It is a great opportunity as a family member to share a few memories, stories and life events that will give a bit more insight into the Jon that we know. We have been blessed to enjoy having Jon as an integral part of our family life. He is a great brother, a great brother-in-law and an even better uncle to our children. His family would echo the same comments as Jon loves to immerse himself in family and friends.
Jon’s calling to his ministry goes way back to when he was still in a high chair at the kitchen table. He was devoutly holding potato chips while saying “the Body of Christ, Amen.” And then promptly eating them. Yes, strong parental examples do come home to roost.
After high school Jon followed a diverse exploratory path that took many unique twists and turns as he was discovering his many passions. While Jon had many exciting exploits that I could delve into, space limitations necessitate restraint. His major pursuits started with attending post-graduate science studies but he did not find that satisfying or, truth be known, any academic success. He then undertook surveying for a stint, and then on to NAIT for construction technology studies and followed that up with working in the construction trade alongside his dad for a couple of years.
Jon has always been keen to helping people wherever possible, with one of his favourite being that of applying his talented carpentry skills of which we have been a grateful recipient many times. He likely developed this passion by watching and helping his dad who worked in construction. With a keen eye and visionary mind Jon will gladly hoist a hammer and saw and get the project done to perfection.
As he was exploring his paths, Jon always had the inclination, or an inner voice, telling him to explore his faith side a bit deeper. What was this calling he was feeling and hearing? Apparently the only way to find out was to quit the day job and cycle across Canada. What better way to hear and discover yourself!
He allowed his inner voice to percolate and started to explore the call to his ministry. His theological studies took him to Toronto, Philadelphia and Chicago and ended with his ordination in Toronto in 2004. Without a doubt Jon will always listen first, think second and respond with insight and wisdom that, coupled with his natural compassionate virtue, leaves me both humbled and inspired. Jon is also a very hands on and practical individual and this quality will lend itself perfectly with his northern ministry vocation.
Jon is and always has been an adventurer at heart: epic cycling trip, hiking, kayak adventures and sking to name a few. Jon is very well suited for the Far North. On one of our hikes in Banff National Park climbing Mt. Chephren he found the day rather warm, whereas I was quite comfortable. On the descent Jon and his brother Colin ran and plunged into the glacier-fed lake and luxuriated in the nice freezing water. Yes, the North is for Jon!
Caution to all, one must be wary of Jon’s conniving ways, we discovered. Our kids were wishing for a DVD player but we had many other priorities as a growing family so it wasn’t happening. Subsequently he came to visit at Christmas and with a big smile he gave our kids a DVD movie. Guess where we went on Boxing Day? Know that when he approaches with that nice warm congenial smile of his, be wary.
Meshing all the above traits and events together give us an idea of who Jon is, but doesn’t yet complete the Jon we know. The most important side of Jon is his truly felt compassion and sensitivity to the underprivileged, the destitute and the homeless. This is his longed-for environment, his true calling and we wish him every success as he continues walking down the many paths, and he is always open to paths.