Bus trips builds bonds between congregations

People sitting on a coach bus.
Members of three churches in the Regional Ministry of South Georgian Bay travel to the Order of the Diocese of Toronto presentation in Toronto.
 on February 29, 2024

What does regional ministry in our diocese look like? Well, on New Year’s Day, it looked like three churches on a bus.

The three parishes of the Regional Ministry of South Georgian Bay were delighted to learn that four of our number were among those awarded the Order of the Diocese of Toronto: Val Beasley, ODT (Prince of Peace, Wasaga Beach), Eileen Martin, ODT (St Luke, Creemore), Sharon Goldsworthy, ODT and Moira Southwell, ODT (All Saints, Collingwood).

Their friends and fellow parishioners were certainly not going to let these four go to Toronto alone for their investiture at St. James Cathedral! Our resourceful curate, the Rev. Louise Dightam, put her years of Girl Guides leadership to good use and found us a bus charter company. An anonymous donor stepped up and generously covered the cost. On New Year’s Day, after stops at each church, 45 passengers (including Jack the service dog) were headed south.

We sometimes forget how big our diocese is. Some of the folks on the bus hadn’t been to Toronto for many years, and a few had never  visited the cathedral before. So the mood on the bus was excited and joyful, evoking old memories of school field trips.

The service of Evensong and the investiture at the cathedral did not disappoint. The breadth of ministries described in the annual ceremony is always inspiring, and for some of our group, it was all gloriously new. One young man, a new Christian, told me that the beauty of the cathedral and the music left him in tears. The trip back home included singing and laughter. It was a long day, but totally worthwhile.

Regional ministry in our diocese is very much a work in progress and requires that new ideas are tried. This trip helped build friendships and bonds between our three congregations. We grew closer together and saw a larger vision of what we can accomplish as the people of God.


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