It was a bittersweet luncheon in the Trendell Lounge (the shared space of the Synod of the Diocese of New Westminster and St. John’s, Shaughnessy) on St. Valentine’s Day, 2017 as Bishop Skelton and Synod Staff gathered to say farewell to the outgoing Director for Mission and Ministry Development for the diocese, the Reverend Ruth Monette.
Following the meal of delicious Mexican cuisine, members of staff each spoke about Ruth’s ministry, leadership and presence, and what her gifts have meant to each of them over these last three years. There was also the presentation of a card and a gift.
Ruth had been appointed Acting Director on December 1st, 2013, with the proviso that a mutual review would be undertaken before a year was up and following the election of the new bishop. Ruth brought a wealth of experience from her various roles in parish leadership from around our diocese. Her ability to provide sound analyses and assessments with parishes was incredibly valuable as they developed and strengthened their capacity for ministry. Her careful, thoughtful and accurate writing provided clarity and direction and was of great assistance to all Synod departments. Her well-prepared precis for diocesan council agenda items and her positioning of diocesan initiatives were particularly helpful to diocesan communications. It was no surprise that she was appointed Director of Mission and Ministry Development December 1, 2014.
As Director for Mission and Ministry and as a Member of Diocesan Office Senior Operations Staff, Ruth provided staff support to Diocesan Council and to the Committee for Ministry and Mission Development (MMD, one of the two diocesan standing committees). She provided oversight and management of: Program Development, Parish Development, the Diocesan School for Parish Development, Children’s and Youth Ministry and was an executive member of the planning committees for Synods 2014, 2015 and the Diocesan Mission Conference – “God So Loves the World” in May of 2016.
Late last year, Ruth decided to leave her senior staff post at the Synod office and return to parish ministry as interim priest-in-charge of St. Timothy, Burnaby. Her official start date at St. Timothy, February 15, 2017. Please keep Ruth, her family, the faith community of St. Timothy and the Synod Office staff in your prayers as they all embark on this time of transition.