Hi, I am Olivia Dower! I have just started on staff with The Dale Ministries, and I will be posting on this blog regularly to share the journey with you.
Let me start by telling you what The Dale is!
The Dale is a ministry located in Parkdale. Many follow up this statement with, “Where is Parkdale?” So here is a map:
Parkdale is located on the west end of downtown Toronto. It is a multicultural neighbourhood that struggles with poverty in many ways and is now dealing with a wave of gentrification.
The Dale Ministries is an organization/church without walls. It has no building, but regardless, it is everywhere. The Dale is in coffee shops, churches, homes, and parks and even pours into the streets. We run programs throughout the week such as: lunch drop-ins, coffee hangouts, Bible studies, breakfast drop-ins, Sunday church services, etc. But, The Dale is even more than these weekly programs; it is a presence in the community. The Dale is a family that journeys through life together. This could mean moving someone into their new home or visiting someone’s cat. It could mean celebrating someone’s birthday or bringing them their favourite snack while they’re in the hospital. You never know what each day will hold!
This year I graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where I studied Urban Ministry for four years. My time there transformed my relationship with God and my understanding of ministry in the city. During my studies, I was required to do an internship in my field. So, last summer I joined The Dale for the first time! You can read about my experience there through these blog posts: The Dale Is and Saying Goodbye
But to summarize, I fell in love with the ministry there!
Coming back to Toronto after school was a difficult change at first, but I dreamed of going back to The Dale. And this fall, Erinn, Joanna, Meagan, and Pete (the lovely Dale staff) welcomed me back to the Dale with open arms! You can read Erinn’s blog about this transition here: Here We Grow Again: Welcoming Olivia
Yesterday was my first day working in the community! I am excited to say, it was a great day. I was welcomed in with hugs and encouraging words as I reunited with friends and met some new faces. I love being back and I am excited to share with you how it goes.
If you would like to join me on this adventure, stay tuned for more blog updates! Feel free to reach out to ask any questions you might have or even just to chat, I’d love to talk!
thanks for reading!
Since I am just starting, I’m still far from my fundraising goal. If you would like to help me financially, you can donate on https://www.thedale.org/donate/ and specify in the comment box that you would like to support me. And again, don’t hesitate to contact me for more information!
Awesome blogs by The Dale staff: