Parish: Imago Dei Anglican Church – Orono, Maine – Father Justin Howard
Diocese: New England – Bishop William Murdoch
What’s your day job?
I work two part-time jobs– one at a local library (my favorite), and one at a Tim Horton’s coffee shop (one that pays the bills). Most days I’m at work from six in the morning till five in the evening.
What are some of your favorite activities and interests?
I love taking day trips to the coast or other lovely areas of Maine with my (new!) husband, Todd; spending quiet rainy days reading; playing with precocious children; and having tea-dates with friends.
Tell us something silly or unexpected about yourself?
When I was six or seven, I decided I wanted to be a marine biologist and study whales. By the time I was seventeen, deciding what to study at university, I’d forgotten that plan . . . I was recently reminded of it, and now I’m wondering if I should go get another degree!
- How did you become an ARDF Advocate?I became an ARDF Advocate on April 15, 2012. Canon Nancy Norton visited our parish– which was then a church plant– and introduced the Anglican Relief and Development Fund. I was new to the Anglican church, not even confirmed, and just beginning to catch a glimpse of the beauty of a worldwide communion under unified leadership. My heart has always been toward the diverse unity of the Church, and I’ve always loved hands-on practical ministries . . . so when I heard about the tangible ways ARDF loves believers all over the world, I was so excited! I remember sitting in my seat, and looking down to discover my feet were dancing of their own accord. I don’t easily speak to people I’ve just met, but after the service, I found myself bombarding Nancy with questions. As we talked, my friend Chrissy turned to me and said, “Katie, do you want to be our Advocate?” and I said, simply and truthfully, “Yes.” I had never been more sure of anything so quickly. I love how ARDF connects believers who have resources with those who don’t. It is the heart of Jesus to have His Church grow in love for one another, appreciating our diversity and celebrating our unity, while making new disciples. ARDF perfectly blends the Great Commandment to love with the Great Commission to go.
- What do you find most rewarding/exciting about being part of the ARDF team?I love the connections ARDF builds! Even in the year I’ve been an Advocate, I have grown in my appreciation of the loveliness of my brothers and sisters all over the world. I regularly weep with joy over videos and newsletters I receive concerning Anglican parishes overseas. On a more “local” level, I am continually blessed by and grateful for the fantastic ARDF administrative team in Pennsylvania. Each time I contact them with questions, someone takes the time to personally and specifically answer each concern. In my own parish, I love sharing about ARDF and seeing people’s eyes light up as they learn how they can specifically and tangibly join God in blessing our brothers and sisters all over the globe.
- What do you find challenging about being an ARDF Advocate?I don’t like making speeches or giving presentations. I get super nervous and forget all the things I wrote down to say; sometimes I can’t even remember words. (Once I spent an entire twenty minutes referring to the “global Anglican community” because I couldn’t think of the phrase I really wanted, “global Anglican Communion.”) Thankfully, I know that the Holy Spirit speaks for me in those moments!
- What has been the most effective thing you have done to raise awareness about ARDF’s work in the developing world?Since Imago Dei is such a new parish, I have given one introductory ARDF presentation to our parish council, and a subsequent presentation to the entire congregation. Both presentations went well, but the parish council presentation was the one I felt was most effective, simply because we had time to discuss in a small personal group and I could hear the reactions of the council members.
- Do you have any prayer requests you would like to share?Please pray that our children’s ministry (which is in leadership transition) would be able to integrate ARDF into its curriculum. So much power is unleashed when children get involved in building the Kingdom around the world! Also please pray that God would spark a passion for international generosity and ministry amongst the adult members of our congregation; we have a very generous parish, but we are small and sometimes resources feel stretched thin. And please pray that I would be very bold and very loving as I advocate for ARDF.