The Centre for Christian Studies is pleased to announce that the 2015 Companion of the Centre Award will be presented to Irene Rainey. Irene has been a direct and supportive influence among the CCS community, and her lifetime of work exemplify the values of the Centre. Those who nominated Irene spoke of her passion for justice, her enthusiasm for education, and her commitment to diakonia.
Irene has always been committed to education; both her own (a degree in Women’s Studies, diaconal training with the Western Field-based Program, and a Masters Degree in theological education) and the education of others (starting a preschool, working as a United Church congregational staff associate in education, serving as staffperson for the Christian Development Council of Winnipeg Presbytery, having educational influence at the national level of the United Church, and volunteering with CCS as a Council Member, Vocational Mentor, Learning Facilitator, Resource Person, and Chaplain).
Irene is currently acting as chaplain, along with Anne Duncan, for the fall learning circle of the CCS Pastoral Care Year.
Irene has worked at all levels of the United Church (congregational ministry, Winnipeg Presbytery, MNWO Conference, and nationally at Diakonia of The United Church of Canada (DUCC). Her passion for justice has led her to advocacy for the disadvantaged at City Hall, assisting First Nations women at North End Stella Community Ministry, supporting medical missions in Cuba, participating in Project Peacemakers, supporting Winnipeg grandmothers in fundraising for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, and working with the joint project of the Anglican and United Churches at St Matthew-Maryland Community Ministry, serving the poverty-stricken and disadvantaged in the local community and supporting individuals to find their voice and increase awareness of their stories.
Irene has been lauded as a trusted friend and confidant, a woman of energy, vision and commitment, a wise, an articulate and compassionate woman, a sensitive listener, one who also hears, acts and responds with respect and can offer words of wisdom in adversity, sharing her gifts in community and in cooperation with others and effecting positive change. She is also a responsible, caring parent and grandparent to her children and their children. She has experienced both the Anglican way of being (alongside her partner in his Anglican ministry) and that of The United Church of Canada through her chosen membership and ministry in that Church.
The Companion of the Centre Award will be presented at the CCS Annual Service of Celebration on April 19, 2015.