It was in January, 1985, that my wife Karen and I moved into Bloor West Village. We had arrived from Kingston, after a very short time there and were looking to join a new church community. We did attend a couple of services at a number of churches, but found ourselves pulled back to St. Olave’s.
I recall attending the Vestry Meeting and being impressed with the continued commitment to the wellbeing of the congregation.
And after 33 years, we are still members. I did have a couple of periods when other priorities pulled me away but in the end, St. Olave’s was my spiritual anchor. Over the years, I’ve served as a Warden a couple of times, handling the Property portfolio, was a Sunday School teacher and provide occasional handyman support. And our daughter was married at St. Olave’s! While all this was happening, my concerns about the future of St. Olave’s increased with attendance dropping and continued deficit budgeting.
A couple of years ago, we were able to attract a new Incumbent and I noticed things started to perk up. One of the many tools that Rob brought with him was the Stewardship Program that had been implemented at his former location. He asked if I would lead such a program at St. Olave’s. At first, I was hesitant as I had seen the historic picture of our declining financial position and I was very concerned that such a program might just be a little too late.
But with an awesome team of volunteers from within the congregation, we launched the program 15 months ago. And the results have been amazing! I am gratified to see so many parishioners, both long-time and new, answering the call to give. This renewed spirit of generosity will allow St. Olave’s to continue to be a light of Christ in the Swansea community and beyond for years, even decades ahead.
Being a member of a church community isn’t just about coming to the occasional service. It has the possibility of being so much more. It is the words spoken from the pulpit, it is the readings and joining in with the prayers. It is the maintaining of the traditional Anglican service with the BCP. It is the wonderful music and the sound of the organ. And it is being a part of a vibrant community.
I am excited about our future together. And I plan on being there!