Alida van Dijk
I am born and raised in the Christian Reformed Church. Though I was baptized as an infant at a Reformed Church in London, England, I grew up in Covenant CRC, Sioux Center, Iowa, moved (with my family) to Immanuel CRC, Hamilton, Ontario when I was 12, and was the first person ever to publically profess my faith in Fellowship CRC, Ancaster (a newly-formed congregation) on October 15, 1989. I attended Sioux Center Christian Grade School, Hamilton District Christian High School, two years at Redeemer University College and completed my BA with majors in English and Psychology at Dordt College.
I matured in my faith at First CRC, London, Ontario, began at Calvin Theological Seminary in 1997 and left in 1999 with a Master of Arts degree in Educational Ministry. I served for nine years as Ministry Director at Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario. I became an ordained Ministry Associate from 2006-2008. I have completed two units of Specialized Pastoral Education—a Clinical Pastoral Education unit in 2007 and a Pastoral Counseling Education unit, Sept 2008-June 2009.
Summer 2005 brought a once-in-a-lifetime experience as I cycled across Canada with Sea to Sea with the CRC...all 7000 + km. I'm convinced it's the best way to see the country as you experience the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures without anything but your cycling jersey and your shorts separating you from the environment. The only problem is that when I returned back to my "real" life after that 10 1/2 week adventure, I wondered, "What do I do for an encore?" My answer came three years later...when I did it again!...with Sea to Sea 2008: Ending the Cycle of Poverty. I proudly (and a little ironically) drive my car with personalized license plates that say "BIKEDC2C".
I am a member of New Hope Church, a second site (church plant) of First Hamilton CRC, where our vision as a church is to reach out to our neighbours in East Hamilton with the love and good news of Christ.