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Celebration of Ministries Service

Quick links to sections on this page:

Celebrants | Jubilands | Retirees

Celebration of Ministry Service Livestream

The Celebration of Ministry Service was held at Quattro Hotel and Conference Center, in Sault Ste. Marie, on Sunday, May 5, 2024.

Guest speaker: The Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, 44th Moderator of The United Church of Canada
Chair of CSRC: Rev. Nancy Ferguson
Office of Vocation Minister: Rev. Kellie McComb
Pastoral Relations Minister: Rev. Rob Smith and Rev. Todd McDonald

Celebration of Ministries service bulletin – [ PDF |  pages ] –


In Their Own Words

2024 Celebrant Reflections

Reflections from our ministry candidates in advance of the Celebration of Ministries Service, to be held on Sunday, May 5, 2024.


Meet Our Celebrants

headshot of Rev. Lisa Blais

Photo Credit – Lisa Blais

Lisa Blais (she/her) – Commissionand

I am the Faith Formation and Outreach Minister at Trinity United Church in downtown North Bay. I am of Haudenosaunee (Mohawk), French and Scottish descent. I bring my love of community, passion for right relations and my joy for teaching to my work at Trinity and the wider church community. Some of the highlights of my job include the creation of a successful Vacation Bible Camp program, a Children’s Theatre Group, a yearly winter family retreat weekend and an active and vibrant Sunday School and Youth program. I am staff support for many groups and activities that take place at Trinity, including a busy Food Shelf program. I also currently serve as team lead on the Canadian Shield Regional Council’s Right Relations Resource Team.

I moved to North Bay in 2000 to attend Nipissing University to complete my Bachelor of Education. Shortly after graduating I began working at Trinity as a Staff Associate. I continued my  education attending the NEOS youth program at Five Oaks, as well as enrolling in the Licenced Lay Worship Leaders Course. I was recognized as a Designated Lay Minister in 2011. I consider myself to be a life long learner and enjoys participating in regular learning events.

I am grateful for the sustaining gift of reciprocity that comes from planting and nurturing the seeds of faith and watching them grow into new ways of being and understanding. I believe that our faith should never stop growing and evolving. I consider it a deep privilege to accompany people as they discover, nurture and develop their faith at all stages of their lives.

Rev. Tracy Davis headshot - photo shot by Mandy Gilchrist

Photo Credit – Mandy Gilchrist

Tracy Davis (she/her) – Ordinand

As I journey towards Ordination within The United Church of Canada, I am grateful for the ways I have been shaped by the nurturing embrace of several communities of faith. Baptized and raised within Emmanuel United Church in North Bay, I learned early on the profound significance of belonging and community found within a spiritual family. The steadfast support of Emmanuel’s Youth Group, provided me with strength and solace during difficult teenage years. Despite pursuing a career in social work and starting a family, the call to ministry tugged persistently. Inspired by my parents’ service as Staff Associates at St Andrew’s-North Bay, I found a beacon of guidance in their example of selfless devotion.

For 15 years, I served the compassionate congregation of St Andrew’s, contributing to team ministry and pastoral care, before transitioning to roles in hospital chaplaincy and Long-Term Care. Now, alongside my husband, I find myself once again in team ministry at Emmanuel United, where I am welcomed with open arms and a sense of belonging.

As Ordination approaches, I am filled with gratitude for the unwavering support of my faith community. My heart brims with eagerness as I envision the future of the United Church of Canada, excited to explore new avenues of creativity and openness to the Spirit, allowing us to serve and nurture in innovative and transformative ways.

headshot of Helen Smith taken by Amanda Quesnelle

Photo Credit – Amanda Quesnelle

Helen Smith (she/her) – Ordinand

I was born and raised in Little Rapids Ontario, the daughter of John and Peggy MacLean, with my sister Mary and a brother Peter.  Growing up in Little Rapids United Church I always felt welcomed and safe. Surrounded by family and friends I was nurtured and encouraged to discover my faith. Part of my Sunday School years included what was then known as “the New Curriculum” and it left an impact on my understanding of God and God’s world. I am married to Ray and we have two adult sons, Douglas and Richard. We have been pleased to welcome daughters-in-law Jammie and Amanda to our family. We are the proud grandparents to Emily, Leah and Macie who make sure life is never boring.

I have been active at Congregational, Presbytery, and Conference levels in many varied roles in The United Church of Canada. I graduated from Algoma University with a B.A. in History and English. I completed the Licensed Lay Worship Leaders program in 1998. In 2004 I began the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program at United Theological College in Montreal and completed that program in 2006. I was recognized as a Designated Lay Minister at London Conference in 2007. As an adult my family and I attended St. Andrew’s United Church in Sault Ste Marie. I  took a position as a Staff Associate at Willowgrove UC in 1999. In 2009 I accepted an appointment as the minister at East Korah Maxwell United Church and am still serving there.

In my mind, my call to ministry began the day I was baptized and evolved with each new opportunity that presented itself. It has been while serving as a minister that I truly discovered who I was meant to be.


Join us in celebrating the following ministers who have significant anniversaries of their entry into ministry in The United Church of Canada:  Jubilands List  (PDF | 1 page) – pending

55 years
W. Gailand MacQueen
Jack White
Peter Wyatt

56 Years
Robert Jackson
Douglas Joblin

45 years
Glen Eagle
Richard Thorne

41 Years
William Jones
Richard Smith

40 years
Lillian Roberts

35 years
William Mayoros

26 Years
Karen de Jong-Dermann
Susan Ivany

25 years
David McLeish
Laurie Stevenson
Carl Triskle

20 years
Norine St. Jean

15 years
Edith (Lynn) Heeley

5 years
Susan Peverley
Ryan Fea

Ministry Personnel Retirees for 2024

We celebrate the journey of those ministry personnel who have decided to retire in 2024.  Please join us in giving thanks for their ministry:



headshot of Brynn Carson

Brynn Carson 

Brynn Carson has had a very interesting career path that led her to ministry.  She began as a teacher and then she felt the call to ministry and spent four years in theology at McGill University and then due to family issues, she left and didn’t do her internship year.  While pursuing other life pursuits, she still felt a call to ministry and supplied in the Ottawa Valley.  When she moved to St. Thomas with new job, she continued to supply in the area around St. Thomas but she grew in her desire to enter ministry in a more intentional way and applied to go into the DLM stream.  She applied to various places and then she saw an ad from Porcupine United and this sparked her to apply because she always wanted to be in the north.  Since her family was from Timmins and her mother and grand parents were buried in Timmins she applied because they would accept a DLM student.  To her great surprise and pleasure after her interview and before she got back down south, they had checked her references and offered the job. 

For nine and a half years, Brynn was minister of Porcupine United and enjoyed every minute of her ministry there but due to health issues she was forced to retire.  She says if her health had held up she would still be there.  Brynn had a very positive ministry in Porcupine and during the pandemic, she phoned every member and adherent every week.  She had wonderful mentors throughout her journey with a couple of ministers and a rabi who she was able to reflect with and gain the strength and knowledge that she needed in her ministerial journey.  Some of her happiest moments were being a scout leader over the years and also as a scout chaplain.

Brynn was loved by her congregation in Porcupine and loved them back in return.  Her ministry to the youth and others will not be forgotten.