On behalf of the Maple Grove Search Committee, I am excited to announce that Reverend Kerry Stover, M.Div has been called to be the next spiritual leader of our community of faith. Kerry comes to us with a wealth of experience both in ministry and in the private sector. A lifelong member of the United Church, Reverend Kerry is a graduate of the respected Masters of Divinity (“M.Div”) program at Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. Most recently he has been responsible for the “Fresh Start” program at Kingsway-Lambton United Church in Etobicoke. He will be joining us on or around October 1, 2020 upon completion of his current call.
Prior to meeting with us, Reverend Kerry did extensive research on Maple Grove to develop an understanding of the priorities of our community of faith. We have shared interests in social justice, outreach, theology, music and the evolution of the church.
The Search Committee found Reverend Kerry to be a compassionate individual with an insightful and engaging style.
When asked about Reverend Kerry, his former congregants and mentors had this to say:
- “Any congregation would be extremely blessed to have his skills and passion and experience as part of their team. Kerry is a great leader within our denomination.”
- “Any congregation that would have Kerry as their minister would be very blessed. He has gifts in so many areas of ministry which makes him an ideal candidate.”
- “… yes, in a snap he would love to work with Kerry again. Anybody who called Kerry is lucky. He is a well-rounded individual and in his previous life he was a team leader in corporate world.”
Asked about joining our Maple Grove community, Kerry had this to say:
Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to God’s purpose.”
Dear Maple Grove Friends in Christ,
Greetings and blessings Maple Grove United Church! This is an unprecedented time, as some would say, and I am in total agreement. However, this pandemic did not deter the MGUC search committee as they continued with their task of searching for and interviewing potential ministers. Prayerfully and diligently the search committee focused on their task. I am blessed, humbled, and honoured to be called to serve in ministry with MGUC. Hopefully, in the coming months I will be able to meet the members and adherents either via ZOOM or through physically distancing, always practicing social distance practices. My hope is that we will be able to worship in our beautiful sanctuary in the fall, pending the local health authority and provincial guidelines regarding large group gatherings.
I was asked to provide you with a short snippet of my life; born in St. Thomas, Ontario and my formative years were in New Jersey, U.S.A. I returned to Canada, in the early 80’s, after my university days where I studied Industrial Engineering Technology. I worked in private sector manufacturing for many years with a focus on Quality Assurance, Production Management, and Information Technology. Fortunately, through many years with a international company, I was in IT Project Management, traveling to Germany and France and then on this continent to Mexico, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Michigan and the various locations that that corporation had in Southwestern Ontario. I lived in London, ON while I was working for the international corporation. At the end of my secular career I was employed by the hospitals in London as a Sr. Business Analyst and Project Leader. My home church was First-St. Andrew’s UC, in London, where I was a long-time member and serving on many committees and leading in social justice initiatives.
The love of God, Jesus and the Spirit in my life has been a focus for me. Choral music and solo singing have made my relationship with God strong although my ministry is focused on preaching that is relevant and social justice focused. The scriptures are a foundation of my faith and the good news of the gospels have led me to experience the goodness and not so good parts of humanity. Over the years I have been spirit-led to be involved in palliative care, feeding street folks, working with youth to accompany them with their faith journeys and reaching out to the marginalized and oppressed. My call to ordained ministry was just a few years ago, however, my secular life was about ministry and experiencing God’s presence amid everyday activities, even in the corporate world.
Excited and blessed, just two of the many feelings that I am flooded with to be called by MGUC. However, I know that your heart may be weary, so I encourage you to continue with your prayer life, reach out to your friends and neighbours, and know that God is with us. I am reassured at this time as in all times with these words from our United Church’s New Creed:
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.
Friends; May the peace of God be your peace, may the love of Jesus be the love you show, may the joy of the Spirit be the joy you know and may the world that God would see be found in each of us. (from More Voices, no. 222)
Rev. Kerry Stover (pronouns: he, him)