Profiles – DUCC



There is really no “typical” diaconal minister.  They are: young and old, women and men, urban and rural, gay/lesbian and straight, retired and employed. Diaconal Ministers are working in congregations, theological education, community ministry, youth ministry, church administration, women’s centres, intentional interim, university and prison chaplaincy, justice education and advocacy.  Many give generously as volunteers.

A few profiles are featured here as a sampling of the community.  Links to more detailed profiles are below.  Please, add your profile to the site.  It will help share the rich diversity of diaconal ministry and it is a great way to celebrate the community.

To submit or revise your profile, click here.

“Diaconal ministry is a model of ministry that embraces a strong commitment to lay involvement. I have chosen to work on the edge of the church encouraging a diaconal style of ministry for all people.”

Terrie Chedore’s diaconal ministry is lived out as a Liturgical Artist in Ottawa. ( Studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Ottawa School of Art along with a diploma from the Centre for Christian Studies have prepared her for this work. Working in the broader community and with congregations she assists with Palliative Care Training and leads art-based workshops on grief and to explore spirituality and liturgical art. In her work she is learning that using simple art activities can reveal deeply hidden beliefs that prevent people from moving forward. Through the art people find transformation. After an experience in Palestine/Israel as a CCS student, Terrie continues to educate on conflict in the Middle East through presentation. To read more.

“The diaconal community offers accountability for growth-oriented and prophetic questioning, non-hierarchical inclusivity, consultative collegiality, mutuality in accompaniment and I continue to long to be officially a part of this kind of ongoing, intentional feedback and responsible discerning.”

Ted Dodd is an educator, engaging his playfulness and depth to nurture and challenge people to learn and grow.  After 23 years as an Ordained Minister he switched his ministry designation and in 2003 he became a Diaconal Minister.  A special program through the Centre for Christian Studies, Winnipeg, where Ted is a member of the Program Staff, was one part of his preparation for the switch. A rich breadth of experience was the other source.  His experiences include: youth ministry, social justice animation, drama, curriculum development, ministry formation teaching, scholarship and writing, and liturgical leadership. To read more

“The hymn ‘Mother and God’ [by Miriam Therese Winter] describes the whole theology of Diaconal ministry.  There is  warmth, movement, feeding and healing life in that image. I love mother images about giving life. They are a source for growth and healing.”

Yoon Ok Shin was working for a women’s Hot Line in Korea when she participated in an exchange with a group of Canadian diaconal students. It was a life changing experience and trusting that, “God is working in our hearts to shape a new tomorrow: God will always challenge and provide!” she immigrated to Canada to serve the Korean United Church in Calgary and begin diaconal studies.  While being an important leader in the Korean church community through volunteer roles, since commissioning in 2000 her ministry has been in rural prairie congregations. To read more

“I was in awe of the toughness, courage and creativity of the Deaconesses who preceded me and who created an identity and a place for diaconal work within the community and the church.”

Mary Anne MacFarlane entered Diaconal Ministry as a Deaconess in 1973.  Her scholarship and analysis of diaconal history are significant contributions. Creativity and skill with words and many art forms are evident in her long success in producing educational resources for children and adults for the United Church.  Now in congregational team ministry in Sarnia she is using her skills in ministry with seniors, community outreach and in facilitating change for the future.  To read more …

 “I use my education and training from the Centre for Christian Studies every day training volunteers, co-facilitating a regular group for supporters of survivors of sexual violence and initiating new programming.”

After 6 years in rural pastoral ministry Diaconal Minister Joan Tuchlinsky responded to a long felt call to a social work ministry by becoming the Public Education Manager at the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region. Coordinating an innovative program called the Male Allies Against Sexual Violence for the last 5 years is one of her most rewarding ministry experiences.  The program provides an opportunity to be creative, collaborate and involved in social change in the community.  To read more

“I see ministry at work every day in the hospital, and it is not just chaplain to patient, but in how the community works together, how they care for each other, and how they live out their spirituality in their everyday lives.”

Mark Laird is a candidate for diaconal ministry with a goal to be commissioned in 2015.  While undertaking part time studies at the Centre for Christian Studies, Mark is a student minister at a 3-point rural pastoral charge in Caledon, Ontario. His Clinical Pastoral Education course in a Toronto hospital is broadening his understanding of diaconal ministry.  One role model for his ministry is his mother, Anne Laird, a diaconal minister in Alberta.  To read more