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My name is Benjamin Stuchbery. I was born in Montreal but grew up in British Columbia living in such diverse places as Vancouver, Squamish and Penticton! I was raised in the Anglican Church – my father being an Anglican priest – and that much about me has not changed much! The past two years I have spent studying western religion at McGill University. Will I continue? God knows…

So here I am, spending most of my time at an Anglican seminary  and an Anglican cathedral in the heart of one of Canada’s largest cities – pretty much as I have been doing for the past two years. So what changes? What distinguishes this internship from what I already do at Christ Church Cathedral and at the Diocesan College? The answer is intentionality, a concept that those of you who know me know I enjoy emphasizing. So here I am, emphasizing it. Because whereas outside the context of this internship I tend to float through a seemingly random sea of various and varying roles in the church, with this internship I am attempting to pull together these various threads that are my life in the church under one broad idea – an idea rooted in the Christian tradition – called Mission. But before I speak to mission, I must ask myself the larger questions with which I am wrestling, namely, what am I doing here investing so much of my time and energy in the church? Is this really important, something I truly believe in? Or am I hiding behind familiar structures that give me a sense of purpose and security? Anyways, back to mission (oh the suspense!). The framework of mission concretizes faith and makes it visible. It makes the invisible and transcendant God a visible and immanent presence. It engages with people in a way that witnesses to the reality and presence of God here and now. Thus the focus of my internship project is people. I will be collecting stories from parishioners at the cathedral, some at the centre of activity, some on the margins. I will be assisting and facilitating a french language bible study that also serves as a community of sharing for members of the growing francophone congregation. Lastly, I will be working towards supporting the Fair Trade Town campaign, a campaign that seeks to get Montreal labelled as a city that supports fair trade, by building a network of support and commitment to the campaign amongst faith communities. The thread that holds these three distinct projects together is this: to uphold the sanctity of human life. Through storytelling, community,  and trade justice, each one of these affirms that a person is worth listening to, worth our care, and a human being imbued witht the gift of life. And what a gift it is to witness to the God who is love by walking in that love with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And finally, to speak to the questions I posed in the middle of this blog, I think the challenge for me is to figure out to what extent I can claim and incorporate this Christian tradition which has been passed down to me into my own sense of self. If I were not seeking to deepen my appreciation and understanding of my Christian heritage, then yes I would be hiding. But perhaps, just perhaps, there is a vocation for me here. So I’ll continue to dig. And what an opportunity this internship is, then, to get my hands dirty and start digging into the Christian life.

6 Responses to "Benjamin Stuchbery"

  1. Sandy Temple Posted on May 30, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    Blessings,Ben, as you continue to work out your future! You will be in my prayers! I have known your family for years! Sandy, Dollard des Ormeaux, QC

  2. Nick Stuchbery Posted on May 30, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Very proud of you Ben!

  3. Flo Posted on May 30, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    What a lot of deep thinking, Ben and how good to see you expressing this so clearly and honestly. Whatever path you end up taking, it will be well thought out and with each step you take you will know yourself more clearly. You are a gift to those you come in contact with wherever you are. I send you love to enfold you on your journey.

  4. Dave Blizard Posted on May 31, 2015 at 1:30 am

    Ben,
    When we met very briefly, this past Sunday after the Ordinations, I mentioned to you of having known your Mom, Dad, Grandfather & Grandmother Stuchbery and think of the “things” they have done in their lives. Now you have this pathway opened up to you so reach out for God’s presence knowing that it is there and keep moving forward.

  5. Janet Allingham Posted on September 7, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Dear Benjamin:

    Your grandfather, Ian, made such a difference in the world.
    For one thing, he turned many people on to social justice as an expression of their Christian faith.
    He would be so proud of you.

    Wishing you many blessings as you continue your faith journey.

    Janet Allingham, Ottawa.

  6. Janet Allingham Posted on September 23, 2015 at 4:54 am

    In the late seventies, your grandfather, Father Ian Stuchbery, was promoting Fair Trade Coffee and social justice in Montreal. He was a trail blazer, a man ahead of his time. He certainly influenced me, and (later) my husband, Glen. He married us in 1975, an anniversary we just celebrated at St. Philip;s , Montreal West. You are carrying on the work he started many years ago, and he would be so proud of you. We are!

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