Vicki McPhee, Minister. Vicki started in July 2011 and is a diaconal minister who is currently working towards a Masters degree in Theological Studies. Vicki works with other staff and volunteers to provide spiritual nourishment to all the congregants of Symons Valley United Church. On a personal basis, Vicki loves to travel and learn about other cultures. She has been to a number of countries, including Zambia, India and Peru, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt.
Stephen Harper, Minister. Stephen is a husband, dog dad, minister and theologian, and feels privileged to be the second half of the ministerial “Dynamic Duo” at Symons Valley. He has an eclectic church background; Stephen grew up in the Alliance church, began his ministry career in the Pentecostal Church, was educated and served in the Baptist world and even got to spend a couple of years attending the Anglican church while living in London, England. He holds a doctorate from Golden Gate Seminary in San Francisco, California and has taught and written in the field of Practical Theology (click here for a PDF version of his book.) In his free time, he enjoys exercise, motorcycles, amd travel. Stephen tries to get out and enjoy time in the mountains as much as possible and on his days off can be frequently found in a Canmore coffee shop.
Karen Nell-Bennett, Choral Director. Karen is primarily responsible for leading our Worship Choir each Sunday. A proud Newfoundlander, she holds a double Masters degree in Music (Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance) from the University of Alberta. Since moving to Calgary she has been very active in the musical community, working with both community and church choirs for almost fifteen years. In addition to her leadership at Symons Valley, Karen is the Director of TransCanada Pipelines choir, TransCanada in Harmony, Director of the Westside Singers, Music Director of the Confederation Park Senior Choir and runs a successful piano and voice studio, KnB Music Ltd. When she isn’t leading folks in song, she enjoys reading and spending time with the feline trio that rule the roost at home.
Karen is also our Communications, Marketing & Community Engagement Coordinator. Making sure that our website is up to date, posting upcoming events and exciting news on our Facebook page and keeping the community well-informed is all a part of her day-to-day responsibilities. If you are interested in being kept ‘in the loop’ on all the vibrant programming available at Symons Valley please contact her via email.
Donna Williams, Instrumental Director. Donna is an expert at tickling the ivories of our grand piano each Sunday. She is a professional musician who works as an accompanist throughout the city. She collaborates with our Choral Director in the selection and preparation of music offered within the worship service. Donna is also available to provide accompaniment or vocal solos for wedding and funeral services.
Kathy Dion, Facility Administrator. Kathy is kept busy arranging bookings, rentals and use of the space within our church building. She works closely with the Property Management Committee to coordinate the use and rental of our building space. For any questions regarding rentals and facilities, Kathy can be reached by cell at (403) 404-1141 or by email. She available in person by appointment or during her regular office hours, Monday & Wednesday, 9:30am-12:30pm.
Matthew Taylor-Kerr, Youth Group Leader. This social and welcoming group meets during our 10:30 a.m. worship service, and also plan 1 – 2 monthly social events as well. They have had attendance of approximately 10 – 15 youth in the past year. Come check out our Youth group!
Essie Gaqui-Elefante, Office Administrator. Essie’s smiling face is what will greet you when you arrive in our church office. She provides administrative support to our ministry staff, as well as managing the office. Her office hours are 9:15 AM – 3 PM, Monday through Friday. For any questions on internal church administration, contact Essie.