Meet a Few of Our Faculty of Divinity Students
We continue our vignette series, featuring Trinity’s Divinity students on their parish internships.
The Theological Field Education and Parish internship is a very valuable part of the professional preparation in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) program at Trinity College. The internship provides students with an opportunity to establish specific learning objectives of expertise in the art of ministry under the guidance of experienced parish clergy.
Thank you to the Faculty of Divinity and students for sharing their stories. You can also view the vignettes and other news on the Faculty of Divinity's Facebook page. Last updated September 17, 2018.
Randy Williams has been doing an extended internship at the Parish of St Paul, Rexdale, working with Supervisor, the Rev’d Jo-Anne Billinger. He has also been working with Charles Ozzoude and other young people in the parish at developing a group for Millenial Youth. There have been a few surprises along the way (the incumbent broke an ankle) but Parishioners report that Randy proved flexible and up to challenges. They also admire the way he learned everyone’s names so rapidly. He has been working on his ability to step into any liturgical role required. Among surprises have been the discovery that supervisor and interns shovel snow when the weather is too bad for the regular shovelers to get there. And Randy also reports being surprised by how busy a parish is and the intricacies of administration and planning.
The Rev’d Deacon Taylor Daynes is completing an extended internship at St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Rochester NY with supervisor, the Rev’d Robert Picken. One congregation member described her sermon on the Sunday after Ascension as “over the top wonderful.” Taylor reports learning a lot about confidence in leading the liturgy, and the complexities of silence as part of worship. She has been surprised at the diverse levels of comfort people have when taking about God, Jesus and their faith. Being able to sit in on financial meetings with highly experienced parish volunteers has also, she reports, helped her understand how much goes on behind the scenes.
Georgiana Stewart has just completed an internship at St. James' Parish in Kingston, with Supervisor, The Rev'd Canon Andrew Chisholm. The Rev'd Canon Donald Ford also served for part of the time as Supervisor. She has spent some of her time working with the children's program in the parish, as well as with The Gathering, an evening program for university students. Another connection has been to the Prison Ministry the parish sponsors. She reports discovering the complex dynamics in parishes that arise from their history. She has also been undertaking pastoral visits, and has been surprised by how a very simple question can open up a rich and deep conversation.
Jenni Feheley is an Intern at the parish of St. Clement, Eglinton, working with Supervisor, the Rev'd Andrew Federle, and a staff team which includes the Rev'd Richard Webb and Deacon Dr Anne Day, which she says has allowed her to see different clergy and their styles of working and leading. Her parish support team includes Gillian Lanyon, who is a member of the 9:00 congregation. People in the parish comment on the warmth that comes through in her preaching. Jenni tells about how much she learned when asked to lead a service at a seniors' residence on five minutes notice, and also of how a situation of conflict at the Community Lunch Program led to grace and possibility for reconciliation. She describes how through the different styles of worship and diverse worshipping communities, she has discovered how important the sacraments are. Most of all she has been surprised by the love and desire of people in the parish to follow Jesus.
Michael Coren is an intern at the Parish of St Luke, Burlington with Supervisor the Rev'd Canon Stuart Pike. As well he works with the Rev'd Holly Klemmensen, and Deacon Sheila Plant. Michael has been doing a lot of pastoral visiting, and says he has been surprised by how much quiet suffering there is in many people's lives, and how significant small things such as a visit can be. He has been involved with two funerals in the parish, and has assisted with the Food for Life program. Rumours are that he has also, on occasion, performed magic tricks for other members of the staff team.
Philip Benmore is an intern at The Church of The Messiah with Supervisor, The Rev'd Tay Moss. He also has opportunities to work with Canon John Hill, Honourary Assistant. He reports learning a lot about what happens as a parish shifts and changes culture, seeking to become more missional to the immediate neighbourhood. Philip has discovered that spending mornings in the parish's cafe and coffee bar offers opportunities to talk with people who know little about Jesus Christ and Christianity, or what a parish church does. He's also been surprised by how willing people are to offer critiques of his sermons, and that being involved with the choir has led to many insights about the parish's culture. He looks forward to Holy Week, which promises to offer new opportunities to polish his preaching and liturgical skills.
Michael Strang is doing an internship at the Parish of Saint Matthias and Saint James the Apostle in Guelph with the Rev'd Canon Trudy Lebans, Supervisor. He reports that learning about how diverse the different Sunday congregations in Anglican parishes can be has offered a steep learning curve. He's also discovering what happens when two different congregations begin living together. He says the biggest surprise was all the preparation required to get everything in the right place for the 8:30 BCP Eucharist (especially when there are two altars and moveable Sanctus bells!). He also describes how much he has learned meeting people whose ancestors were involved with the founding of the Parish and building of the church.
Benjamin Gillard has completed a summer internship at the Parish of St. Christopher, McGregor Bay, in the Diocese of Algoma under the supervision of the Venerable Glen Miller. Unlike many parishes that require interns to have a driver's licence, this one requires a boating licence! Benjamin reports that he has learned a lot about ministering to a diverse and far-flung community, memorial services and interments, planning and chairing the annual Vestry meetings, and welcoming the Bishop for a visit.
Bryn Snow is an intern working with supervisor The Rev'd Dr (newly minted) David Anderson at the Parish of St John the Evangelist in Hamilton (Diocese of Niagara). She has been learning about the interesting things revealed by peeling back the layers of history in a parish, experiencing different types of Sunday liturgy, and discovering some of the complexities of working with and expanding the team that does pastoral visiting in the parish. She has also developed a website on Spiritual Practices to enhance our lives as Christians from Monday to Saturday.
Jody Balint is an intern at the Parish of St Luke in Burlington (Diocese of Niagara), where she has been part of a team that includes supervisor The Rev'd Canon Stuart Pike, The Rev'd Elliott Siteman, The Rev'd Holly Klemmensen, and Deacon Sheila Plant. She has been learning about the complexities of transitions in congregations and the pastoral care involved in funerals. Among other things she has developed a plan for recruiting and training lay pastoral teams (they will take the Sunday Eucharist to parishioners who are not able to attend).
Hilary Keachie is an intern at St. Paul's Within the Walls Episcopal Church in Rome, working with Supervisor Fr. Austin Rios. The parish has a very active ministry with refugees, and Hilary reports she has been teaching English once a week at the Refugee Centre. She has been preaching, administered Ashes-on-the-Go on a busy street in Rome on Ash Wednesday, and had the opportunity to attend the first ever Anglican Evensong at St. Peter's Basilica.
Roshni Jayawardena is an intern at the Parish of St George's on the Hill, working with supervisor The Rev'd Michelle Childs-Ward. Evidence suggests the acolytes guild has taught her to swing a mean thurible. Roshni reports that she has been learning about covering the bases when there is no parish administrator as well as what's involved in hiring a new one. She has been making visits with Parish Chaplain, Brenda Garvey, discovering more about school chaplaincy, and leading a Lenten series that has people talking about aspects of Jesus' life they had not previously considered.
Caroline Sharp is an intern at the Church of the Nativity in Hamilton (Diocese of Niagara), working with supervisor, The Rev'd Matthew Griffin. She is leading a Lenten study program looking at healing and reconciliation and the experience of First Nations people. She is also reflecting on the amazing privilege of being invited into people's homes and lives as she visits them. Over the next few weeks she will also be discovering more about the processes for exploring a congregational vision for the future and some of the aspects of healthy stewardship.
Brittany Cartwright is an intern at the Parish of St Matthew the Apostle, Oriole, in the Diocese of Toronto, working with supervisor, The Rev'd Lisa Newland, and parish Deacon Kyn Barker. Along with a busy schedule of visiting, she has been reflecting on the rich symbolism present in the comparatively modern building, and the range of different ways small liturgical details are handled in different parishes and even at different services in a single day. In planning for Easter, one of the considerations was what sort of bulletin cover of the risen Christ best speaks to a very multicultural congregation.
Frances Wallace is at the St. Aidan’s parish in Oakville (Diocese of Niagara) where her supervisor is The Rev`d Barry Randle. Fran reports that she is about to launch her educational project, inviting people to imagine the Passion narratives through the perspective of the different characters in the stories. She is also preparing to preach on Palm Sunday and Good Friday. The parish has been engaged in envisioning its future, and she is working with others to explore strategies for them to connect themselves more closely with people in the surrounding area, which is changing rapidly.
Garfield Wu is an intern at the Parish of St. Cuthbert in Oakville (Diocese of Niagara) where his supervisor is Fr. Joseph Asselin. Garfield reports that he is learning so much, including having been with a parishioner on their final journey and helping to plan all the details of a funeral. He’s also been sitting in on the search for a new organist with a team of skilled professionals from the parish. His Ash Wednesday homily hit all the right Lenten notes, and people in the parish describe his preaching as passionate and profound. The million dollar question – will the Celtic Fiddlers who meet in the parish be able to persuade him to take up the Celtic fiddle?
Patti Brace is an intern at Church of the Ascension in Sudbury, where she has three supervisors for her time there: Bishop Anne Germond, the new Bishop of Algoma, The Rev'd Bob Derrenbacker (also Provost of Thorneloe College), and The Rev'd Rhonda Hirst. She has had the pleasure of participating in video calls with the parish's waiting refugee family from Syria, and the joy of participating in the procession at Bishop Anne’s consecration. Patti also says she's looking forward to Shrove Tuesday pancakes with the L’Arche community.
Michael Perry is an intern at the parish of St. Nicholas, Birchcliiffe in Toronto with the Rev'd Janet Read-Hockin. The Rev'd Ian Noseworthy is one of the assistant clergy. Michael is preaching up a storm, does great children's talks, and is learning about the unpredictability of parish meetings, and the importance of individuals who know the institutional history.
Louise Simos is doing her internship at St. Anne's Parish in Toronto with the Rev'd Gary Van der Meer. Beyond her immediate learning goals, she is discovering things about what's involved in living in an aging heritage church building, and new ways of connecting to a neighbourhood with a changing demographic where the largest proportion of the population is now between 20 and 35.