Hello: My name is Debbie Cowling and I have been quite active in the United Church for many years. My Grandmother was a big influence in my faith journey and was a witness of God’s love to me. I grew up on a farm east of Lindsay, Ontario. I have been a Licensed Lay Worship Leader since 2013. I live with my husband Randy in Cavan township near the village of Mount Pleasant. We have 3 grown children and 6 Grandchildren. I completed my course at Five Oaks in Paris Ontario. I began to experience the call to ministry a few years prior to that time and had even enrolled at Five Oaks once before, but after attending one weekend course questioned if it was where I belonged, so I didn’t return, thinking that I would just go back to my regular life and other church activities. However, I continued to feel a restlessness within my soul that I was to be involved in some sort of ministry. Eventually, I sent an email to Five Oaks asking about the L.L.W.L. course once again and learned that the course had been restructured, which gave me the encouragement that the timing was now right for me to begin my learning journey and that proved to be true. Over the past 5 years I have had the honour of leading worship at many churches within the Kawartha Highlands Presbytery and have felt quite at home and welcome in each of them.
When I first became a Licensed Lay Worship Leader I thought about the type of message I wanted to preach. I decided on three things that were important to me. 1. To be honest and real. 2. To have the message relate to everyday life and 3. That people would be encouraged in their faith and given hope for the future. I try to keep things simple and use the bible as my main resource. I sense the Holy Spirit inspiring me when writing a message and service. Tending to be more traditional in leading worship services, I am also quite flexible and open to the various styles of worship in each congregation. My messages seem to be more “heart” focused rather than “head” focused and I am definitely not a theological or history scholar. I look forward to continuing in this ministry and sharing the Christian message.
I am an active member of Janetville Pastoral Charge and have served on committees at the presbytery, conference and general council level of the United Church.
I grew up on a farm in Nestleton, and I remember walking up to church to go to Sunday school. The seed was planted! As I grew up, I moved away, not only from my home community, but also the church. As I got older, I could feel the pull or tug or maybe it was more of a push from God calling me back to the church.
I feel God is working through me to spread the message of Jesus’ love, justice and hope not only within the four walls of my church, but also out into the community and beyond. Being the hands and feet of Christ.
My reflections tend to focus on “the four pages of the sermon[i]” – trouble in Jesus’ time – trouble in our time – love/grace in Jesus’ time – love/grace in our time and how we, in our time and place can be the hands and feet of Christ in our community and beyond, bringing love, justice and hope to all people. The passage that inspires me, encourages me is from Mark 10:45a “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve.
[i] The Four Pages of the Sermon – Paul Scott Wilson
My name is Kevin Fitzpatrick, I am a Candidate for Ordination and currently enrolled at Emmanuel Theological College in Toronto, completing my Master of Divinity. I am from Dunsford Ontario and have lived in the Lindsay area most of my life. I have worked in retail settings for most of my adult life, and I know that God prepared me for ministry through my retail experience by helping and serving people. I have always known God as part of my life journey to my earliest memories, that bond and relationship has been enriched and deepened through my life experiences. I always felt that I was being nudged and guided to be more than what I was doing, by serving in a public retail setting. After I led worship for the first time at my home church at Dunsford, the congregation encouraged and supported me and my family as I found my call, with some guidance from the Minister and my Mentor, Rev. Jan Stobie. I have a wonderful partner and best friend Michelle, who supports me in this journey of life and ministry and a son and daughter who give me inspiration every day, just by being who they are, sharing in my journey and encouraging me in my vocation. I cannot count the blessings I have in family with all the love and support as I continue my path in ministry and towards Ordination.
I love the stories of Jesus, the parables, the teachings, filled with vivid images, that were familiar to his audience, to explain to all who heard, a picture and a message of the mystery of God’s love. In my preaching I enjoy bringing a visual image of that love that God holds for all creation, by composing a message that is visual and auditory, sometimes hands on, to explain who Jesus is for us in the world today. The message I bring, is divinely inspired, a relevant and contemporary revelation of the sacred mystery of God’s love in the ordinary and every day experiences. God’s love is active in the world today, nurturing and challenging all of us to be disciples, called to words and actions, to be God’s hands and feet in the world.
Darlene Hallett L.L.W.L.
I have lived my whole life in what many of you know as Victoria County. Mariposa
Township to be exact. During all this time I have accomplished a few things that I feel are worth
mentioning. I taught both in a one room school and at the ‘new’ Mariposa Elementary School for
a number of years. During that time I helped my husband operate our small construction
business and raise our son. We now have a grand daughter that we are very proud of.
While taking an active part in my church, I felt the need to do a little more than just sit in
a pew. To that end, I attended 5 Oaks in Paris, Ontario, and qualified to become a L.L.W.L. at an
age where most people were ready to kick back and enjoy their retirement years.
At this point in my life, I feel I have the best of all worlds to live in.
When I am invited to speak at a church I do my best to present a message that will give
the congregation something to think about and remember as they go about their life. It will not
be ‘deep’, but it will be down to earth and sincere.
My name is Alex Jebson. I am a Candidate for Ordained Ministry in the United Church, and am currently completing my MDiv at Emmanuel College in Toronto. I grew up on a dairy farm outside of Sunderland, although my home congregation was Trinity United in Cannington, where my family has been worshipping for generations. Originally pursuing an opera performance education, God showed me a different path as a servant of Christ and of those who seek Christ and community in the world today. I studied history and classics at Trent University, and often tie in historical examples and messages into my personal faith and preaching practices. I hold up music and history as two of my favourite passions and tools ministry, seeing both as an invitation to explore our relationship with God.
The message that I preach focus around Jesus Christ. It is from Christ as a starting point that one can truly begin to comprehend the relentless love that God has for God’s peoples and Creation. It is a matter of holding in tension the faith discerned by those past for all they are worth, and the continuing work of the Spirit in us in our call to embrace the diverse and the oppressed, as Christ did. We engage with other cultures, other beliefs; and through this dialogue, we discover more about ourselves. We understand that we have both personal and societal sin that we must own up to, but are reconciled to God and saved through Christ’s sacrifice. We will make mistakes, but God’s love is constant. Faith evolves over time as our relationship with God and with others deepen, yet the core of our faith is salvation, compassion, and stewardship.
To me, God beyond complete comprehension, yet seeking relationship with us. Jesus is both the son of God and a marginalized person of lowly origins, hated and ostracized during an intense time and space in human history. Jesus was given to the world and suffered as an ultimate expression of God’s love, forgiveness, and desire to know each of us on a personal level. It is this truest act of love and compassion, as well as the teachings the Lord, the ancestors (Israel), and the followers (the early Church) gave us that we are saved. The Holy Spirit works within us, through us, and around us, inspires us to love our friends and enemies, and stirs us to bear active faithful witness to God. And I believe in the work of the Church to help others realize their relationship with God through Christ.
Chyvonne Pancer is a Mom, wife, and student. She has completed one year of the three-year Masters of Divinity at Emmanuel College, and is a candidate for ministry. She is also soon to be a breast cancer survivor. She assures you that her sermons will not be as short as this biography.
Debbie Sherwin is an active member of the Highland Hills pastoral charge, serving on the worship committee, the Unified Board, the Amalgamation Integration Team, and is a Kawartha Highlands Presbytery representative.
A life-long learner, seeker, and avid reader, she has been doing pulpit supply for several years, the past four as a LLWL. Her experience includes: leading worship in rural churches, multiple-point pastoral charges, and in traditional, liberal, and progressive communities of faith. She also officiates at funerals, graveside services, and Cemetery Decoration Day services.
Following the Revised Common Lectionary, Debbie creates each order of service using a thematic approach. It has been said that “Her messages are always thoughtful, contemporary/contextual and challenging to live out our own faith within the church and the community.”
Newly-retired, Debbie is finding a renewed purpose in her life by advocating for the marginalized and under-resourced sectors of our society. She has recently become a Bridges Out of Poverty trainer for the city of Kawartha Lakes and the Haliburton Highlands.
Bio for Phyllis Tamlin
My husband Leigh and I lived on a farm at Cambray for forty-six years, where our three children grew up: Trevor lives in Kitchener and is an Employment Consultant with The Canadian Hearing Society. Arleigh our daughter teaches at the Sir James Whitney School for the Deaf in Belleville and Tarryl is Supervisor of The Interpreter Internship Program at the Canadian Hearing Society Head Office in Toronto.
Ten years ago we sold the farm and built a home in Lindsay.
I am a retired elementary school teacher, working the last eight years with special needs children. I was a student in the first Licensed Lay Preachers Course offered by Lindsay Presbytery; now known as Licensed Lay Worship Leaders of Kawartha Highlands Presbytery. I have ministered in our local churches for twenty-three years averaging between 35-40 Sundays each year. I have also officiated at more than 200 funerals.
I grew up in Sunday School and Church, accepted the Lord and became a Christian at age thirty-three. I have been a student of the Scriptures ever since. I hold a Certificate of Completion, having completed courses of the 7th International Ministries and Church Revival Conference for the 21st Century, held at Grace and Truth Church in the Republic of Korea, October 6-10, 2012. In 2014 I graduated from seminary with highest honours with a B.A. in Religious Education majoring in Pastoral Care.
I served as Chaplain at a Lindsay Nursing Home from 2005 to 2017, and am currently part of the Spiritual Care Team at the Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay since 2005.
We are a camping family: Maritimes to B.C. and the Yukon, also much of the U.S.A. including Alaska. We also enjoy travelling to other countries:
The British Isles, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Europe to attend the Passion Play of Christ in Oberammergau, Germany; Hawaii, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Korea and Israel twice in 2006 and 2012.
The strength and joy of my life and ministry is capsulated in John 3: 16,17 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
17) God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”