Our Living Statement:
Strathearn United Church is a loving Christian community, living by faith and action, communicating through worship, education, fellowship, and outreach, greeting the future with hope.
The people of Strathearn are our greatest strength, a group of loving, welcoming, community-oriented individuals and families. We strive to be engaged in the community, both with our local neighbourhood, and with the larger Church, and welcome all who are seeking to be nourished, challenged, and engaged in service of the Kingdom of God.
Rev. Sandy Ferguson
Rev. Sandy comes to Edmonton from Dumbarton, Scotland (with stops along the way to live in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, and British Columbia).
His Sunday worship services have been known to include quotes from "The Simpsons," "Star Trek," "Lord Of The Rings", and "Monty Python," along with his enthusiastic discussions of the Bible. His favourite scripture passage represents his vision and hope for the church: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
Rev. Sandy lives in the Strathearn neighbourhood with his wife Jenn and their spoiled rescue mutts. As a coffee addict, he has strong opinions as to what constitutes "real coffee."
Rena Spiess was born and raised in Sherwood Park and currently resides there. She was brought up in The United Church of Canada and is a member of Sherwood Park United Church. She works as the Office Administrator for both Strathearn United and Ottewell United Churches in South East Edmonton.
Rena brings many skills to the job, including communication training, office management, volunteer management, and event planning. Her knowledge of The United Church of Canada doctrine also comes in handy as the Official Board Secretary.
Rena took several courses at NAIT and MacEwan University (Grant MacEwan College at the time), graduating from Life Skills Coach Training at MacEwan, and receiving an honors diploma from the two-year Culinary Arts Program at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology). Her previous and eclectic work experience include: nanny, bank teller, video clerk, retail cashier, and head cook at Bissell Centre’s Moonlight Bay Camp. Rena was an operator at TELUS for 6 years prior to this job, and Office Administrator at the Parkinson’s Society of Alberta for 5 years before that.
Rena also enjoys volunteering, and comes from a family that has been actively involved in their community her entire life.
Kathryn leads our small, but mighty, adult choir. She comes from a musical family that has been involved in church music going back several generations. Her grandfather was the organist/choir director of a Methodist congregation in New Zealand! While Kathryn studied engineering and worked in government policy to pay bills, it has always been music that has provided her focus and passion. Kathryn has studied piano and some voice, led the Josephburg Belles in Harmony for six years, and has led the Strathearn choir for more than eleven years. She plans to continue as long as there is joy in the music and a willingness to praise God in song.
Shannon is highly regarded as a collaborative pianist, vocal coach, conductor and music director. A native of Winnipeg, Shannon began her studies at the University of Manitoba, and went on to train at the Banff Centre and the University of Michigan.
As a collaborative artist, she has worked with a number of celebrated singers, and has been heard in recital and broadcast across Canada, the United States, Europe, Taiwan and Japan.
A diverse performer, Shannon has performed with professional ballet companies, orchestras, operas, and multiple musical theatre productions, including three tours with Broadway Across Canada, and joined the Toronto Company in 2009 for its production of Jersey Boys.
Shannon has acted as Music Director for two of MacEwan University’s Theatre Arts productions, and has provided musical direction for three Plain Jane Theatre Company productions, earning her a Sterling Award nomination for outstanding musical direction in 2013.
A passionate teacher, she has served on a number of faculties in Canada and abroad, including the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy (COSI). Her students have gone on to universities and programs around the world, and many of her students now enjoy international performing careers.
Shannon is currently a pianist and vocal coach with the University of Alberta's Department of Music, and maintains a busy performing and coaching schedule.