One year ago this weekend I finalized the pack-up of my life in Victoria and got on a ferry for a few days in Vancouver, before flying to Ontario to start a whole new chapter.
A whole new chapter? Yes, I suppose it was, though the chapter has been just one in a journey of many that started with the first conversation I had, out loud, pondering a call to ordained ministry as a priest.
The last year has had lots of new adventures. I’ve been exploring a new city and region and re-exploring the province of my birth. I’ve been within spitting distance of extended family members who I haven’t lived near in 20 years.
I have started the seminary journey, completing first year (with top grades in the class!) and have begun to lay the foundations for my field placement for this upcoming year. Lots of new friends have joined me on this journey, some who I know I will have for the rest of my life.
I had the opportunity to travel to El Salvador, participating as an international elections observer and witnessing the human rights and development work done by PWRDF partner the Cristosal Foundation.
And there are more adventures to come! Later this month I will be experiencing the Stratford Festival for the first time! Then, I head to Turkey with a group from the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. I continue to work with the theological society to plan orientation for this upcoming year of school. Second year classes begin in a little over a month (eeek!) and I’ll be starting my field placement at a local Anglican church.
Southwestern Ontario is a far cry from Vancouver Island, but it is beautiful country with wonderful people, and more things to learn and places to explore.
Here is to year two in Ontario!
I had an interesting moment the other day.
I was sitting and talking with someone I’d never seen around work before and he was telling me his story so that I could help him to fill out a housing application for him. He talked about siblings, it seemed there were a lot. But one sister killed herself because of a degenerative disease. Another sibling has the same disease. And another sister “was got by Pickton”. That stopped me in my tracks, but he just continued on talking. It was the first time I’ve heard that said in a sentence by anyone that I have actually been speaking with. I am sure it is not the first person I’ve come across who has known someone affected by the serial killer operating on the Downtown East Side, but it was the first time I’ve actually heard someone say it out loud.
I remember when the trial was going on. I was visiting New Westminster and saw the crowds of reporters lining the steps of the courthouse.
The Missing Women’s Inquiry is going on right now in Vancouver. It is mired in controversy as interest groups drop out due to lack of funding and disillusionment with the inquiry.
But here, sitting in front of me, was a living and breathing person dramatically touched by that one person’s actions.
It brings a more human face to the whole thing.
Good food? Check.
Friends and family? Check.
Ahhh…. what a long weekend.
I’m in Vancouver for a series of meetings this weekend. I am the new BC/Yukon representative for the Primates World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) – the international development and social justice arm of the Anglican Church of Canada. I’m looking forward to finding out more about what that will entail and getting involved in some of these important issues!
Further to that, I have received an electronic reply to my letter to the Prime Minister. It just said my letter had been received. I have sent it off by post as well. The enthusiastic and encouraging response I received here and on Facebook was unexpected and really quite lovely! Thank you for your kind words.
Some pictures from last weeks time in Vancouver. I decided to play tourist in and around Granville Island, since it was lovely weather and I haven’t taken many photos around there before.
Oh, and I did some shopping. Hat, blazer, and dress are new… Yay for sales and for small, independent shops that we don’t have in Victoria!