Dear friends in Christ,
I look forward to beginning a journey forward with all at St. Francis beginning September 1, 2021.
My name is Stephanie Shepard. I grew up in the Anglo-Catholic tradition in this diocese, was deepened as a disciple in a parish following the Charismatic renewal, and have over the last fifteen years been working with congregations with ties to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. I may not be, as St. Paul said, “all things to all people”, but I really celebrate the richness and diversity of our Anglican Church. I grew up in the Lower Mainland, and after graduating from UBC in psychology and biology worked in the academic library system. After serving as a shop steward for a UBC local of C.U.P.E., I was seconded by the union as the health and safety chair for UBC.
All the time there was a tug on my heart for the work of a priest, and in 196 I entered the Vancouver School of Theology. I was ordained priest in 2000 and have been serving in this diocese for 21 years. In 2017, I trained and moved into intentional interim ministry to assist parishes in transition. I am also the Regional Archdeacon for Granville, covering the west side of Vancouver, and will be continuing in this role.
I am married to Byron Jang and have two adult daughters. They are active in other Anglican communities in this diocese. We live in North Burnaby with our cat Abigail.
I don’t presume to know the answers that God has in store, but commit to helping to explore the
questions. As everyone shares with me what St. Francis’s means as a Christian community, I will assist to hear the truth and find the courage to act with what God has entrusted to this parish’s care. The interim process usually takes 12-15 months to work through some particular tasks. It will be a time to prayerfully consider all options. From a clear understanding of the parish’s history and the uncovering the dynamics of who this Church is, to taking concrete next steps in faith.
I would also like to explore both the groups and ministries that take place at the church buildings and those you beyond the doors of the worship space. The parish leaders and I will be outlining some short-term goals and objectives to work on together. I will need everyone's support to broaden and deepen the ministries of St. Francis’, and in establishing and maintaining clear and timely communications so that everyone knows what is going on.
I look forward to my first Sunday at St. Francis-in-the-Wood Church on September 5th.
Yours in Christ,
The Venerable Stephanie Shepard