Two Ashcroft residents have reached a milestone on their journey toward becoming Anglican priests.
Martina Duncan and Angus Muir were ordained as transitional deacons at a service at St. Alban’s Anglican Church on April 25. They have both been working toward the ordination for several years, and Duncan sees it as a culmination of many years of work. “The congregation affirms you, and says you are someone they would like to see move to the priesthood.”
She also sees it as confirmation that her journey, which began in 2005, has been a call from God. “I’m going in the direction I should be.”
Muir says he has been involved with the Anglican church for some 22 years, but was not involved at all before that. “My wife introduced me, and I found a home.” His journey toward ordination began in 2000, and sees it as opening up more avenues for him to share the knowledge and love of God with others. “For people to come to know God, and examine their spirituality, is great.”
Duncan and Muir already play a very active role within the church locally: they conduct services, do home visits, provide outreach and counselling in the community, and hold Bible study groups and a monthly service for the residents of Jackson House at the Ashcroft Hospital. Starting later this month, however, Duncan will be ministering in a very different community and setting until mid-September.
“Barbara Andrews, Bishop of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior, asked if I would be interested in being the person administering the church of St. Saviour’s in Barkerville,” she says. Barkerville is within Andrews’s territory, and the Bishop is in charge of finding someone to fill the position there every year.
It means that Duncan will be doing morning, afternoon, and evening prayers in the church each day, as well as performing Sunday services with reserved sacrament. She will also conduct tours of Barkerville’s historic cemetery; and in keeping with the town’s gold rush theme, will be doing it all in period costume. “I’m eager to get up there and get at it,” she says.
Muir has been asked to take over the position in Barkerville in 2017. He says that as someone who was not entirely comfortable speaking in public, the move toward ordination “forced me out of my comfort zone”, but that he embraced the challenge. He is very much looking forward to being in Barkerville next year. “That will really force me out of my comfort zone,” he says with a laugh, referring to the necessity of being part-tour guide. “But it will be great.
“I see the world as a place with a glass that’s at least half full,” he says, “but many see it as half empty. Those who see it as less than half full should come to St. Alban’s one Sunday, and see how to live a positive life.”