Carol Stevenson Seller
1965 commissioned as a Deaconess/Diaconal Minister at Saskatchewan Conference AGM, Third Avenue United Church, Saskatoon, SK
Program of Formation
I attended Covenant College, Toronto, for 2 years, 1963 to 1965. I loved both the academic and applied content of learning: from Systematic Theology, Synoptic Gospels, Church History
and Polity, Old and New Testament courses, Sociology of Religion, Christian Education theory and field work. My field placements were at Fairlawn United, and Humber Valley United. I had the honour of being class valedictorian at our graduation exercises. Being part of a
residential learning community nourished and greatly influenced my human and faith development.
What called you to Diaconal Ministry?
I was giving leadership in the church both in CGIT, and Teen groups, and felt I needed more training in order to offer more to these young
people. I had been studying the New Curriculum resources offered on radio, and was keenly interested. In chatting with my minister, he
suggested that because of my enthusiastic interest that I contact Covenant College, which I did. After considering this possibility for
a year (I was happy and committed to my teaching career), I felt called to this new adventure. It was a life-changing decision, one for which I have always been grateful.
Describe some of your experiences of ministry.
After graduation I accepted a position in Christian Education and Development in a Larger Area Parish in Yorkton Presbytery,
Saskatchewan Conference, working with CE leaders, Sunday School Teachers, developing programs and drop-in centers for Teens, as well
as some preaching and pastoral care. I was also very involved in church camping.
Those were exciting times of change with the ‘New Curriculum’ which provided excellent resources for church leaders and groups.
I left there to be married in June, 1968, and spent part of the next year taking a Semester in Christian Mission at Selly Oak Colleges in
Birmingham, UK, living in a residence with people from 26 countries. This in itself was an exciting opportunity to learn of other cultures,
and to make life long friendships.
I served in a team ministry with my husband Frederick Seller at McClure United Church in Saskatoon, SK., and in a different team
ministry at Knox United, also in Saskatoon.
I later took more training in Adult Education, and in Career and Life Transition Facilitation, working with the University of Saskatchewan,
various businesses and organizations. I offered Ministry and Life Planning events to ministers in the United and other Churches, and to
individuals. I found this most rewarding.
How I explain Diaconal Ministry to others …
I tell people that Diaconal Ministry in the United Church is one of service, symbolized by towel and basin based on the story of Jesus’
washing the feet of his disciples, and exemplified in ministries of Christian Education and Development, Social outreach/justice, and in pastoral care. It may also include leadership in worship, depending on the situation to which one is called.
What gives you the most satisfaction, reward, sense of fulfillment from the ministry you do?
Throughout my career and life, teaching and facilitating learning has been central. It is a privilege to witness ‘aha’ moments in peoples’
lives, to accompany people as they seek a deeper truth for their life journey, to minister to people in their times of crisis and
For some years now I have happily served as a volunteer within my home congregation of West River United in Cornwall, PEI, always deeply
grateful for my home within the United Church of Canada. Now as we experience more change and opportunity, I pray for keeping strong
roots in our tradition and wings to fly with openness, courage and grace as an inclusive, justice seeking community of faith.
April 28, 2019
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