Staff serving Prairie to Pine Regional Council
As Pastoral Relations Minister Judy provides staff support for the work of the Pastoral Relations Commission and Liaisons including support for ministers and communities of faith through the profile and search process, support for Ministry & Personnel committees, support for the network of United Fresh Start facilitators and matters related to the appointment of ministers for short-term needs. She also supports the Committee on Lay Leadership Support (Sacraments Elders and Licensed Lay Worship Leaders), the Committee on Community of Faith Support (covenants and matters related to re-alignment and disbanding), and the Committee on Ministry Personnel Support. Judy also processes applications for licenses to administer the sacraments, requests for licenses to perform marriages, matters related to medical absence of ministry personnel and matters related to formal association for ministry personnel.
Judy is a graduate of the Atlantic School of Theology and was ordained by Maritime Conference in 1986. During nineteen years in pastoral ministry she served several rural and isolated pastoral charges in two different Conferences ( Swastika and Powassan, Ontario and Dawson Creek, B.C.) .Prior to transitioning to the work as Pastoral Relations Minister for Prairie to Pine Regional Council she served as Conference Personnel Minister for the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario from mid-2005 until the end of 2018.
Cherry provides administrative support to any program staff working within the region, with a primary responsibility to support the Regional Pastoral Relations Minister. This includes assisting in preparation of all necessary materials for and follow up to meetings and presentations for the Pastoral Relations Minister as well coordinate meeting and event arrangements for meetings associated with the committees, commissions and individuals associated with the work of the Pastoral Relations Minister. Cherry assists in updating and uploading materials to the website. Cherry is also the recording secretary of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee. Cherry handles administration related to marriage licenses. General Administrative support includes maintaining office supplies, managing event registration, obtaining copyright licenses and assisting with preparation of materials and hosting of General Meeting.
Erin Acland is Prairie to Pine Regional Council’s part-time Keeper of the Archives (Archivist). The Archives collects and preserves the valuable records created by The United Church of Canada, within the boundaries of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Erin works out of the University of Winnipeg (515 Portage Avenue). Half of the Archives’ records are housed at the U of W, and the rest are housed in a secure location off-site, but can be ordered in when needed.
Erin spends much of her time working with in-person researchers, and completing research requests received by email and phone. About 500 researchers a year contact Erin to inquire about baptism and marriage records, academic research, genealogical research, Church administration, and legal matters. The Archives’ records date from 1838, and if the boxes of records were lined up, they would stretch for almost one kilometer. The records are original, unique, and offer a wealth of information and insight into the past.
Erin also prepares archival records for access by appraising, arranging, and describing them following professional standards. Church administrators, Boards, and Ministers are encouraged to connect with Erin if they have Church records that they’d like to transfer to the Archives.
Please reach out to Erin if you have any questions, or think she may be able to help you. Due to her limited hours and the busyness of the Archives, it sometimes is a few weeks before she can fulfill your request, but she will always endeavor to do so.
Twila MacNair is the coordinator of Young Adult and Youth Ministries for Prairie to Pine Region. She works with the YAAY (Young Adult and Youth) Committee of the Regional Council to support these young leaders in planning two annual youth retreats, youth programming at the Regional Annual Meeting, and smaller gatherings of youth and young adults where possibility and passion allow.
She aims to share information that comes her way about opportunities for young people, whether they are being offered by the United Church nationally, regionally or locally. Her sharing of information is usually done via an email group of “Youth Allies.”
If your community of faith does not currently receive information from Twila regarding opportunities for young people, please find someone who is willing to be a “Youth Ally” whose job it will be to receive and distribute this information, and to send information to her about your youth-friendly events and opportunities that would be open to young people from the wider church . Email her with your contact information to add to her Youth Ally Lists.
Staff serving Prairie to Pine, Living Skies, and Northern Spirit Regional Councils
Shannon McCarthy is the Executive Minister for three Regional Councils: Northern Spirit, Living Skies, and Prairie to Pine. As Executive Minister she is responsible for: supporting the governance decision-making bodies in each regional council by providing leadership, support and counsel (Regional Councils & their Executives); supervision of the staff deployed throughout the three regional councils; and leadership and connection with the General Council and other regional councils. Shannon also offers policy and polity advice to congregations as well as dealing with property matters within the regional councils. Shannon enjoys traveling throughout the three regional councils connecting and building relationships with congregations and ministry personnel.
Shannon is a life long member of the United Church, who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Robinson/Superior Treaty, and is an ordained minister of 23 years, having spent all of her ministry in western Canada. She is based in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 territory, where she enjoys cheering for the Winnipeg Jets and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Shannon is a proud aunt and loves to spend time with her six nieces and nephews. In her down time you can often find her reading, camping, playing video games, watching TV or getting in some exercise.
Julie’s work in the three regions focuses on communications strategies and tools, especially during this time of major restructuring; support for Networks and Clusters; and support for people and groups in the three Regional Councils whose work focuses on justice, right relationship, and ecological concerns.
Julie fell into communications and social justice work by mistake as a young adult and layperson active in the United Church and has just kept at it, mostly in ecumenical and interfaith settings. She has served BC Conference, Ten Days for Global Justice, KAIROS, and Affirm United/S’affirmer Ensemble. She works from Saskatoon, Treaty Six.
Previously, Heather worked for Saskatchewan Conference for 5 years as the Financial Administrator. Heather has 30+ years experience working in the not-for-profit sector, in a variety of roles, both administrative and front-line. Heather works out of her office in Regina, Saskatchewan.
The Minister of the Office of Vocation is a member of the general council staff, deployed to work in the regions. Karen works in three key areas as part of the wider work of the Office of Vocation. She is staff support to the Candidacy Board for the Northern Spirit, Living Skies, and Prairie to Pine regions, to help them them interpret and implement United Church policy as it relates to candidates for ministry. Karen also helps inquirers and candidates navigate the Candidacy Pathway which lays out the requirements to becoming ordained, commissioned, or recognized in the church.
The second piece of Karen’s work is helping those already in paid accountable ministry, or candidacy, to ensure that they have all the correct mandated training and police records checks. Part of this includes hosting Boundary training workshops in the three regions. She also ensures that personnel files reflect the most up-to-date information on this training, which will assist personnel and congregations in the search process.
The third large piece of Karen’s work is working with the Board of Vocation to ensure the smooth running of reviews and investigations that are required in the regions she supports. Her role is primarily to ensure that the ministry personnel understand the process before, during, and after an investigation or review.
Charlene supports twenty one Indigenous communities of faith from the Pacific over to eastern Saskatchewan’s treaty territories. She’s responsible for supporting the priorities as named by Indigenous Ministries Council, including: Real Property and Capital Plan; Mission Support Grants; Move toward becoming sustainable and vibrant communities of Faith; Fundraising ideas; Programming; Partnerships; and Staff support on committees.
All of this can be summed up as: Community (Congregational) Development; Training, Education and Leadership Development; Research and Resource Development.
Charlene Burns is Cree from Treaty Six Territory. An experienced educator and long-time teacher and administrator, Charlene’s experience includes working as a teacher, Cree instructor, college librarian, vice principal and principal. She taught in her home community of Maskwacis, formerly Hobbema, Alberta for many years.
Since 2011, Charlene has been the Community Capacity Development Coordinator (Western Canada) for Indigenous Ministries with the United Church of Canada. Charlene has served as a board member on Central Alberta Provincial , is currently President on the Red Deer Friendship Center Board, and serves on the Red Deer College Board of Governors. She has also volunteered through Samson United Church throughout her life. Charlene and her husband, Russel, reside in Ponoka and have three grandchildren.
Vicki Nelson, a member of the United Church Philanthropy Team, serves in the role of Stewardship Animator for Western Canada. She works closely with Communities of Faith on congregational giving programs and stewardship education, primarily through the resource, Called to Be the Church: The Journey, as well as with Regional Council staff to support Communities of Faith that wish to improve their stewardship practices and encourage the formation of generous disciples.
Vicki is a life-long United Church member and has served in staff positions at Eastside United Church and Knox-Metropolitan United Church, in Regina and as the Executive Director of Lumsden Beach Camp in the Qu’Appelle Valley, on Treaty 4. Camps, and especially that camp, have been a long-time passion for her. Beyond camp and church organizations Vicki has several years’ experience working and volunteering with various non-profit organizations.
Vicki is looking forward to connecting with people in the Prairie to Pine Region. Please reach out with stewardship questions, ideas or inspiration.