In conversation with … The Reverend Canon Dawn Davis, Faith Formation Coordinator

The Reverend Canon Dawn Davis
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Dawn Davis
The Reverend Canon Dawn Davis

Niagara Anglican (NA): Tell us about yourself.

Dawn Davis (DD): Three key things to know about me:

  1. I am a follower of Jesus and I am passionate about helping people grow spiritually.
  2. I love the church because I believe it is the best community to help us form into the fullness of our calling.
  3. I am intentional about partnering with the creative energy of the Holy Spirit. It can be a bit scary, but it can take us to unimaginable places.

Other bits to know:

I am ordained, have a human resources certification and recently earned a doctorate in ministry in spiritual formation.

My husband, daughter and I have just moved from Trinity Church Aurora to Hamilton and are discovering how similar it is to our coastal roots in Halifax.

NA: Tell us more about your role in Niagara Diocese.

DD: I think for a long time we thought people would spiritually grow if they simply came to church. Our beautiful liturgies do help people connect with God, but because it is a private experience it can quickly fade. Consequently, lay leaders often say they are not confident as spiritual leaders in offering public prayer or using scripture in their daily lives.

In a nutshell, I am here to help the church spiritually grow in faith, so our people can confidently share their stories of transformation and live into the fulness of their calling.

NA: You are to spend 70% in the greater St. Catharines area (GSC). What will you be doing there and what do you hope to achieve?

DD: My goals are that:

  1. All eight parishes be equipped with spiritual practices and resources to help them discern their future and build suitable discipleship paths.
  2. All parishioners — lay and clergy — are deepening in their faith as they feel called.

To make this happen I will connect people’s needs with resources by creating an online bank of programs, books, conferences and spiritual mentors. I will offer area workshops, parish consultations, preaching, presentations, clergy peer group facilitation and a faith-formation blog based on the Sunday lectionary.

NA: Your other 30% will be devoted to the rest of Niagara Diocese. What are your plans there?

DD: A lot of what I do with the GSC churches will be extended to the diocese.

NA: What brought you to this ministry or how has your thinking about ministry changed over your career?

DD: About 12 years ago, my parish wanted to go spiritually deeper, but I couldn’t take people somewhere I hadn’t been myself. That awareness significantly changed my role from pastoral leader to spiritual equipper and began a new stage in my own spiritual deepening.

NA: You created a new resource. Tell us about its purpose and benefits.

DD: There are few spiritual formation resources for church leaders, so I created one. Revive: Equipping Church Leaders to be Spiritual Leaders was recently published online by Forward Movement, a ministry of The Episcopal Church U.S.A.
Revive is a 10-month, small-group discipleship program for church leaders that focuses on prayer, scripture and a call to ministry. I hope it is a resource, along with many others, that the church will find helpful.

NA: Any final thoughts?

DD: My question for each person is: Are you growing spiritually? How can your church help with the most exciting and challenging journey you will ever take … following Jesus!

The Reverend Canon Dawn Davis is Niagara’s Faith Formation Coordinator.