“I feel blessed to be part of this welcoming community”

ome eight months after Dave Denholm left, the United Church in Stettler now has a new minister, Debbie Stockdale.

With her family – Debbie Stockdale

Some eight months after Dave Denholm left, the United Church in Stettler now has a new minister, Debbie Stockdale.

Commissioned to diaconal ministry at the meeting of Alberta and Northwest Conference of The United Church of Canada at Sherwood Park in May of this year, Stockdale says this is her first assignment as a solo minister in the United Church.

As a diaconal minister, Stockdale says she is both a worship leader and she is authorized to undertake educational tasks as well.

Before coming to Stettler, Stockdale says she was in Kelowna, BC for two years and before that in Calgary for 15 years, working for two churches.

She says she was doing family ministry in one church and education and pastoral care in the other.

“In Kelowna, I was working for First United Church doing outreach ministry and education ministry there,” she said.

Stockdale has a degree in Psychology from the University of Calgary and she says she studied from 2005 to 2009 to get her degree to be commissioned to diaconal ministry.

Asked whether she found being a woman minister challenging, Stockdale says she never considered it to be an issue.

“Certainly in Calgary it was very common,” she said.

“Actually I was very surprised when I came here to find out that in Stettler I was the only woman pastor.”

“I think it is not as uncommon as it it used to be and certainly not in United Church of Canada.”

Because her husband develops computer software and works over the Internet, Stockdale says the movement of the family from one location to another has not been much of a problem.

With her two children now grown-ups, she believes she is prepared to totally commit her time to her work.

And what about her impressions on the community?

“I was not sure what to expect. Stettler is the smallest community I have ever lived in,” says Stockdale.

“But everything you need is really here. There are very few things that I have to go out of the community to find.”

“People have been lovely and friendly, a very welcoming community,” she adds.

She says she finds that living in such a small community has its own benefits as well.

“In July, I had a meeting I started to get ready half an hour before, then I realized ‘Oh, it is so early.’”

With camping grounds like Rochon Sands in short driving distance, Stockdale says they feel they are going to enjoy their stay in Stettler.

“It has been a very good move for us,” she says.

“Coming from Calgary and lately Kelowna, I am not looking forward to the winter weather, though.”

Still, she says she feels blessed to be part of this community and that they feel very much at home in Stettler.

Just Posted

Stettler students have fun with humour

Christ-King Catholic School holds variety show

RCMP investigate break-in and theft from Coronation tow yard

Towing supplies, bolt cutters and a red Honda generator were stolen sometime between May 10 and 13

Trial for man accused of 2006 Eckville murder “unreasonably delayed”

Lacombe’s Shayne Gulka is awaiting trial for the 2006 murder of Bradley Webber

Clearview Public Schools approves Gus Wetter trip to Dominican Republic

Trustees also approved a draft calendar for the 2019-2020 school year during the May 10 meeting

UPDATE: Puppies rescued at structure fire in Lacombe

The Bentley Fire Department assisted Lacombe in a structure fire where crews saved some puppies

VIDEO: Canadians rise for early-morning Royal wedding celebrations

Canadians gathered for early-morning broadcast of marriage between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

B.C. sues Alberta over bill that could ‘turn oil taps off’

Lawsuit is the latest move in the two provinces’ ongoing feud over the Kinder Morgan pipeline

Liberal government introduces measures to update Canada’s family laws

Justice officials say there have not been substantial updates to federal family laws in 20 years

Teen must repay $37M for starting Oregon wildfire

A teenager who started a major wildfire in Oregon has been ordered to pay restitution

Canada’s G7 goal on development: luring private capital to poor nations

G7 finance and international development ministers convene in British Columbia next week

Congressional leaders to review information on Russia probe

Trump said he will “demand” that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign

Canadians stranded in Cuba after plane crash returning home

Montreal-based travel agency says hundreds of Canadians who were stuck in Cuba since a plane crash last week are returning home

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.