The Clergy Support Memorial Church Board was in full agreement in certifying the Rev Michelle Cunningham to the Office of Appointed Designated Minister – First Nations, Inuit-Metis Teacher of Life Celebrations and Pastoral Care, on February 12, 2019. Rev Michelle is an optimistic, open-minded, intelligent woman whose mission is to promote good habits and techniques in the youth in the community.
- Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts, June 1999, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario
- Major in History and Anthropology
- Dean’s Honour List – 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999
- Bachelor of Education, June 2003, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario: courses included Teaching for Equity and Social Justice: A Focus on Inclusive Curriculum, Media Education, Educating Exceptional Students: Issues and Instruction
- Master of Arts, August 2003, The University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario
- Major in History
Commitment to Pastoral Care
Rev Michelle spends a great deal of time on personal counselling. Recently she completed a course to qualify as a Guidance Counsellor to provide counselling services to young people. However, even beyond this course, she continues to educate herself about mental health and wellness.
During her time spent as a First Nations Metis Inuit Teacher and Researcher, she received the great gift of being able to spend time with several Elders to learn about their spiritual traditions and to take part in ceremonies.
Life Celebration ceremonies from all cultures provide comfort and are ‘rites of passage’. She comments, “If I had to distill my beliefs to their simplest essence, I would say that I believe that God is love, God is good, and God is everywhere”.
Community Volunteer Services
Michelle has volunteered in several capacities in the past; as a YMCA Literacy volunteer, soccer coach, a Me to We participant – to name just a few organizations.
She’s been a long-time financial supporter of Sick Kids Hospital, a parent volunteer with cross country ski group, and when she has the chance, she volunteers at the Animal Shelter to walk dogs.
For the past few years, she has given her time to the Bluewater Action Research Network. As a caring and life-long learner herself, she supports this organization that strives to identify areas of improvement in education by conducting ‘action’ research to determine solutions. She has spoken each year at their year-end conference and at an International Conference for Action Research.
- Cross-country skiing – a new adventure that has been good for her soul!
- Hiking – staying active and enjoying nature
- Camping – a great way to spend time with her pre-teen children and see the country.