Symons Valley United Church is going through an exciting time and hiring new people to join our ministry team. We are a growing church, and we look forward to having a new Minister for Community Engagement, Family Minister, and Choral Director join our current team in the coming months.

Vicki McPhee,

Lead Minister

Pronouns: she/her

Vicki is a diaconal minister with a Masters in Theological Studies and began serving at Symons Valley in 2011. Vicki is married and is Mom to three young adults, one teenager and two dogs. She was called into ministry when her youngest was three years old. After five years of ministry education & training through The Centre For Christian Studies in Winnipeg, MB, she was Commissioned in 2012. Vicki loves to travel and learn about other cultures. She has been to many countries, including Zambia, India, Israel/Palestine, England, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Mexico, Peru, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. She has led several study/exposure tours for youth and young adults as part of her ministry. Vicki also loves to read, quilt and go to movies.

Email: vicki@symonsvalleyuc.com

Rev Hillary Van Spronsen Associate Minister-of Symons Valley United Church

Hillary Van Spronsen,

Associate Minister

Pronouns: she/her

Symons Valley United Church welcomes Rev. Hillary Van Spronsen  (she/her) as our new Associate Minister. Rev Hilary will start her ministry with us on September 1, 2022.

Rev. Hillary Van Spronsen is an ordained minister in The United Church of Canada with a Masters of Divinity degree from Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, NS. and B.A. in Child and Youth Studies from Brock University, St. Catherine’s, ON. 

After serving two congregations in corporative ministry in Southern Ontario, Hillary was ordained in 2018 and accepted a call as Coordinating Team Minister to what was then St. Andrew’s United Church and Regional Ministries, Calgary AB. After several years of service, Hillary was integral to the amalgamation process between St. Andrew’s and Deer Park United Churches, now formally known as Fish Creek United Church. 

Hillary comes to Symons Valley with a passion for pastoral care and engaging individuals on the journey of life. She is passionate about community engagement, supporting lay leaders and ensuring faith communities are inviting for all individuals of all ages on their faith journey. She brings previous experience in working with The United Church’s The GO Project, and participation at General Council and Rendez-vous. 

Hillary and her partner have one child and a dog. She enjoys camping, baking, crafting and cheering on the Calgary Stampeders.

email: hillary@symonsvalleyuc.com

Essie Gaqui-Elefante,

Office Administrator

Pronouns: she/her

Essie’s smiling face is what will greet you when you arrive in our church office. She provides administrative support to our ministry staff and manages the office. Her office hours are Monday – Thursday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. For any questions on internal church administration, contact Essie.

Email: essie@symonsvalleyuc.com

Donna Williams,

Music Ministry Coordinator/Collaborative Pianist

Pronouns: she/her

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.

Email:  donna@symonsvalleyuc.com

Aislyn Rickard

Student Choral Director

Pronouns: she/her

Aislyn Rickard is currently a student at the University of Calgary and is studying Music Education.  Once graduated, Aislyn hopes to work as a high school choral director as well as work with community choirs and teach private music lessons.  Aislyn plans on directing many choirs in her lifetime, and the Symons Valley Church Choir is the first!  The opportunity to gain experience as a choral conductor with such a fantastic group is Aislyn’s dream job, and she is very grateful for the opportunity.  Outside of music, Aislyn enjoys sewing, crocheting, and playing with dogs.  Aislyn is very excited to bring music to the community and spread positive messages to all who choose to listen.  

Ilinca Poon Family Minister Coordinator of Symons Valley United Church

Ilinca Poon,

Family Ministry Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her

Symons Valley United Church welcomes Ilinca Poon ( she/her) as our new Family Ministry Coordinator. She begins here work at the end of June 2022.

Calgary is Ilinca’s second home after being born and raised in Romania. Ilinca is a recent graduate of the Vancouver School of Theology with a certificate in Children’s. Youth and Family Ministry. She has worked with children and families for the past seventeen years in various settings and has volunteered with Girl Guides for the last seven years. 

 Ilinca enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons when she is not studying or working. Ilinca loves crafting, sewing, reading and the outdoors. One of her favourite things to do with her family is baking, raising various insects, and fishing. Ilinca will resume studies at VST in the Masters of Arts in Public and Pastoral Leadership this summer. 

 The Family Ministry Coordinator is a new position for Symons Valley, and we are very excited that Ilinca is now part of our Ministry team. 

Email:  youth@symonsvalleyuc.com

Wendy Procter, Facility Administrator, Facilities Administrator

Wendy brings to us 28+ years of administration experience  in public service, healthcare, education, and human resources for organizations such as Edward Jones, the Government of Alberta, and Alberta Health Services.  We are excited about her professionalism, organizational skills, and high level of initiative demonstrated throughout her career. In her personal life she enjoys gardening, quilting, reading, long walks and riding her e-bike. She also enjoys spending time with the grandkids and doing some travel.

Email: facility@symonsvalleyuc.com

Brad Lavenne,

Communications Coordinator

Pronouns: he/him

Brad works behind the scenes managing and supporting our digital ministry initiatives, including social media, videos, website content, and supports our Livestream.

Email: communications@symonsvalleyuc.com