The Reverend Adam Yates was appointed by Archbishop Skelton as Rector of St Faith, Vancouver effective September 1. Adam comes to St. Faith's and the Diocese of New Westminster from St. Stephen's Church, East Haddam in the Diocese of Connecticut in The Episcopal Church (USA). He arrived in Vancouver on August 31 and was in quarantine until September 15.
Adam was inducted by Archbishop Skelton within the context of a Celebration of New Ministry - Service of the Word on the Feast Day of St. Matthew, September 21.
Diocesan communications did publish online coverage of the induction (linked here) and some biographical information about Rev. Yates supplied by the Canonical Committee (linked here), however, following the induction, the new rector was kind enough to take some time and answer a few questions about his life and ministry.
In 50 words or less how did you come to faith and then to your vocational call to the priesthood?
I was raised in the United Methodist Church and attended regularly with my family. My faith has always been important to me, but it was in college where I majored in Environmental Science as well as Religion, that I started to feel a call to ministry and began to explore it with the tiny Episcopal church in town.
Were you thinking that you might like to emigrate to Canada or was the St. Faith’s ministry posting the motivation?
In my search, I cast a very wide net. I was open to moving out of country, but also wasn’t explicitly trying to. I ended up in conversation with a few different international churches and was excited about the opportunity to learn about the different expressions of the Anglican Communion and to see what God was up to in different parts of the world.
Did you know much about Canada or the Anglican Church of Canada prior to embarking on the process the led to your new ministry post?
My grandparents lived in a Canada for a while back in the 1950s, bought some land and built a cabin outside of Algonquin Provincial Park. It has been in the family ever since and I spent every summer of my childhood in Canada. I have always had a love for this country. While I don’t know as much about the Anglican Church of Canada, when I’ve been on vacation in Canada in the past, I’ve made a point to seek out and worship with Anglican congregations. My husband and I were even invited to a lovely coffee hour once at the Anglican church in Huntsville, ON, where we got to visit with several parishioners.
What has surprised you so far in your new post?
I’m still at that point where everything is new and so nothing is surprising yet!
How would you describe your ministry style?
One of the ways I understand my ministry is as a storyteller—I get to receive and share sacred stories, some of which are found in scripture. I am always interested to listen for the stories we tell ourselves, both individually and communally, to hear the ways that those stories shape our identities and worldview, and to seek out those places where our own stories connect with the larger story of God’s people.
Is there a particular piece of Scripture that guides you in your faith and ministry?
What are you looking forward to the most as Rector of St. Faith’s?
I love the work that St. Faith’s is already doing in the community, especially through St. Hildegard’s Sanctuary, and I am excited about the potential that is in this congregation. There are so many opportunities for us to participate in God’s mission here in our neighborhood and in Vancouver and we have wonderfully committed and creative people here in the church and on the staff to help us imagine what is possible.
What do you think will challenge and stretch you the most in your ministry?
In addition to learning a new congregation, I’m getting to learn an entirely new country and culture. Even simple things, from national history to shared cultural reference points—things I had taken for granted back in the United States—I’m realizing that I no longer know. It is both exciting and an opportunity for humility as I seek to learn and love this place and the people on its own terms.
Anything you’d like to add?
I've had my first Nanaimo bar. Wow. Just wow.