The following story is a short excerpt from the website of the Graduate Studies department. The full story, “Grad Student Interns at the Dominion-Chalmers United Church” is available online.
–The following story was written by Taia Gorguen-Garner.
“I hear you are singing in a church choir,” are the words Carleton Master’s Student Kate Jordan heard from Prof. David Dean, which led her to an internship of a lifetime.
“When I moved to Ottawa last year, I wanted to find a church choir,” explained Jordan. “As I began singing, I found out that one of the other women in the choir was a neighbour of David’s—a funny coincidence I thought, and made nothing more of it.”
Jordan has been working to collect and compile stories and memories from the congregants at the Dominion-Chalmers United Church. She is doing this through archival research and oral histories, but also by experiencing life at the church with the congregation.
“My role is simply to share some of the stories which capture the particular character of Dominion-Chalmers United Church, in the hope that it will assist the congregation as they enter into a new relationship with their place of worship,” shared Jordan. “Looking to the church’s past not only serves as a reminder of resilience, but may also help congregants to consider what defines the church, and what is important to the congregation. My greatest hope is that the memory project might strengthen the congregation at this transitory time.”
As part of her graduate degree in History, Jordan’s research specifically focuses on radical Protestant groups in England.
“While my work specifically tackles Puritans, the Presbyterian Church is also a result of the protestant schisms of (and following) the Reformation,” explained Jordan. “The church project and my research work in tandem with one another, are refining my ability to understand conflicts from the variety of perspectives held by people who have a vested interest in them. This is not just important to my research, but to the task of the historian as a whole. I don’t think there is anything more important right now than the ability to foster empathetic understandings between differing groups.”