Sophia is almost finished her 7th year in ministry with United Churches of Langley. Wow - can it be?
Sophia is an Ordained Minister of The United Church of Canada with a Masters in Public and Pastoral Leadership from Vancouver School of Theology. She came to The United Church of Canada as an Ordained Minister of the Centers for Spiritual Living with a Masters in Consciousness Studies. She has served in ministry for over 19 years throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine.
You probably won't find her often within the walls of the church. Rather, you will find her sitting in a park or cafe, sharing stories with people in the community, offering food and friendship, and a listening ear, ... or wandering a Farmers' Market or craft fair, or other community event. Sophia was heart broken to learn the Canadian history of residential schools, and works with indigenous people and settlers to create ways of healing and repairing the breach that has occurred with our first peoples of this land.
Her journey in ministry seeks to strike a balance in what Shirley Guthrie would describe as: “maintaining Christian identity and faithfulness in a pluralistic church and society without becoming exclusive, intolerant, and irrelevant; AND creating an open, inclusive, relevant community of Christians without losing our Christian identity and authenticity.” Much of her time in ministry has been on creating partnerships and programs on relevant spirituality for our pluralistic Cascadian culture, incorporating the principles from the Centers for Spiritual Living in her speaking and teaching.
She knows that the typical Sunday worship service isn't a primary way for many younger people to gather, and strives to find alternative ways to support people of all ages to connect with themselves fully, to connect with others, and to connect with the Sacred. The Shift Podcast and Alternative Worship Experiences (AWE) are some ministries she has created to engage with new people drawn to the welcome and inclusivity of United Churches of Langley.
Sophia has worked with church leadership teams to create transformational plans which birth new organizational cultures and structures, resulting in more vibrant communities and more engaged members that are steeped in the awareness and embodiment of the principles of their faith.
Sophia loves to "play" with children to build awareness of their own spiritual connection and to learn the stories of our faith. She supports families of all kinds to build the spiritual foundation for creating healthy family. She is committed to guiding youth and young adults toward spiritual maturity and empowering them to pursue their own personal ministry within the church, the greater community, and in the World.
Sophia loves to hike and garden and is commited to wholistic well-being: health in mind, body, spirit - for herself and in her ministry. She enjoys a variety of spiritual practices and is commited to supporting others in finding their own pathway to the Divine through practice. She yearns for deep community, and does what she can in ministry and in life to create habitats for this to occur.
She looks forward to serving in ministry with United Churches of Langley for many years to come.