Thank you to outgoing regional representative Ellen Wood
A special thank you from all of us at KAIROS goes out to Ellen Wood for her dedication as the Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba (NWOM) KAIROS regional representative from 2017-2021. Volunteer regional representatives are often the face of KAIROS. Whether in chairing meetings, coordinating with other organizations, promoting fundraising, gathering people together from across the region, writing to papers, or offering willing hands for whatever logistics, volunteer regional leaders like Ellen make great contributions to our common goals of social and ecological justice.
During Ellen’s time in leadership, KAIROS joined with a broad circle of partners in Winnipeg to orient newcomers to Canada around the truth about Indigenous people. This project fosters safe spaces for cross cultural learning and dialogue, with the primary objective of educating newcomers on Indigenous issues as a precursor to the process of relationship building between communities. Ellen’s persistent efforts have been key to KAIROS’ work with this coalition.
On a smaller scale, but deeply significant, Ellen introduced and led a time of in-depth study to the NWOM KAIROS Coordinating Committee meetings. She gathered topics and resources from others as well as her own research to ground the group in their work of social justice, such as months of studying the Doctrine of Discovery.
These are only a couple of examples of Ellen’s many contributions.
Ellen, we are grateful for the deep commitment, passions, time and energy you brought to this role as regional representative and chair of the Coordinating Committee. We are also glad that you won’t being going far as you continue to serve as past chair. Following are comments from a few of the many people who worked along side you.
This is my wish: Ellen Wood, all the best where you go. I will never forget your smile and your maternal look that encourages and makes me happy in the CoCo [Coordinating Committee] meeting. Thanks a lot, may God bless you!Brigitte Lubaka Wabiwa, member of the Coordinating Committee, Development and Peace
Greetings! As we transition to a new chair of CoCo NW Ontario / Manitoba Region, our thoughts prayers and gratitude go to you, Ellen Wood. Ellen has provided a stalwart and steady leadership. She listens, absorbs, and then provides a well thought out response. She organises paper responses and petitions almost before [the issues] are out of peoples’ mouths. She has represented us well both nationally and provincially. I personally wish you all the best Ellen as you continue to seek out truth and justice for whatever your new challenge is. We have had a good partnership and lots of laughs and I look forward to more. Best wishes!Carin Crowe, former Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba regional representative
Ellen, thank you for welcoming me back to KAIROS! It was great to be involved in the regional events through Zoom. Your leadership on the board was gentle and yet kept us focussed on the vision of KAIROS and sharing it in the community. You also reminded us of the importance of making contacts with those who were the subjects of the different programmes, and letting their voices and ideas be heard and valued. Take care and Godspeed — but glad I don’t have to add ‘Farewell’, because you’re not disappearing from KAIROS! Peace and justice.Matthew Diegel, KAIROS Thunder Bay
Dear Ellen…gratitude to you for saying yes to KAIROS leadership in Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba when you did. Thank-you for your attention to challenging issues and for your sense of humour.
I was fortunate to travel with you on a KAIROS/United Church journey of witness and learning about mining to Guatemala a number of years ago. Your own story of farming and living in a community built on extraction resources gave you experiences that created understanding for others. You have a questioning and compassionate approach to learning. Thankyou.
I am grateful to have shared with you in KAIROS regional leadership and in our learning about how we can walk in a good way on this beloved Mother Earth. Wishing you well in what follows next for you.Janet Gray, former BC-Yukon regional representative
Dear Ellen, thanks for your service in the KAIROS Coordinating Committee. I hope you get to relax a bit before you move on to other things on your journey through life. It has been great getting to know you better and sitting on a committee with you. Hope we can keep in touch through ICH [Interchurch Council on Hydropower].Ellen C., member of the Coordinating Committee
Farewell to Ellen as she leaves the Chair position in Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba KAIROS! Ellen is thoughtful and wise and did a great job leading this Region. I wish you the best in what comes next and look forward to crossing paths in the future.Debby Dandy, KAIROS Brandon
Ellen, we have so appreciated your passion for social Justice, your conviction for calling our communities and society to accountability, and your commitment to doing the hard, slow work necessary for change. Thank you for your pastoral approach to leadership, encouraging us to keep listening to each other and growing in our understanding and engagement. It has been a pleasure to work with you while you were chair, and we hope you continue to walk with us as you’re able! Wishing you the best in your continuing journey.Kerry Saner-Harvey, member of the Coordinating Committee, Mennonite Central Committee
You have been, and will continue to be, a gift to us here in the Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba region Ellen. You have generously shared of your time, wisdom and experience as the chair of our coordinating committee, and we are grateful. You have brought vision, patience, and perseverance to the job. We in the KAIROS North East Justice and Peace Committee in Winnipeg are fortunate to get to continue working/learning/agitating with you. Thank you for your service to this important work.Melanie Whyte, KAIROS North East Justice and Peace
We are happy to announce that Bre Woligroski was elected to the role of chair and regional representative at the KAIROS Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba annual meeting on March 4, 2021. Welcome Bre!
Bre has been a member of the regional Coordinating Committee for many years. She has also provided leadership in numerous other collaborative projects and organizations including Feminist Alliance for International Action, the Red Tent Project, the Student Christian Movement, the World Student Christian Federation, the 2nd PanCanadian Young Feminist Gathering, RebELLEs, the Youth Peacebuilding Project, FemRev, UNPAC, and many others. She is the feminist news editor for Geez Magazine, an arts-based faith-provoking social justice magazine.
Bre was born in Winnipeg, continues to reside in the area, and holds responsibilities as a third-generation settler to Treaty 1.