Alison, ministry student

Hello! My name is Alison Brooks-Starks.

I love water – swimming in a lake, skating outside in the winter, canoeing…. I feel more at home in the water than I do on land. I’ve always lived in Treaty 6 territory along the North Saskatchewan River… my childhood and youth in Prince Albert, SK, and my university and working days here in Edmonton, AB.

Now that you know who I am, here’s what I’m doing this year. I’m in a practicum at SSUC until May 2018 for ministry, with a focus on spiritual care. I am a candidate for ministry in the United Church of Canada to be a “diaconal minister.” This is coming from a tradition of deacons practicing “diakonia,” which means “service among others.” Diaconal ministers in the United Church have a focus on education, service, and pastoral care.

The only school for United Church diaconal ministers is CCS (the Centre for Christian Studies) in Winnipeg. I go there in fall and spring to attend learning circles. I also will do external courses each year at St. Stephen’s. The rest of my time is spent in my practicum and completing assignments and readings at home (or in various coffee shops, of course).

I check in monthly with a mentor who is a diaconal minister, weekly with Nancy and Chris, and I also have a ‘local committee’ of congregation members who give advice and follow-up with what I’m doing in my placement. I’ve been LOVING my time at SSUC!

Currently at SSUC I’ve got a couple of spiritual care projects on the go. In “Winter’s Dark,” 12 brave folks and I go sit in the dark Tuesdays throughout November chatting about symbolism of the darkness. I’m also making links with Rainbow Connection yoga, and we will likely launch a spiritual-care-something in the new year. I’m also available for a tea and a chat anytime, with anyone!

Here I am with recent kijiji find: new hole punch.

It was a good day.