As part of our ordination ceremony, we read a loud the declaration of our ministry. For transparency, here is mine:

Declaration of my Ministry

For the past 15 years I have created space for people living through some of life’s most difficult and life-threatening situations. As a counsellor for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence and gender based violence, I have honed a way of holding trauma for grief and fear in such a way as to promote a sense of empowerment and possibility. Even in the direst of circumstances, I could find “sparkly moments” wherein people’s strengths and power could be made visible. I continue to nurture my skills by honouring learning as a life long process and conscientiously attending to my commitment to betterment through humility. I graciously accept feedback in all my relationships to help me grow.

As an educator, both in an institution of higher learning and my consulting business A Safe Passage (www.asafepassagetraining.com) I live with an awareness of the tremendous responsibility of being a trusted guide through a process, whether it is learning a new skill or unpacking assumptions. I see myself as a companion through these times of transitions, walking beside and with, others. This approach to being with others is an approach I intend to maintain in my ministry work.

In my work as a doula, I have fostered a deep appreciation for the role of ceremony to mark life’s events across the lifespan. I have been blessed to be at the bedside of those both leaving and being welcomed to this earth. It is in these spaces that I feel the remarkableness of the Universe, and feel tremendous reverence toward the Devine.

I believe my spiritual Ministry can bring a sense of belongingness and worthiness to my immediate community. I spend time with those who often find themselves relegated to the margins of society because of the stigma surrounding drug addiction, mental illness, poverty etc. In my role, I intend to bring ceremony into spaces where this doesn’t currently exist, or to those who experience barriers to accessing ceremony held in particular locations, i.e. churches.

In writing this I remember the women in our community whose lives were taken from us, and because of the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths, ceremonies to bring closure were not provided to their grieving loved ones. Instead, people had to grapple alone with their grief or gather together informally without anyone facilitating a ritual of remembering or celebration of life.

Additionally, I also intend to bring ceremony to celebrate life’s joys, bliss and new beginnings. Whether this be through officiating wedding ceremonies, or commitment and naming ceremonies, I intend to bring my compassion, inclusiveness, sense of humor, and flexibility to these occasions. I will work with individuals and their families to develop services that meet their particular needs. I will centre the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in my Ministry due to our history of exclusion, and ongoing experiences of homophobia and transphobia. Furthermore, for folks in our community, traditional representations of religious leaders and institutions brings to mind experiences of abuse in the church or in institutions run by religious organizations.

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For clarity, unless you have a civil ceremony, the officiant will be required to have spiritual or religious content (poems, devotions, readings etc.). CIMM is approved as a Metaphysical Religious Body, and is where my membership is held.

The couple can have a ceremony of their choosing, speak vows they wrote, perform a ceremony with spiritual content that is of meaning to them. It can be discreet. This is a requirement under the Marriage Act, there are no exceptions. You should know this when you are locating your officiant that can work WITH you to customize your day.