We're Expecting! A New Minister, that is!

We're Expecting!  A New Minister, that is!

On Sunday, April 8, the congregation of Lynn Valley United Church voted to accept the recommendation of the Ministry Profile and Search Team to call Eric Hamlyn as the Minister for Faith and Families!!!

This is SUCH EXCITING NEWS ... and while there are many  folk who have met/ worked with him in the 20years+ working with VanYAYA and elsewhere, not everyone knows who Eric is. So here is a letter from the man himself to let us get to know him a little bit (and don't worry- he is not expecting a letter back from each of us!):

Hi there Lynn Valley United Church family!   

I’ve been asked by Kelly to write a little intro letter about myself so here goes!             I’m originally from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and part of a huge family!  We are combined families, kinda like the Brady Bunch (dating myself) with 12 siblings and 24 nieces & nephews!  Most are still in Newfoundland, with some scattered across the country.             

I’ve been a church geek (a term my friends and I use affectionately) my whole life, with my family being actively involved in our church.  As a young adult I also became very active in United Church Outdoor Camping at West Haven Camp in Pasadena, yes there’s a Pasadena in Newfoundland as well!  It’s here that I feel in love with United Church Camping which played a huge part in my Call to Ministry.              

When I turned 30 I sat down and re-evaluated my life with a pro and con list of things that were life-giving for me and not.  I found that many of the things I really found life-giving and really enjoyed were somehow connected to my church.  I struggled with a Call to Ministry for a very long time, but was too stubborn to give in.  There were lots of shoulder taps and side conversations of folks saying they recognized gifts in me for ministry and thought I should pursue this, but I wasn’t sure this was a Call!  My mom, who definitely saw me a candidate for ministry used to cut out articles out of the United Church Observer and place them under my dinner plate.  If I were to be really honest, this got to be annoying, another article, until one day there was one entitled “A Call From the Community.”  As I read it I almost began to weep, because I felt for the first time that I recognized this as a valid, authentic Call and that if others saw these gifts in me, then I was going to give myself permission to explore this further.  I felt like this was the validation I was seraching for.  Thanks Mom!               

And the rest is history as they say.  Shortly after, I quit my job, sold my house, moved back in with mom and dad for 3 years to return to university to complete my undergrad degree and then moved to Vancouver to study at Vancouver School of Theology.  It didn’t take long to fall in love with Vancouver and I decided to make this city my permanent home.             

After completing my Masters degree @ Vancouver School of Theology, I worked at both Knox United Church (10 years) and Ryerson United Church (8 years) and have been in my current position of Youth & Young Adult Ministry Facilitator for Vancouver Burrard and Vancouver South Presbyteries for the last 12 years.  I’ve recently felt a call back to congregational ministry which is why I have accepted a Call of working with you as your new Minister of Faith & Families starting Sept 1st, and I’m very excited!            

Blair and I have known each other for over 20 years and are very excited about working together with the rest of your team! I have a passion for ministry with young people and families.  I love Intergenerational Worship and activities where the whole people of God are represented, feel welcomed and engaged.  I look forward to supporting what you already have happening and creating some new ministry together! The reason I cannot start until Sept 1st is because I’m Co-Leading a Pilgrimage for young adults to Guatemala with my friend Doris Aug 9-29.              

My partner Thomas & I have been together almost 20 years and live in, and have recently renovated, the house his great grandparents built in 1928 in East Vancouver.  We love spending Mondays together going for brunch and long walks on the Stanley Park seawall.  I also love yoga, playing slow-pitch softball (pitcher), downhill skiing, long walks and eating yummy food!             

There you go friends!   A little more to go on than just a name.  Blessings to you and to us all as we explore this ministry together, fondly, Eric!