Bishop Geoff: Amber, tell me about yourself. What is your full name? Amber Tremblett: Amber Deborah Tremblett.
Where and when were you born? I was born on July 2, 1996, in Corner Brook.
Where is home today?
Well, I’ve moved around but Lewisporte will always be home.
Tell me about your family. I have a brother. He’s two years younger than me. His name is Reid. I have a Mom and a Dad, Byron and Debbie. That’s who I’m named after. My Mom’s a nurse and my Dad’s a teacher. He retired two years ago.
What are you currently doing? Right now, I am working for you (laughs) at Synod Office. I am doing that for May and then for the month of June I’m going to Labrador to Cartwright for two weeks and then I’m going to Camp Awesome in Goose Bay and doing Confirmation preparation and other things. And then in July I’m going back to St. John’s and heading to the Lavrock Youth Camp and then finishing off back at Synod Office. In August I am getting ready to go back to school.
And you have just finished university? Yes, I just finished a Bachelor’s Honors degree in English and History.
I understand you got really good marks? Yes, I did I got all “A’s” all four years.
So where are you going in the fall? In the fall I’m going to Toronto to Wycliffe College. I just got my student number and got accepted to residence, so I am feeling good about all that. I am going to do a Master’s of Divinity there which will take three years and after then get ordained … hopefully (laughs).
Do you have a favorite book? My favorite book series is the Harry Potter Series. I’ve read it three or four times. I don’t know if I have an individual favorite book. That one is hard because I really like reading. I really enjoyed Wuthering Heights. Also, The Picture of Dorian Gray. That book has my favorite line in all of literature: “The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history.”
Do you have a favorite movie? The Harry Potter series, obviously. But my favorite movie is August Rush. It’s about this little boy, actually he’s not so little, he’s older than me. He’s this musical prodigy. He’s an orphan. And then he runs away from his orphanage and people find out about him and he goes to Juilliard … a completely unrealistic story … his mom is also trying to find him because she didn’t know he was alive. It’s a really good story.
What music do you listen to? Almost everything … except country. Most things I like. My favorite artists are Demi Lovato and Ed Sheeran and also James Bay.
Who inspires you? Mostly my family. My parents. My Dad, I really look up to him. Because … he really values education and things like that and my work ethic comes from him and my mom. My brother as well. He’s the kindest person I have ever met in my life. My Mom and my brother are a lot alike. She loves us a lot. I know moms do that anyway. I’ll cry if I keep talking about them.
Do you have any hidden talents? I don’t know ... I don’t like talking about the things I might be good at. I think I’m good at writing. People tell me I’m good at singing. I also play piano. I like to crochet. Don’t know if that counts as a talent but I do it a lot.
Do you have a most treasured possession? Yes. I only really knew one great grandparent … she died before Easter and when Easter came my Nan gave us the gift she was going to give us. Mine was one of those dolls with the wool for hair and it was actually a toy I wouldn’t actually have played with … I was older. It was one of those dolls with a hard head and little red dress. Yeah, that’s my favorite thing.
Who is one person living or deceased you would like to meet? I would really like to meet J.K. Rowling. She’s the author of Harry Potter. I would really like to write a book eventually and her books made me love reading ... and I would really like to meet her. She knew poverty and made a billion dollars off her books and then gave a lot of it away, so I think it would be really cool to talk to her.
I want to talk a little bit about your faith now. What’s your earliest memory of church? I don’t know if this is the earliest memory because it’s more like people told me about it. I have been going to church since I was an infant. I was in the Christmas play and I was an angel and I wouldn’t go up on stage and I kept asking my aunt to go up with me and she said, “I cannot do that,” and I told her “You have to! You have to come with me!”
Where did your faith come from? Did someone inspire it? I would say it’s kind of like two parts. So, my grandmother always took me and my brother and our cousins to church every Sunday. It was really because of her I stayed going to church. There was a point I went just because it was the thing to do. But when I was in Grade 10 I became friends with a couple of girls who went to the Pentecostal Church in Lewisporte. There was no youth group at my church and they asked me to go there. It was the first time I had friends my own age who were Christians and that made a huge difference. We were going through the same things. Because of them I became more involved in my own church. But having Christian friends my own age I could talk to about faith made a difference. My Nan was always encouraging me as long as I was going to church somewhere.
You are heading off for theological education and planning to be ordained and have a life in the church. Why? When I started university, I knew I wasn’t going to do anything in the health field because I really didn’t want to be around sick people all the time. And teaching didn’t appeal to me either. I started university and said I would do an English degree but didn’t really have a plan but then after my first year of university I had a conversation with Perry Cooper. He used to be a minister in my church in Lewisporte. He just said that he felt there was a calling on my life and he had been praying for me and said he wanted to talk to me about it. And he didn’t say what it was before we got together to talk but I just said, “So I guess I’m going to be a priest.” It was an immediate type of thing. When he spoke to me the first thing in my mind was ordained ministry, but I didn’t want to say that. But from then on nothing else felt right. I used to think “Maybe I can do this or that” but nothing else felt right. It’s not so much I didn’t like anything else, it’s more like, “I’m not supposed to do anything else.” Being part of a community of faith is really cool to me. I don’t know any other way to explain it. I just think that in ministry you have the opportunity to do a lot of things. If I were to pick another career it’s more of one thing and I think that ministry offers a lot of different things. The more I think about it the more I think, this is actually kind of right for me.
How has the Anglican Church shaped you as a person? OK, first I went through a phase where I hated denominations and how the church was split, and I still felt that way when I had that conversation with Reverend Cooper but then I said, “Now I have to be an Anglican Priest.” Before then I said I am not going to care about denominations and just go wherever I want to go. After then I just said, “Obviously God wants me to be a part of the Anglican Church so maybe I should re-evaluate denominations.” I came to see that denominations are important because they create specific communities and relationships between people that are essential for carrying out successful ministries in certain areas. The Anglican Church, especially where I grew up is just so kind. I love the ACW and everything that they do. The afternoon teas. I love that stuff. I think you get together with a group of people who are dedicated to serving the community in different ways. With regard to GPS (God’s Positioning System) … the youth thing … prior to that I was never at a youth event where all the young people were Anglican. That was really cool. I really enjoyed it. It was so genuine. That’s the word I would use. I really like that. I think the Anglican Church is a very genuine and just kind and caring place to be ... The Anglican Church gives me freedom to be me and I think that’s one of the coolest things ever about the church.
What’s your happiest memory of being part of the church? I think they are all pretty happy. But there is one. I was asked to speak. They had this ACW retreat and my Nan asked me to do up a service and speak and I really appreciated that. Just being part of the weekend and seeing all of these women together talking about their faith. That was really nice. It was really inspiring because they were all older than me.
Are there one or two church leaders or clergy who stand out in your memory? I think Reverend Cooper because he was my minister all during my growing up and maybe I would have been a clergy in another way if I hadn’t talked to him, but he is the one who talked to me and said, “This is what you are supposed to be.” That means a lot to me. And then Bruce Vallis who was a minister in Lewisporte up until recently. In my later years when I got more serious in my faith he was the minister there. So, he always so kind to everyone and cared about all the different areas of the church like Sunday School. And then there is Roger [Whalen]. I really can’t talk about Roger because I will cry (long pause). He’s like just the nicest person and helped me become part of the Anglican community here and helped me all the time.
You met him at university, right? He was the chaplain. Yeah. He also went to St. Augustine’s. One day he asked if I wanted to help him start a youth group and I said I would.
If you could change something about your church today, what would it be? Probably the denomination thing. There is still too much division. I would want to see more cooperation between denominations. We need to all be more supportive of each other because in the end we all want a relationship with God.
Who is Jesus to you? Jesus is the greatest … like what he did was the greatest act of love ever for anybody. I think about that a lot. It just blows my mind that he died for people who would not only not believe in him but even hate him. He’s just … I think … I don’t even know … it’s so hard to put into words … He just saves people’s lives daily. When I find myself not feeling good about things I remind myself that this person loved me enough to die for me. I know it sounds crazy but that’s what I believe.
I know that’s a tough question. And I want to answer it without sounding like a cliché.
What do you think your church will look like in the future? I just really want it to be like a family and I want a lot of people to not see me as different than them. Yes, I will be a priest and help and direct them. In the end, everyone struggles no matter what your position is, and everyone has difficult days, and everyone makes mistakes, and I feel it’s important for people to know that their leaders sometimes feel that way too. And, besides that I really want to ensure that different generations within churches talk to each other.