Our Minister: Rev. Jessica McCrae
Rev. Jessica McCrae joined Humbercrest United in 2011 after serving pastoral charges in Montreal and Ottawa and London Conferences. Committed to the work of renewal ministry, Jessica is working with Humbercrest to explore ways to grow, reflect our faith and continue to be a beacon of hope in this changed and changing world. She is very excited about the courage and creativity being embraced by the church and is looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us next!
In her free time Jessica enjoys writing, travel, knitting, and curling up with a good book or binge watching something on Netflix.
Our Music Director: Melvin Hurst
Humbercrest invited me to come as their Director of Music in 2004 after a twenty-three year tenure at Kingsway Baptist Church. And suddenly, I am going into my sixteenth year in this faith community!
My academic preparation includes an A.R.C.T. (Associate Diploma with the Royal Conservatory) in piano, a B.Ed. with Distinction (University of Sask.) and M.Mus. (University of Oregon, USA) in choral literature. This graduate degree included studies in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Our lives are enriched by time spent in another country. This was particularly true for me, as I had the good fortune to study with outstanding German musicians, notably Helmut Rilling, a scholar in the music of J.S.Bach.
The role of Music Supervisor for a School Board in Saskatchewan helped prepare me for teaching at the university level. I taught as an Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Saskatchewan and Queen’s University, Kingston.
For many years I was a Music Specialist with the Peel Board of Education, giving workshops for teachers in the area of music literacy, recorders, choral techniques and developing curriculum. In my final position at Nahani Way Public School we developed a music literacy program and were the first public school in Ontario to use English Handbells.
The Music Festival movement was always of interest to me. It was an opportunity to learn, to hear others and explore new repertoire. It was my keen sense of pedagogy working with teachers and children that led me to the art of adjudicating. I have been adjudicating festivals across Canada for many years and had the privilege of adjudicating the National Festival in Trinidad and Tobago….twice, both in February!
The congregation at HUC values the role of the Music Ministry, and it is a joy to work with our semi-professional choir. We offer a wide variety of repertoire, engaging professional musicians when needed. The three manual Casavant organ and Steinway concert grand piano are both a real asset to the music program.
Helping a congregation find their voice in a sacred space is a very enriching personal experience.
Child & Youth Coordinator: Meredith Gries
Meredith Gries is a graduate student at the Ontario Institute for
Studies in Education, in the University of Toronto. She has been a
part of the Humbercrest United community since her baptism. Her
Sunday School lessons focus mainly on the simplification and
explanation of Bible scripture, as well as discussions about the
Church seasons and Bible structure. Everyday examples which the
children and youth can relate to are used to make bible lessons more
accessible and understandable. In particular, there is a on focus
what can be learned from our weekly bible story, and how
our Sunday Schoolers can practically apply these teachings to their
day-to-day lives. Our Sunday School is interactive and informal, with lots of group discussions and questioning during the lesson. The children are encouraged to actively participate by generating and sharing their ideas with the group. We follow our discussion with fun, lesson-related crafts and games, where we touch base about our past week and hear about each other’s lives. We have a different
mix of kids every week, and newcomers are always welcome!
Our Office Administrator: David Drake
David Drake has been working at Humbercrest for over ten years and he is still surprised he’s working as a church office administrator. It was a job which came ‘out of left field’, however he has come to really enjoy it. There is always a variety of tasks to keep things interesting and there is a wonderful community of people. In a previous life, David had his own photography business, he still enjoys shooting Black & White film (yes film!) and processing and printing in his own darkroom.
Whether you are curious about attending Sunday morning worship, or are looking for a venue for your wedding or recording project, please call or email David. Or just drop by the church during regular office hours.
Our Evening Custodian: Besnik Gjunkshi
Besnik Gjunkshi is our very reliable and friendly evening custodian. Four evenings a week he can be found either monitoring the East Door or taking care of the grounds. Besnik and his wife own the wonderful Europasta, which provides catering to many Humbercrest events.
Our Cleaner: Sam Walters
Sam Walters and his team of S6 Cleaning have been with us for over a year. Things are looking spic and span around Humbercrest! Sam is a pleasure to work with- he always has a smile on his face and he’s got lot’s of energy!