Ordinary is please read Sharman’s description here.)

At the beginning of the process to elect a new bishop, Sharman invited the diocese to reflect deeper on the concept of being a synodical church. We use the phrase “Episcopally-Led, and Synodically-Governed.” This concept is more than just about how we conduct our diocesan business, but it is also a deeper vision of how we walk together as a diocese. It is a vision of how all of us share leadership and the ministry of the Gospel together in this time and place. 

As Canon to the Ordinary, Sharman will work closely with the bishop and the whole of our Synod to help us to live deeper into this vision of shared ministry and leadership. He will continue to serve with the Anglican Church of Canada as Animator for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations for General Synod.

Bishop Stephen is deeply grateful for the willingness of Sue and Scott to take on leadership and to witness to the love of God in this diocese during these challenging times.