Rev Cecilia Penner Extended Bio

cecilia penner - 3221 - 600x600Credentials

Cecilia was Appointed a Designated Minister on May 8th, 2018 and serves as a Pastor of Pastoral Care with special focus on Celebrating Life Celebrations like Weddings, Child Welcoming ceremonies and Bereavement events.

Academic Achievements

  • Bachelor of Science, McMaster University
  • Bachelor of Education, Queen’s University
  • Teacher Education courses: Guidance Specialist, Special Education Specialist,
  • Honours Biology, Teaching English as a Second
  • Language (TESL)
  • Certified Trainer of Personality Dimensions
  • Associate Teacher for Student Teachers (Nipissing University, Queen’s University, University of Victoria, University of British Columbia) 

Work

Before her call to ministry, Cecilia was a secondary school teacher (science) and counsellor for 38 years. She retired in 2017 from St. Margaret’s School, Victoria, BC, as Head of Guidance Department. Previously, she taught science and special education in Elliot Lake, Ontario.

Three Words that Describe Cecilia

Witty, creative, sincere.

Hobbies

Fibre crafts, aquafit, cooking, shinrin-yuku (forest bathing).

Memberships

Cecilia is one of the administrators of Vancouver Island Voice Overs (VIVO), a network of working and aspiring voice over actors. VIVO mentors beginners and provides learning opportunities for all levels of VO talent. She has taken voice over training courses for four years and has set up her own little sound studio. Although Cecilia hasn’t had much paid work (yet!), she has voluntarily recorded textbook material for dyslexic students, and is a “voice donor” through Vocal ID.

For a number of years, she was a member of the Victoria chapter of Zonta International, a women’s service group.

Care, Counselling and Giving Back

Cecilia has a World Vision foster child and makes regular additional donations. She supports local food banks and homeless shelters. She also donates to KIVA.

She has a lot of experience with cancer sufferers (family, friends) and has offered support in as many ways as she could. Cecilia recently shaved her head for cancer and was part of a five person team that raised $7000.

In her pet life, she has rescued a greyhound and an African Grey parrot. Previous to those two, she raised three dogs from puppyhood to geriatric life.

Recently, she has been teaching some friends with serious anxiety to knit — as a way to promote mindfulness and inner peace.

As a Special Education teacher and Guidance Counsellor, Cecilia has cared for many students over the years, in ways beyond the purview of her job as teacher and academic counsellor. She has mentored young teachers as a practicum supervisor, and provided collegial support to her fellow staff members. Her training in counselling techniques and Personality Dimensions have been put to good use.

Although she has always had good classroom management and crowd control, teaching in an all-girls school was total immersion in handling drama! “The cultural differences, language barriers, age differences, hormones… it was never dull.”

In her role with the Outreach Committee at St. Margaret’s School, she initiated contact with the Africa Health and Community Program, a grass-roots program in the Kibera slum in Kenya. Over the years, SMS sent thousands of dollars to support their efforts of bringing education to girls and supporting health improvements.

Worship and Spiritual Life

Cecilia has strong personal faith. She prays and meditates daily.

“I feel very honoured to hold the title Reverend, and pledge to respect the values of CSMC. My roots are deep within the Christian tradition. My paternal grandfather was a Mennonite missionary in India in the early 1900s. My dad was born there. One of my uncles continued the mission life in a mission sponsored by the Baptist church and raised his own family in India as well. My Swedish mother was a devout Lutheran.”

Personal Growth

Cecilia has been a member of a book club for over a decade, and loves to talk books with fellow readers. She mostly reads (and listens to) fiction, but she has been encouraged to read Brené Brown’s powerful work. Oh, and cookbooks! Cecilia love cookbooks.

Voice over books, podcasts, webinars and courses are an important part of her growth and according to Cecilia, “The skills that are acquired through that learning are transferable to conducting life celebrations.” Her ultimate ambition is to narrate an audiobook!

This past year…

“Gratitude was certainly the theme of 2018. I was grateful to meet Tim Aldred and join Clergy Support Memorial Church. My pastoral care ministry I find unique and wonderful. Being an Minister is as fulfilling as I had hoped.

On a personal note I was tremendously grateful for the Canadian medical system: I had two knee replacements and have received excellent care.

I have love, family, friendship, and meaningful work; I have enough in my life.”

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