REV. SUZANNA BATES
I am so glad to be with you in this beautiful setting!
I moved with my spouse, Peggy from Morden, Manitoba to come to reside in
Ardmore, North Saanich. Our journey here was eventful and we are gradually
settling down and making this place and church home.
We are so glad to meet all of you and are grateful for your warm welcome.
Let me introduce myself:
I felt a strong calling to ministry at a very young age. When I was 17 years old I
began training as a Local Preacher in the Methodist Church. After graduating in
theology at Rhodes University in South Africa I was ordained in 1994. I was very
fortunate to serve in a few very large church settings there where the work of
ministry was challenging and full of variety. It was both difficult and exciting to
be in ministry during the “Apartheid” years as well as share in the celebrations
of a new South Africa in 1994.
In 1997 I moved to the UK to pursue ministry in a different context. I moved to rural England and encountered a very different Methodist Church. A while later I was very fortunate to relocate to Scotland where I took up a team ministry in an Ecumenical setting. After 5 years I left Scotland to join a ministry team just South of London. It was there that Peggy and I met and married and life and ministry became even more enjoyable for me! Soon a new road opened for us, - Canada!
We moved to our country property near Morden, Manitoba 6 years ago to be close to family. It was an incredible time of learning and experiencing life there and we embraced it as widely as we could. I became recognised as a minister of The United Church of Canada and I was fortunate to share in team ministry in two churches. I am glad to find in the United Church a courage to talk about difficult things, a preparedness to do the hard work of standing up where other churches won’t.
It was a very hard decision to leave Manitoba but the pull of a milder climate was irresistible. And now, our home is here among you and we are so glad of it! Sidney is an incredibly charming town and it is easy to see why people are so happy here. We are finding in this church community a warmth and welcome that is open and generous. In my work I have a deep love for leading worship. I am musical, – I sing, play the piano, guitar and cello and I have a great interest in bringing together art and spirituality. I have a few other gifts in ministry but I do love to hear people’s stories and really welcome those pastoral moments. My theology is broad and liberal.
I am an artist and do encaustic painting (painting with bees wax). My other great passions are gardening and beekeeping. We have two beehives, four adorable hens and four cats. There is so much more I can say about myself but we have time, - time to get to know each other and discover and journey together.
Rev. Suzanna Bates
Rev. Suzanna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and can be found in person at the church office Tuesday to Friday and on Sunday Worship.
Alan C. Whitmore, our music minister, has over 50 years experience as a church musician, music educator, conductor, performer (voice, piano, organ), adjudicator, and workshop facilitator. His life of music making has allowed him to live in British Columbia, Ontario, North Carolina and Florida, where he facilitated very successful church music ministries in churches of all sizes; including Metropolitan United Church, Victoria; Trinity United Church, Kitchener, ON; Centenary United Methodist Church, New Bern, NC; and the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour, Jacksonville, FL.
Alan has been affiliated with Wood Lake Publishing, Kelowna, BC where he was Music & Liturgy Editor for over 20 years. During that time he had editorial leadership for 5 hymnal supplements/songbooks, and was a consulting music editor for 2 major church school curricula.
He returned to Victoria, after a 24-year absence, planning to semi-retire. However, invitations from the Church of St. John the Baptist, Cobble Hill; the Victoria Male Voice Choir, the newly formed Victoria Arion Male Choir and a contract in desktop publishing with Wood Lake Publishings have enticed him to remain fully employed.
Alan is every excited about his appointment as Music Minister at St. Paul’s and he and his spouse, Denise Soulodre, plan to move to the Sidney area soon. He wishes to be part of the community.