I am Anglican!

Martha Tatarnic (left) explained the purpose behind the program Called By Name and Cheryl Bergie described her personal journey of faith in her presentation I am Anglican! Photo: Hollis Hiscock
 on January 3, 2019

Cheryl Bergie

We all have our own story of how we came to be Anglicans and I would encourage you all to share your experiences with each other.

My journey began about 12 years ago when I was a mother of a two-year-old and a three-year-old.

I worked from home after my daughters were born, running a home daycare.
In the meantime, my neighbours a few doors down, Veronica and her late husband, the Reverend Canon Rob Fead, were discussing who was going to run the Sunday School at their parish of St. George’s in St. Catharines. Veronica mentioned to Rob that I was great with kids and she saw something in me.

Soon after, they were at my door and asked if we could discuss an opportunity. My response to the question of becoming a Sunday School Co-ordinator was to laugh a little. I told them that I was embarrassed to admit to a priest that all I really knew were the basics, Adam and Eve, Noah and Moses.

Growing up we never went to church and only really mentioned God at funerals, at which time we would be comforted to hear that our loved one was in a better place with God.

I did believe in God and lived in a respectful way but really had no foundation. I told them that I would be happy to help them out by covering the classes over the summer, giving them time to find the “right” person to fill the position.

That summer led to 10 years of building the children’s program at our church.
After that time of essentially learning along with the children, I felt I had grown so much in my faith development but there was more I wanted to experience in the church, such as sitting in the pews for a service, becoming a lay reader and a mentor.

It was clear to me the work with the kids was something I was proud of, but we needed some fresh ideas.

Our new Rector Martha Tatarnic was at first apprehensive to lose me in this role, but once we discussed new leadership possibilities and decided to invite my sister Tanya, who was also unchurched, to assume the position, she was on board with the vision.

As you can see, Veronica’s ability to see something in me I could not even see in myself, was a seed planted that has multiplied.

Turned out to be an incredible decision because the children’s program expanded with the new ideas Tanya and Martha brought. I was engaged in new ministries and my much younger (17 years) sister Sarah, also unchurched, joined the children’s team as our nursery provider.

As you can see, Veronica’s ability to see something in me I could not even see in myself, was a seed planted that has multiplied.

Not only with my sisters joining in leadership roles, but my daughters growing up in the church and all the lives that I have touched — and all the lives that they have touched — many peoples’ lives have been changed. It’s a snowball effect for sure and makes me think of my favourite movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Each life touches many other lives.

I will be eternally grateful to my friends Rob and Veronica Fead for the huge impact they made on my life with that invitation.

I’m very proud to say that I am no longer unchurched; I am Anglican!

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