Order honours laity at New Year’s Day service

Posted on January 5, 2018

The Order of the Diocese of Toronto, an award created in 2013, honours members of the laity in the diocese who have given outstanding service over a significant period of time in their volunteer ministry. We give thanks to God for the work and witness of these faithful people who, in the exercise of their baptismal ministry, have demonstrated that “their light shines, their works glorify.” In 2017, the recipients came from the following deaneries: Durham/Northumberland, Etobicoke/Humber, Scarborough and Holland. They were presented with their medallion at St. James Cathedral, Toronto, on Jan. 1.

Recipients of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto pose for a group photo after the service on Jan. 1 at St. James Cathedral. Photos by Michael Hudson.

Brian Armstrong, ODT
Trinity, Aurora
Mr. Armstrong has been nominated by the Archbishop for his outstanding contribution to the governance of the diocese. He has brought his considerable legal expertise and practical approach to problem solving to bear while serving on the Executive Board and the Compensation Working Group. Most recently, he has served with distinction in his new role as vice-chancellor. Canon Clare Burns, chancellor, comments that “Brian is always good-humored, strategic and calm, and so is a perfect vice-chancellor!”

Joyce Badley, ODT is is awarded the Order of the Diocese of Toronto by Archbishop Colin Johnson.

Joyce Badley, ODT
St. Paul, Bloor Street
Ms. Badley has been nominated by the Archbishop for her stewardship of professional skill and expertise in finance, property, administration and operations to her own church and the diocese. She has served on Diocesan Council, Executive Board, Inter-Diocesan Learning Community, Outreach Committee, Investment Committee, Area Council and the Project Enabling and Monitoring Group. As the executive pastor of St. Paul, Bloor Street, she oversees all the functions of the church that enable its ministry to thrive.

David Baird, ODT
Christ Church, Scarborough
Mr. Baird quietly supports the needs of the parish through his extensive legal skills and knowledge. One of the longest-serving leaders of Christ Church, Scarborough, he has served as warden, treasurer and property committee chair, and as leader of the sideperson’s guild for 35 years. He is reliable, generous, humble and compassionate.

Richard Baker, ODT
Trinity, Aurora
Mr. Baker has been nominated by Trinity, Aurora for his skilled contributions. His diverse gifts, ranging from music to photography to web design, have been a gift to the church and a true testament to his faith in action.

Bernie Bellis, ODT
St. Paul, L’Amoreaux
Mr. Bellis has demonstrated outstanding service as a board member and past chair of the board of St. Paul L’Amoreaux Centre senior’s residence. He has spent 40 years as a dedicated member, Sunday school director, youth group founder, warden, financial coordinator, visibility committee chair, and chair of the anniversary project committee, which entailed the re-carpeting and renovation of the church and the installation of a new church sign with video display. Both professionally and in the Centre and church, Mr. Bellis has found innovative ways to improve and develop the areas he directed and enact positive change. 

Ruth Briffett, ODT
Grace Church, Markham
Mrs. Briffett has been nominated by the Archbishop for her dedication to the diocesan Anglican Church Women and especially her work with the Ecclesiastical Needlework Committee and the Diocesan Chancel Guild. She has faithfully served with the needleworkers for 16 years, becoming the director in 2011, and has been their representative on the Diocesan Chancel Guild, chairing meetings for two years. She is known for her organization and her willingness to consult with parish chancel guilds and lead diocesan chancel workshops, as well as for her beautiful finishing work. She is a much-loved member of Grace Church, Markham.

Olga Clarke, ODT stands with Archbishop Johnson.

Olga Clarke, ODT
St. Paul the Apostle, Rexdale
Mrs. Clarke has been nominated by St. Paul the Apostle, Rexdale for her outstanding contribution to the life of the parish in every capacity, including as lay pastoral associate, bible study leader, ACW member, prayer group leader and coffee hour convener, and to the community. She is always willing to lend a helping hand or offer a prayer and is an inspiration in her ability to reach the aged, sick, bereaved and isolated. She is well respected and well loved in her parish, her community and beyond. 

Frances Corkill, ODT
Christ the King
Mrs. Corkill has been part of every activity at Christ the King since 1966. She has held every office innumerable times and is presently warden and chair of the advisory board. She does many things anonymously, and so her parish is glad to give onymous recognition to her decades-long faithful service to the Church.

Jean Glionna, ODT
Holy Trinity, Thornhill
Mrs. Glionna has been nominated by the Archbishop for her outstanding contribution to the diocese in various roles, currently as a Bishop’s Appointee to Synod and a member of Diocesan Council, Executive Board and the Agenda Committee. An active volunteer in her parish, she has served in many roles that span three decades: churchwarden, lay assistant, altar guild, ACW and proud member of the senior choir. Mrs. Glionna is the first to greet you with a hug and a smile and is always the first to volunteer when help is needed. She has an infectious personality and is an inspiration to others.

David Gordon, ODT
Trinity, Aurora
Mr. Gordon has been nominated by the Archbishop for his significant contributions to the diocese in promoting social justice and, in particular, First Nations initiatives. He is an originating member of the social justice and advocacy committee at Trinity, Aurora, through which the Pikangikum Water Project developed in cooperation with Bishop Mark MacDonald. That project is now partnered with PWRDF and engaged nationally. Mr. Gordon has given dedication, education and guidance to Trinity and beyond to unite Anglicans in the road of reconciliation with our Indigenous peoples.

Janet Gouinlock, ODT and Robert Gouinlock, ODT
St. Clement, Eglinton
Mr. and Mrs. Gouinlock have been nominated by the Archbishop for not only for their benevolence but their voluntarism as well. Both graduated from Trinity College in the early 1950s and have held numerous positions at St. Clement’s over the years, including churchwarden, treasurer and campaign leadership in numerous parish appeals. They are generous with their financial support to their parish, the diocese and the local community. Both Moorelands Community Services and All Saints Church-Community Centre are near and dear to their interests. They have given a lifetime example to their church and beyond.

Marion Hodgson, ODT
St. John the Evangelist, Port Hope
Mrs. Hodgson has been nominated for her lifelong faithful witness to Jesus Christ and the mission of his Church. Her dedication and service is extensive and exemplary; she has either participated in or supported all of the committees and initiatives of St. John’s for the past seven decades. Her deep love, simplicity and humility are appreciated and valued by all.

Dilys Jones, ODT
St. Jude, Wexford
Mrs. Jones has been a dedicated example of Christian leadership and motivation to the mission and life of the Church. She inspires those around her to work hard to be Christ’s hands and heart in our world. She is generous in how she shares her gifts of wisdom, fundraising and leadership, and as a tireless advocate for the witness of the parish in its community.

Elroy Joseph, ODT shakes hands with Archbishop Johnson.

Elroy Jospeh, ODT
Nativity, Malvern
Mr. Joseph has served in many different roles at Nativity, Malvern. He has been part of the men’s ministry for 20 years, sings tenor in the choir, has been the envelope secretary for five years, and has served in fundraising and as a sidesperson and warden. He can be counted on when something needs to get done and is known for his good humour, diligence and precision.

Colleen Keats, ODT
St. Paul, Newmarket
Ms. Keats has provided outstanding leadership in her parish. Having served as a churchwarden, outreach coordinator, in newcomer ministry and many other roles, her practical faith has served to build up the parish and its mission to the community. She continues to be open and enthusiastic in walking the path God sets before her and the church of which she is a part.

Constance Kendall, ODT
St. Stephen, Downsview
Ms. Kendall has been nominated by the Archbishop for her outstanding contribution to the life of her parish and the area of York-Credit Valley. She has served faithfully in many capacities, including being a member of the York-Credit Valley Area Council, but she is well known as a dynamic youth leader and mentor. She is a leading choreographer in liturgical dance and has choregraphed many liturgical dances across the diocese, including the annual Black History service. She is always willing to lend a helping hand and is an inspiration to the young lives she mentors.

Peggy Kernohan, ODT
Parish of Georgina
Ms. Kernohan is a friend to all – the people of the Parish of Georgina and the wider community – and is always willing to give a hand, advice and help. She is patient and kind, and is moved by the proclamation of the gospel and the celebration of joyful services. She is always there for new adventures in Christianity.

Gordon Longman, ODT
St. Thomas, Brooklin
Mr. Longman has been nominated by the Archbishop his service as a long-time volunteer in his parish in a number of roles, though most prodigious in the area of stewardship. He has been engaged in stewardship education for more than a decade, first as a member of the Stewardship Development Board and later as a stewardship education coach, working with parishes including St. Timothy, North Toronto, St. Matthew, Oriole and St. John, Whitby. He was instrumental in establishing the parish stewardship campaign and supporting the Our Faith-Our Hope campaign.

Order of the Diocese of Toronto medallions, given to each member.

Terry McCullum, ODT
Mr. McCullum has been nominated by the Archbishop for his 35 years with LOFT (Leap of Faith Together) Community Services, formerly known as Anglican Houses. He led the organization as its CEO and guiding force through remarkable changes, growing from a small agency to one that now provides more than 1,000 supportive housing units at over 70 sites across Toronto and York regions, and community services for more than 5,800 youth, vulnerable adults and seniors, including HIV-positive individuals, homeless seniors, and people dealing with complex mental health issues, addictions and cognitive and physical challenges. “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do it for me,” Jesus said. Mr. McCullum retired on Dec. 31.

Sarah McDonald, ODT
St. James, Cathedral
Ms. McDonald has been nominated by the Archbishop for her outstanding community work and long-time service to the cathedral and the diocese. A retired high school principal recognized as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals, her work in the area of housing has earned her the recognition of a non-profit housing complex in Pickering named in her honour: Sarah McDonald’s Place. She has served as vice-chair of the Durham Regional Police Services Board and St. James Cathedral council, chair of the Three Churches Refugee Committee, a member of the social justice housing sub-committee of the diocese and president of the board of Mary Lambert Swale Non-Profit Homes, and currently serves as the Honorary Lay Secretary of Synod.

Michelle Mercer, ODT
St. John the Divine, Scarborough
Ms. Mercer has been nominated by St. John the Divine, Scarborough for her enthusiastic and compassionate dedication to children’s and youth ministry. In 2016, she celebrated 50 years of ministry; she has touched the lives of generations of children. Today, because of her faithful leadership, St. John the Divine still has a vibrant and active children’s and youth program.

Edward Moroney, ODT
St. Andrew, Scarborough
Mr. Moroney has been nominated in recognition of his 50 years of dedication to the maintenance of the highest standards of liturgical choral and organ music and composition throughout the city of Toronto. He has also given unrelenting support and encouragement to young singers, organists and accompanists. 

Anne Oram, ODT
St. Mark, Port Hope
Ms. Oram has been nominated by the Archbishop for her many years of dedication not only to her parish, but also for her diocesan involvement. She has been an active parish volunteer, serving in many roles at St. John, Weston, St. Timothy, Agincourt and most recently at St. Mark, Port Hope. She is also a past member of Diocesan Council, Executive Board and the Court on Contested Seats. As a lifelong Anglican, she finds meaning in a scripture passage from Philippians 4:13 inscribed in her prayer book by her Sunday School teacher: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Peter Patterson, ODT
Christ Church St. James
Mr. Patterson has been nominated by the Archbishop for his service to the Church for over 40 years at Christ Church St. James. He has served several times as a warden, has been the faithful chair of parish selection committees, and has also served with humility as treasurer and as a youth leader in the parish. He is retiring after 20 years as the business director of Wycliffe College, where his ministry was much valued. As an actuary in downtown Toronto for many years, Mr. Patterson has sought to be a faithful Christian businessman.

Mary Pember, ODT smiles for a photo.

Mary Pember, ODT
St. Timothy, North Toronto
Ms. Pember has been nominated by the Archbishop for her instrumental role in fostering stewardship as a way of life in her home parish. A lead volunteer in the Our Faith-Our Hope campaign, she was also one of the first stewardship education coaches recruited for Growing Healthy Stewards, working with numerous parishes including St. Clement, Eglinton, St. George on Yonge and St. Philip on-the-Hill, Unionville. Beyond the Church, she has devoted considerable volunteer energy in a leadership capacity with the United Way of York Region.

Sue Savage, ODT
Penetanguishene and Waubaushene
Ms. Savage has been nominated by the Archbishop for her service as a Reach Grant “dragon” since 2013. At Synod in 2013, she invigorated participants with the results of her Reach Grant mission with a video of the lunch program at All Saints, Penetanguishene. She has shared her evangelistic coaching with her congregation’s sister church, Christ Church, Waubaushene. At All Saints, Ms. Savage has volunteered as cemetery manager at St. James on-the-Lines, screening coordinator, server, chalice bearer, acolyte, envelope secretary and bookkeeper, and as a member of a parish selection committee, Synod and the ACW.

Susan Schuschu, ODT
St. John, East Orangeville
Ms. Schuschu has been nominated by the Archbishop for her dedication to the life of her parish, the area of York-Simcoe and the diocese. She has faithfully served St. John’s as a churchwarden (both rector’s and people’s), a Sunday school teacher, chair of the stewardship and fundraising committees and chair of the cemetery board. It was her election as the parish’s lay member of Synod that piqued her interest in the wider church, and in 2013 she was elected to represent the area on Diocesan Council. Ms. Schuschu is a valued member of the York-Simcoe Area Council and is currently a member of the Diocesan Council Nominating Committee.

Joyce Sowby, ODT
St. James Cathedral
Ms. Sowby has been nominated by the Archbishop for her extraordinary contributions to the Church, Trinity College, the University of Toronto and the province of Ontario. A member of St. James Cathedral for 80 years, she is a published author and has spent decades investing in and contributing to historical Canadian biographies and art collections, which she shares freely. Her kindness to immigrant families the cathedral has supported, as well as her decades-long service to the Cathedral York Group, personifies Christian charity in its truest form.

Stanley Squires, ODT receives his medal.

Stanley Squires, ODT
St. Saviour, Orono, Parish of Newcastle
Mr. Squires’ life of community mission has been influential to his small Anglican church in the village of Orono. He has chaired his parish’s Our Faith-Our Hope campaign, organized special dinners for the community to fundraise for various causes and worked to sponsor a Syrian refugee family, toward which more than 300 people in the area contributed. He lives the belief that the Church is not a building, but a mission “with the community and for the community.”

Carol Ann Trabert, ODT
Christ Church, Kettleby, Parish of Lloydtown
Mrs. Trabert has been nominated for her many years of faithful service to Christ Church, the Parish of Lloydtown and King Township. Her work as warden at Christ Church and president of the King Township Foodbank displays the mercy of God. Her generous spirit, dedication to the gospel and compassion for those who suffer inspires others to do likewise.

Rebecca Wang, ODT
St. Margaret, New Toronto
Mrs. Wang has faithfully served her parish as organist and choirmaster since 1968. This year marks her 50th anniversary at St. Margaret’s. Also sharing her considerable baking and cake-decorating skills and helping with events, she is a much-loved and respected member of the parish.

Dorothy Weir, ODT
St. Peter, Scarborough
Mrs. Weir has been nominated for her 62 years of service as a member of the altar guild. She has designed well over 800 floral arrangements that have beautified the church, giving joy and comfort to all. Along with her husband John, she was a founding member of St. Peter’s in 1955. Today, at 94, she continues to be a faithful Christian, setting a shining example of grace and humility for us all.

Patricia Weller, ODT
St. Peter, Cobourg
Mrs. Weller has been nominated by St. Peter, Cobourg for her commitment to helping others marginalized by life’s circumstances in what she would call a “sensible” way – by quietly and persistently bringing churches and community agencies together to help others through her parish and across the community. Additionally, as chair of the leadership development committee, she interviews parishioners, finds the right volunteer ministry for them and provides calm coaching to ensure their effectiveness. When things need fixing, “Call Pat Weller” is what works.

Family and friends of the recipients snap photos at the end of the service.

James Weller, ODT
St. Peter, Cobourg
Mr. Weller has provided 24 years of commitment to the production of Keynotes, a parish magazine of excellent quality. Through the pages of this five-times-a-year publication, he has built a spirit of community and provided inspiration to the ministries of his parish and beyond. As a creative member of the diocesan communications committee for well over a decade, he helped to form many communications initiatives across the diocese and share his valuable gifts more broadly.

Lance Wilson, ODT
St. John the Divine, Scarborough
Mr. Wilson has been nominated by the Archbishop for his service on the diocesan Reconfiguration Team, working with parishes to discern a way forward in times of transition and amalgamation. Serving on the board of administration at St. George on Yonge and as a Bishop’s Envoy in the York-Scarborough area, his community service and service to his parish are stellar. He is a leading local, provincial, national and international voice for racial justice and intercultural cooperation, and is currently engaged with Toronto Anglicans in fundraising for the people of the Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba for hurricane relief efforts.