“A Christian who happens to be a lesbian”, Susan Mabey’s is a name which has been more than incidental in the long struggle for LGBT inclusion in the United Church of Canada. Cited by the Chaplin Award committee for her recent bridge-building, even as a self-described ‘lightning rod’, as the multi-ethnic Toronto school where she teaches Grade 2 struggled with the new provincially-mandated health and sex education program, Susan drew national attention of a different kind in the early 1980s when she was refused ordination in the United Church of Canada due to her sexual orientation. (She very quickly established herself as a minister of Christos Metropolitan Community Church at a time when the largely-LGBT congregation was beginning to be devastated by AIDS illness and deaths.)
Her 1999 Doctor of Ministry thesis was entitled “When the Valley of the Shadow is Littered with Bones: Ministry in the Midst of Multiple Bereavements”.
The Chaplin Memorial Award was established following the death of my brother, Craig, in 2007. It is meant to lift up the outstanding vocation of an openly lgbtq person. Susan will be presented with the award as part of the Convocation of United Theological College, in Montreal this May, the tenth anniversary of Craig’s death.