Alana Martin is a current student at CCS. Her mother, Martha Martin, a diaconal minister, graduated from the Centre in 1998. Courageous Risking, the 2018 gathering of DUCC (Diakonia of the United Church of Canada) happened in Winnipeg this past April.
Taking part in several nights of the DUCC Conference was so beneficial. First, spending time with my mom was life-giving! She was having an amazing time introducing me to all of her colleagues and former classmates. And second, when the ‘seasoned DUCCs’ reminisced about their program and their work over the years, I was able to listen in. That’s when I learned the most. So many of them had struggled throughout their careers in ministry to be recognized equally, to be heard, and to be appreciated in their diaconal roles. It is through their hard work and trail blazing that the journey has been relatively painless for me – but that struggle is still underlying the work I do and am preparing for. So, much has changed, and they changed it! But much is still the same.
The work I heard being done by this community is inspiring! I met hospital, prison and student chaplains, people who dedicated their lives to outreach ministry in the margins, a conference Executive Secretary, and people who are working in congregational ministry but with a diaconal lens and foundation to only name a few! Their presence allowed me to see a diverse and amazing future. I am so happy in the work I am doing currently with The GO Project, but when I think about what could come after I get scared that I won’t find work as meaningful or true to who I am and my passions. Experiencing a room full of people who have found meaning in their work, whatever the role, was reassuring and inspiring.
It was a blessing to share this experience with my mom, above everything else. My mom, Martha Martin is a Diaconal Minister in the United Church of Canada and an alumna of CCS. She worked in Halifax for 3 decades in chaplaincy and formation, and most recently in Toronto in interim ministry. I often attribute my call to her and the foundation she laid for me. I often make jokes about being a PK (preacher’s kid). And jokes are made at my expense with comments like “oh you are so your mother’s daughter!” when people see our similarities in ministry.
But the truth is, I learned everything from her, and was grateful to be in this community together. Sharing a vocation isn’t easy. I’m sure my mom feels a sense of protection towards me. But despite the hard and challenging parts of ministry I’m thankful to share in the community together and for the opportunities to engage with DUCC.