Though I have never been to China, I have non-church related roots there. My grandfather taught at the Peking Union Medical College in the 1920s where his research as a paleontologist led to the discovery of Peking Man in Zhoukoutien. My mother was born and lived in Beijing until 1938, and returned to Nanjing in 1947 having married my father, a junior diplomat, who was posted to the Canadian Embassy there. She was evacuated back to Canada during the advance of the revolution – which is why I was born in Toronto and not Nanjing!
In 2011 I was appointed Principal of the Centre for Christian Studies in Winnipeg, a national theological school of the United and Anglican Churches. I am an Anglican deacon, but consider myself a “dual citizen” with the United Church, having worked ecumenically on peace and justice issues in Office of General Synod before moving to Winnipeg. I worked in the Partnerships Department where I was strongly involved in global partner relationships. As Principal of CCS, I have learned much about the practice of diaconal ministry in the United Church, and look forward to learning expressions and practices of ministry in the Chinese Christian Council.
My mother, who speaks fluent Mandarin, lives in Ottawa and will turn 90 this September. I have two grown sons and two grandchildren who live in Toronto, where I look forward to retiring in a couple of years.