Category Archives: Faith

Annual Fall Ladies’ Tea – 20 September 2014

Location: Seventh-day Adventist Church in Aldergrove
Date: Saturday, 20 September, 2014

I was thrilled to be invited by Betty Lang to speak at the Annual Fall Ladies’ Tea of the Aldergrove Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Betty Lang with MacGod calls all of us to make a difference – regardless of the mistakes we’ve made, or of our circumstances or age – in the life of another, particularly those we don’t know. It doesn’t mean changing the world alone, but accepting the responsibility to reach beyond our comfort zones and touching the lives of people close, yet far way: close by in our own back yards, far away from where we may have ventured.

ASDAC AudienceI pray that God would pursue and make us all uncomfortable until we are able to “do something” – that something may simply be smiling at someone to acknowledge they exist, communicating to show them they are seen and are valuable.

ASDAC Tea Setting  ASDAC_tea attendees    ASDAC_WRCA students  ASDAC_Dayna Mac

 

Street Talk – 13 June 2014

Location: Soulkitchen at More Than A Roof for a City in Focus “Talks with Tom”
Date: Friday, 13 June, 2014

Volunteers and tenants of More Than A Roof made breakfast and Tom Cooper invited Father Matthew Johnson from Street Outreach Initiative and me to talk about our different perspectives of ministering on the street – in Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, and Whalley, Surrey, respectively. Both our ministries are situated in the midst of brokenness as we walk alongside people struggling for survival on the streets, and although our approaches might be quite different, we share a compassion to serve “the least of these” in our two different cities.

Street Talk MaryAnne Connor Father Matthew Judy Graves Tom Cooper

The differences

Father Matthew is an introverted man with a personality polar to my extroverted one, but we are both called to step into introversion and extroversion roles depending on the daily demands of our ministries. Structurally, Father Matthew is calling people into the infrastructure of the Anglican Church, from the streets and surrounding community. At NightShift we are calling people out of the church – the structure, the building – to serve, do church and build relationships on the streets.

The similarities

We both realized that despite being nervous about serving people on the street early in our ministry, we each quickly realized that we have so much in common with people marginalized and dealing with poverty, mental illness, addiction and homelessness – the pain. When the pain is too overwhelming to carry by our own power and might, we each go to our knees and spend quiet time with our Father to refresh and be filled up. We both wholeheartedly agreed that it is a miracle how God can redeem the brokenness from our lives to bring healing and wholeness to others.

As Judy Graves summed it up, we all need unconditional love and prayer and meditation is listening.

Street Talk at More Than A Roof

Hear the Street Talk podcast Talk with Tom link courtesy of the new City in Focus website.

Unmasking the Truth – 14 April 2014

Location: Sheraton Guildford Vancouver, Surrey, BC
Date: Monday, 14th April (6-10 pm)

Unmasking the Truth speakers Cynthia Mac Kelita KamalIt was an amazing evening: 300 beautiful women gathering together, hearts melting with masks removed…Authenticity, vulnerability and healing. Lies exposed and truth reveal with a whole lot of love in the room!

Thank you, Papa, that there is beauty beyond our pain. Thank you, Ingrid, for coordinating such a great event. Thank you to all the JoyTV and all the sponsors, supporters and vendors. And last but certainly not least, thank you Kamal, Kelita and Cynthia for joining with me to encourage, inspire and empower us women! You Rock!

Here’s a link for more photos from this year’s event. Stay tuned for next year’s event planned for April 13th, 2015.

DIVAS of Coquitlam Presbyterian Church – 2 April 2014

Location: Coquitlam Presbyterian Church – Women’s Group
Date: Wednesday, 2 April, 2014 (11:00 am – 1.30 pm)

A sea of shimmering silver shone up at me as I presented to the Coquitlam Presbyterian Women’s group yesterday. The oldest lady there was 93 years old and still going strong!
“Silver hair is a beautiful crown found in a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31). These beautiful women who sat before me all wore crowns of glory. They are my heroes!

They call themselves The DIVAS, which stands for ‘Divinely Inspired Victorious And Serving’ women. So fitting! One dear lady knits socks for homeless feet on the Downtown Eastside, every stitch a stitch of love.

DIVAS of Coquitlam Presbyterian Church
I’m inspired by their tenacity, wisdom and willingness to serve even during their later years, when many people choose to retire. God has a plan and purpose for us no matter how old or weak we become. He uses everyone and everything for His glory! Our job is to be willing and obedient to step into what He calls us to do – and that happens at any age.

So I’m encouraged as I move into my golden or should I say ‘silver’ years. God’s not done with me yet! How about you?

Have you ever felt lonely, unwanted or unloved?

This was one of the questions I asked myself as I looked out through the window of a restaurant on Robson Street in Vancouver yesterday.

A man, wrapped in a blanket, sitting on the cold sidewalk, with but a dish in front of him for company. Head hung low, avoiding eye contact. For over an hour I watched hundreds of people walking past, ignoring him. During that time perhaps four people paused briefly to drop loose change into the dish.

As I watched, I remembered the saying, “A society will be judged by how it treats its weakest members.” Do we just walk by, denying our weakest members their existence? Mother Theresa said it best:

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.”

I found myself praying for this man who I didn’t knositting on Robson Streetw. I was curious about his life and what pain he must have suffered through. Just then someone stopped: a man pulled out his wallet and handed over a bill – and didn’t walk away. He stayed to chat a while. The two shared a laugh, their conversation was animated.

This was a random ‘act of love’ I had witnessed. I envisioned angels chest pumping and high-fiving in celebration of this connection of hearts.