Rev. Janet Gear makes a difference in the world

By Julie Elliot ~

Janet GearReverend Janet Gear has won the Roy M. Davidson Trust Award – the most prestigious scholarly award conferred by the United Church. Janet is a Pacific Jubilee Council member, teacher, advisor and most of all, one who believes in our vision to nurture and develop contemplative presence and leadership in the world.

I first met Janet in 2014 when she joined the program mentors for SoulGuiding (Barry Vall, Dawn Kilarski, Lois Huey-Heck and Tim Scorer) at a residency that was called “A Difference in the World.” I recall Janet’s warmth, intelligence and whole hearted engagement throughout the residency. She had tremendous energy and passion for the theme and it was inspiring to learn from a teacher who embodies what she teaches. Very early on I realized it would be impossible to write down everything I wanted to retain because I wanted to retain every word she spoke! She began with the simple question, “How do we make a difference in the world?” and her response opened up a whole new understanding for me. Here’s what she said:

Any answer would be too small. The answer we want is a leading to a deeper, wider place. Keep a question within you rather than carry an answer. One is enlarging and one is confining of what Life might teach us. Union with Divine Life is about being different in the world. It’s not a movement up into the sky of God but a plummet deep down into the real world – toward God in the world not away from the world. It’s not a choice between the contemplative life and the active life. It’s all one path. Inward and outward are the same with no beginning and no end. Out sends you deep. Deep sends you out.

Our heartfelt congratulations to you, Janet! We’re so very grateful to have your gracious presence in the Pacific Jubilee Program. Read the full announcement of Janet’s award on the Vancouver School of Theology website where Janet is a full-time faculty member. Click here.

If you have questions or comments about this blog, please be in touch with Julie Elliot, Communications, Pacific Jubilee Program – julie(at)pacificjubilee(dot)ca

Jubilee Programs offer practical learning in spiritual growth, soul development and the art of spiritual direction. The contemplative life is explored through spiritual practices including the Enneagram, integration of head/heart/body, silent retreats, holy listening in journey groups and contemplative prayer and meditation. For more information visit the three programs: Ontario Jubilee, Pacific Jubilee, Prairie Jubilee