Rev Victoria IngramLetter from Rev. Victoria Ingram, Senior Minister, 2023–2024
Sent in the August 24, 2023 editon of First Light

There are so many things in a state of flux for this congregation!

  • Major shifts in ministerial staffing.
  • Renovating a building to create a new home.
  • Budgeting with help of the Capital Campaign.
  • Coming back together for in-person worship at OCI starting September 17 with our Water Communion.
  • Preparing for Interim Ministry in the next year.
  • These are part of a very robust and busy list.

There is a lot going on and it can feel daunting!

And, now, we get to meet each other! My role as your part-time Senior Minister for 2023–24 is to be a resource for worship, to support and supervise staff and programming, and to partner with your congregational leadership to facilitate changes and transitions. I’m looking forward to working with you!  And I have to admit, I’m a bit daunted by all that is happening, too!

September’s worship theme is POSSIBILITY. That is one of the elements involved in making changes. While some things are ending or morphing into new structures, change opens up a world of possibilities as well. We have the possibility of trying things we’ve never done before. Perhaps we identify and adjust procedures or processes that need to operate more seamlessly for the congregation. Maybe we dream of improved ways to raise money, recruit, and train congregational leaders, or contemplate deeper ways to connect as a faith community.

Change always comes with opportunities and challenges, outcomes we want, and consequences we must plan for. Some changes may be exciting but still hold a sense of loss. The relationships you’ve built with Shawn and Lynn will end or change as they pursue new opportunities. We can be happy for their future possibilities AND feel sad that they will no longer be as present in our lives. There may be challenges as you and I get to know one another and adapt to a “new normal.” It’s thrilling to meet and learn about new people AND it can be challenging to adapt to new personalities. In commitment and community, we will learn about each other, communicate openly, and come to trust our good intentions for the congregation’s future. Your goal and mine is to build a way forward to the future for Toronto First.

Many of you know that I served the Hamilton congregation for 11 years prior to retiring in 2021. It was a time of change and refocusing for the community. We reviewed and adapted our governance structure. We revitalized our community engagement and social justice efforts. We invested in leadership development and in encouraging a new generation of congregational leaders. We tried new programs, some of which worked well and some of which we learned were not sustainable. I hope my experience in these areas will be of use and value to you as we work together for the well-being of Toronto First.

Please introduce yourself and tell me about why this congregation is precious to you. I would love to hear your stories and perspectives. You can reach me at

Rev. Victoria