Who we are:
The Diocese spans five valleys in southern BC from the Okanagan Valley through the west and east Kootenays. Wineries, orchards, mountain ranges, lakes and hot springs, beautiful churches and wonderful congregations of faithful Christian people are found in these valleys. Being predominantly rural, the Diocese is engaged in ground-breaking work in local theological education through the Kootenay School of Ministry in order to enable Eucharistic communities in isolated places. This Diocese lives faithfully, joyfully and celebrates its supportive clergy community. Our Okanagan waterfront Camp Owaissi is an important place of evangelism. Through the Together in Mission campaign each parish has discerned visions for ministry until the close of 2020 and is engaged in mission-focused fundraising. The Diocese fully supports lay ministry, the Diaconate, local and seminary trained priests. There are four positions in our Diocesan Office, two of which are full time and the other two shared with other positions in the Diocese. Our Diocesan Office also houses the Education for Ministry Office. We are a Diocese Living Faith, Proclaiming Christ, Growing Churches and Empowering Mission. The Diocese of Kootenay: where the Gospel hits the road!
As Christians our philosophy finds its foundation in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We believe that God loves every person and all of creation and that we are called to be imitators of that love in the world. As an organization we seek to build the capacity of our congregations to serve their communities. That means that we offer staff and administrative support and guidance while keeping our administrative costs low so that financial and human resources can be directed to service. In fact, without adjusting for inflation, our diocesan operating budget has not increased since 1988.In real dollars we are offering the same services for less money.
Who we serve:
We help oversee the operation of a summer camp, Camp Owaissi, that serves more than 250 children and teens every summer. We offer staff support to an organization of young people, the British Columbia Yukon Anglican Youth Movement, committed to “friendship, compassion, and spiritual growth”. Our members serve, and are served, by volunteering, visiting, and offering spiritual care at long term care facilities throughout the region. We serve shut-ins and those who struggle to make ends meet. Many of our congregations are found in small communities with limited social services and often find themselves filling gaps in services. Frequently our facilities are one of a small number of community spaces that are used by other charities and non-profits that don’t have their own meeting spaces. We provide, and are blessed by, care and companionship which we share with our members and innumerable non-members alike.
What we do:
How we share the gospel is shaped by the needs where we are. Each one of our congregations seeks to serve in ways appropriate to its context. This means that some of our congregations are running the only food bank in their community. It also means that we have congregations that are running supplemental food banks in communities with greater need. Some of our congregations are participating in hot meal programs on a regular basis. We have a number of congregations which operate thrift stores. There are also a number of youth groups that offer safe social space and opportunities for personal and spiritual growth. It’s already been mentioned that in almost every long term care facility in our region we have regular volunteer visitors or staff offering spiritual care and companionship to residents. It is difficult to quantify the number of volunteer hours spent with those who are grieving, lonely, or lost. Wherever people find themselves in their lives, however, they will always find a place with us in which to find a hot cup of tea and a loving listening ear.
The public worship of the Church is chiefly the work of the People of God in glorifying God and giving thanks for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we join in public worship we are joining with the whole Church throughout the world and throughout time, the Church on earth and in heaven, in giving praise and thanksgiving to God the Holy and Undivided Trinity. We worship with the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The principle lex orandi, lex credendi (the rule of prayer is the rule of belief) lies at the heart of Anglican worship. That means that our prayer reflects the belief of the church and as such our liturgy is the cradle for our theology. A great consequence of this is that our worship also shapes our theology, and teaches the worshipper the language of prayer. Worship is our offering to God and a means by which the People of God are formed in the life of faith. It is imperative that we approach our liturgy with reverence for God, and with respect for one another. Liturgy calls for us to offer our very best.