Occasionally we enjoy the opportunity of hosting a student at The Dale. This year we were joined by Danielle Stinson, a woman working on her Bachelor of Social Work through the University of Victoria. Danielle was required to do a placement and chose us for it, a choice we were happy she made. It is hard to believe that Danielle’s placement has already come to an end. Danielle, thank you for your presence at The Dale, for sharing your inquisitive mind, your deep compassion and obvious heart for people. We will miss you.

Critical reflection is an important part of learning, and so we decided that Danielle would write a blog about her experience that I would share here. This is a generous piece.

This has been a difficult post to sit down and write. I think I was avoiding having to actually recognize that I have to leave soon and won’t be around as often or for a while at least. But here it is! 

From my first week back in January when I started at The Dale, I felt welcomed to share in my brokenness and my true self. I have a hard time fitting in with traditional church settings without causing a stir, but The Dale has been a place of refuge and comfort that has welcomed my opinion. There is a ‘genuineness’ to this place that is so attractive, beautiful, and honest. I’ve been caught off guard by the generosity and thoughtfulness of so many people in one place!

Thank you for the birthday cake and for those in the community who shared art and music on Wednesday mornings and during the rest of the week, it brings life to this place. Being a part of Tuesday night prayer was special to me and I learnt so much from those who share stories and that question and investigating scripture together. Chopping vegetables on Mondays has been deeply therapeutic and helped prepare me for the week. I’m also grateful to Erinn and Joanna for their commitment to being present and praying together for the community and for each other, it has been an honour to join you.

One of the (many) things I have learnt from this community has been the importance and freedom of interdependence. We contribute in different ways and we need each other equally. There is a kindness and a peace to this community that is marked by love for one another and a commitment to live as Christ did.

Moving is both exciting and frustrating. I’m looking forward to meeting new people but I really can’t see how it can be better than this, experiencing life together and being in community.

Praying and thinking of you lovely bunch,

Danielle

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