A former Pelham-area woman was elected a CANA (Caribbean and North America) representative of the executive group for the World Day of Prayer International Committee.
Rev. Steph McClellan (Canada) was elected with Rev. Ruth V.E. Philips (Barbados) on Friday, June 17.
McClellan is currently board president for the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. A post on its Facebook page said the organization is “blessed and honored” to have McClellan assume the international position in the near future.
187 representatives from 103 countries were participating via Zoom in the opening service for the World Day of Prayer International Committee three-day meeting which was hosted by Scotland. The meetings were held June 16-18.
McClellan is a United Church minister. In e-mail correspondence she writes that all 19 years of her ordained ministry have been served in Newfoundland. She has served in Gander, St. Anthony and Lewisport and her current pastoral charge is in Bloomfield-Musgravetown. She is the daughter of long-time local residents Jerrie and Bob McClellan.
By Rev. Steph McClellan
I was born in Welland and lived there until my parents moved to St. Catharines before I turned one. I attended Merritton High School until I completed grade ten and then moved out to Ridgeville to board with a friend of the family as I completed grades 11, 12 and achieved my Ontario Academic Credits.
From there I headed to the University of Guelph for my BA (emphasis on Special Populations), Regent College on the UBC campus for my Diploma of Christian Studies. I completed my Master of Divinity at Vancouver School of Theology.
After graduation and ordination, I moved from Vancouver to Gander and I have served all of my ordained ministry on the Rock.
As a child, I mostly attended church and CGIT (Canadian Girls In Training) at Elm Street United until I was a teenager and the family had a car so that we could go to my dad’s childhood church where he first met my mom as she sang in the choir. I would say the church that grew me up in faith was that one, our family church, Pelham Centre United.
We (World Day of Prayer International Committee) do most of our work on-line and due to Covid, we were not able to travel to Scotland for the International gathering this year, but there will likely be some travel involved in my five-year term. There are seven regions in the work of World Day of Prayer, I am now a regional representative for Caribbean and North America Region. There is also Pacific, Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and Middle East.
As for Women’s InterChurch Council, presidency itself is a two-year term and mine will be finished this coming October, but there is one year as President Elect and another as Past President.
Our mission at WICC is to restore hope to women and children who have been touched by injustice.
We address injustices such as food insecurity, human trafficking, abuse and violence against women and children, racism, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and Aboriginal reconciliation to name a few. The help is for across the country and around the world.
We are the Canadian home of World Day of Prayer and we prepare the materials that the writing country sends for use in the Canadian context. With the offerings that are given at each service, we cover the cost of the service resources and fund our grant program that offers small grants (maximum $5,000) to empower grassroots organizations in Canada and around the world that are working toward justice.
One of the projects that first inspired me to work with WICC was a water project at a school in Africa.
The girls were allowed to attend school, but only after they had completed the chores like hauling water from a water hole about 12 kms away. Many times when they got there, the water was dirty or even dried up. With our small grant, the school was able to put a water system in the school grounds and safe, clean water was available to all students. Girls were now able to attend classes all day.
The term for the World Day of Prayer International Committee is five years renewable once. World Day of Prayer is celebrated on the first Friday of March each year.
About Joe Barkovich: A former reporter and city editor at the Welland Tribune, Joe Barkovich now refers to himself as a “Scribbler-at-Large“. He shares his love of his Hometown of Welland Ontario on his From A Reporters Notebook Blog. We thank Joe for contributing Guest Posts to our myWelland.com Community Platform.