You may be forgiven for asking what God was up to this year in Winnipeg. We had the harshest winter since 1898, and at one point, our city was colder than the surface of Mars. There were even rumours that the colloquial phrase, “when Hell freezes over” should be replaced with “when Winnipeg warms up,” because it seemed a more unlikely possibility.
Yet God was notably present in the diocese this spring. Our church was blessed to recognize God’s call to a special ministry in the lives of six people in our diocesan family.
On Saturday, May 31st, Bonnie Dowling entered into Holy Orders as she was ordained a deacon at St. Margaret’s Church. Bonnie will continue with St. Margaret’s as their deacon, gaining experience and offering her considerable gifts. God willing, she will be ordained a priest sometime next year.
Just 15 days later, on June 15th, 392 people gathered from parishes across the city at St. John’s Cathedral to celebrate as Allison Chubb, Helen Holbrook, Kara Mandryk, Steven Scribner and Lissa Wray Beal were ordained priests. In what will surely be remembered as “The Great Priesting” of 2014, these five accepted God’s design for their lives, and in a great act of faith, pledged to lead the Church in this changing time in her history.
Allison will continue her work at St. John’s College in addition to working for Rupert’s Land News, while Helen has been appointed Honorary Assistant at St. Paul’s and continues her ministry as a chaplain at Seven Oaks Hospital.
Kara is moving to The Pas, where she will be involved in parish ministry while teaching modules at Providence College. Lissa is a professor of Old Testament at Providence College and Honourary Assistant at St. Peter’s Church, while Steven continues his ministry with St. Mark’s Church in addition to his work in engineering.
It is surely a sign of God’s faithfulness that, in a time where society questions the relevance of religion, such calibre of people are being called into ordained ministry. We in Rupert’s Land are richly blessed with God’s favour!
– Michael Bruce