Terrace’s Knox United Church has a new reverend.
Teri Meyer, who officially started here Oct. 1, came from Kamloops where she was in the ministry there for four years at Kamloops United Church. Before that, she spent six years in Quesnel and before that was living in the Lower Mainland working and getting her psychology/anthropology and then masters in divinity degrees.
She got involved in the United Church at age 16 through a friend and after taking a five-month course on family dynamics and communication at Naramata Centre, just north of Penticton, decided she wanted to serve in some way.
A facilitator suggested she might want to try it out by volunteering first and, after a 12-month program Youth in Training as an intern in Penticton, thought she could do it.
So she moved down south for her education.
She applied for the position here after buying a house in Quesnel and needing a full-time job – her position in Kamloops was part-time – to pay the mortgage.
Meyer grew up on Vancouver Island and when she moved to the big city, she loved having so much to do but it wasn’t for her to live there permanently. She was in Quesnel for two months when she returned to the Lower Mainland and when she was coming back to Quesnel and driving down the big hill into town she thought “Thank God I’m home” – realizing she already considered Quesnel home.
“Coming to Terrace, I feel like I’m on the right side of the mountain range even though it is the left side,” she said.
Being an avid canoeist, hiker and snowshoer, she loves that Terrace has four separate seasons.
One area of new work for her is in the congregation’s wish to reach out to build relationships with First Nations. “It’s kind of exciting,” she said.
Meyer has an affinity for First Nations’ culture and spirituality and grew up with two adopted twin cousins who were First Nation.
One passed away and the other returned to his nation once he was old enough to leave home, and she’d love to reconnect with him although she isn’t sure where he is.
Growing up on Vancouver Island in a logging camp and Port Alberni, which was a racially divided community, she saw the unjust treatment and lack of acceptance with the First Nations and felt an affinity with them.
As part of her psychology and anthropology degree, she did everything she could to learn about healing, reconciliation, the culture and spirituality of the west coast First Nations with the intent of going to the Vancouver School of Theology and eventually going into First Nations ministry but at that time was told because she wasn’t from a First Nation village and wasn’t First Nations, that she couldn’t.
She became involved with the Secwepemc nation and was invited to healing ceremonies and built a relationship with the people, who she misses. “I’m looking forward to building a healing relationship with folks here,” she said.