BY JANA LAHNALAMPI
We are not losing a Minister, we have gained a lifelong friend. How lucky we were to have been guided for the past 12 years by such a wise, thoughtful and caring individual. Our lives have been enriched, by having had Cathy in them.
It was a bright, sunny and warm July day in 2006 when Cathy and Lorne arrived in Levack. Cathy had recently graduated with her Master of Divinity; and was ordained by Alberta-Northwest Conference of the United Church in May 2006. Fortunately for us, she had accepted ‘settlement’ which means that she agreed to go wherever the church needed her. Cathy was settled in Manitou Conference and in Onaping Falls because the charge had agreed to ‘go to settlement’ rather than search for a candidate on our own.
How challenging it must have been to start out later in life, on a new career path, thousands of miles from home. In a province she knew little about, but learned soon enough about black flies! Lorne and Cathy literally took to Northern Ontario like ducks to water. They purchased a sail boat to enjoy our numerous lakes while Lorne led our Community Action Network for years, spearheading initiatives and maintaining our voice at the city level.
Cathy has brought forward many outreach ideas which have improved the lives of people in our faith community, in the larger Greater City of Sudbury and globally. From Messy Church, to funding initiatives in developing countries through KEVA, strengthening ties to other churches through our work with the “Out of the Cold” at St. Andrews, Cathy built bridges.
While it was a mandate of the United Church to “reconcile with our First Nations, it was difficult to do. Where did one start? How did a church community reach out? We are in uncharted waters. Cathy made many connections and she supported numerous Indigenous initiatives. By first informing herself, she was in the process of furthering our understanding of Indigenous people. Thus, spurring spiritual growth within many of us.
Cathy’s guiding hand has steadied us through some difficult and sad times, offering comfort and helping those in need of healing. As well she has celebrated with us through joyous times. We will miss your calm and caring nature as we move into the future. We are thankful for our time spent with you and wish you and Lorne smooth sailing into the next chapter of your lives.