David Mundy, Lead Minister

David Mundy Photo in JPEG

  • Read David Mundy’s blogs:

http://lionlamb-bowmanville.blogspot.ca/

http://groundlingearthyheavenly.blogspot.ca/

and follow him on Twitter – @lionlambstp

  • E-Mail Address: lionlamb@bridgestchurch.com

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Bridge Street United Church welcomed Rev. David Mundy as Lead Minister on May 1, 2013.

As an introduction to those who have not yet met David, the following are extracts from the CV he submitted to our Search Committee, as well as other conversation, as a sampling that shows who he is and what is important to him …

My desire and goal are to be a Christian who is attentive to scripture and balanced enough in my spiritual journey to honour both the contemplative and active facets of my faith.

 …biblical without being fundamentalist,

spiritual without being withdrawn from the world,

and actively engaged in the world

but not conformed to it

I have served five pastoral charges in five different Conferences of the United Church. After three years at Emmanuel College, I was settled on a charge in outport Newfoundland where I served six communities with five preaching points and three services a Sunday.

On my return to my home province of Ontario I enjoyed six years on the Stroud-Lefroy two-point charge in Toronto Conference. By the time I left the larger congregation had grown to two services and the two congregations became separate charges.

For eleven years I was the ordained minister in a staff of six at St. Andrew’s United Church in downtown Sudbury, Ontario. We valiantly attempted and sometimes succeeded in working in what we call a “shared ministry” concept. Our hope was to respect one another’s gifts in ministry without expecting one person to be the “head honcho.” We were proud of the fact that virtually every staff person was a long-term member of the team.

I spent four years of ministry at St. Andrew’s United Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Again, this was a multiple staff situation.

I served for almost ten years at St. Paul’s United Church in Bowmanville, Ontario, the community where I was received as a candidate for ministry when I was nineteen years old.

Worship

I have always used the Ecumenical Lectionary as a framework for preaching and worship, although in recent years I have been more inclined to depart from the lectionary to address particular issues.

I have followed the seasons of the church year and worked to educate the congregation to their value. Inclusive language has always made sense to me in a church which affirms that there is no longer slave nor free, male nor female. I have been careful not to make it intrusive language.

In the past decade I have worked to include both audio and visual elements in illustrating important points in worship, including the sermon. This has ranged from audio quotations to maps to photographs from newspapers. The service is videotaped every Sunday and shared with residents in nursing homes.

For more than half my ministry I have preached largely without notes and away from the pulpit. While this demands careful preparation, the response of the congregations has been very positive. A printed text of the sermon, made available each week, keeps me honest. It is also posted on the church website. This is a practice I want to continue.

Inclusivity

 I am encouraged by the way in which some special needs folk (a couple of children and one adult) are included as part of the community of worship at Bridge Street.

I encourage discussion of the inclusion of gays and lesbians in community life.

The Inner Journey of Faith

For over twenty-five years I have kept a daily journal which allows me to reflect on events and reminds me to talk with God. I have always had a deep belief in prayer, which sometimes translates into actually conversing with the one who made me and redeems me and sustains me. My deepest concern is that the hectic pace of congregational life has pushed me to live far too much on the surface, even as the Spirit invites me to go deeper. I have spent times on retreat at a Anglican convent in Toronto, a Jesuit centre in Northern Ontario, a Cisterian monastery in New Brunswick, the Taize community in France,  a Benedictine convent in Colorado, and Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.

Living in Northern Ontario and Nova Scotia has allowed me to pursue my passion for canoeing, kayaking  and camping, and shown me how deeply spiritual the experience of being in the natural world can be. After my seventh year of ministry the St. Andrew’s, Sudbury, congregation graciously granted me a three-month sabbatical during which I caught my breath and informally studied what is termed ecotheology.

Where I Find Myself Today

At this stage of my Christian life and ministry I am aware that much of the old thinking on how to be the church no longer works for many. Congregations find themselves on the fault line between what some church observers and analysts call “civic religion” and “transformational faith.” In this time of transition Christ is still in our midst, but the prospect of change can be challenging.

 My sense is that God’s glory is still at hand if we are prepared for it to be something unexpected.

 Imagine a Church . . .

That couldn’t sing without feeding the poor,

          nor feed the poor without nourishment from the eucharist,

                   nor pass the peace without living peaceably in the world,

          nor be peacemakers without depending on prayer,

                             nor pray without joining in robust song.

                                                                   Gerald Schlabach

Rev.  David Mundy