I'm really interested in the role our church can play in the health of the whole neighbourhood. I support the interlocking contributions of so many neighbourhood organizations, each of us doing our part in partnership and face-to-face friendship. Meet me for an Americano at one of our great local coffee spots, and let's talk.
Do you like to read? I always have books on the go, and I'd love to hear what you're reading. My favourite authors these days: Miroslav Volf, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, René Girard, and Walter Brueggemann. I especially enjoy young adult fiction, and that's the section of the bookstore where you will find me browsing. My next vacation novel is ready to go: The Count of Monte Cristo.
Do you like athletics? I would be happy to go for a bike ride or a run with you. I also enjoy rockclimbing, bikram yoga, canoeing and kayaking. But first and foremost, I'm a cyclist - everyday and all winter. I've done some long distance bicycle trips, and my dream vacation is the Tour d'Afrique, which goes from Cairo to Cape Town in four months.
Do you like to cook? I like to play in the kitchen, and try foods I have never had before. I like the challenge of figuring out what I have and figuring out how to put it all together. Tell me about your favourite recipe...though recipes bring out the rebel in me; I never quite follow them.
You might want to talk about church too. It's important to me to challenge the church to be more welcoming and inclusive. We're making great progress on this at St. Anne's. I enjoy sermons, both giving them and hearing them. I find that I'm listening for connections between the very different time when the sacred texts were written, and the challenges in our own times. If on the day after you've heard a sermon, you remember what you heard, God has something to work with.
Originally from Brockville, the Rev. Gary van der Meer came to Toronto to study. Following a history degree from the University of Toronto, he completed the MBA program at the Schulich School of Business, York University. Gary studied theology at Trinity College and was ordained in 1993. He served parishes in Orillia, Port Perry and High Park before coming to St. Anne’s in October 2011.
At St. Anne's, my focus is on pastoral care and visiting. I am committed to affirming the ministry of seniors, and to involving them in our community. In our midweek worship services, we encourage everyone to take part in readings, discussion and prayers. We also include worship at the conclusion of the monthly Community Dinner. I invite you to pull up a chair as we pray for each other and share communion.
Raising our children, my husband Michael and I have enjoyed many spontaneous conversations exploring “faith and what it’s all about.” I want to encourage the conversations that help you in your journey of discovery and faith. I love the strong sense of caring community at St. Anne's. I see the joy so evident here as a sign that God is with us.
Shauna studied education, literature and drama at McGill University, and holds a certificate in Pastoral Counselling. She is in the Master of Divinity program at Trinity College, where she also serves as Head of Divinity. At St. Anne's, Shauna coordinates and brings worship to our local retirement and nursing homes. She is involved in Sunday worship, and trains people who would like to try roles in Sunday worship.
In my ministry, in general, I care a lot about getting a clear and attractive message out about the gospel, and I find that this gets renewed all the time. I am amazed at how I find my experience to be one of proclamation and response. Most of my community involvements are through church -- I am a pretty churchy person. My passions are books and music -- all kinds of books, especially fiction that deals with character in a humourous way. My favourite writer at the moment is David Foster Wallace. My favourite opera right now is Philip Glass's Satyagraha.
I love the people and the energy of St. Anne's. It is a welcoming, honest, and interesting group of people. I also like the services: the music is wonderful, and the energy is great. I look forward to meeting you.
David Neelands is the Dean of Divinity at Trinity College. He teaches theology, and specializes in the writings of Richard Hooker and St. Augustine. David has served as the Interim Priest-in-Charge of a number of Anglican churches in Toronto. As Honorary Assistant, David assists at St. Anne's two Sundays each month by preaching and celebrating the Holy Eucharist. He also shares the leadership of study groups. David and his wife Mary have deep family roots at St. Anne's and enjoy renewing that connection.
As Director of Music at St. Anne’s, I am able to share my passion with the community by guiding the musical culture of the church. I say ‘guide’ as I am merely the facilitator for all things music at St. Anne’s, as everyone contributes musically each Sunday, even by raising their voices during their favourite hymns. My goal is to nurture the musical gifts of the church community and produce the finest music possible to praise God. I would love to chat with you if you feel you would like to be involved with the music program, whether singing in the choir, playing an instrument, or anything else. The choir is not exclusively for those who can read music-- beginners are welcome to join in, as long as you love to sing!
When not being musical, I love to follow sports, and enjoy watching a game with friends on TV or live. I played varsity hockey and baseball at York University, intramural basketball, volleyball and soccer, and always enjoy a friendly match of tennis or golf in the summer. You may also find me walking or playing frisbee with my border collie, Slade, or catching the latest musical theatre production in downtown Toronto.
I look forward to meeting everyone who walks through the church doors, as we continue to build this community even stronger through the years.
John-Luke has undergraduate and graduate degrees in music from York University, and has studied with Stephanie Martin, Robert Cooper, Lisette Canton, Karen Rymal, Michael Coghlan, and Raisa Nakhmanovich.
He has established himself as a music director for theatre production companies including Mirvish, Drayton Entertainment, Lighthouse Festival and Theatre Aquarius.
His compositions and arrangements have been performed by the San Francisco Opera Company, Canadian Opera Company, Pax Christi Chorale, Chorus Niagara and the True North Brass. Koerner Hall presented John-Luke’s arrangement of C. Hubert Parry’s oratorio Judith in May 2015, and will present David and Goliath and Mass in E Minor in 2016.
John-Luke is Assistant Conductor of Chorus Niagara, and his most recent positions include Vineland United Church (organist and choir director), and Hamilton Gay Men’s Chorus (artistic director & principal conductor).
As the Parish Administrator, I lead the administration and communications for St. Anne’s. I enjoy the amazing energy and creativity of the people in our St. Anne’s community. I appreciate the deep respect here for the continuity of past, present and future. You will hear my voice if you call the church, and I look forward to greeting you when you visit.
Mary Lou is a communications specialist, with extensive experience with local newspapers and volunteer organizations as an editor and writer. Her academic background is in Canadian history, and German Language and Literature. She is passionate about social justice issues. She is a member of the Diocesan HIV/AIDS Network, and has a special interest in environmental stewardship. Mary Lou is an active member of Rotary International and Girl Guides of Canada. A self-proclaimed "people person", she also loves gardening, reading, and swimming.