Rhonda Waters

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

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.

"In Jesus' birth, God declares an openness to - indeed, a desire for - intimacy with us," writes the author. Illustration: Dayjan Desmond

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.

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.

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.

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.

Making it explicit

Part of my explanation for why I became a priest is that God knew I would be a lousy Christian otherwise.

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?”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.