Honouring Yme Woensdregt

Photograph: “The Jesus Table,” Rotary Park, Cranbrook, September, 2016. (left to right) a table volunteer, The Rev Dr Yme Woensdregt, and The Rev Canon Andrea Brennan Incumbent Christ Church, Fernie.
By on September 30, 2023

The Rev. Dr. Yme Woensdregt, who recently passed into the rest of God, in whom he put his trust*, will be sorely missed by those who knew him and read his monthly articles. Yme has written for The HighWay longer than I have been its editor.

Formerly a Presbyterian minister, he has contributed to the spiritual life of the Diocese of Kootenay since 2004. He retired in 2020 and continued to live in Cranbrook, where he had been the Regional Dean of East Kootenay and Incumbent of Christ Church.

Due to our editing of The HighWay, my wife, Micahel, and I felt very close to Yme, and we frequently shared his articles with friends. For us, his passing will take time to mend.

At the end of each month, Micahel gives me a list of people she thinks would enjoy some of the articles featured in the latest edition. Yme’s article would frequently be top of the list. That was because the topics he wrote about were current and always relevant to people’s lives in the church.

You might not have always agreed with his opinions; nevertheless, his viewpoint was always pragmatic and thoughtful and reflected his character: someone who took his spiritual life very seriously.

As well as publishing in The HighWay, Yme contributed to The Cranbrook Townsman, Today BC, and his articles appeared in other diocesan newspapers throughout Canada. He shared his insights on grief with his readers due to personal experience. The passing of his partner, Lori in 2015, deeply affected him; as did the demise of the Rev Jeff Donnelly, the past Incumbent of St Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral.

Yme’s articles gave us access to his struggles with sensitive issues such as gender, Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), and mental illness.

Here is a list of recent articles by The Rev Dr. Yme Woensdregt with such thought-provoking headlines as: How Inclusive is the Church?; I Celebrate Being ‘Woke’; A Blessing for a Dying Church; What Does It Mean to Love?

He was also a supporter of inclusiveness in the church. To quote his article in the September 2023 edition: “I am a straight, white, cis-gender male. I have become a strong ally of my siblings within this community. I agree with Richard Rohr when he says that the point of the Christian life is ‘to stand in radical solidarity with everyone and everything else, even as God stands in solidarity with us. Jesus had no trouble whatsoever with otherness.’”

* See — Yme Woensdregt ‘I Am An Agnostic
Christian’ The HighWay April, 2023.

To read more of Yme’s articles published in
The HighWay, you can find them online:
Select “Columns” from the menu and then “Yme Woensdregt.”


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