New Creemore minister all about community
St. John’s United Church has welcomed a new minister in Creemore and New Lowell.
Rev. Jane Sullivan has been on duty since March 1, following a five-year stint for the United Church of Canada. When the church restructured, the Barrie resident applied to St. John’s, where there was an opening. Her previous post was at St. James in Stroud, where she worked for 10 years.
Born in New Liskeard, Sullivan spent her formative years exploring the bush and lakes of Northern Ontario, and love of the outdoors has persisted for her. She left the north to attend the University of Toronto in 1979, and after pursuing various academic tracks and receiving a B.A. (Hon.) in Medieval Studies and Philosophy from University College, discerned a call to ministry and entered Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto. In 1984, she was granted her Master of Divinity degree and was ordained by Manitou Conference of the United Church at St. Paul’s United Church in Sudbury.
Sullivan has been blessed and challenged in her ministry of over 30 years. Having served congregations in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba, she has been enriched in her ministry, and enriched in her personal life with the birth of three children. Her son is the operations manager for a gourmet burger restaurant in Ottawa. Her older daughter is a student at Western University, doing an undergraduate degree in Lit. Studies and preparing to follow in her mother’s footsteps and enter ministry. Her younger daughter is, as a recent high school graduate, thinking about what direction is appropriate for her.
“Life in the last few years had been grounding and good,” said Sullivan.
She is partnered with a retired Mountie, Don. Together they travel occasionally and have other adventures. She enjoys the company of her dog, Biscuit and her grand-cat, Binx, and is also very fond of her budgie, Friedrich.
She said she is excited about the possibilities for ministry in Clearview, and across Simcoe County.
Sullivan said church is all about community
“There are a lot of creative people in the community,” said Sullivan. “I like to be able to serve God in community.”
She said she looks to discover spiritual depth and richness, and provide a community to explore social activism, identifying common goals or “looking for things that cause all the boats to rise.”
In keeping with her love of nature, Sullivan said one of her ideas is to offer Forest Church which takes worship to the outdoors.
“It’s about the idea of getting out and breathing, being out in nature and the mindful spiritual practice that goes along with it,” she said, adding it’s often what people do while out for a hike. “Doing it in community makes for a richer experience of the divine.”
St. John’s United has some special services coming up. On Palm Sunday, April 14, the Passion Play will be performed by the children of the congregations in silhouette (at 9:45 a.m. in New Lowell and 11 a.m. in Creemore). There will be a joint service on Good Friday, April 19, at 11 a.m. in New Lowell. On Easter Sunday, there will be a Sunrise Service at the Eagle Chapel at 7 a.m., followed by an Easter breakfast in Creemore at 8 a.m. Sunday services will be at 9:45 a.m. in New Lowell and at 11 a.m. in Creemore.