Home > Discernment and Selection Process
Born in Glasgow, Scotland into a Roman Catholic family, David came to Canada with his parents as a child, and grew up in the GTA. David joined the Anglican Church of Canada in his early twenties, and answered God’s call to ordained ministry shortly thereafter. He holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and a Master of Divinity from Huron University College at the University of Western Ontario.
David has a great passion for telling the transformative story of Jesus and is continually fed by making new and renewed disciples for Him. David began his ministry serving at Saint Paul’s Cathedral (Diocese of Huron). He served as theological student and Assistant Curate and was then appointed Vicar and Priest-in-Charge for the eighteen-month interim period before the appointment of the new Cathedral Dean.
Since arriving in the Diocese of Toronto (2010), David has led the process of re-booting the ministry at the Church of the Transfiguration. During their six years together, Transfiguration has grown significantly in size and scope, continually seeking new ways to engage with their neighborhood and community. During his time in Toronto, David has served and led numerous Diocesan and National committees and initiatives, has been a member of the Diocesan Council and Executive Board, and is a clerical representative to Provincial Synod.
David and his beloved wife Heather have been married for more than ten years and are parents to three-year-old Rory.
Parish Selection Committee
Tasks of the Parish Selection Committee
Role of Parishioners
Role of Interim Priest-in-Charge
Our Vision During the Discernment and Selection Process
The Parish Selection Committee
Joanna Campion, Kate Werneburg, Chris Jones, Chris Ambidge, Frances Humphreys,
Peter Tovell, Heather Bennett, Richard Heystee
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
On October 23, 2015, the Archbishop of the Diocese of Toronto, the Most Reverend Colin R. Johnson, announced his appointment of the Rev'd Canon Andrew Asbil as Rector of the Cathedral Church of St. James and Dean of Toronto, effective January 25, 2016. The Archbishop’s letter may be found here.
On December 13, 2015, the announcement was made to the parish that our area bishop, Bishop Patrick Yu, had appointed the Rev'd David Howells to be Interim priest-in-charge during the discernment process.
In keeping with the requirements for Clerical Appointments as described in Canon 10 of the Diocese of Toronto’s Constitution and Canons, a Parish Selection Committee (PSC) made up of Heather Bennett, Chair of Advisory Board, Joanna Campion, Chair of the Board of Management and up to six parishioners was presented at Vestry, on February 8, 2016. The additional members of the committee are: Chris Jones (Chair), Chris Ambidge, Richard Heystee, Frances Humphreys, Peter Tovell and Kate Werneburg.
The PSC is entrusted with the very important ministry of selecting and recommending to the Bishop, a
suitable candidate for appointment as the Incumbent of the parish. ...It is critical that the person whom you recommend has the gifts and enthusiasm to lead your parish into a healthy future.” (from: “Preliminaries—Parish Selection Committee Page 1”)
The Bishop has appointed Bill Bickle as the diocesan coach/facilitator to guide and support the PSC through
the discernment and selection process. The PSC's first meeting was held on February 17, 2016, and regular updates will be made to keep the parish informed.
1. Take the time needed, and to involve the wider parish as appropriate, to
a) discern the present parish reality, and
b) what God is calling the parish to become
2. Develop the Parish Profile—who we are now; what God is calling us to become;
what the principal gifts and skills we are looking for
3. Locate and identify a new priest—work with the area bishop to find suitable candidates; review
applications; interview; visit current parishes; debrief to discern best possible fit for the parish
4. Support the new priest and parish during the time of transition—orientation to the parish;
support during first year of ministry; identifying issues when they arise and seeking
appropriate resources to work through them.
(from: Diocese of Toronto PSC Coach Training, June 15, 2015)
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Everyone in the parish will have a role to play in the discernment and selection process.
Prayer: Several groups have been asked to pray regularly and specifically for:
- members of the PSC and the task they will undertake
- the Rev'd David Howells, the Rev'd Megan Jull, the Rev'd Jeff Stone, the Honorary Assistants
and the staff as they carry the on-going pastoral work of the parish
- ministry area leaders and members, members of the Boards and the musicians as they offer
programs and contribute to the liturgies
Input: All parishioners will be asked to participate when there are opportunities to provide input. Just how this will happen has not yet been determined, but this is a vital element of preparing the parish profile.
During 2016, the Rev'd David Howells will work 60% of a full-time position. Specifically, David will:
- Oversee liturgy planning and pastoral work
- Supervise clergy and staff
- Support the chairs of the boards to carry out their responsibilities
- Ensure that the ministry areas continue to offer the weekly
liturgies and programs
For more on David Howells' schedule and responsibilities, please visit our staff page.
We expect this process to begin as soon after Vestry (February 8, 2016) as possible. Ideally, a new Incumbent will be in place by November 1, 2016. The timeline is dependent on a number of factors, some of which will be beyond the
control of the members of the PSC.
To view/download a larger version of the timeline, please click here.
- We continue to be a vibrant, creative and active spiritual home for all who come for worship,
fellowship and to learn and grow in faith
- We continue to be a place of welcome for our neighbours, parishioners, visitors, and participants
in our drop-in, other programs and events
- We continue to affirm and proclaim God’s presence at our corner
- We boldly carry out our 2016 ministry plan and budget
- We trust the guiding of the Spirit to select a new Incumbent with the vision and skills to lead
and support our ministry in new ways.
- We keep members of the parish informed recognizing that, of necessity, some information
will be confidential
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