The teacher turned preacher
By Nina Badwal
– November 2021 –
Eugene Lee has been volunteering at the St. James Town Community Corner since August 2020 – right after landing in Toronto from Vancouver where he spent most of his life. He started out at The Corner by delivering meals to people in need during the height of the pandemic, and now teaches English conversation classes for newcomers from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays.
Lee is a resident of St. James Town and is a pastor at his neighbourhood’s church, City on a Hill. Although he spent years as a teacher in Vancouver, in his early 40’s Lee decided to go to seminary to get a theological education, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree.
“I always knew that my heart would be in serving at a church but I just didn’t find a church that was a right fit for me [in Vancouver]. I didn’t want to just serve Christians; I wanted to serve my neighbours inside the community. And then I came to Toronto because this particular church that I’m at right now is committed to serving the community.”
To further serve his fellow neighbours, Lee reached out to The Corner where he is utilizing his teaching skills to help newcomers. “The kind of work that I do tends to be work that you do alone: writing sermons, preparing bible studies in front of a computer screen. But being able to actually get out and meet people, I think is key. The work that I do is all about people, relationships, connections. And so The Corner has helped me to do that within the community.”
Thank you Eugene Lee for sharing your valuable time with us – we appreciate it!