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Returning to Her Roots at Trinity-Clifton United Church, Charlottetown
To participate in a shared ministry
Rev. Catherine (Cathie) Crooks is returning to her family roots March 15th, 2017, in PEI and Trinity-Clifton United Church in Charlottetown announced Barbara Prowse, Chair of Trinity-Clifton’s Church Council. Rev. Cathie will share this ministry call with the current minister, Rev. Greg Davis.
“I’m excited to accept this call to a shared ministry at Charlottetown’s Trinity-Clifton Pastoral Charge,” Rev. Cathie says. “I was born in O’Leary, PEI, and my maternal grandfather Rev. A. Frank MacLean was a minister at this same church from 1952 to1961. I am inspired and deeply moved by Trinity-Clifton’s ministry and commitments to community service and social justice and to being a welcoming and inclusive congregation. I am honoured to join Greg and the whole pastoral charge in their ministry.”
Rev. Cathie will participate in the worship service on Sunday, March 19th, and will preach the sermon on Sunday, March 26th. Worship begins at 10:30 a.m. at this historic church, with a welcoming reception in the gym after the service on March 19th.The services at Trinity United Church are broadcast live on Eastlink each Sunday (HD channel 610; SD channel 10) and are also available on YouTube.
Rev. Cathie holds Bachelor of Music and Masters of Divinity degrees, and followed those degrees with post-graduate studies at the Toronto School of Theology. Her previous callings include the Tatamagouche Pastoral Charge, Nova Scotia; Royal York United Church in Etobicoke, Ontario; Lyndale United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most recently, Rev. Cathie served as the Minister for Congregational Life at Plymouth Congregational Church as part of a multi-ministerial team. Rev. Cathie has a deep regard for all things Celtic and is delighted to be returning to the Island and to the music, arts, and spirituality of the province of her birth.
More on Trinity-Clifton Pastoral Charge
Trinity United Church is located on lower Prince Street, Charlottetown. The roots of Trinity date to 1778 when Benjamin Chappell, an early postmaster of Charlottetown and a personal friend of John Wesley, invited a number of friends into his home for worship. A replica of his tiny house is displayed at Trinity.
The present sanctuary structure, which seats up to 1000 people, was opened and dedicated for public worship in November of 1864 and is the oldest Charlottetown church building in continuous use as a place of worship. Following church union in 1925, this formerly Methodist congregation became part of the United Church of Canada. The congregation takes immense pride in its historic building, along with the adjacent Manse (both included in the registry of Historic Charlottetown Buildings) and the more modern Christian Education Centre. In particular, the church is well-known for its numerous stained glass windows and impressive Casavant Frères organ, and is a popular venue for concerts and other performances.
Clifton United Church is a small wooden church located in the Bunbury area of Stratford. Opened in 1848 as a Wesleyan Chapel, Clifton Church became part of Pownal United Church Pastoral Charge in 1925, then was added to Trinity United Church Pastoral Charge in 1962. It is one of the oldest church buildings being used by the United Church in PEI and was recognized as a heritage building by the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation.
Trinity-Clifton Pastoral Charge recently received the Organization Appreciation Award from the PEI Association of Newcomers to Canada for its consistent commitment to assisting newcomers to PEI. Trinity-Clifton serves the surrounding community in numerous ways such as the Prince Street School Breakfast Program.
As an Affirming Ministry of the United Church of Canada, Trinity-Clifton Pastoral Charge is one that specifically declares itself to be fully inclusive of all people, regardless of ability, age, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, race, or sexual orientation. Affirming ministries promote awareness and understanding, and work to end discrimination, alienation, and ignorance. They are explicitly welcoming around issues of sexuality and gender and are fully supportive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identity.
With gratitude and celebration, Trinity-Clifton Pastoral Charge thanks Reverends Gail Hopkirk and Melaney Matheson for more than a year of service to the congregation. When we reflect on the gifts that Gail and Melaney brought to their interim calling at Trinity-Clifton, we recall many inspirational moments.
We recall Gail’s luminous storytelling and reflective sermons, and how she helped us to find a quiet place within. We also look back on Melaney’s fearless calls to action in her stories and sermons that brought modern interpretations and thought-provoking life messages to the congregation.
Gail and Melaney were also an integral part of something much bigger than the regular duties associated with a call to ministry, however.
In February 2017, Trinity-Clifton approved the Joint Needs Assessment Committee’s report. On that foundation, Gail and Melaney joined Rev. Greg Davis to develop and model how a “shared ministry” could unfold.
This shared ministry pilot project was an important step in helping the congregation and Council see a new future for Trinity-Clifton: a future that emphasizes collaboration and collective action. Further, having a shared ministry model in place helped attract our soon-to-arrive new minister, Rev. Cathie Crooks, to her calling at Trinity-Clifton.
The congregation and Council of Trinity-Clifton Pastoral Charge are forever grateful to Gail and Melaney–and Greg–for transforming what could have been a tumultuous and difficult period into a cause for celebration. Thank you.