Two social justice activists, a passionate advocate for philanthropy, a lawyer, and a business administrator are this year’s recipients of the Anglican Award of Merit.
The award is the Anglican Church of Canada’s highest distinction given to lay people who have contributed to the life and work of the church at the national and international level.
The 2010 recipients were announced at the spring meeting of the Council of General Synod, the church’s governing body in between General Synods. They are:
Robert “Rob” Dickson, business administrator for the diocese of New Westminster, has been recognized for his contribution to various church committees at the national level. Currently a member of the Anglican Journal board, Dickson has served as chair of General Synod’s financial management and development committee. He chaired the task force that developed and presented the current General Synod proportional gift formula. He was also a member of the Residential School Settlement Task Force that resulted in a national settlement.
At the local level, he served as fundraiser for New Westminster’s healing and reconciliation fund, and as treasurer, parish warden and trustee. He was warden, trustee and treasurer of Christ Church Cathedral from 1980 to 1986.
“It is my privilege to offer my service ‘to our beloved church’ and its work in forwarding the mission of God in this world,” said Dickson.
An outspoken social activist, Canon Alice Jean Finlay, or “AJ” as she is known, is a member of the board of directors and former vice-chair of Kairos, the ecumenical justice and peace organization, of which the Anglican Church of Canada is a member. She also represented the church as a member of the Central Committee, the World Council of Churches’ governing body. In 2001, she represented the church in an ecumenical mission team that visited the war-ravaged area of Southern Sudan. An honorary canon at the diocese of Toronto’s Cathedral Church of St. James, Finlay also served as president of the World Day of Prayer’s international committee.
David Jones has been chancellor (legal officer) for the diocese of Edmonton since 1995 and provincial chancellor for the Ecclesiastical Province of Rupert’s Land since 2005. He was recognized for the leadership he exercised as chair of the Governance Working Group (GWG). He and his wife, Anne de Villars, and their four children are members of Holy Trinity Church in Edmonton.
A passionate advocate for women’s rights and social justice, Mary Elizabeth Loweth is the provincial link for the Anglican Communion’s International Anglican Women’s Network (IAWN), which works to empower Anglican women and strengthen their ministries. She has served as executive director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews as well as the Canadian Center for Ethics and Corporate Policy. Loweth has also served as diocesan president of the Anglican Church Women (ACW) in Toronto. She has done extensive work on multi-culturalism and human rights; she served as human rights office for the United Church of Canada.
As chair of General Synod’s national financial management and development committee, Monica Patten steered General Synod through tough budget decisions. A member of the diocese of Ottawa, Patten was the first chair of the Anglican Appeal, which raises money for the church’s mission work and ministry in Canada’s north and with church partners overseas.
Patten, who is president and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada, is well known for her leadership in Canada’s voluntary sector. She has assisted in the development of community philanthropy worldwide. Ω