The Reverend Canon
I came to the church in August of 2015, excited by St. George’s hopes and dreams for the future. I have a passion for worshiping with reverence and beauty, sharing the stories of our faith, and establishing deep and abiding relationships with the community – especially the poor and homeless and those of other faith traditions. I believe that nurturing my relationships with others helps me to discover more about my own faith. My family and I are grateful to be members of such a warm, caring, community in the heart of a vibrant and diverse city. As Rector and Chair of the Corporation, I serve by providing oversight of all aspects of parish life. In the wider church community, I serve as Diocesan Liturgical Officer, consulting on liturgy and serving as Master of Ceremonies at Diocesan Worship services.
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.
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 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.
Indigenous Ministries Coordinator
I am Ojibway from Shoal Lake 39, Ontario [Treaty 3] where I lived with my grandparents until I was adopted and moved to Huntsville, Ontario. By the time I was in my early 20s I moved back to Shoal Lake to learn about my First Nation heritage and who I was. After studying culinary arts in Montreal, I went to work as a cook and later in community outreach at the Native Friendship Centre. I trained in Ottawa to become a cultural ambassador give talks and workshops on the Indigenous experience. As an educator and Indigenous rights activist, I founded the Red Urban Project in 2012 and Pow Wow Montreal the year after. I started the Roundhouse Café in Cabot Square to serve traditional food, raise awareness of the reality of indigenous homelessness and offer patrons a way to ‘pay it forward.’ Earlier this year I started the Wolf Pack Street Patrol and that’s how I first learned about St. George’s. One of the Wardens got in touch with me on Facebook. She was interested in finding out about the Wolf Pack Street Patrol and the work we do with the homeless. We realized pretty quickly that we were all serving the same community and wanted to find ways to do that better. Since then, St. George’s has become our homebase. As Indigenous Ministries Coordinator in this place, my deepest desire is to find ways to work together to raise awareness and action in support of reconciliation while continuing to serve the Indigenous community in the downtown.
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.
Karl M. Borntraeger
Facilities Manager & Special Projects
Earlier in my career, I was a parliamentary assistant on the hill in Ottawa. I never thought I’d find a job again that so completely aligned with my values until I started here at St. George’s. This shouldn’t have been surprising since St. George’s has been part of my life since I was born; my parents were married here, I was baptised, confirmed and recently married here, but it has been. I started volunteering for the community lunch in March 2016 and by April had started a full-time role in community outreach and as verger. Today, I’m responsible for overseeing the physical site and facilitating operations to ensure the “best care” and “best use” of our physical infrastructure. St. George’s was there before and our desire is to make sure it will be there after we are gone. My job as one of the custodians of this place is to make sure that we have sustainable systems and process so that happens.
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.
The beauty of St. George’s is what made me come in for the first time. Then I noticed that there was a daily drop-in center here and I sat down for fellowship. I thought it was really welcoming here. I will always remember one of the first sermons I heard preached at St. George’s, it was about “calling” and I got this feeling inside of me, and I took that to heart, that it was my calling. I like working at St. George’s because I like to help people, the needy. I have compassion for them, I know what it’s like to be poor, I grew up poor. I’ve worked as a janitor, security and maintenance in the past and I’m please to be offering my experience to St. George’s since 2018.
Marguerite J. Borntraeger
Outreach Supervisor and Bookkeeper
I’ve been part of the St. George’s team since the fall of 2017. I’d left my job in the corporate world to start my own business, but I was looking for more. At first I just came in to help my brother, Karl, in the Centre, but once I saw the impact preparing a simple meal had on our guests I was hooked and wanted to do more. In addition, to getting to use my skills and experience in the hospitality industry and crisis management for good. I can be greeting guests one minute, scraping potatoes, training a volunteer, chasing down sales for next week’s menu or helping a guest through a crisis the next. I love that. We are a start-up and still have a long way to go, but we’re getting positive feedback from our guests. They tell us they appreciate the safe and calm place and the good food we are able to offer. I just find it so enriching and I know through this work I’m learning from our guests and becoming a better person.
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.
The history, the power and beauty of the liturgy and the homeless outreach program drew Michael, my husband, and me into this amazing community. We’ve been members since January 2016. Since then, my ministry here has been guided by two questions: If our Church is an exemplar of how Christian faith was practiced in the 20th century then how can St. George’s become an exemplar of how faith is practiced in the 21st century? What can I do to help make that happen? It’s a time of change; an opportunity for me to support the evolution of a community with deep roots in social justice and a growing practice of faith in action. I’m one of the founders of Civitasx and an active volunteer for Meals to the Street. As Peoples’ Deputy  and then Peoples’ Warden  I serve on the Corporation and share responsibility for two portfolios: Homeless Outreach [with Tracy] and Community Outreach [with Bill].
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.
People’s Deputy Warden
I joined St. George’s in the fall of 2016. My wife Sue and I are both musicians, me as a producer and Sue, music therapy. As a result St. George’s passion for high quality music programming was a definite draw. I served on the Music Program Selection Committee  I also love the church’s commitment to integrating more fully into our neighbouring downtown community by actively reaching out and serving the homeless and others in need. Currently I’m experimenting with recording and posting sermons that can be shared online with members of the St. George’s community who aren’t necessarily able to be present any given Sunday. As Peoples’ Deputy Warden  I share responsibility with Tracy for the Music portfolio and with Deb for Community Outreach. I also represent the Corporation on the Building Committee having experienced working with architects and builders on big institutional development projects. (CBC Broadcasting Centre, Toronto)