Hello, I’m Christine Stewart, the new Executive Director at St. John’s Community Care!
I started here May 2 and have been happy to meet the staff team and the many people who stop in both to use our services and to donate or just to check in and say hello. It is clear that SJCC is an essential part of the community here, and I’m so proud to be working for such a well-respected organization.
I mostly grew up in Fenton, MO although my family lived a few places in Missouri and Indiana. I went to college at Evangel College in Springfield, MO with a degree in Social Work and a Minor in Bible. I followed a boy and moved to Red Deer, Alberta, Canada right after college and stayed there four years. My family then moved to Washington State, just north of Seattle, for 9 years and then I moved back to Red Deer where I stayed for another 17 years! My partner and I have five children between us; Michaela is 27, Isaac is 25, Carson is 18, and Rhett and Reiker (identical twin boys) are 13. And we have a labradoodle named Jasper who is 2 ½.
My career has been spent helping those in need but it has covered the gamut! I started in the world of foster care, transitioned to prevention programs, then developed several programs for youth struggling with homelessness and addiction. My last position was the Executive Director at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Central Alberta which provided everything from counseling to brain injury programming to mental health courses to housing for chronically homeless folks.
I strongly believe that it is our duty as a society to help others when they are unable to help themselves. I work hard to educate people around the root causes of issues and to fight stigma. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about why people are homeless or why people use drugs or why people struggle with accepting anyone different from themselves – even if we have been in another person’s shoes, we haven’t walked their exact road in them. Galatians 6:9 is my favourite verse that says, “Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” That really sums it up for me! Don’t give up! Your harvest may not be here yet, but it’s coming! And until then, we just keep doing good for everyone around us. We all have to work together to show Christ’s love and healing to each other.
I’m so excited to be here and I hope that I can be a blessing to the families that we serve and to expand our services to reach even more people! I look forward to meeting many of your in the coming months. Thank you all for your support to this amazing ministry.
Executive Director, St. John’s Community Care