Interim Pastor Familiar to Immanuel
Immanuel Anglican Church in Wetaskiwin is seeing a familiar face in the pulpit these days as Colleen Sanderson serves as an intern. Sanderson was a part of the congregation and one of the pianists in 2001 to 2004 while she taught for three years at Norwood School. Earlier this year, she also filled in during the time that Ted Eden was on medical leave. At this time she expects to continue serving here for a year to a year and a half.
Colleen Sanderson was born in Winnipeg but grew up in Edmonton where she was active from an early age in teaching Sunday School, children's ministry, and camp ministry at St. Luke's Anglican Church. While in high school, she considered ministry, but pressure from her grandfather led her to rebel and become a teacher instead. After those first three difficult years of teaching spent at Drift Pile, Beaver Lake and Lac La Biche, she decided to do the 700 kilometre el Camino di Santiago pilgrimage, walking the 150 kilometres of it required for acknowledgement. She was impressed by the hospitality of the people living along the route of the pilgrimage, citing as an example the lady who urged them to come out of the rain and dry their socks over the wood stove in her barn. She also found it quite the experience to have only what she carried in her backpack: sleeping bag, clothes for warm or cool weather, socks, underwear and pjs. During the pilgrimage, she again sensed a call to ministry, but was advised to teach three more years first, which she did at Norwood School in Wetaskiwin. They were great years, but at a friends ordination she heard, “One day you'll be ordained.” She went to the Wycliffe Seminary in Toronto. was ordained, then returned to Edmonton where she has been curate at Christ Church, and intern in St. Albert, Sherwood Park and at Tofield as well as here in the spring. She is looking forward to one day being assigned rector of a parish.
While at Immanuel, Sanderson looks forward to carrying on with the children's ministry growing out of the successful Vacation Bible School held earlier this year. Twenty children attended, some of them from outside the parish. She also wants to help the congregation “expand the box” by finding ways to extend the love they have for each other to others outside the parish, as when the Easter lilies from the church were taken to the Fire Department, the High School, the Junior High, and to one elementary school. She is especially concerned about how to reach out to families, children and young people. At the same time, she recognizes the love and care the congregation has for each other, the good work that is being done, and encourages them to continue. Her passion is family and children's ministries.
Cooking, movies, travel, and hanging out with people, visiting and talking, are among the things Colleen Sanderson enjoys. Twice she has visited the Taize religious group in France, and is planning a trip with friends to Italy for her 40th birthday in a few years. She is also proud to be the auntie of two young nephews ages three and a half and a year and a half, and enjoys playing with them and providing free babysitting. In her faith walk, she is trying to follow Jesus in the context of Scripture, the world, and the Anglican Church, and likes the theme of new life coming out of emptiness, saying, “It is hard to die, but awesome to rise in new life.” It is obvious that she knows Jesus both in her head and in her heart.
As Colleen Sanderson is welcomed to Immanuel Anglican Church, it is also appropriate to extend best wishes to Ted Eden. He is officially retired, will remain in Wetaskiwin until their house sells, then will move to Vancouver Island, an area very familiar to them where they have family including grandchildren. He has some commitments with the Water Works Players which he will be around Wetaskiwin in order to fulfil, including the 10th Anniversary Gala at the end of March, and would prefer to be around for this complete theatre season. He is also happy that his final official service in the church was the annual Blessing of the Animals.