The Rev. Virginia W. Briant (1926 – August 2021) heard God call her and she responded through the rigorous academic requirements of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The Rev. Virginia Woods Briant attended the University of Oregon where she earned two degrees. She, with her husband, taught elementary students in a two room school house on an Aleutian Island in Alaska. Later in life, after a successful business career, she immigrated to Canada and earned a Master of Divinity Degree from the Anglican School of Theology (Vancouver, BC) in 1973, a Gold Medalist.
On November 30, 1976, the Feast of St. Andrew, Virginia was ordained to the priesthood of the Anglican Church of Canada in Christ Church Cathedral, by Archbishop David Somerville.
The newspaper headline said it all: SIX AMAZING WOMEN ORDAINED AS PRIESTS IN ANGLICAN CHURCH.
This was an historic event in Vancouver and elsewhere in Canada, the ordaining of women to the priesthood in the Church.
Virginia served at Christ Church Cathedral until 1981, then St. Richards, North Vancouver. Virginia was in a terrible automobile accident in 1988, resulting in injuries so severe as to lead the surgeon to tell her she would never walk again.
The Holy Spirit knew better, for Virginia did recover to walk again and to serve the Church. Upon retirement, she and her husband moved to Penticton in 1990.
Virginia has served as an honorary assistant at St. Saviour’s Penticton and priest-in-charge for two years at St Barbara’s Church, Okanagan Falls, BC.
In 1991, because of Virginia’s strong belief in healing through Christ, she established the Penticton Chapter of the International Healing Order of St Luke the Physician.
What do we learn from Virginia’s life of discipleship? We learn to expect the unexpected; that flame touches flame; that Jesus is calling:
WE HAVE ONLY TO LISTEN.