The Anglican Journal profiles the ministry of one of three Episcopal priests serving parishes in Newfoundland.
Growing up in Lunenburg, Mass., of Finnish Lutheran and French-Canadian Roman Catholic descent, [The Rev. Steven] Maki was raised a Lutheran but gravitated as a young adult to The Episcopal Church. “For me, it was a via media between my father’s Lutheranism and my mother’s Roman Catholicism,” he said. Graduating from the Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, Mass., in 2003, he was invited to the diocese of Western Newfoundland during a visit by retiring Bishop Leonard Whitten and ordained in Flower’s Cove by then Bishop (now Archbishop) Percy Coffin in 2005. After serving that parish for four years, he returned to Boston for a four-year inner-city ministry on Newbury Street.
Maki likes the friendliness and the strong basic connections between people in the Anglican church in rural Newfoundland and the informal way things get done. “In the U.S., The Episcopal Church is seen as the church of the elite, of the Mayflower bluebloods who go way back, but here in Newfoundland it’s the church of the people,” he said.
Maki also likes Newfoundlanders’ passion for music, fondness for fellowship and the sheer authenticity of their congregations. “I’m especially fond of Holy Trinity at Codroy, the oldest and most traditional church in my parish,” said Maki, who also ministers to St. John the Evangelist in Cape Ray and St. Paul’s in Grand Bay.
For decades, U.S. Episcopal priests, many from EDS, have been recruited—to all three Newfoundland dioceses to serve congregations lacking Anglican clergy. Facilitating that vital recruitment is the Rev. Alexander “Randy” Daley, a retired Episcopal priest from the diocese of Massachusetts. “We had a surplus of clergy down here and I felt strongly that that people who had finished divinity school should have a place to go and do the Lord’s work,” said Daley, who himself served in Western Newfoundland’s Stephenville parish after leaving the military. “I’d work with [now retired] Archbishop Stewart Payne of Western Newfoundland and sometimes with [now retired] Bishop Eddie Marsh of Central Newfoundland to send people up there.”