About the Rev. Marie Quinn Loewen
Raised in a warm, non-liturgical, and quite conservative Christian tradition, it was a surprise to find myself, in mid-life, attracted to a liturgical church home. It was even more of a surprise, after worshipping in a Plymouth Brethren congregation for 25 years, to hear God’s call to me to serve as a clergy person in the Anglican Church of Canada. Still, the call was clear and the last two decades of serving as a priest, Archdeacon, Spiritual Director and mentor to lay and clergy folks has been pure joy. I have been involved in several National Consultations and served at the Provincial Synod level.
As a young woman, I was a frequent speaker for Stonecroft Ministries and assisted in training their speakers, as well as offering worshshops and Bible studies. All of this has been crucial in developing my natural gifts as teacher, preacher and speaker.
I have discovered that being immersed in two very different traditions, and deeply involved in both lay and professional roles has been a valuable asset. The experience has equipped me to blend the richness of multiple worship and theological traditions, while easily shifting from one “language” to the other. My early life was shaped in an intensely practical living out of an active relationship with Jesus in what I think of as “shoe-leather” Christianity, and later deeply influenced by both the Anglican charismatic and Ignatian spiritualities. An earlier career in business, as somewhat of a pioneer female professional in a large national insurance adjusting company and my treasured life as a wife, mother and grandmother keep me firmly rooted in the “real world.”
On a personal level, my family experienced a dark decade of wounding and disappointment. My own response to that initiated a search that led to a practical, theologically informed understanding of receiving and giving grace, and the profound healing that brings. Someone once gave me the image of the Master Gardener working the suffering of our lives into rich compost that develops and feeds the soil in which the seeds of new life are nourished. Our dark times have proved to be such compost and the “hard-work miracle” (Smedes) of forgiveness and grace has been a consistent theme of the service I have been privileged to offer. It has been an obvious need in those who have come to me for help and, as a result, I developed a Bible Study that has proved helpful to folks in the decade over which I have offered it a number of times. In my present retirement from parish ministry, I have now found the space to craft it into a form that others can present.