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Laity receive Order of the Diocese of Toronto

Recipients of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto have their picture taken by friends and family
Recipients of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto have their picture taken by friends and family after the service on Jan. 1 at St. James Cathedral. Photos by Michael Hudson.

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 2015, the recipients came from the following deaneries: Victoria/Haliburton, North Peel, St. James & East Toronto and Nottawasaga. They were presented with their medallions at St. James Cathedral, Toronto, on Jan. 1.

Karen Anderson, ODT
St. Monica, Toronto
Ms. Anderson has given love, compassion and advocacy to the people of her parish. She has taken as a way of life Christ’s challenge: “what you do to these the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me.” In Ms. Anderson, Christ’s siblings have found a proud champion.

Lois Brennan, ODT
Parish of Bobcaygeon, Dunsford and Burnt River
Mrs. Brennan has a lifetime of devotion to serving Jesus Christ. Her love for the church has been exemplified by leadership in liturgy, prayer, preaching, study and healing ministries. She has served for over nine decades in all aspects of parish life in many parishes. She is an inspiration to her fellow parishioners, as she continued her role of lay anointing until fall 2015.

Shirley Cook, ODT
St. David, Orillia
Mrs. Cook was nominated for her extensive service to the church. She has served with her parish’s advisory board, altar guild and children’s choir, organized and cooked countless parish meals, baked communion bread and sung in the choir. Mrs. Cook has faithfully visited the sick and shut-ins, as well as retirement and nursing homes, in a manner that exemplifies her compassionate and Christ-like heart.

Archbishop Colin Johnson with Brother Reginald-Martin Crenshaw, ODT.
Archbishop Colin Johnson with Brother Reginald-Martin Crenshaw, ODT.

Brother Reginald-Martin Crenshaw, ODT
Order of the Holy Cross Priory
Brother Reginald-Martin is an integral diocesan resource. He has served as an associate at St. Paul, Rexdale and as a Natural Church Development coach, parish selection committee facilitator and parish administrator. He brings deep experience and practical skill to conflict management situations and diversity education and is grateful to work and live in parish ministry, where he finds his true joy.

Gwen Dimon, ODT
Resurrection, Toronto
Mrs. Dimon has shown faithful, joyful service since her baptism in 1937. She is a faithful and dedicated source of wisdom and has loyally served her church family in many ways. Her knowledge of the church, the scriptures and the Lord have contributed significantly to the work God has done in her parish, and she remains an active blessing to her fellow parishioners.

Charlotte Empringham, ODT
St. Paul, Beaverton
Ms. Empringham was nominated for her faithful service in her parish. She has volunteered as churchwarden, lay reader and parish leader. Her ability to live out her vocation both in the church and in the community is an outward sign of her faithfulness.

Keith Forde, ODT
Nativity, Malvern
Mr. Forde has worked tirelessly in the wider Toronto community. A retired deputy chief of the Toronto Police Service, he is a member of the Anglican Diocesan Response Team, Sickle Cells Camp Jumoke and TELUS Toronto Community Board, and a former board member of the Scarborough Hospitals and United Way Youth Challenge Fund. Mr. Forde has an outstanding reputation for fairness and quality, and a strong commitment to race relations.

Bill Gliddon, ODT
Parish of Haliburton
Mr. Gliddon has provided extraordinary service as organist and choirmaster for more than 50 years at St. George, Haliburton. He supports and encourages the arts both within the parish and in the wider community. He has directed many musicals for the local high school, where he taught for 35 years.

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

William Goodyer, ODT
St. Margaret, Barrie
Mr. Goodyer was nominated for his work in children and youth ministry. His passion, dedication and love for children have made a difference in their lives, as well as in the wider ministry at St. Margaret, Barrie, while never seeking recognition or acknowledgement.

Gertrude Gowan, ODT
St. Luke, Creemore
Mrs. Gowan has shown quiet evangelism, courage and faith through her work in her parish, the diocese and her community. She is community-minded, faithfully providing food for the ill, bereaved or less fortunate and sending cards on all occasions to many of the people in her village – an example of true discipleship.

Susan Graham Walker, ODT
Redeemer, Bloor St.
Mrs. Graham Walker has been an integral part of the church through her service in many capacities. Training offered by the diocese in the late 1970s, including Systems Approach to Stewardship and the LOGOS Institute, helped form her maturing faith and nurture the skills she has shared since then. In the 1990s she was a diocesan staffperson, working in the areas of children’s ministry, congregational development and stewardship education. She wrote much of the original parish selection committee manual and piloted the facilitated parish selection committee process the diocese uses today. Mrs. Graham Walker still finds time to volunteer as a Fresh Start facilitator, parish selection committee coach and ACPO assessor, as well as in her parish as a member of management board, chair of stewardship and a church school teacher.

John Hall, ODT
Christ Church, Brampton
Mr. Hall was nominated for his consistent and sacrificial servant leadership through hospitality, administration, stewardship, mission and outreach. As an active single dad, his ministry is rooted in the parish where he has raised his daughters. Mr. Hall supports the weak, journeys with those who mourn and offers leadership, all for the betterment of the church and those who are not yet members.

Archbishop Colin Johnson with Elizabeth Hill, ODT.
Archbishop Colin Johnson with Elizabeth Hill, ODT.

Elizabeth Hill, ODT
St. Cuthbert, Leaside
Ms. Hill has served with the diocesan Volunteer Corps since its inception in the 1990s. She was one of the original Natural Church Development coaches when the program was introduced in 2005, and was also a member of the first FaithWorks steering committee. Ms. Hill has facilitated dozens of parish selection committees, worked as a Synod Animator and on the Synod planning and agenda committees, chaired the Bishop’s Company Dinner, and is a long-serving and highly valued member of the Postulancy Committee.

Robert Horne, ODT
St. Luke, East York
Mr. Horne has shown outstanding and faithful commitment and service to his parish, his episcopal area and the diocese. He lives out his faith in positive and meaningful ways that show Christ at work in our world. Using his talents and expertise, he has served in numerous capacities in the parish and on various committees and boards of management in the church and in the community. As a tireless worker for the church, Mr. Horne’s lifetime commitment and contribution over the years cannot be measured.

Alfred Jenkins, ODT
Holy Spirit, Dixie North
Mr. Jenkins was nominated for faithful service to God and the church throughout his life. His leadership roles in his parish have included churchwarden, treasurer and chair of the Forward in Faith campaign. He has shown great care and concern for fellow parishioners, often visiting sick and shut-in members and befriending those who need support, all the while remaining steadfast in faith, love and devoted service.

John Kean, ODT
Christ Church, Woodbridge
Mr. Kean has provided faithful service on key management boards and committees. As a founding member of FaithWorks, he also served as chair of his local parish campaign for seven years. He has since held various volunteer roles in the diocese, including York-Simcoe Area Council, Canon 25 Board of Management, the Our Faith-Our Hope Feasibility Study Committee and the Bishop’s Company. Mr. Kean is constantly engaged in his church and community, generously giving of his time and talents.

Frank Little, ODT
St. Paul, Innisfil
Mr. Little has held almost every office possible within the life of his parish over 48 years of ministry. A churchwarden to five incumbents and chair of the property committee, Mr. Little also coordinates his parish’s annual spring flea market, organizes the monthly men’s dinner club and weekly seniors’ darts group, and is a lector and a founding member of the weekly bible study. At present, Mr. Little represents St. Paul’s in the Barrie reconfiguration process.

Joe Menard, ODT
Holy Family, Heart Lake (Brampton)
Mr. Menard was nominated for his unselfish work in his parish, where his admirable demeanor is an example for younger members. He is always willing to help, no matter what the situation.

Sandy Richmond, ODT
St. George, Allandale
Mr. Richmond has served for 20 years on the diocesan Chaplaincy Committee. He tirelessly advocates for chaplains in hospitals and schools, ensuring that when families and individuals need spiritual and religious care, there are competent and committed Anglican chaplains ready to meet their needs. Mr. Richmond’s specialized ministry to the chaplains of the diocese is greatly valued.

Annie Robertson, ODT
Parish of Fenelon Falls
Mrs. Robertson is described as a mentor who has taught others how to be good members of the church and the community. She has provided faithful service on the ACW executive and as hospitality coordinator, historian, lector and storyteller to children at Vacation Bible School. As she approaches her 95th birthday, Mrs. Robertson continues to be an example of Christian faithfulness lived out in kindness, faithful prayer and creative leadership in her church and community.

Archbishop Colin Johnson with Stephen Rodaway, ODT.
Archbishop Colin Johnson with Stephen Rodaway, ODT.

Stephen Rodaway, ODT
St. Margaret, Barrie
Mr. Rodaway began his volunteer service with the diocese as a youth member of Synod in 2000. He has served the diocese in many capacities, particularly on the Arrears Committee since 2005 and now as chair of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Foundation. Mr. Rodaway has a gift for working alongside parishes that are struggling to faithfully and graciously help them find their financial feet.

Robert Saunders, ODT
St. Timothy, Agincourt
Mr. Saunders was nominated for his coaching and administrative work in the diocese. He has served as a Bishop’s Envoy since 2007, a parish selection committee coach since 2011 and recently as a parish administrator on the board of St. Peter, Carleton St. and at St. Columba and All Hallows. Mr. Saunders is a passionate advocate of preserving our churches, notably through his extensive photography, and sees them not as museums but as places of mission and living proclamations of faith.

Malcolm Savage, ODT
Holy Trinity, Trinity Square
Mr. Savage has provided extraordinary service to his parish for more than 25 years. In addition to improving various administrative measures, his generosity of spirit has shone clearly in visiting the dying, building innovative networks for vulnerable people, offering support to people from all walks of life whom he encountered in the church during the week, and especially in his tireless work to help Holy Trinity settle some 130 refugees from around the world. Mr. Savage lives out Christian values in his modest, joyful and self-effacing manner.

Archbishop Colin Johnson with Heather Steeves, ODT.
Archbishop Colin Johnson with Heather Steeves, ODT.

Heather Steeves, ODT
Congregational Development
Ms. Steeves was nominated for her extensive work as a Volunteer Management & Congregational Development Consultant with the diocese. She has found great joy in recruiting, training and supporting gifted lay leaders to facilitate parish selection committees and Fresh Start modules, as well as coaching parish teams in Natural Church Development and Appreciative Inquiry processes. Ms. Steeves’ purpose in life is “to be a disciple of the Gardener,” a purpose she has lived out daily in her work and will assuredly continue to do into her retirement.

John Stevens, ODT
Redeemer, Bloor St.
Mr. Stevens is a faithful volunteer within the Congregational Development department. He has served as a Fresh Start facilitator, a coach working with parish selection committees and a member of the diocesan Reconfiguration Group. He is also a long-time volunteer in his parish, serving in outreach, worship and on the advisory board. Notably, Mr. Stevens chaired a working group that produced new resources for parish search committees and coaches, and opened an ongoing conversation about ways to foster the development of healthier congregations during the transition process.

Dorothy Stewart, ODT
Christ Church, Bolton
Mrs. Stewart has shown lifelong service to the diocese and her parish. She has organized and participated in fundraising for bazaars, church suppers, weddings and funerals. Her kitchen work over the years inspired her to donate a commercial dishwasher for the church kitchen. Using her home as a repository, Mrs. Stewart spearheads community outreach by producing garments, quilts, afghans and teddy bears for traumatized children, all made with materials donated by her admirers.

Susan Stuart, ODT
St. Aidan, Toronto
Mrs. Stuart is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those who are struggling, particularly through refugee work and community outreach. In the context of the current Syrian refugee crisis, she is giving advice to local groups preparing to sponsor refuges by sharing her years of experience and encouraging others to get involved.

Barbara Trocewicz, ODT
Parish of Minden-Kinmount
Ms. Trocewicz has been a devoted worker and member of St. Paul, Minden for 40 years. She serves her parish as a lay reader, lay pastoral assistant, chancel director and choir member and considers the time she spends with her church family as some of her happiest times.

Barbara Truax, ODT
St. Paul, Lindsay
Ms. Truax’s commitment to her Christian faith is exemplified both to her parish and her wider community. Her list of accomplishments over a period of more than 65 years is long, and she continues to take on new projects and guide them to completion. Ms. Truax is not just a hearer of the word, but a doer. She is a great inspiration to others in the parish and the community.

Tony van Straubenzee, ODT
Christ Church, Deer Park
Mr. van Straubenzee has provided a lifetime of service to the Anglican Church. He has used his natural and professional skills to serve in his home parishes as churchwarden, Sunday School teacher, chair for many fundraising initiatives and a recruiter for senior leadership roles in the church. Mr. van Straubenzee was the founding chair of FaithWorks Corporate in 2004, an appeal that has generated nearly $4 million in its first 11 years.

Harcourt Walcott, ODT
St. Joseph of Nazareth, Bramalea
Mr. Walcott shows a dedicated and passionate love of serving God and God’s people. He has worked tirelessly since joining St. Joseph of Nazareth in 1999, serving in several ministries. His work and worship in the parish demonstrate his profound and unwavering belief in a God who bestows mercy, grace and blessings.

Archbishop Colin Johnson with Laura Walton, ODT.
Archbishop Colin Johnson with Laura Walton, ODT.

Laura Walton, ODT
Parish of Batteau and Duntroon
Ms. Walton was nominated in recognition of her exceptional work in the diocese and her parish. A lay member of Synod, Provincial Synod and General Synod for several terms, she has also served on Diocesan Council, been diocesan Honorary Lay Secretary of Synod and assisted in the planning of diocesan, provincial and general synods. Ms. Walton is currently Prolocutor of Provincial Synod and a member of Provincial Executive Council. She was also the diocesan coordinator of children’s ministry. These roles represent only a fraction of the ways in which she puts her faith into action.

Paul Yu, ODT
All Saints, Markham
Mr. Yu has provided long-time, faithful ministry in his parish. Serving as churchwarden and a lay member of Synod, he has helped to shepherd his parish through building projects, stewardship and missional and educational programs that are helping it respond to the growing Chinese community in York Region.