We are pleased to announce that the bishop has appointed the Rev. Randy Murray as St. George's new Community Minister.
Hello! My name's Randy Murray. I'm Priest-in-Charge of St. Peter's and Community Minister for St. George's Memorial, both in Oshawa. I will devote half my time to each role - providing regular reports on what's going on, what I perceive the needs around us to be, and my ideas about how to approach them. In the course of my work I will ask you to share your own thoughts and insights into what and where the needs are, and how best to address them.
My background in ordained ministry goes back to 2006. At that time I became incumbent of a three-point parish on the Gaspe Peninsula of Quebec. In this rural area I honed my skills in listening to those whose life experiences were not those of the urban middle class I was used to. I also discovered an ability to work effectively with children and youth (I developed a Godly Play program) and, by accident, to preach without notes or a text.
At Church of the Advent, Toronto, I further developed programming with children and youth, offering Godly Play, a week-long summer program, and my first confirmation class.
My time at St. Mark's, Port Hope, saw involvement with the youth choir, adult education programs, and a filmwatching and discussion group. Adult education consisted of a once monthly discussion group centered around readings in spirituality, as well as seasonal programs based in offerings made available by the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE). The film group, Cinema St. Mark, began with a small group of parishioners, but soon grew into a community cinematheque. Focused largely on European art-house style films, over the course of a year, non-parishioners outnumbered parishioners in attendance.
From July to October, 2020, I took a leave of absence from parish ministry to try my vocation as a Benedictine monk at St. Gregory's Abbey, Three Rivers, Michigan. Much about monastery life appealed to me, but in the end I decided that a life-long commitment to it was likely not my vocation. I still carry with me, however, a deep respect and admiration for monastic spirituality which continues to inform my religious thinking. I remain, as I was prior to my monastic experience at St, Gregory's, an associate of The Order of Julian of Norwich, a contemplative religious order of the Episcopal Church.
Other influences on my religious outlook and approach to God include art, music, liturgy, and film, as well as the influence of the Christian mystical and some Asian traditions.
It will be a pleasure to meet you in person when the time comes, and get your own varied takes on where the Spirit is leading us as the body of Christ in this time of disruption and challenge.
Blessings to you all,