Story updated July 28, 2022
The Holy Spirit of God filled All Saints’ Cathedral during a Service of Ordination on the evening of June 29, 2022, on the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
Diocese of Edmonton Bishop the Rt. Rev. Stephen London ordained the Rev. Arthur Dyck, an honorary deacon at St. Faith’s, Edmonton, to the priesthood; and Lisa Wojna, full-time hospital chaplain and member of St. Paul’s, Leduc, to the transitional diaconate.
Following the processional hymn, “Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones,” led by All Saints’ Music Director Jeremy Spurgeon and the Cathedral Choir, the service held on Treaty 6 territory, began with The Smudge by Archdeacon Travis Enright and Fred Matthews who sang an Honour Song and played the drum.
“This is a beautiful occasion as we come to ask God to ordain Arthur as a priest in this church and to ordain Lisa as a deacon in this church,” said London, officiating his first ordination service as s Bishop and, also the first unrestricted diocesan service since the start of the COVID pandemic.
Noting the theme of diocesan synod in October is “Together on the Way,” Bishop London began his sermon by asking the congregation to consider where God is calling us as a diocese. He invited people to picture the Church, not as an institution but as a movement. Quoting the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, London said, “we are the Anglican branch of the Jesus movement. Tonight, we are ordaining two people into ministry. However, we are also reminded that all of us have a ministry.
“As we walk together, all of us have a part to play in God’s economy of salvation. All of us, every single person here tonight and in our churches has a calling and a vocation; a special way to live out the great commandments of loving God and loving our neighbours that can only be lived out by you; because of your unique personality, a combination of gifts and circumstances. And you will spend your life growing into your unique calling and being a blessing to the world. The world needs you. We need you to be a sign of God’s love in a broken and hurting world, to be an agent of healing, goodness, beauty and kindness.”
Although the Jesus movement is about walking together in the way of love, “it is a hard path to want,” said London. “As we learn by the example of Saint Paul (an early persecutor of the Church) and Saint Peter (who overcome by fear and uncertainty denied Christ), the way of love is not about cheap grace, but costly grace. It has to be about profound transformation. Both Paul and Peter found a new way, the way of love.”
Arthur and Lisa, I am very grateful that you have said, ‘yes,’ to this call to be a part of what God is doing in Jesus Christ. Part of the imagery of the ordination service is that this isn’t about you by yourself, or me by myself. But that all of us have gifts to bring and offer to the whole. Thank you for bringing your gifts. May God bless you in your ministry.”
The Rev. Arthur Dyck was presented for ordination to the priesthood by the Ven. Travis Enright, Bliss Robinson, and Valerie Wilbur on behalf of the Diocese of Edmonton Examining Chaplains.
Raised in the Mennonite faith in Rosthern, SK, Dyck says “the church was always part of my life.” Around age 10, he committed to following Jesus while attending Bible camp.
After high school, he moved to Saskatoon to attend the University of Saskatchewan. (Fun fact: he was the sound recording engineer at the first multi-track sound recording studio in the province at the university.)
On a weekend visit home, the pastor of his church invited Dyck for coffee. “He encouraged me to consider theological education and become a pastor. That was the last thing I wanted to hear at the time, but the seed was planted.”
In the 1980s, he was part of a Mennonite Brethren church plant in Ottawa, which is also where he met Joy. They now have two children: Justine and James, and a newborn granddaughter, Aviv Grace, who attended the ordination service.
Dyck attended the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in California, then pastored churches in northwest B.C. and Alberta.
He and Joy began attending All Saints’ Cathedral and he became an Anglican during “a dark period in my life. We found the liturgy helped to ground us in our faith. It gave us another language for worship.” He was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church of Canada by Bishop Jane Alexander in 2014.
He says ministering to people in St. Faith’s community circle through the parish’s community meals and reintegration programs, has provided him with opportunities to help people in crisis or when they need a hand or direction to community services.
“Most importantly, I am here to help provide a place of safety and peace,” says Dyck who is the program coordinator for Edmonton Circles of Support and Accountability and pastoral liaison for Celebrate Recovery.
Lisa Wojna was presented for ordination to the diaconate by the Rev. Susan Ormsbee, Sharon Kobe, and Valerie Wilbur on behalf of the examining chaplains.
She says she experienced her first call to ministry as a very young child embracing the liturgy of the Anglican church while “sitting in the pew beside my grandmother, rather than choosing to go to Sunday School.” Later, as a young person growing up in the wilderness of Whiteshell Provincial Park of southeast Manitoba, where she was able to “just be with God in silence and solitude,” she explored her faith and church widely by attending youth groups with her friends from other denominations and reading books.
“But, at that time, women in the priesthood were not part of my lived experience and when they were, I certainly didn't feel worthy of joining their ranks,” she says.
After “praying for the Spirit to open the right doors at the right time,” she returned to seminary to complete a Master of Theological Studies degree and pursue Clinical Pastoral Education. She currently serves as a full-time chaplain at Grey Nuns Community Hospital.
Together with her husband Garry (the couple has five children and four grandchildren), she is raising their 2-year-old great-grandchild Autumn who “sat through my ordination without a whimper of complaint!”
Wojna looks forward to “continuing to live out the servant's heart of the diaconate in that role, as well as actively supporting St. Paul's, Leduc until God leads me elsewhere.”
Bishop London thanked Dyck and Wojna for saying “yes, to God’s call” by offering their gifts to the whole and, in so doing, “helping to transform a broken world through grace by pointing to a vision of a world recreated in the love and goodness of God.”