Pondering my New Role in Licensed Lay Ministry

By on August 31, 2023

When the Rev Jeff Donnelly died suddenly in January 2022, part of my grieving journey involved writing an article for the “Tapestry” page in the local newspaper as I took over his leadership representing St Saviour’s in the Interfaith group.

Jeff encouraged and inspired me to become a Licensed Lay Minister (LLM). I now enter this new role with confidence, clarity, energy and discovery!

Sometimes I wake during the night and am moved to pray. I give thanks for the new life of faith that has emerged for me since receiving my certificate as a Licensed Lay Minister. I also feel freedom in the responsibility I have undertaken.

When I go to the two senior long-term care homes with my prepared worship lesson outline, I begin my welcome to the quiet elders gathered in wheelchairs and walkers, with the words, “I am happy to be with you here today. I attend St Saviour’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral here in Nelson. And I am authorized by the Diocese of Kootenay to offer this worship service.”

I recently received, from the Diocese, a composite of newly offered Authorized Liturgical Resources. They are inspiring — the Addendum to the BAS especially. BAS prayer litanies-p.110 -128. These renewed prayers are a boost. I am delighted to have these heartfelt devotionals available to lift our Common and Personal prayer offerings with empowerment from above. Even though I am a retired artisan and senior, I feel a guided energy as an LLM. “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and renew your Spirit within me.”(Psalm 51 verse 10.)

In 1997 at Cursillo (deo gratias), I learned about “Palanca,” the levers that boost us in our faith’s journey.

The other day I watched my adult son, a mason and stone worker, use levels and 5-foot, heavy steel bars with various pointed ends. The “lever” was needed to move a hand-cut granite boulder into place for the cornerstone of a vast rock wall he planned to create along our driveway. With an exacting eye, he patiently struggled to lever into place the sheared face of this rock along the string line. We both agreed that this was “biblical.” There is so much importance attributed to a cornerstone!

Like the saints, mystics, and many generations of disciples, we keep aligning ourselves along the string line of our cornerstone —Christ the Anointed One. We are levered into place by life’s experiences and our relationship with mentors. In my newly appointed position in the Anglican Church of Canada, I continue to trust the contemplative path and the practice of Centering Prayer, where the source of aliveness and mystery opens a reciprocity of divine exchange leading to love, hope, and charity. May it be so!


  • Bonnie Holland

    Bonnie Holland is a Lay Minister at St Saviour’s Pro-Cathedral, Nelson, Kootenay Diocese BC

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