Lay ministries recognized – Order of Niagara 2016

Order of Niagara recipients from October 2016. Photo: Diocese of Niagara Twitter feed
 on November 5, 2016

The Order of Niagara, instituted 16 years ago, enables parishes and the diocese to recognize and thank lay people for their faith and support, as well as to instill a sense of pride and satisfaction in the ministry to which they have been called by God.

All licensed clergy are invited to nominate one person from each parish annually. The Bishop can also appoint members to the Order.

Each year over 60 people are added to the Order which has more than 1,100 members.

Recipients of the honorary designation may use the initials O.N. after their name. They are encouraged to wear the Order’s medallion on any diocesan occasion, at Synod services of any kind, when the bishop visits their parish and at the installation of new members of the Order of Niagara.

The 2016 nominees were installed during special worship services at Christ’s Church Cathedral Hamilton.

Here is a sampling of the wide range of talents and ministries of the new Order of Niagara members, as described by those who nominated them.


John Newton
St. Paul’s Fort Erie
Brock Region

John is an active member of St. Paul’s, serving as their Administrative Assistant, Vestry Clerk and alternate delegate to Synod.

He is a Lay Reader in the parish and has served on a laity team which leads Morning Prayer services.

An active member in the Cursillo movement, John also served on its ministry team in various capacities.

His presence in both the church and outside community is truly inspiring, and his commitment and love for the gospel is evident in these ministries.


Maureen Truman
Holy Trinity Hamilton
Mohawk Region

Maureen exemplifies an extraordinary commitment to Christian discipleship, by embracing and supporting the faith community within the parish and extending the impact of that community in the wider world.

For over 20 years, she has served variously and tirelessly as Churchwarden, Treasurer, Lay Delegate to Synod, Assessor for the Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) and member of Tapawingo Day Care Board.

She has built parish relationships with various community organizations including Hamilton Ladies Slo-Pitch Softball Association, Girl Guides, Pathfinders and Zumba.

“Maureen is omnipresent at parish events, exercising exemplary leadership of numerous fundraising initiatives, where no task or responsibility seems too big or too small for her careful attention.”


Robert Goodwin
St. Christopher’s Burlington
Trafalgar Region

Bob is a long-time member of St. Christopher’s and has been an integral part of many aspects of its ministry.

In official roles, he has served as Chair of the Parochial Committee, Parish Council Chair, member of the Stewardship and Financial Development committee and served two terms as Churchwarden. Bob has also overseen the parish safety protocols, particularly with respect to fire safety.

Bob has worked tirelessly to ensure that St. Christopher’s is a hospitable place, be it as greeter team captain, providing refreshments on Sunday mornings, at funerals or other parish events. He is also one for keeping an eye out for parishioners who have been absent or otherwise need pastoral contact. He is a long time champion and member of the Open Doors Steering Committee.

His commitment to outreach is firmly grounded in his belief that hospitality and inclusion are central to our call as Christians.

Bob contributes to the life of the parish as a choir member, an active participant in kitchen activities through the Ginger Group, Men’s Cooking Group, Tuesday Suppers and Christmas Market food preparation.

St. Christopher’s has been blessed to have had Bob as a member of their faith community.

“We are grateful for both the depth and variety of the gifts that he has offered over the years.”


Jim McConnell
Our Saviour The Redeemer
Stoney Creek
Undermount Region

Jim has served as an energetic member for many years, including property manager, greeter, member of the parochial committee and green facilitator. He has also been a liaison for St. Matthew’s House and other food banks in the area.

He currently serves as People’s Churchwarden, Greening Facilitator, property committee member and outreach programs liaison—positions to which he brings much dedication.

Jim, a friendly, approachable and open-minded individual, is passionate about ministry for seniors and youth.

One area to which Jim brings much passion and dedication is that of greening.

His support and encouragement helped Our Saviour the Redeemer achieve silver level status.

“He is always on hand to help with property concerns, questions or needs.”

niagara-trilliumMary Anderson
St. Alban the Martyr Acton
Greater Wellington

Mary joined the congregation in 1967 and has been a regular and faithful member ever since.

Over the last 49 years she has filled many roles, including Envelope Secretary for many years, head of the Altar Guild, providing training and background orientation to new members, Memorial Flower Convenor, member of Parish Council, greeter, sidesperson and counter.

As a veteran, Mary carries the flag each year at the Canada Day and Remembrance Day services.

She assists with preparing food for church events, helps at coffee hours and transports parishioners.

“Mary is an inspiration of humble selfless ministry to us all.”

pam-spence-adjPam Spencer
St. John’s Winona
Lincoln Region

Pam has been a Church-warden for more than 10 years, serving with dedication.

Her involvement in the church has been extensive—serving on the altar guild, being a church choir member, working at the outreach drop-in centre for young mothers and children located in the parish hall and helping to bring Wilma’s vision of a farmers’ market at the church to fruition. She was also the church representative at The Winona Peach Festival.

Her wonderful volunteer spirit has led her to be a part of The Earth Angels organization—finding homes for young people with autism.

She has worked on many fund-raising events each year and her energy never ceases to impress.

“Pam’s humour and joyfulness are a blessing to all of us in the parish.”

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