A huge congratulations goes out to Mabel Brown who was commissioned on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, as an Evangelist with Threshold Ministries. The Commissioning was held at the Church of the Ascension in Inuvik NWT, was led by Threshold Ministries’ National Director – Shawn C. Branch and including her licensing for ministry in the Anglican Church, by the Bishop of the Arctic – the Right Revd. David W. Parsons (also a Threshold Ministries evangelist).
The celebration began with a community feast, in the church hall and welcomed family, friends, local clergy and Threshold Ministries’ Dean of Formation – Ruth Jarvis Coleman. In all, about 75 people attended. Included in the gathering was singing in English, Inuvialuit and Gwich’in. It was this celebration that marked the completion of Mabel’s training with Threshold Ministries.
Her training as an Evangelist started in September 2002. Within two years of her training she got sick which resulted in her having to return to Inuvik before completion of her training. She went into treatment and when all of her infections finally ceased she began to work once again. In the next few years, following her sickness, she completed a 10 course program called “Indigenous Wellness Addictions Prevention Program” at the Aurora College in Inuvik from 2007-2009. This led her to serving for 3 years as the co-ordinator for the Inuvik Justice Committee. She retired from work in March 2012 and it was then that Bishop David Parsons asked her, “why don’t you finish the program?”
As a result to David’s prompting, she applied to Threshold Ministries’ Formation Program (an evangelist training program which takes place over 3 years) as well as for funding which were both accepted. So in October, 2013 she travelled to the national ministry centre for a week long module as part of the program. It was there that Mabel spent a week of classes and met all of the other students that were currently taking part in the Formation Program. “Something changed in my meetings while there and I came back to Inuvik with the vision to serve with a new heart to reach out to those in our community.” wrote Mabel while reflecting on her time in the program. Later in the program she got another opportunity to meet with the other students in Toronto during the month of May, 2014.
In the final months of her training, Mabel was also looking after her mother, who was 99 years of age. It was just two days before Mabel’s commissioning that her mother went home to be with the Lord.
“The commissioning was what my mother wanted for me. She waited until I got home on May 18th. All of the family were with her on that day. She lived a very fulfilled life.” – Mabel
What this commissioning means for Mabel is that she is now officially considered an evangelist with Threshold Ministries and this long journey has reached it’s end. Mabel has been licensed for ministry in the Diocese of the Arctic. As a commissioned evangelist she will continue working with her northern community on behalf of the church.
Shawn C. Branch reflects, “As a member of the Gwich’in community, there was a rich sense of celebration and honouring the community that has surrounded her during her formation” Threshold Ministries has had a long history of its members doing ministry in that community but what adds some more novelty to this commissioning, is that this is the first time that a resident from that area has been commissioned.