THE REVEREND DOCTOR
[Incoming priest-in-charge – February 16, 2020]
I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve felt called to serve St. George’s Church. Years ago, it was because of St. George’s reputation as a church that valued preaching, and I wanted very much to meet that challenge. At the same time, music has always been an important element of my worship life, and the music at St. George’s has always been excellent. So I was ready to apply, and willing to wait until I heard a rumour of a vacancy. But the truth is, as I read the Parish Profile and the new website, and as I began hearing about the new missional aligned initiatives, my excitement grew. This is a church which understands its future as one that is filled with both opportunity and change. God is doing something new here. Are we willing to have God work through us to build up the kingdom of God in this place?
I first came to St. George’s to worship with my family. I was drawn to the beautiful liturgy along with the warm welcome to people of all ages. As the Associate Priest for Christian Formation, I support our education programs for children, youth and adults. I believe that our Christian life is a journey. Christ invites us ever deeper into relationship with him as we worship, pray, study and serve our neighbours together. Prior to coming to St. George’s I served churches in Arizona and in England. I look forward to learning and growing with the community at St. George’s.
The Reverend Doctor
I began my connection with St George’s in the summer of 2017, celebrating and preaching while Canon Steven Mackison was on vacation. What has drawn me to this community has been the warm welcome I have received, and the people’s keen interest in the living Word of God as proclaimed, preached and reflected on. I have been delighted to participate liturgically in this place, as it is reflected in the high quality of choral music, the respect for the preparation that needs to go into good liturgy and the involvement of lay persons who are open to the power of the mystery of creation and redemption at the heart of it. In my role as the Associate Priest for Spirituality at St. George’s I share in preaching and celebrating, and offer other opportunities for deepening the spiritual life of the community. This latter area has been my primary focus throughout many years of ministry and study. My current passion is a return to my childhood love, artistic creativity, which I am currently expressing through the medium of clay, in ceramic pottery and sculpture. I am keen to share this and whatever else is helpful for fulfilling St. George’s call to be a spiritual oasis in the world.
The Reverend Doctor Deacon
As a newcomer to Montreal, I was drawn to St. George’s by friends, and stayed because of the warmth of the parish community and the grace with which people participate in all aspects of worship – word, music, and liturgical movement. For 40 years, my vocation in ministry has been as a deacon, an ancient order dedicated to service, especially among the “poor, the weak, the sick, and the lonely” and to “interpreting to the church the needs, concerns, and hopes of the world.” I have lived out this vocation in disadvantaged neighbourhoods as a community minister, in the office of General Synod as an advocate for peace, justice and the integrity of creation, and more recently in theological schools as an educator and administrator. I am passionate about the priestly and diaconal calling of the whole people of God and encouraging the ministry of all the baptized.
In response to a later-in-life vocation, I have been studying at the Montreal Diocesan Theological College since the fall of 2017. In agreement with the College, my In-Ministry Year will be spread over 24 months, and I was welcomed nto St. George’s as a Theological Intern in September, 2018 where I will happily remain until the spring of 2020. My home parish is St. John the Evangelist, and I have a background in legal work as well as a Master’s degree from Concordia in the History and Philosophy of Religion. I have an affinity for ritual and liturgy, as well as a strong interest in First Nations concerns, and have been slowly learning Mohawk for the last couple of years. I feel called to the area of pastoral care, especially working with those who are homeless and/or marginalized, but I am open to wherever the Spirit may lead me. I continue to look forward to new experiences as part of the vibrant St. George’s community.
Parish Administrative Assistant
I used to work for a large, global engineering firm where my office overlooked the beautiful St George’s. At the suggestion of a colleague, I attended a Sunday service and have been a member of the congregation ever since; almost 25 years. At first I was attracted by the potential for my own spiritual growth, but as time went on I realized this was a place that really cared for people. In 2016, when I had the opportunity to join the staff, I jumped at the chance. My role goes beyond the traditional role of administrative assistant’s. Since I’m often the point of first contact I want to be a kind and welcoming presence for everyone – people I know or people I don’t, rich or poor, well or sick, happy or sad. I’d wanted to do something different; something where I could make a real difference. My role here gives me that chance every day.
With over 25 years of experience in the restaurant and hotel industry, I received numerous offers of employment. However, after having cooked for the wealthiest amongst us, I wanted to share the taste I can create with those that are destitute and those that do not have the opportunity to taste such food. I want to do the best I can to help the homeless and the poor. Nothing is more gratifying to me then to offer them the best food I can make and see in their eyes and their faces the impact my actions have. Even before I was selected to join this team in 2018, I knew I wanted to be here and my hope is to stay for the rest of my career.
I came to St. George’s in January 2017. I was called to bring my musical gifts and experience as a church musician and I was looking forward to a stimulating and new challenge. Today, I feel that call even more strongly. Not only it has deepened my faith but also contributed to my work as Music Director and helped me to provide better teaching, spiritual guidance and motivation to choir members to be fully engaged and become better musicians. I also love working with Steven. There is a sense of dignity to the service and a commitment to liturgical and musical excellence to which I always aspire. Together, we work to enhance the service and support the congregation in prayer. I am happy to evolve spiritually at St. George’s and I am looking forward to continuing my music ministry in its midst.
I’ve had a relationship with St. George’s since the fall of 2015. At the time, I had just arrived in Montreal from Philadelphia to study composition at McGill’s Schulich School of Music . When I visited the sanctuary and met the people at St. George’s I knew this place and its mission were special. I began playing viola at the 9am Sunday services and, in return, St. George’s offered me a teaching space where I could mentor a small but vibrant studio of adult beginner string students. Outside of my partnership with St. George’s, I work as a freelance composer in Canada and the US, perform as a member of the experimental-pop group Alex Rand (Jurassic Pop Records), and act as concert coordinator for the Hildegard Project, a McGill-funded student initiative that aims to bring music composed by women to shelters in Montreal. I feel inspired to create and share sounds with people who might not otherwise realize the role it can play in enriching their lives. In my new role at St. George’s I am looking forward to sharing my music through the congregation’s community outreach and interfaith ministry.
Children’s Ministry Coordinator
I joined the St. George’s team in the fall of 2015 as the head of the Youth and Children’s Ministry. I was welcomed by a warm, loving and friendly congregation that made me feel as if I had been there for many years. I had been doing youth and young adult ministry for about 5 years, but St. George’s offered me the opportunity to work more closely with young children to spread the joy of the word of God. Children are filled with such joy, adventure and curiosity and I learn from them constantly and can only hope to share the knowledge that I have to allow them to continue to grow into such a wonderful and warm congregation.
St. George’s has been an important part of my life since I graduated from the Royal Academy of Music [London, England] in 1984. My husband, Tom, knew the then choir director who invited us to join the community and me to join the choir. With the exception of a few years in the late 80s I’ve been singing lead here ever since. I also sing in two other choirs: Octet Plus and Orpheus Singers. I definitely came for the music, but I’ve stayed because of the fellowship; the warmth of the community and my desire to play a role in congregational life. I’ve been a member Parish Council and the Music Program Selection Committee. I’m a member of the Guild, an active volunteer for our Community Lunch program and create the floral arrangements for the altar. As Rectors’ Warden I share responsibility for two Corporation portfolios: Homeless Outreach [with Deb] and Music [with Bill]. I’ve seen a lot of change in the nearly 30 years I’ve been at St. George’s. The path we are on today is full of promise for our Church community and beyond.