Nell DeBoer’s WICC Story

I’m Nell DeBoer, and live in Toronto (North York), Ontario. After coming to Canada with my parents in 1948 from the Netherlands, I lived in Lindsay, Ontario where most of my family still resides.

I met, and came to know, Cath MacKeil (WICC Executive Director) as well as Nancy Weir (WICC Administrator) during Toronto Festival Days.  In 2019, I joined the WICC board as the Christian Reformed representative when my name was put forward. I now serve as the WICC Membership and Nominating Chair.

My involvement with WICC has been in place for many years.  In 1992, for example, I fondly remember being the devotional speaker at a World Day of Prayer (WDP) service.  The theme was Living Wisely with Creation, and the writing countries were German-speaking Switzerland, Austria, and Germany.  As well, I have been a church contact/organizer for community area WDP services including those for a local retirement home where the event is enjoyed by both residents and staff.  It has been great to have the support of my churches’ Bible study group for the latter.

The ecumenical base of the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada is reflected in my own life.  I belong to the Willowdale Christian Reformed Church, graduated from Wycliffe College (University of Toronto), which has supported theological education within the Anglican tradition since 1842, served as the coordinator for United Church chaplaincy services in Toronto, and attend a Presbyterian church when at my Port Carling cottage.

As a hospital chaplain, I have visited many hospitals and long-term care facilities.  The grants supported by WDP offerings now similarly touch my heart with the impact on restoration for women and children’s needs.  I was honoured to be one of the board members reviewing grant applications over the last two years.

I am proud of WICC, and the opportunities presented for members to get to know one another and work with one another.  To be able to interact and connect with inter-generational contacts is fulfilling.

I feel that the timing for my place on the WICC board is ideal as I have become more ecumenical over time.  This is reflected in John 17: 21.

That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me, and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (NIV)


One comment on “Nell DeBoer’s WICC Story

  1. Stephanie McClellan on

    Nell, it has been a pleasure serving with you on the WICC Board. Seeing more of your story here helps us understand the deep wisdom and faithful life that has brought you to us as we, from many diverse backgrounds, work toward the one goal of restoring hope to women touched by injustice. Your whole life is ecumenism at its best! What a joy!


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