By Gisele McKnight
Last spring, Allyson Caldwell was unsure of what her future would hold. Then, she believes, God intervened.
On the same day, two job ads appeared, both half-time, both in the right places, and both suiting her interests. She applied for both and got both.
And this week, Allyson began her half-time job as assistant to the director of Youth and Intergenerational Ministries.
“I’ll be working out of Moncton in the eastern part of the province,” she said. “It will be in the archdeaconries of Moncton and Chatham, with a few additional things like camping ministry.”
Youth and Intergenerational Ministries director Colin MacDonald moved to half-time several months ago to also work with Outflow Ministry, which resulted in the half-time position.
“Colin and I will be working on everything,” she said.
Allyson’s other position is at Crandall University, from which she graduated in May with a bachelor of arts in history and a youth ministry certificate. She is the housing don for both residences.
Allyson has worked at Camp Medley the past five summers, as a counsellor, assistant cook, head female counsellor, Leaders-In-Training director and this past summer, as the Camp On The Road director.
“In those five summers I got to know more about the diocese, to see how things work — to see the vision — from people like Colin, Maren and Dan McMullen,” she said. “In our diocese, we have the opportunity to be innovative.”
(Maren McLean Persaud is the director of Camp Medley and the Rev. Dan McMullen is a missioner / priest in the Kennebecasis Valley and in the Parish of Upper Kennebecasis.)
Allyson grew up attending All Saints, Loch Lomond in East Saint John. With that closed, her family now attends St. Mary and St. Bartholomew Church in the Parish of Coldbrook – St. Mary.
While she is excited to be working with the diocese, she doesn’t rule out eventual further education, perhaps in teaching or social work. She began the new job Oct. 1.
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Nicole Chouinard began work at the Diocesan Synod Office Sept. 25 as the financial and administrative assistant, a job formerly held by Ben Bourque.
It was Ben’s promotion to personnel and Safe Church officer that led to the opening.
Nicole has a diploma in administration from Atlantic Business College and many years of work experience, from Edmonton to Petawawa to Fredericton. She grew up on army bases as her father, newly retired, was in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Nicole also has a diploma in early childhood education, but prefers administrative work. The job’s appeal so far is that, “I can work with numbers, do paperwork and be part of a team,” she said.
Her Christian background includes two denominations.
“I grew up with parents that believed in God but didn’t go to church,” she said. “Then in Grade 7, a friend invited me to go to youth group. I enjoyed it.”
When she was 16, the family moved back to the Fredericton area and she began attending Oromocto United Baptist Church with her grandfather. She soon became a Christian and still attends there.
But her Roman Catholic roots are still strong, having been baptised as a baby in her father’s church.
Nicole said she brings her skills, experience and love for God to the job and “I feel God has placed me here.
“I like a job where I can contribute, and this job makes me feel like I’m contributing,” she said.
Nicole lives in Oromocto.