Rita Gillies retires, begins major pilgrimage

 — Dec. 1, 19971 déc. 1997

On December 1, the SCE entered a new era. Our long serving director of Beit Avraham (our interfaith section) retired. After 12 years at the Centre, Rita decided to move on to further endeavours. Her greatest desire is to travel, and she had begun her latest trip before her retirement had even become official. On November 28, Rita set off for Taiwan, Philippines, Korea, Japan, India, Pakistan and other Asian locations with only a back-pack and an open ticket. She is expected back in Saskatoon in March before heading to Israel and the Middle East.

Rita grew up in Saskatoon and North Battleford and she plans to continue to call Saskatoon home. She has lived in Montreal, Rome and Jerusalem, serving as teacher, librarian, nurse and tour-guide. She has had a life-long commitment to learning, acquiring along the way a B.A., a B.Ed., an M.L.S., an R.N., and an M.T.S., the last from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon. She is a highly trained and efficient tour guide, and she continues to lead tours of the Holy Land and other sites in the Middle East. Rita will be leading a tour in the spring for a number of Saskatoon residents.

Rita’s responsibilities at the Centre for the past 12 years have been largely of her own invention. Before Rita, we had no substantial presence in the multifaith community. Rita began a ministry of hospitality based on Genesis 18 where angels appear to Abraham under the oaks of Mamre. Beit Avraham, Hebrew for “House of Abraham” is modelled on the hospitality which Abraham showed to the strangers.

With Rita’s retirement the Centre is in a tight spot. Very few people have an extensive knowledge of multiple faith traditions as well as the hospitality and vision that Rita brought to the ministry. The Centre is beginning a national search for an Associate Director with the hopes of finding a candidate with a vision for inter-faith and inter-church dialogue. We expect that the successful candidate will face a considerable learning curve. Please keep Rita and the Centre in your prayers.

Posted: Dec. 1, 1997 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=2225 Transmis : 1 déc. 1997 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=2225

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