Bishop Stephen London is pleased to appoint the Rev. Trina Holmberg as rector of the combined ministries of St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Ponoka and St. Andrew’s in Camrose.
Holmberg sees the hand of God in her journey to this new arrangement.
“Once upon a time,” Holmberg says, “I interviewed at two Anglican churches that were willing to consider having a Moravian ordained minister serve them. I began serving St. Andrew’s in Camrose in January 2021. In January 2023 I will begin serving St. Mary’s in Ponoka, the other church I had met with. I can see God smiling back knowing that someday I would be serving both.”
“People at both churches have been excited about this idea, while also concerned for their pastor. There is a 55-minute drive between parishes. Fortunately, the highways that connect are major roads and so there may be times when last minute changes may be needed, but everyone is prepared. We are hoping to attend each other’s special events and have some specific activities to bring the two parishes together. We know there will be bumps down the road but through flexibility and mutual respect they will be graciously worked out.”
The vestries of St. Mary’s and St. Andrew’s met on Saturday, November 26 to discuss the new arrangement. The Ven. Rachael Parker, Archdeacon for Rural Ministry was there to guide the discussions, which Holmberg says was very helpful. “What a blessing and an easing for the Camrose folks (who have not shared a minister before). It was especially helpful that she could share the learnings and experience from her own team ministry.”
Holmberg notes that both times the two parishes have met “they have intermingled their seating spots and the laughter and sharing showed signs of hope for a long union of sharing.”
“Both parishes have a lot to offer each other, and I am looking forward to how God might grow us in each town.”
The shared ministry of these two rural parishes begins January 1, 2023.