The Reverend Val (Vlasta) Chongva
It is with deep sorrow that our family announces the death of Val Chongva.
Val always lived with a forward-thinking attitude through good times and adversity. After a lengthy illness, Val died at home on Monday, May 22 with her niece, Leanne, and sister-in-law, Carol, by her side.
Born in Manitoba, she was the daughter of the late Andrej and Margita (Karnafel) Chongva. Val was predeceased by her beloved husband, Dwight Scott, sisters Ann Chongva and Margaret Heather, and brother-in-law Bill Heather. Val will be dearly missed by stepsons David (Heather) and Darrell; grandchildren Tyler and Jaden; brothers Lado (Elizabeth) and Frank (Clara); sister-in-law Carol; brother-in-law Peter (Barbara); numerous nephews, nieces, and their children; and special family friend William Adams.
Val wore many hats over the years including those of teacher, student advisor, and pastoral visitor in homes and hospitals, and New Brunswick program consultant for the Office for Seniors. Val then responded to Spirit’s call to ordained ministry. She returned to school and received a Master of Divinity from Atlantic School of Theology (AST) Halifax, NS. Val was ordained into the United Church of Canada in May 2001. Her years at AST were filled with much love and laughter along with deep reflection. Friends from AST days often remark that it was Val who kept them all on schedule. Dwight also became part of the campus community through his frequent trips to Halifax.
Val served as the UCC minister in the Alma/Albert Pastoral Charge from 2001 to 2007, taking early retirement due to health concerns. She was forever grateful for her time living in the Fundy region and the many people she served.
Post retirement Val accepted a six-month appointment as Congregational Educator at Central United Church, Moncton, in 2010. Twelve years later, she retired again after a rigorous focus on evolving theology and climate change/ecological overshoot. She helped guide the congregation through a process which, in 2016, culminated in Central United being designated an Affirming Ministry, embracing 2SLGBTQI+ participation and leadership in all aspects of congregational life. Most recently, Val helped Central United respond to Call to Action No. 59 from the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Final Report, which calls on churches to carry out congregational education regarding colonization, residential schools, and the need for apologies. Despite the seriousness of the topics being addressed in her educational work, Val’s approach was always calm and full of warmth. Val is remembered by her Church Community for her presence at their many functions as well as her quiet support of so many fundraisers and projects.
In addition to her ministry, Val enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, knitting items for Central United Church’s Mitten Tree outreach, tending her flowers, taking scenic drives, and spending time by the water on Grand Manan and along the Bay of Fundy.
The family would like to thank Dr. Garston and Dr. Salem for their extensive compassionate care over many years, the Extra Mural team for their kindness during home visits, Val’s wonderful neighbours for their friendships, and sister-in-law Carol for her loving support over the years.
A Celebration of Val’s life will be held on Thursday, June 1, 2023, at 2:00 pm at Central United Church, 150 Queen Street, Moncton, NB. Refreshments will follow the service. For those unable to attend in person, the service will be livestreamed. Please contact a family member for the Zoom link. Interment will take place in Manitoba at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Val may be made to Central United Church or a charity of one’s choice.
With special appreciation to Lisa, arrangements are in the care of the Albert County Funeral Home, 4130 Route 114, Hopewell Cape, NB, E4H 3K2 (506) 734-2780 www.albertcountyfh.com