Congregational Campaign Co-Chairs: Doug Kerr & Michael Went
Even though Doug Kerr, Executive Director of Dignity Network, and Michael Went, Team Lead at Ontario Ministry of Transportation, were married at MCC Toronto in 2008, they weren’t very involved with the Church. They had heard of MCC Toronto’s good work through their activities, friends and networks, but before 2012 they didn’t attend Sunday Worship Services regularly. All that changed when they adopted their son, Malaki.
in 2012, Doug and Michael adopted a beautiful baby boy. You will notice how much they adore their son as you enter their beautiful home, because of endless happy family photos that have filled their living room, on the walls and bookshelves. From Malaki happily swinging from his fathers’ hands to family trips, the photos portray a happy and loving family, as well as a fast-growing Malaki. However, what the pictures don’t reveal is how just after a few months into Malaki’s adoption, he was diagnosed with Leukemia at just 2-years old.
Watch Doug and Michael discuss their son, Malaki
It was during those extremely scary and challenging times when Doug and Michael decided to attend Sunday Worship Services at MCC Toronto. “Dealing with a life and death crisis, the church was a home of solace, of rest, of comfort and of family connection. Especially during those times when Malaki was not in hospital, going to Church was something we could do to calm ourselves and feel a connection to something beyond us,” Michael says.
Fortunately, the hard times didn’t last long. Malaki fully recovered, and the Kerr-Went family continued to come to MCC Toronto. In fact, they got more involved and took on important roles and responsibilities to support the Church in its human rights and community efforts. “What I love about this Church is that it has always tried to do the right thing by the community and has often taken leadership roles to convene people around for very complicated issues to help resolve and bring people together,” Doug said. Michael fully agrees and thinks MCC Toronto is not just about being a Church for the members inside the pews; it is also a leading voice to bring people together and to advance human rights beyond its walls.
As a result, Doug and Michael are thrilled to be Co-chairs of the Congregational Campaign despite their busy schedule as fathers and their demanding jobs. “The Church was there for us in the time of crisis, and has given us something priceless,” says Doug. As the sanctuary has served them so well during their most challenging times, they are glad to support a Campaign effort that will elevate their spiritual for others.
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