Police chaplaincy has its share of mountaintop highs and valley lows. When an officer confides in their chaplain and that chaplain is able to pray and support the officer resulting in answered prayer weeks or months down the road, the celebration that takes place afterwards between the officer and the chaplain is truly a mountaintop high. When tragedy occurs in a Police Service, whether it be a LODD, or a loss in an officer's family, we chaplains feel the burden and the pain of that tragedy, and the valley looms all around us. It's in those valley moments that we need each other; the support of a chaplain who has gained a position of trust in your life is priceless as he or she comes alongside you to encourage, comfort and agree with you in prayer. I stepped into chaplaincy at the beginning of 2015 while in my 25th year of policing, knowing very little about the role of a chaplain. I'm so grateful I found the CPCA through an online search. It provided and continues to provide valuable training and incite that initially was only available through in-person ATS events, but now is proportionally accessible through the online Core courses and Webinars (next one is Sept 14). However, of even greater significance to me, were the connections that began at my very first ATS in Peterborough which have continued to grow in number and flourish through the several in-person ATS gatherings I've attended. The ATS gatherings have served to introduce me to incredible men and women across Canada, many of whom I can now trust to turn to during my valley experiences, and with whom I can celebrate my mountaintop highs, knowing what I share remains confidential.
A few months ago, I was contacted by Debra Steele through our CPCA website inquiring about an Affiliate Membership with the CPCA. I learned from my first phone conversation that Debra is a special person who has vision and believes the CPCA can assist in equipping her to prepare her for the time when the vision becomes reality. Debra is not currently serving a law enforcement agency as a chaplain; hence, she does not quality for Full CPCA Membership. However, her desire and vision for chaplaincy led her to connect with the CPCA, and after review of her references and her application package, in my opinion, there is none better suited to become our first Affiliate Member. After our Executive approved her application, I had the blessing of sharing the good news with Debra. Since then, Debra has set her sights on participating in our online Core courses and has registered for our in-person ATS in Winnipeg this October. Those who attend our ATS will have the delight of meeting this woman who is full of life, zeal for God, and love for law enforcement officers. I asked Debra to send me a writeup of what she would like to share with police chaplains across Canada, and those who are aspiring to step into chaplaincy. I believe you will be encouraged by her writeup (in italics below). Thanks for sharing, Deb, and thank you for your interest in becoming an Affiliate Member of the CPCA. I'm looking forward to seeing you at our ATS in Wpg in October. So fitting is the theme for our 2023 ATS in Winnipeg - "Stronger Together."
Chaplain/Constable Bruce Ewanyshyn
"As a 41-year veteran of the federal public service, I served with Canada Customs, and then the Canada Border Services Agency, when it was established in 2003, as a response to 9/11. I have worked closely with law enforcement and intelligence partners in Canada, the US and internationally, in uniform, and at national headquarters in Intelligence and Enforcement Operations. As we know, God ordained law and government. Those who do not know Him, unknowingly bear the heavy weight of their responsibility as they serve and protect; while those of us who do know Him and serve in this capacity must realize that to whom much is given, much is required."
"The first part of my career was spent in the Greater Toronto Area in both international and commercial operations. The last half of my career was at our National Headquarters from which I retired in 2014, as the Officer-In-Charge of the Contraband Intelligence Section. During my career I was awarded the Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal, 2nd Bar; and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for contributions in the field of intelligence. I currently sit on the Board of Directors of the Canada Border Services Retirees’ Association through which I am able to maintain contact with a lot of former colleagues across the country."
"I soon found out that there is no such thing as retirement in the Kingdom of God. Since 2014 I have become an Ordained Minister, serving at Proximity Church, Ottawa, as the volunteer Director of Women’s Ministries. Our “Women In Proximity” group provides regular bible study and discipleship to women of all ages. We also organize and hold events to raise the awareness of parents and young people about the risks associated with human trafficking, an ever prevalent threat to our youth. The combination of my former law enforcement career and ministry has proved to be a blessing in my life."
"So why did I apply for Affiliate membership to the CPCA? First, because I am not officially connected with a law enforcement agency as a Chaplain. Second, because I believe that this well established, and well-led group will give me the support, encouragement and the knowledge that I need to obtain my Chaplain’s credentials in order to serve our brothers and sisters in law enforcement in whatever capacity the Lord has chosen for me. Truth be told - and the Lord knows this - it is my heart’s desire for the CBSA to establish its own Chaplaincy. Please join me in prayer to see such a miracle unfold. With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26); for it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)8"
"Just for interest … here I am with my sidekick GIDEON (Fearless Warrior), a 15-month old European Doberman."
Debra Steel (new Affiliate Member of the CPCA)