Minister of Word, Sacraments and Spiritual & Pastoral Care
Dear friends in Christ,
I am fascinated by Frederick Buechner’s stance on ministry. He says: "The place where God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." Having been born and raised in the Philippines, my call to ministry was initially a call to respond to the deep hungers of the Filipino people’s quest for the true meaning of peace, hope, social justice and love. God first called me to be a youth leader in the United Methodist Church and a public school teacher for gifted children for eight years. In 1990, after a great earthquake struck the city where we lived, God called me from my teaching profession to accept a weekend appointment as a Lay Minister in a rural Methodist Church for two years. Having been encouraged and inspired by serving others, I enrolled at Union Theological Seminary in 1992 with the hope of becoming an ordained clergy.
But God has a way of opening doors and windows of opportunity. In 1994, I immigrated to Ottawa and God’s call continued to nudge me. I enrolled at St. Paul University on Main St. and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology in June 1996. Soon after that, I found myself unemployed so I took a shift in my career path. A short-term training with diploma in Software Applications and Entrepreneurship landed me a job as customer service manager in a private-owned business, followed by a five-year employment as Information Technology Admin person in a high-tech company in Kanata. All along, life has been good. Ken Kim and I got married in 1998 and we were blessed with two wonderful sons, Justin who is turning 14 this year and Jacob who is 10.
When I was pregnant with Jacob, I felt a sense of restlessness – it was a voice - a soft, urgent whisper from the same God who in the beginning has called me to be a minister. I could not ignore that voice anymore. In 2002, I applied as an inquirer at Wesley United Church, my home congregation at that time, and completed a journey of discernment where I was recommended as Staff Associate. With that recommendation, I served the congregations of Stittsville United Church, and Parkdale United Church as Youth Minister. In my second year at Stittsville, I enrolled at Queen’s Theological College (now called Queen’s School of Religion) in the field of Master of Divinity. I completed the degree with flying colours in 2008. After completing an eight-month alternative internship at Grace-St. Andrew’s United Church in Arnprior, I was ordained in June 2009 at the Annual General Meeting of the Montreal and Ottawa Conference. I was settled in the Osgoode-Kars Pastoral Charge and served this two-point charge congregation for almost four years. And the rest was history.
Here I am, called as BCUC’s Minister of Word, Sacraments and Pastoral Care. I have accepted this call with great enthusiasm. And if Frederick Buechner’s words make sense, ministry that is well founded in the life-giving abundant grace of God, is a ministry that comes out of a place of gladness, devoted to satisfying the deep hungers in the world, no matter where we are. The seeds of service and love have rooted in my heart – sown and planted with a burning passion to touch those people and places that need God’s healing and love.
With the grounding I have garnered from so many years of lived experience, I have attained both faith and knowledge that comes with it the image of becoming a “light to the world” as exemplified by Jesus Christ. As a light-bearer, Jesus challenges me to use my gifts and abilities in bringing new visions and dreams to this energetic and faithful congregation. Being a light bearer is not an easy task. It comes with it strong faith, strength of character, integrity, and persistence, among others. With God’s grace, I respond with vibrant optimism.
I close this message with a note of gratitude, thanking you all for giving me and my family the opportunity to serve you. I ask that you continue to journey with us through your prayers, your presence, your love and your friendship. I invite you to join us at BCUC with a ready desire to be open to the powerful movement of God’s Spirit that blows through and among us.
I am truly grateful and blessed.
Yours in God’s service,
Congregational Designated Minister
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Faith, What a blessing it has been to me to join the ministry team at Bells Corners United Church! It may surprise some of you to know that this isn't my first experience with BCUC. This was my home church when I first moved to the Ottawa area in 1973 after graduating from McMaster University, and I attended here until 1982 when our family moved to Ashton. I have been actively involved at Ashton United Church since then. In the late 1980's, I went back to university and earned a Bachelor of Education Degree. This was a time of many changes and challenges for me and my family as I became a single parent of two and embarked on a new career. I will always be thankful that my church family was there to support me. In the mid 1990's I remarried and gained a stepdaughter. It was through Ashton United Church that we heard about the Chernobyl Children in Belarus and decided as a family that we wanted to help. This was a life-altering experience for all of us. From this experience came the blessing of another child who we adopted in 2000, when he was 12 years old. Throughout my life, family has been the most important aspect of who I am. I am a proud wife, mother of four wonderful adults and grandmother to three precious little ones. I can only imagine how difficult life would be without the many relationships that support us in our journey and offer us opportunities to support others. This feeling of family has manifested itself as well in my relationships within my church community. How rich this faith journey is when you have a family along to share the ups and downs, the sorrows and celebrations, the moments of doubt and of revelation. I come to you as a retired educator. I worked in the education system as a teacher, an instructional coach (providing coaching and support for teachers), and a Student Achievement Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Education (working with several school boards in Eastern Ontario to help improve the outcomes for all students). You might say that teaching is in my blood, but it wasn't my first career. I originally studied to be a Social Worker and later spent some time in high tech. I have always been involved, on a voluntary basis, in my church community and, since retirement, have embarked on the Licensed Lay Worship Leader Course. In some ways, I have been looking for "the right fit". I strongly believe that I have found that fit in the CDM position here at BCUC. The job description seems to embody almost everything I have done in the past and provide tremendous growth opportunities for the future. I am excited by the prospect of working with this congregation as we continue the journey of being the United Church presence in this community of Bells Corners. I thank you all for the very warm welcome I have received on my return "home" to BCUC.
Wishing you God’s shalom,
Congregational Designated Minister