The Rev. Lorna May is the deacon at St. Luke, Creemore.
I have had the privilege of being the deacon for St. Luke, Creemore for 15 years. We are part of the Southern Georgian Bay Regional Ministry Team that includes All Saints, Collingwood and Prince of Peace, Wasaga Beach.
St. Luke’s is a small parish whose focus has always been on the wider community. Currently, I coordinate our weekly foodbank, receiving and delivering food, as well as coordinating volunteers. Our Soup for the Soul is a new initiative that targets those interested in cooking nutritious, budget-wise meals. We are also re-instating our monthly Soup Lunch, which invites the community to come and sit with friends, new and old. I support our priests in preparing the Prayers of the People, officiating and preaching when asked. I am active in the Chaplaincy on Call program at Collingwood General and Marine Hospital and at the Leisureworld nursing home in Creemore. I am part of the Diaconal Advisory Committee, and the Bishops Diaconal Review Committee.
The St. Luke’s Community Foodbank initiative started in 2022. After many conversations within the community at large, we are implementing strategies for food-sharing and nutrition. I am encouraged by the innovative plans that have been put forward for growing and delivering fresh produce. Collaborating with The Sharing Place in Orillia, the Simcoe County Food Council and the Canadian Food Council brings expertise and encouragement. As I watch those we serve volunteer, I am thankful for the presence of the Spirit in our ministry. As I consider my ordination vow to “interpret to the Church the needs, concerns and hopes of the world,” I know that we are making a difference in our community.
As I reflect on our ministry in 2022, I feel the best part of our ministry are the smiles from families that know they have support. Supporting refugee families has increased our awareness of “welcoming the stranger.”
I find it frustrating to see and deal with the lack of resources for those living with poverty and mental health issues in a country as rich as Canada. I see people living in homes that should be condemned but have no other place but the streets. I see seniors who need assisted-living struggling to manage at home because there are no spaces for them and little to no home care available. With so much need in our community, I pray that I may be a blessing to someone each day.
I was raised in Sudbury, Ontario. My father worked for Inco, a member of Steelworkers Local 6500, and my mother was a homemaker. I began piano lessons at the age of 10 and pursued oboe and piano at the University of Toronto. I taught for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto for 10 years before moving to our farm in Mulmur Township with our young family. I was an examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music for 36 years, travelling extensively in Canada and the U.S. We moved to our farm in 1987, where I continued to teach piano privately. It was at this time that I was asked to be the organist at St. Luke’s. Doug and I have three grown daughters, four grandchildren and an eight-year-old son. We currently live in Wasaga Beach and enjoy gardening, riding our bicycles and hiking.
I am a cradle Anglican and I believe the first female server in Sudbury in the late 1960s. While at university in Toronto, I did not attend church regularly but did visit St. Thomas, Huron Street and the cathedral on occasion. I began to rekindle my faith journey when I became the musician at St. Luke’s. Some things had changed but I still knew the words of the BCP! At this time, St. Luke’s had young families and we all knew and supported each other. In 2015, Rev. Catherine MIller was our priest-in-charge and was very involved in the community. With her direction and support, I began accompanying her to the nursing home, offered support for single mothers, and made meals for those who needed them. It wasn’t long before I was asking the St. Luke’s community to supply meals and became known in the community as the person to go to for help. Catherine gave me some information on the diaconate, and back to university I went. The campus looked the same, but I did not! Older, feeling somewhat out of place in my first few classes at Wycliffe College, it took a community to get me to and from the Barrie bus station! There were times of frustration, tears, uncertainty and gratitude throughout those years. After three years of discernment, I was privileged to be ordained on St. Luke’s Day, 2007.
In five years, I hope to be encouraging and supporting others through outreach in Southern Georgian Bay.
My favourite passage from scripture is 1 Samuel 3: 1-10. In all his listening, Samuel obeyed the Lord’s instructions. While God may not most likely call us as He called Samuel with an audible voice, God has a unique purpose for our lives and each of us is indispensable in this plan. We have been created with our own unique gifts and talents to use and serve. Samuel’s life was dedicated to serving and fulfilling God’s purpose for him. Each of us is faced with this choice every day. “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”