Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Missionary Moments with Sr. Visa DeKline

Greetings friends! Sister Visa here - it's been awhile since I've made a blog entry, but I wanted to post something about what it's like to be a Missionary Sister.

At the beginning of October, I packed up my life in Vancouver, and moved about 1,050 km east (that's 660 miles for you American folk), to Calgary, AB. It was a difficult and exciting decision, as I've lived in Vancouver my entire life and built many great friendships and support systems there. But the lower cost of living, and the prospect of forming great new relationships in Calgary was calling me - and so move I did. As an active member of the Vancouver Sisters, I was a little concerned about how I could continue to serve the community in my capacity as a Sister, in a city where no Sister presence currently existed. For a short time a few years ago, there was a Mission group in nearby Edmonton - but unfortunately it never progressed any further than a Mission - so Sisterless Alberta remained.

My "scary' Halloween look!
Calgary presents it's own unique challenges in supporting and serving it's LGBTQ2+ community, let alone a group of 21st century queer nuns! It's a relatively conservative city with only a handful of gay/gay friendly establishments. Like most cities in North America, at one point it had many gay bars but as social media became a thing, the community looked to apps and websites to meet one another instead of going out to a pub or club. The community in Calgary is quite large, but with only a handful of venues to choose from - they tend to be either very tightly knit, or they result to holding events in private homes and venues. I've only had the opportunity to manifest once since moving here, on Halloween - where I visited almost every gay venue in the city in addition to attending a gay party in a straight venue. It was a great night though! I got to spend some time with the Emperor and Empress of Calgary, and several members of their house. I got to meet members of the community who were curious about who the Sisters are, and what we do! As a Missionary Sister, the most important thing for me to do is to continue meeting and building relationships with members of the community, and helping them as much as I can. The Emperor and Empress are holding a World AIDS Day event on November 28th, and I plan on being involved in some way. While I hope to one day assist in establishing a house here - for now, I will work my ass off to support my Sisters in Vancouver, as well as the established groups that are serving the community here in Calgary. In doing so, I'll spread my sisterly joy, talk to everyone who will listen about the Sisters and what we do, and hopefully drum up some interest in founding a house here! The world needs more Sisters - and I plan on doing my part to make it so!

In the meantime, I'd love to hear from anyone in Calgary who's interested in the work we do, anyone who wants to know more about us - and I'd also love to hear from any Sisters out there who've ever been in the Missionary position (minds in the gutter, I know, I know!) who can share their experiences with me! As a relatively virginal Missionary gal, I'm sure there's plenty for me to learn!

Sending you love and light from the city of stampedes, stetsons, and warm winter chinook winds!



Thursday, February 12, 2015


To read the latest about the Vancouver Sisters and our Official 5th Anniversary party just click here!

Thank you gayvancouver.net

February Elevations!

Sister Tora Wholes, proud momma Sister Petunia Encarnata,
and Reverend Mother Alma Bitches with Sister Lois Price on her knees
as per usual.

 Congratulations to Sister Lois Price on her successful elevation to Fully Professed Member at last night's General Business Meeting!  A full house was on hand to witness Lois' vows and to welcome her to her new role.  Lois' Novice Project was our recent grocery bagging escapade at "Your Independent Grocer" back in December and was a huge success! The entire Abbey is very excited to have Sister Lois Price as a Full Member for life.  
Sister Lois and Sister Petunia
Lois was not the only member elevating last night; Aspirant Anthony and Aspirant Eileen also took the next steps in their journey with the Sisters as they both successfully elevated to Postulant!! Congratulations to both of you on your success! The Abbey also welcomed Aspirant Nettie to the group!! We're getting bigger everyday!

The post elevation crowd :) Congrats to Lois, Anthony, and Eileen!  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

UNVEILED: The official 5th Anniversary Party!

With less than 2 weeks until what I know will be the most magical night thus far in our little Abbey's life; I thought it was time to officially announce who will be on hand to celebrate with the Sisters and all of you!  These queens have shown nothing but support to the Sisters during our time in Vancouver!  They have given their time, performed with us and accepted us wholeheartedly into the fold.  For that we always be forever grateful.


photo by Graham Spence Photography
"Developing a character named Conni Smudge has been a twenty year journey and one that has taken her around the Globe.

She has performed in some of the most unlikely of places. From Biker Bars to the Grand Theatres of Europe, Mz Smudge has done them all.

Her wit, charm and approachable nature has afforded her the honour of being a highly sought after event host and spokesperson.  With an uncanny ability to break through barriers and draw the audience in, an evening with Conni is unlike anything ever experienced.

Based out of Vancouver British Columbia, Mz Smudge has been the face of several events and charities, including the North American OutGames, Qmunity, The City of Vancouver, and the Q Hall of Fame Canada to name just a few.

Mz Smudge has regular appearances on television as a reporter for OutLook TV and has appeared on the set of movies including The L Word, Backstrom, and Girls Guide to Dating.

She is known as The Unstoppable Conni Smudge and her busy schedule and the high demand for her services are proof that she truly is The Unstoppable Lady."

photo by Graham Spence Photography
Second to none! IT'S CARLOTTA GURL!!

Carlotta Gurl hails from Eastern Canada and has been amazing audiences in Vancouver with her incredible and awesome female impersonations of some of the world's brightest and best performers!

Carlotta currently hosts and performs in one of Vancouver's most popular and critically acclaimed cabaret-style show "Absolutly Dragulous" at the Junction Pub, located on Davie Street.

"Absolutly Dragulous" will be celebrating its 4th Anniversary Saturday February 21st at the Junction with a host of performers all bringing something extra special to help "the Gurl" celebrate!

Be Carlotta's Facebook friend and she'll tell you "Where it's at!" click here to friend Carlotta

Last but definitely not least (depends who you ask)! JEM aka #THANKSJEM aka LADY JEM

photo by Chase Porter
"If Martha Stewart and Judge Judy had a love child and she was adopted by Jerrica Benton #ThanksJem would be it!! This Lady says it like it is and serves up a mean apple pie.

She performs, hosts, models and bitches her way into the hearts of everyone who encounters her!#ThanksJem's experience has taken her on an American tour starring as Sporty Spice in a a Spice Gurls: Drag Shadow Cast, on TV as a finalist in Canada's Next Drag Superstar, and starring in her one woman homemade drag show Cool Moms where Jem gets to live out her over the top ideas. Like baking a pie on stage or performing live via Skype as she drives around the block!

A truly outrageous performer who always has more to give. Love her or hate her #thanksjem is homemaking her straight to the top!"

Check out the details of the only Drag Show on Commercial Drive right here!!

All of these ladies are dear to the Vancouver Sisters and we are delighted to have them be a part of our 5th Anniversary! Doors at 7pm. Performances begin around 8pm.

UNVEILED: Be there!
RSVP on Facebook for more info here

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"An Aspirant's tale."

Hello everyone, this is Sister Alma! Here is our newest Postulant (Diversity Rains) recounting his experiences shortly before and after his association with the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.  

"As I approached my last birthday, I found myself focusing on wanting to re-invent myself upon entering the next decade of my life.  Well, actually it was not focusing on re-inventing myself, but more a desire to get closer to being my true myself.

I thought, 'what better way to do so than to stand forward and become an aspirant of the Vancouver Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.'

I figured out the how, the when, and I thought I figured out the where, of what to do to make this happen.  After looking the Sisters up online I decided that at the Sister’s next business meeting, I would declare my intentions.

Finally, the second Wednesday of the month arrives.  I get off work and hustle to get to the meeting, driving a fair distance into some unknown terrain in the heart of Vancouver, using my trusty google maps to get me there.  Initially, all went well and I found some reasonable parking and it looked like everything was going to plan.  

I thought to myself, "Please google maps lead me to the meeting."  

Well, indeed it did.  Goggle maps led me, and led me, and led me, and every where it led me, I could not find the meeting! I would think I was there, but it would just be an apartment building, and not the meeting.  

After a few attempts and failures I asked a passerby, "where is Qmunity?"  

"About ten blocks that way," they responded.  

I found my way to Bute and Davie.  I looked to the left!  I looked to the right!  I could not find it!

Then I looked to the left and up the street a bit—and behold, a Qmunity sign above the door—the Qmunity library. 

There at last, but an hour late and the door was locked.

Obviously, my aspirancy was not meant to happen at that meeting, so I went around the corner, and gratified myself with sushi, and began to call to find out if the meeting had changed location.

I spoke to Sr Petunia Encarnata, who unfortunately was in Portland and told her of my plight and woes.  

"Not to worry," Petunia told me.  I could become an aspirant at the next business meeting, but in the meantime spread as much joy as possible.

Well the next meeting was a month away.  Can you imagine how much joy you can spread around in a month?  Well, I didn’t at the time.  Lo and behold I found myself engaged in occasions where I had no choice but to spread joy—at work, at play, at events, with people, with animals, and all of creation.  Wow, what an eyeopener.  I was even beginning to feel more filled with joy.

I love to take and share pictures and I found myself determined to be in places such as the “Cool Mom’s” show with Jem ThanksJem and spend some time with the Sisters who were attending and performing in the show.  While talking to Alma, Tora, and Pebbles I learned more about what the Sisters' mission is and I also discovered the joy others find in the pictures I take—and that makes me feel good.

Finally, after another month was over I made it to the Business Meeting well in advance and declared that I was an Aspirant.  It felt good to receive my Aspirant name tag from Sister Petunia.  Let the period of being an Aspirant begin.  This was a commitment to attend two Business Meetings in a row and to join with the Sisters for events they would be attending.

"Oh My God," I thought, "how will I ever be able to work all these things into my already busy work and personal schedule?"  The world is made of good intentions and good intentions can make anything possible.

I began to learn to be myself and attend personal events by my choice, to request days off work to attend events with the Sisters, and to relax and enjoy life.  At work, I suddenly felt more like a member of the team to make things happen and my goal was to spread joy, to acknowledge the contributions of others, and to smile.  You know what? It works and it is a lot less effort than to hold back.

I am leaning that inclusion is a big part of what the Sisters do and I think I like it.

I am also learning that making a difference, is just that, making a difference whether it be small or grandiose!  Sure, grandiose can be great, but often small is much more rewarding!  I have learned this by observing the Sisters in action.

I have been playing Santa Claus at work for the last three weekends.  The look of joy I see on the children’s faces, and often the parent’s faces as well, is the same look of joy I see on the faces of people at groups and events where the Sisters spread joy. I think I can become accustomed to seeing that look constantly.

I look forward to what the next month before the next Business Meeting at which I will hopefully accepted as a Postulant.  I look forward to accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative and releasing joy everywhere.

Oh, I am also beginning to realize that I can take joy in myself in the sense that if I am enjoying myself, I can share that joy with others without worry."

- Postulant Diversity Rains

“Joy, more joy, always joy”

Sister Alma would like to thank Postulant Diversity Rains for submitting his story for the blog. The Vancouver Abbey is nothing without its new members as they remind us of how simple yet sublime our work can be.  

XO Sister Alma