2017 Board Nominations – Sarah Abdelshaheed

Mrs. Sarah Abdelshaheed

Biography:

Occupation: Clinical Pharmacist, Markham Stouffville Hospital

Ministries: High School Youth Group, Girls 4 God Ministry, Young Couples Ministry, University Youth Group Guest Speaker, Outreach Night Volunteer, Thanksgiving Retreat Volunteer, Courting Couples Ministry

Biography: I have been married to my amazing husband Rami Abdelshaheed since November 2012. We have been serving in SMSV for the majority of our marriage. Prior to that, I served both the high school age group as well as the Children’s Ministry for over ten years in another church, where I was the coordinator. I travelled to Bolivia on a Mission trip in 2011 under the guidance of His Grace Bishop Youssef. I attended SMSV’s mission trip to Kenya in 2012 under the guidance of Abouna Pishoy Salama. I currently serve in the Grade 11 and 12 class on Friday nights during High School Youth Group. I also serve Girls 4 God on Sundays after liturgy. When I am not speaking in either of those two meetings, I am sometimes asked to guest speak in the University Youth Group. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who have a heart for service, and feel privileged to serve in such a beautiful congregation.

Vision Statement:

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

Having served at SMSV for almost four years, and another 10 years prior to that, I feel that I can contribute to the mission and vision of SMSV by representing both the demographic that I belong to, as well as the demographic that I have served. Through my service and my own personal involvement, I can speak to the needs of the services for young children, high school youth, university youth, courting couples, engaged and married couples, as well as young parents. This represents a large proportion of our congregation at SMSV, all of which have individual needs that may be considered in church-wide decision-making. Born in Canada and having been raised in a Canadian society, I share similar preferences, struggles, and concerns with those who identify as primarily Canadian. As a personality, my enthusiasm, excitement, and eternal optimism motivate me to strive for the best for our church and our home. I believe that in as much as we can, the church should try to be all things to all people, especially a church as committed to inclusiveness as ours, and that will drive much of my contributions. Above all else, my contributions will be centered around my deep-rooted love for my church, SMSV, as well my church as a whole, the Orthodox church.

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

I think that the guiding principles behind the decisions of the board should always be based on God’s will, God’s plan, and the best interests of our specific parish, and of the Coptic Church as a whole. As such, I feel that the board would benefit from regular spiritual gatherings that remind each member of the primary motivation behind each decision and to maintain similar goals among members. These spiritual gatherings can be manifested in many ways, ranging from liturgies that board members attend together prior to a big decision, to spiritual talks, or even to acts of service done together as a team. I also feel that each member of the board should try to get involved in a separate service at church so as to stay grounded to the needs of the church and her congregation, and to not lose sight of our shared outcomes. I also feel that there should be a means by which congregation members can suggest agenda items for the board to discuss, whether anonymously or otherwise. Our church is committed to inclusiveness and continuous improvement, and the suggestions for improvement may come from outside of the board meetings, as well as inside.