I have been creating rituals for people since I wrote and led a blessingway for a friend who was having a baby in 1997. I am passionate about all rites of passage. I have had the pleasure of officiating at over 100 weddings and over 100 other ceremonies, such as baby namings, croning ceremonies, memorials and celebrations of life for people and pets. I have helped to create rituals for when a family member is dying, in or out of hospice. I have also created house blessing rituals and retirement ceremonies.
After my Lay Chaplaincy term ended in 2010, I was asked to help train Lay Chaplains. For the past five years, I have taught Unitarians to become Lay Chaplains across BC. I have also written workshops for Lay Chaplains, which I have presented across Canada. I wrote “Outreach for Lay Chaplains” and “Beyond Hatch, Match and Dispatch: Other Rites of Passage”.
I am so honoured to have been asked to be a Lay Chaplain for another term starting in 2016.
The most important aspect of my work is ensuring that you have the ceremony of your dreams. We will spend time together creating your service so the words resonate with your beliefs.
I have put together a Wedding booklet and a LGBTQ Wedding Booklet to help us create your service. In the booklet the wedding is broken down into all of its sections. For each part of the wedding there are lots of different choices for words.
The booklet is just a starting place. I want to help you create a unique wedding, so if you have a favourite reading or song, let’s include it.
I have been a part-time student at Starr King School for the Ministry. One day I hope to be an Unitarian Minister. I have a BA from McGill University and have traveled extensively.
I am the administrator for my home congregation, Capital Unitarian Universalist Congregation, where I am in the pulpit about 6 times a year. Once a month I give the Sunday Service at the Salt Spring Island Unitarian Fellowship. Following each service I hold a coffee morning for people who are spiritual but not religious who want to talk more deeply about the sermon topic of that month.
I have two wonderful children, including a son who is profoundly disabled.
When I am not officiating you can find me hiking in the Sooke Hills or practicing Hot Yoga.
Why choose a Lay Chaplain?
Since 1971, the Canadian Unitarian Council has had a program which provides training and support to lay members of our congregations who are willing and able to officiate at rites of passage including weddings, child dedications and memorial services. The list of services we can help you create is limited by only your imagination. I would be delighted to work with you to craft a house blessing, to celebrate a milestone, a renewal of vows, an “un-marriage” or divorce ritual, Coming out as LGBTQ, wedding anniversary, celebrations for pets and blessings for your car, bike, motorcycle, boat or garden. I would also be honoured to work with you to design a Celebration of life, a pet memorial, a Dyingway (for someone who is dying to help give them comfort in their last days.) or a ceremony for an abortion, miscarriage or neo-natal death.
My brief is to ensure that your ceremony is personal and meaningful to you. I can officiate anywhere; on a beach, in a back garden or a mountain top. I provide excellent value for your $300 all inclusive (except for travel outside of Southern Vancouver Island or Salt Spring Island) fee.
Do we have to be Unitarian to be married by a Lay Chaplain? To be married by a Lay Chaplain you do not need to belong to any church or you may be a member of any denomination. While you would be warmly welcome to join us for a service any Sunday morning at 10 am to see the Unitarian faith in action Capital Unitarian Universalist Congregation.
What do Unitarians believe?
My understanding of Unitarianism is that wherever you are in your understanding of the divine (including agnostics and atheists), that is where Unitarianism encourages you to be. You are supported in your quest for a deeper meaning through following our Principles and learning about our Sources.
For more information about being a Unitarian please see the website of my home congregations:
Some famous Unitarians are Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Susan B. Anthony, Bela Bartok, Alexander Graham Bell, Robert Burns, e.e.cummings, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Beatrix Potter and Frank Lloyd Wright, just to name a few. For a full list please see this website Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Durham
More information on Unitarianism
If you are interested in Unitarianism here are our Principles & Sources:
Canadian Unitarian congregations affirm and promote:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
- Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
- Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
- A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
- The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
- The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
- Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The living tradition which we share draws from many sources:
- Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
- Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
- Wisdom from the world’s religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
- Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbours as ourselves;
- Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
- Spiritual teachings of Earth-centred traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.