Blessings to you, the community of Innerkip United Church, during this season of Thanksgiving.
I am looking forward to joining with all of you in worship (in whatever form that will take) beginning November 29th, the first Sunday of Advent. I thought I would take this opportunity to introduce myself to you and share a little bit about myself.
I was born in Hamilton and grew up in Dundas, ON, the eldest of two children born to John and Marylyn Beattie. I have a younger brother, Brian, who lives in Oakville with his wife and two children.
I have a 20 year old daughter, Katie, who is currently studying at the University of Guelph. My life partner, Jorge, works in medical research in London and I credit him for opening my eyes to some of the amazing and unseen intricacies of Creation.
I grew up in the United Church having attended Binkley United Church as a child and youth and, later, after I was married and was living in Flamborough, I transferred my membership to Millgrove United Church.
I began my working career in Advertising and then moved into marketing management and later into sales management in the paint and coatings industry, working for a couple of different national consumer brand companies. That work allowed me to travel and see much of Canada. It was around 2007 that I began to sense that God was calling me out of that work and into ministry. My discernment path was intentionally long as I tried to figure out just where I was to go, as this was quite a shift from the work I had been doing to that point. While discerning, I worked for two years as a Congregational Designated Minister of Christian Education at Appleby United Church in Burlington. From there, I entered the DLM program and, well, here I am!
These past few years, I have discovered a passion for counselling ministry, studying part-time at the Toronto Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling Education. I now have a small private counselling practice and am registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO).
My hobbies include singing women’s barbershop (a hobby I have had for over 20 years) and I currently am part of “Key of She” – a competitive women’s quartet. I also enjoy cooking, knitting and long walks in nature.
I look forward to meeting each of you and sharing together this next leg of our faith journeys.
Karen Willis, DLM