“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’, while 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 in Toronto at a time when the largely-LGBT congregation was beginning to be devastated by AIDS illness and deaths.)
Susan’s 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 Craig Chaplin Memorial Award was established following the death of my brother 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.
“UTC is honoured to name Rev. Mabey’s long and courageous commitment to justice and inclusion, compassion and vital pastoral presence, and in particular, to the ministry she now lives as a teacher.”
Rev. James Scott will be recognized through the conferring of the degree Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa). Rev. Scott, the United Church of Canada’s General Council Officer for Residential Schools, will also be the convocation speaker. The College “recognizes in particular Rev. Scott’s profound commitment to indigenous concerns and his work with the Church in preparation for, and response to, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
UTC’s convocation exercises will be held at Roxboro United Church, 116, rue Cartier in Roxboro, Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 2 pm. Roxboro, which will officially become an Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Canada on May 7, is the congregation of Rev. Darryl Macdonald who, in 2009, was the second recipient of the Chaplin Award.
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