London Community Chaplaincy
London Community Chaplaincy provides support to children and families living in two of the largest low-income housing complexes in the City of London. The families at Southdale and Limberlost face the challenges of living in poverty on a daily basis. Many are single parents, some are working poor. Struggles with mental health, addiction or abuse are common. Lack of food and financial insecurity are the norm.
At LCC we reach out in love to show the families we care by offering support as well as activities and programs that meet their needs. By being a presence in the community we strive to build relationships, and provide encouragement, while offering opportunities to learn and grow in a safe, healthy environment.
Our staff are eager to listen, to connect people to resources, assist with advocacy when problems arise, and generally offer a helping hand. Our countless volunteers assist with activities and programs that enrich the lives of the many children who are impacted by a life of living in poverty.
LCC walks with the families in a non-judgmental, loving way offering friendship and hope to those who are vulnerable or disenfranchised. By doing so, we often witness a strength and resilience that deserves to be admired and respected.
LCC is a registered non-profit charity governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. In 2013, Southdale and Limberlost chaplaincies amalgamated to form London Community Chaplaincy with over 25 & 35 years respectively serving the families of these communities.
Meet Our Team
Maya Almasalmeh and Madi Brazier
Chaplain/Executive Director – Rev. Pam Cullen
Born and raised in Montreal, my ministry work has led me away from “home” to the slums of Brazil, the mountains of Bolivia, the heart of Mississauga and finally London, Ontario! I have served as a community pastor in both Mississauga and London. I am passionate about seeing people work together to engage in practical acts of service in their neighbourhoods. I am excited to pour energy into the work of the London Community Chaplaincy! In my free time, I like ignoring the laundry and taking my two girls (Kyleigh age 12 and Aliyah age 9) on adventures and relaxing on the front porch with my husband Chris!
Youth Coordinator: Kelsey Situ
Ni hao! I’m Kelsey, and I hail from a small town in Southern China. When I was 16 years old, I packed my bags and flew 12,500 km to Ontario, Canada, in search of a new adventure of my own. As an ESFJ, I have a strong belief and deep desire to serve the community, especially the young group, which led me to my current role as a Youth Coordinator at the London Community Chaplaincy. While I’ve struggled to find a hobby that truly sticks, I am an avid foodie and love trying new restaurants and cuisines. When I’m not sampling the latest culinary delights, you can find me walking in nature – I once walked for three hours straight! And last but not least, I’m working hard to save up for my very own furry companion – be it a puppy or a kitten, I can’t wait to welcome them into my life!
Bookkeeper: Laura Van Zanden
I am the mother of 3 daughters, grandmother of 2, and recently retired after 22 years in office administration. You can now find me at London Community Chaplaincy in a part-time role as bookkeeper. In my free time I enjoy working with the children at my church. I love my grandkids and travelling, which explain why I was present at their births and every birthday thereafter!
Child and Youth Workers:
We are excited to have both Maya Almasalmeh and Madi Brazier as part of our team. We are grateful for the ideas, energy and time they dedicate to the youth at the chaplaincy!
Maintenance Coordinator: Melanie Francis
What is a Chaplaincy?
The Chaplaincy is pretty hard to summarize! There’s such a variety of things that go on here, but we’ll try and cover most aspects. Firstly, the Chaplaincy is here to support residents in any way we can. We’re here for everyone regardless of whether they have a faith or not, for all genders, races, sexual orientations and religions. We offer space for residents to meet, share meals, relax, learn, play and build bridges with the rest of the community. You may even sometimes wonder what staff and volunteers do. Did you know that we are open almost every day from 9-7? So much happens inside our doors. Every month between our two sites the chaplaincy will see at least 600 visits! On any given day at the Chaplaincy the staff and volunteers may be involved in the following activities:
We perk coffee and steep tea…and enjoy a break with our neighbours
- We listen to those who are struggling
- We welcome newcomers to Canada
- We laugh together
- We help those learning English as a second language complete Gov’t forms and paper work
- We celebrate successes… people often drop in to share their good news with us
- We encourage parents and listen to their hopes and fears for their children
- We offer emergency food relief when money is tight
- We cuddle babies and entertain toddlers to give single parents a break
- We offer rides and bus tickets to those without vehicles
- We grieve with those experiencing sadness and loss
- We nurture youth and encourage their dreams
- We give children space to create
- We cook and enjoy good meals together
- We fight against a drug culture
- We create opportunities for community members to try new skills
- We help with resume creation and job searches
- We plan parties and celebrations
- We run homework help clubs and activities
- We network with faith communities seeking ways we can share in mission together
- We mentor college and university students in multiple disciplines
- We work with other community agencies to affect positive change in our city
- We connect community members to local faith communities
- We sponsor and facilitate summer camp experiences for children and youth
- We nurture community leaders
- We create a safe place for people to share anger and frustrations
- We pray with others when asked and for others all the time
- We dream as friends and neighbours and nurture hope
What is Our Unique Strength?
In the mid afternoon at the chaplaincy, there is often a quiet knock on the door. Just last week it was a new resident, a 20 year old mom with her 10 month old in tow. She was looking for support with some emergency food and diapers. We noticed she had another baby on the way and asked her what support she had in place for her new arrival. She replied “Me, Myself and I”. While we were able to offer some emergency supplies, the greater gift was our ability to offer her support in the months to come- a lifeline for many who feel alone. At the chaplaincy we do run quality programs for adults and children. We love to host special celebrations and events. But our calling is to offer the gift presence. Crises are never planned. Feelings of loneliness and anxiety can come unexpectedly. At LCC we are committed to being quietly and consistently present for such moments. Our calling is also our greatest and unique strength. We believe the gift of presence is the greatest gift we can give to someone because it helps them understand they are seen, heard and valued. All of us at LCC are thankful for your ongoing support. Together we are strengthening families in London, one quiet knock on the door at a time.
Ask us how you can help build or serve community in the heart of the community!