Street Pastor Aylish Chantler and her husband Alex MacLeod welcomed baby Moriah Ruth on March 11. Everyone is very excited, and their friends at Sanctuary can hardly wait to see the baby! Moriah will probably be making her first trip there fairly soon, as Aylish and Alex's home congregation is Sanctuary on Sunday afternoons. Aylish plans to enjoy her maternity leave with baby, and return to work next year.
Congratulations, Aylish and Alex!
As Lazarus Rising planned for the maternity leave, the question was: "Who could take over for Aylish in the coming year?" A Street Pastor is not appointed today and effective tomorrow: months may pass before she or he is trusted by local people. There is much to learn about interacting with street-involved people. That is true both on an individual basis and in a crowd. As well, Sanctuary has its own routine of drop-ins, clinics, dinners, and community events to absorb. For a one year maternity leave, a long training period is unhelpful. Previous Lazarus Rising Street Pastors have been hired by Lazarus Rising after the job was advertised through Mennonite Central Committee. This time, Sanctuary suggested two candidates already participating as volunteers in their community.
Welcome, Adrienne Paulsen, our Street Pastor for the next year! She brings training and passion to the job, and with six years experience at Sanctuary, will be able to jump right in to the challenge.
Adrienne has worked with the Salvation Army for the past two years at Gateway, Maxwell Meighen, and Dufferin shelters. She has been both a front line worker and a street outreach worker. Her assignments have included organizing programs, informal counselling, de-escalating conflict, referrals, outreach in the Salvation Army van.
Timmins is Adrienne’s hometown, and as a child her family also lived in Oakville, then Oshawa. She grew up in the Anglican church. At McMaster University, she gravitated toward a career in social work. Next, she studied at Wycliffe College at University of Toronto, obtaining the degree Master of Theological Studies in Development. Already with a heart for marginalized people, Adrienne travelled to Costa Rica for research among sex-trade workers. Her thesis explored hope and redemption within the community of these exploited women.
Before Adrienne became a front line worker at the Dufferin Women’s Shelter, she interned at Interval House, serving women who are victims of domestic abuse. Front line at Maxwell Meighen was quite a change: this men’s shelter is huge, although welcoming the residents, referrals, keeping records and so on follows a pattern at all shelters.
Adrienne met her husband Jared Martens at CRC Campus Ministries while they were students. Last year she became a pastoral associate in the fellowship. By now you may be thinking that our new Street Pastor must be a very busy woman! Most outreach workers do have to juggle part time positions: full-time work in street ministry is difficult to obtain, difficult to fund.
Street Pastor Adrienne will be writing for our newsletter next time, and we hope to have her preach at your churches in the coming year. Pray for her, and for her work with marginalized people.
The Lazarus Rising Steering Committee keeps street issues in front of our churches and supports our Street Pastor by prayer and by raising the salary and expenses.
We are looking for additional volunteers to work with us. Volunteers would attend at least some of the committee’s monthly meetings. These are held in the evening, usually at the MCC Toronto office, 160 Jarvis Street or at Sanctuary, 25 Charles Street, Toronto.
A volunteer to take notes at the monthly meetings is needed. This secretary prepares minutes of the meeting, and distributes them to steering committee members each month.
A “Finance Manager” is needed to prepare a monthly report for the Steering Committee. (No banking is required, donations are processed through Toronto United Mennonite Church whose Treasurer maintains the records and issues payments.)
Volunteers to establish relationships at Sanctuary by regularly attending a drop-in or meal. Assist the Street Pastor there, or just socialize with guests to develop friendships. (Note: volunteers for cooking or serving meals are not needed, as street-involved people take on these roles.)
Connect with our Street Pastor to support her. For example by calls, texts, meeting for coffee, prayer.
Newsletter: share the tasks. Two or three people are needed to coordinate with the Street Pastor and committee to produce short articles and photos. Design and edit newsletter. Print newsletter/send to printer and pick up. Distribute newsletter (deliver to churches and mailing). Maintain database of addresses of individual donors and Church contacts.
Facebook: Developing and maintaining a Facebook presence. Receive material from the Street Pastor and the steering committee. (Note: our webpage is maintained by MCC.)
Fundraising: Assist with occasional fundraising events. Develop new ideas? Steering committee members also help with practical details of events. Publicize events, explore grants, crowdsourcing, etc. Send thank you letters.
Interested? Please contact Brad Sider email@example.com at MCC Toronto Office 416-423-9229