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Author Bios



Rhonda Waters

Rhonda Waters

The Rev. Rhonda Waters is incumbent of the Church of the Ascension, diocese of Ottawa. 

Articles Written

  • Honest Lent

    Honest Lent

    Of the many distressing developments in the civil life of our world, the rise of “alternative facts” is one of the most upsetting.

    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: February, 28 2017
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  • Blessed are the peacemakers

    Blessed are the peacemakers
    I love to read, but reading for my own interest and pleasure often falls victim to my busy schedule. 
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: January, 31 2017
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  • Five lessons on how to be a priest and a Christian

    Five lessons on how to be a priest and a Christian
    On November 20, I joined in the celebrations to say farewell and thank you to the dean of Montreal, Paul Kennington, as he returns to London. 
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: November, 23 2016
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  • Seeing God in the world

    Seeing God in the world
    Do you remember the first time you hosted your parents or other significant elders around your table? 
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: October, 25 2016
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  • Where is faith rooted?

    Where is faith rooted?

    Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock When I first moved away from home, one of the first things I did was attempt to find a new church. I knew I wouldn’t find a church that was exactly like my home church—I had moved from rural Alberta to Montreal, after all—but I wasn’t worried.…

    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: September, 22 2016
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  • Church away from church

    Church away from church
    Church attendance has its seasons, just like everything else.  Some communities only open their churches in the summer, when the cottagers arrive from their city homes – which means that some city churches find themselves suddenly emptied out. 
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: August, 22 2016
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  • Reflections from General Synod 2016

    Reflections from General Synod 2016
    I was one of the people moved to tears on the floor of General Synod when the motion to amend the marriage canon failed to achieve the required two-thirds majority in the House of Clergy. 
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: July, 22 2016
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  • What rhymes with ‘truth’?

    What rhymes with ‘truth’?
    The other day, I heard an interview on CBC's The Current with the philosopher James Garvey. He was talking about his work on the impact of marketing techniques used in the context of public political and ethical debates. 
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: June, 20 2016
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  • The blessings of change

    The blessings of change
    It is hard to believe that my family and I have been living in Ottawa for three months already! Our home is (almost completely) organized.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: May, 24 2016
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  • A church faithful in its time

    A church faithful in its time
    Just a couple of short weeks ago, my front lawn was covered (again) in snow.  It felt like winter would never end and every casual conversation included a complaint about the insult of snow in April. 
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: April, 25 2016
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  • God calls who God calls

    God calls who God calls
    I love weddings. I love working with people as they prepare for their life as a married couple. I love helping them choose the readings that will speak God’s Good News to them on their wedding day.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: March, 22 2016
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  • Endings take time

    Endings take time
    I am in the midst of a move. I’m in the awkward time of needing to work in my office, eat in my kitchen, sleep in my bedroom, play in my living room, but also needing stuff to be in boxes.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: February, 19 2016
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  • Becoming fluent in the language of Christ

    Becoming fluent in the language of Christ
    There are 168 hours in a week. We are awake for roughly 121 of them—and those are very busy hours.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: January, 26 2016
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  • Answering God's call

    Answering God's call
    One of the great themes of our faith is that of call—the belief that God actively calls individuals into particular ways of life.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: December, 21 2015
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  • You must have been a beautiful baby

    You must have been a beautiful baby

    When Jesus was born, the angels sang and the star led, not just because he would grow into a great and good man, but because God, Godself, had entered the realm of flesh and blood and bone and brain.

    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: December, 18 2015
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  • Christmas: The most porous time of the year

    Christmas: The most porous time of the year
    It feels strange to write a Christmas column before Advent has even begun—especially a Christmas column that is going to be published before Advent has even begun. 
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: November, 24 2015
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  • Finding God in all places

    Finding God in all places

    I did not grow up in the kind of Anglican church with elaborate liturgical practices. Rather, I grew up in an Anglican church that was frequently without a priest, and so relied on a dedicated group of volunteer laypeople to plan and lead Sunday worship. These were wonderful people—but they were not liturgists. They were very busy mothers and teachers and doctors and farmers and many other things as well. And yet, Sunday after Sunday, someone was ready to stand and lead us in prayer, ready to offer their thoughts on the readings, ready to hold us together in the presence of God for that one, holy hour.

    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: October, 13 2015
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  • Summer goodbyes

    Summer goodbyes
    Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal is located a few blocks down the hill from McGill University. As a result, our pews always hold a scattering of students and, as the cathedral’s ministry to students and young adults falls under my portfolio, it’s my job to get to know them. I have a really great job.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: July, 20 2015
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  • Making it explicit

    Making it explicit
    Part of my explanation for why I became a priest is that God knew I would be a lousy Christian otherwise.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: June, 22 2015
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  • 'Why can't God do anything for himself?'

    'Why can't God do anything for himself?'
    The question came from my small son in response to the story of Moses’ commission to free the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. “Why does he always get other people to do stuff?”
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: May, 25 2015
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  • The continuing story

    The continuing story

    Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

    And that changes everything—backwards and forwards.

    Our story—the world’s story—is rewritten in this moment. Everything that came before means something a little different now—everything needs to be re-remembered in light of this new fact.

    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: April, 20 2015
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  • God and the 6 o’clock news

    God and the 6 o’clock news
    The church where I served as student minister has a number of very large stained glass windows: Christ with the children, the women at the empty tomb, and a rather lurid depiction of Christ on the cross, featuring a great deal of purple and agony.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: March, 20 2015
    (0) Comments

  • Sacred experimentation

    Sacred experimentation
    Twelve years ago, I conducted an experiment to find out if I was called to a life of ordained ministry in the church. The context of the experiment was the first Montreal Ministry Internship (or Challenge as it was called then), an intensive summer discernment program for young adults that was run by the Montreal Diocesan Theological College.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: February, 23 2015
    (0) Comments

  • The unfinished story

    The unfinished story

    “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

    So opens Mark’s account of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, presented to us as a sentence in verse 1.

    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: January, 19 2015
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  • An activist church

    An activist church
    In the wake of the Michael Brown and Eric Gardner killings, my Facebook newsfeed has been filled with pictures and articles and thoughts from friends in the Episcopal Church of the United States.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: December, 22 2014
    (0) Comments

  • A more complete joy

    A more complete joy
    I hate winter. I hate the cold and the grey and the snow. I hate having to wear boots and mitts and hats. I hate the way my glasses fog up and my shoulders ache from hunching against the wind. I hate that it takes longer to get anywhere on slippery sidewalks and crowded buses. As autumn draws to a close, the dread builds and builds until the first snowfall when I can finally slide into bitter resignation.
    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: November, 28 2014
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  • A big red door isn’t enough

    A big red door isn’t enough

    One Sunday morning, I stopped in at the Starbucks directly across the street from the Cathedral. The barista asked about my clerical collar. When I told him I worked at the (large neo-gothic) church visible from his workstation, he commented on how nice it was to see it open and lamented that it was usually closed.

    By Rhonda Waters
    Posted: October, 28 2014
    (0) Comments

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