2017 Board Nominations – Amani Mekael

Mrs. Amani Mekael

Biography:

I immigrated to Canada with my parents in 1974.  I received my B.Sc. (Microbiology specialist, Anthropology minor) as well as a B.Ed. (high school math and science) both from the University of Toronto. Since then, my work experience included working as a microbiology supervisor and a college instructor at Centennial College. In 2011, I began to help my husband manage two medical clinics/centres. Through this role, I have gained relationship/team building skills, research and information gathering experience, as well negotiations, adaptability and problem solving skills.

Having traveled with my husband and children to various towns in Canada  from 1999-2003 as my husband was posted to serve as a Medical Officer with The Canadian Forces, I learnt what it truly means to long for the Coptic Church.  Upon our return to Toronto in 2003, we quickly clung to the church, and I returned to serving in Sunday school as well as started to serve in Youth Group.

I have served numerous times in the Bible and Sports Summer Camp, The C.O.O.L. Convention, The Children’s Convention, Yonge Street Mission, St John the Compassionate, The Sandwich Run and The West Hill Community service.  I also  started serving in Sunday School and Youth Group since the two services began at SMSV, with a special interest in organizing activities, outings, and retreats; as well as longer trips to such places as St. Mary and St. Moses Monastery in Texas, St. Anthony Monastery in Los Angeles,  and  St. John the Beloved Monastery in Pennsylvania.

Vision Statement:

1. How will you contribute to the mission and vision of SMSV by your service on the Church Board?

I have been truly blessed to have attended SMSV since its very first liturgy, even prior to its inauguration. I thank God that my service in Sunday School and Youth Group since the ministries began at SMSV have given me the opportunity to interact with many age groups including youth, as well as their parents. This interaction has given me an insight into the parents’ concerns, their hopes, as well as their dreams for their children and of course for their children’s involvement in the church.

I’ve also had the immense joy of witnessing many young adults and youth who have been nourished at SMSV, and who are now ready to lead the church forward. They have been filled and are now ready to fill others. I have come to realize the importance of every child, youth, adult and senior finding a genuinely loving and all-accepting environment as a first step on their journey of loving and serving God and others.

2. What new ideas/suggestions would you like to introduce to the Church Board?

While at SMSV, I have personally experienced how amazingly powerful a kind word and a loving heart have been. It is my sincere wish that all members feel and receive the same love that I have felt, and that not one member is missed or left alone. Our Church is a place where everyone knows they can feel welcomed and loved even upon their first visit, but to ensure that this is experienced by all newcomers, perhaps there could be a special area or just a specific corner of the Fellowship Hall where new members are asked to meet following the liturgy and are there introduced to a welcoming committee. This committee can rotate so that, every month or so, there is a new set to welcome newcomers and follow-up with outreach. Also, any congregation member can know where to go if they would like to introduce themselves to new members….

Outings and activities have already proven to provide great fellowship and unity among all members, but further increasing the number of outings would be greatly beneficial in creating new and stronger bonds.  Although, thank God, SMSV already offers a large number of ministries, outings and community services, expanding this even further and offering a schedule online for the upcoming 4-6 months allows members the flexibility to plan ahead and find something that they can participate in.