The induction of the Very Rev. David Tiessen as the Incumbent of St Michael and All Angels, Kelowna and installation as the Dean of the Diocese of Kootenay was held on 23 November, the day of the commemoration of Hilda, the Abbess of Whitby. During her opening remarks, Archbishop Lynne McNaughton said the induction of David has been long anticipated. It has been that.
For David, the months since his arrival in July may seem to have flown by but the events of those months have been critical and will remain in his memory. David joined the life of the Cathedral and the Diocese in a time of transition for staff members and clergy, and arrived, ahead of his family, at the height of the heat dome, with fires soon to follow. One fire, which initially seemed remote, grew to span from near Kamloops to the west side of Okanagan Lake, shutting down the Kelowna airport just as David was to catch a flight back to Edmonton to make the full move in August. September saw the fire danger abate but a random contact with the COVID virus led to three of the four members of the Tiessen family being infected despite all being vaccinated. The “Celebration of the New Ministry” was delayed from September until November, when the horrific floods on the borders of our Diocese reminds us of the overwhelming effects of climate change.
In her sermon, Archbishop Lynne extolled the virtues of Dean David and then compared the challenges of Hilda of Whitby with the challenges of the new Dean of Kootenay. In the 7th century, Hilda strove to maintain peace and protect the Celtic Church from the encroachment of the Roman Church. The Archbishop proposed that at the Synod of Whitby, Hilda succeeded and the Celtic Church continued in the north of Great Britain for three hundred more years.
How could David’s challenge be com- parable? Archbishop Lynne presented the challenge of the city to the congregation of the Cathedral and its new Incumbent. She explained that God’s vision is that, at the end of time, the city of Jerusalem will be a truly holy city. An urban church should work toward that goal for its city: to help the needy and the marginalized; to seek peace and improve the welfare of the city; to become servants of the city and to make the city a dwelling place for God. That is David’s first challenge! There will be more for the new Dean and the Diocese of Kootenay.
The evening was brought to an end outside the church with a roaring wood fire and hot chocolate under the first snowfall of the winter.