This year, five people are being honoured with an Anglican Award of Merit, which recognizes lay people for their outstanding contributions to the life and work of the Anglican Church of Canada.
During its spring meeting, Council of General Synod (CoGS) voted to approve a resolution naming the following awardees: Jennifer Henry, an ecumenical social justice advocate; Suzanne Lawson, a representative to the Anglican Consultative Council; Trevor J.D. Powell, a church archivist; David Stovel, a portfolio manager and trustee for a number of church benefit plans; and Peter A. Whitmore, a judge and former chancellor of the diocese of Qu’Appelle.
“I was honoured that those who nominated me are colleagues I so deeply respect,” Henry said. “We have a shared commitment to the ecumenical justice movement that is stronger than the sum of its parts.”
Henry, executive director of ecumenical social justice group KAIROS Canada, has worked as a social justice advocate for more than 20 years. She serves on the Good Jobs Roundtable, an initiative led by private-sector union Unifor; the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice; and the board of the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice.
Lawson, who has participated in three meetings of the Anglican Consultative Council, said she felt both honoured and humbled to have been named a recipient.
“I have gradually and sometimes bumpily become who I am because of those within the church who, over my whole life, have taught, mentored and encouraged me,” Lawson said. “In many ways, it should be their reward. I receive it to acknowledge the gratitude I feel towards them and towards this wonderful, complex church in which we live out our ministry together as Anglicans.”
Powell has served as archivist and registrar for the diocese of Qu’Appelle and archivist for the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land. He was also cited for the leadership role he played among diocesan archivists across Canada in providing access to records related to Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.
Said Powell, “I’m thrilled at being selected to receive this national honour. It’s not often that one has the opportunity to contribute to the work of the church at the diocesan, provincial and national levels.”
Stovel, vice-president and portfolio manager at RBC Wealth Management, said he was “truly honoured” to receive the award. Stovel described the board of trustees of the General Synod Pension Plan, on which he sits, as “without a doubt the most professional and competent board that I know.”
Added Stovel, “My involvement over the past 30 years has been most personally rewarding, and I have appreciated the opportunity to contribute to the financial well-being of the clergy.”
Whitmore said he felt in good company when he learned of the other recipients.
“I am without words,” he said. “I am honoured just to be considered for this award, and know that there are many others who have done so much more than I have. I am most fortunate to have been entrusted to provide assistance to the diocese of Qu’Appelle and the church over the years, and have received much more than I have ever given.”
Whitmore, a justice of the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan, has also served as vice-chancellor and chancellor of the diocese of Qu’Appelle. His award recognized, among other things, the role he played for the diocese and General Synod in working out a settlement agreement for residential school survivors.