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.


Hillary Van Spronsen,

Associate Minister

Pronouns: she/her

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.


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.


Donna Williams,

Music Ministry Coordinator

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.


Ilinca Poon,

Family Ministry Coordinator

Pronouns: she/her

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. 


Facility Administrator

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.