Our Minister: Rev. Kerry Stover
Kerry Stover, M.Div. has been called to be the 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.
Rev. Kerry was born in St. Thomas, Ontario and his formative years were in New Jersey, U.S.A. He returned to Canada, in the early 80’s, after his university days where he studied Industrial Engineering Technology. He 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, he 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. He lived in London, ON while he was working for the international corporation. At the end of his secular career he was employed by the hospitals in London as a Sr. Business Analyst and Project Leader. His home church was First-St. Andrew’s UC, in London, where he was a long-time member and served on many committees and led 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)
Director of Music: Deborah Henry
She not only has a great grin, and clearly loves to conduct singers, she also loves learning and teaching. She brings out the meaning as well as the musically when she conducts, and conducts the whole congregation in the closing blessing.
Music Director Maple Grove United Church, Oakville
Private Studio-Piano, Organ, History, Theory (all levels)
R.C.M. Examiner-Theory, History
Eran Rozen: Organist
Eran Rozen is a pianist, organist, conductor and singer-songwriter. He joined Maple Grove United Church in April 2016 and has been enthusiastically guiding its various choirs in song and praise since. Although Classically trained, Eran has established himself as a very theatrical performer, whether tickling the ivories with a Chopin prelude or belting out a rambunctious pop-gospel tune. As of September 2019, he will be directing the Koinonia and Cherub choirs. Eran also teaches private piano and voice lessons; his students occasionally perform during church services, and they have an open recital at the church twice in year, in December and June.
- Mus, M.Mus, A.R.C.T (piano), RCM Level 9 (voice)
- Private Piano Teacher (beginner – A.R.C.T. Theory included)
Bobbi-Jo Walker: Office Administrator
How did I get to Maple Grove? Thanks to my dear friend, Anita Nippard, I have been attending MGUC since 2003 and on Father’s Day in 2004 Rev. Morar, the previous minister, baptized our six children and me. We became members on that day and have since had the most amazing religious, personal and family experiences.
I now have over 420 wonderful children and counting! I love my church, I love my position and I love the members. Waking up in the morning to come to Maple Grove Church is a blessing that I look forward to every morning wondering who I will meet, greet and enjoy the company with today.
I have had the honour of filling the shoes of a wonderful woman, Margaret Holland, who, after 32 years of welcoming visitors, renters and colleagues, retired as Maple Grove’s administrator. Now I have the opportunity to meet and greet many people who visit and telephone Maple Grove United Church.
My most rewarding and exciting accomplishment has been raising six children with my husband and partner, Darrel Eddy, who has also supported and inspired me to learn the skill of Glass Blowing. As Darrel told me after our youngest daughter was born in 1998, “You need to get a new hobby!” In 1999 I went to Sheridan Institute of Technology for Glass Blowing to learn a “new hobby” and four short years later graduated with honours.
Previous Ministers and Leaders
Former Christian Education Leader: Andy King
Andy King, who died in late winter 2020, was our long-term Christian Education Leader. He facilitated our Sunday School classes, (Wonder Worship, LIGHT Connection, and Confirmation), the monthly Messy Church suppers, and Adult Education classes on the meanings of the Church Liturgical Seasons. He also conducted occasional church services and was a marvellous poet. We miss him.
Our Interim Minister – Harry Disher 2018 – 2020
Harry Disher, our Interim Minister was born and raised in and around Hamilton, Ontario. He was ordained by Hamilton Conference in 1977 and has served congregations in Nova Scotia (near the St. Mary’s River south of Antigonish), Eastern Ontario (Lyn, outside of Brockville and in Belleville) and Southwestern Ontario (London and Grand Bend). He remains active in ministry in retirement having trained as an Interim Minister and has served in that role for congregations in Exeter, London, and Ancaster, Ontario. He is also a trained Educational Supervisor for candidates preparing for ministry and a Spiritual Director. He is recently remarried to Diamond Fotiadis (who will be present at Maple Grove United on occasion), and has a daughter (from his first marriage), Jessica, living in Cambridge, Ontario. He enjoys golf, weekly exercise at any local gym, playing cards, visiting with friends, travel, and cryptic crosswords. He has recently (2016) produced a self-published novel “Clouds Over Okotoks” set in Alberta and revolving around the life of a young, up-and-coming rodeo star.
Retired – Rev. Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes, Former Senior Minister
After a long, rich ministry at Maple Grove United Church, Rev. Morar has retired from her ministry here and is now serving an interim post at Clarkson.
When Rev. Morar started at Maple Grove, women sometimes still experienced difficulty being accepted in ministry. However, at Maple Grove, Morar described herself as “happily wallowing in ministry with these faithful people.”
Morar said that at Maple Grove she experienced “a deeper level of ministry than I thought possible.” Anyone who has personally received Morar’s deeply compassionate caring and wise counsel will testify to what an inspirational, healing and encouraging ministry it is.
Retired – Dan Hynek, Former Director of Music
Dan Hynek, now retired from his time at Maple Grove, was twice MGUC’s Director of Music, a position to which he brought a lively attitude and passion.
Under his leadership, MGUC musicians and choir members were pleased to join congregants in worship through a variety of musical styles, ranging from classical to Gospel rock, and everything in between.