Our Ministry Team

Rev. Jenni Leslie, Minister  

 

Jenni had two experiences of church growing up in Hamilton and Underwood near Lake Huron, – the Pentecostal bus that picked up the neighbourhood kids in Hamilton and the warm, traditional United Church in Underwood. At the University of Toronto (New College), while studying Urban and Economic Geography, Jenni heard a call to ministry through the accidental death of a friend. At Bloor Street United Church, she explored that call and eventually entered the MDiv. program at Emmanuel College also at the University of Toronto.

Jenni comes to ministry with an open heart, a deep sense of God-with-us, a passion for the Gospel message and a firm belief in the Holy Spirit working “in us and (all) others”. (The New Creed)

Jenni seeks to celebrate God’s presence in worship, in pastoral care, in weddings, funerals, dinners, coffee time and ‘where two or three are gathered’ in God’s name. Jenni brings questions to her sermons, not seeking to answer them, but to invite everyone to a deeper place where each can answer for them self, through faith. Having begun ministry with Kitchissippi at Amalgamation in October 2008, Jenni brings a continuity of leadership and a love of the people of Kitchissippi.

Jenni has boy/girl twins, who keep her busy with their questions and hypotheses, their activities and their lively, loving spirits.  If you would like to speak to Rev Jenni, please contact her through the church office – 613 722-7254 or at jleslie@kitchissippiuc.com. She looks forward to hearing from you.

 

Diana Brushey, Faith Formation Leader 

 

Diana Brushey, B.A., B.Ed., is a lifelong member of the United Church, an environmental educator with a specialty in outdoor education, and an accomplished singer (and member of the Stairwell Carollers). Her faith is deeply inspired by both scripture and creation, and she has a fiery passion for intercultural, interfaith and intergenerational sharing.

Diana has worked with students of all ages – including adult learners – and backgrounds. She comes to Kitchissippi United Church with a wealth of experience in the non-profit sector. She has worked for Tucker House, Faith & the Common Good, and the Peace and Environment Resource Centre. She has experience working on outreach initiatives for new Canadian children and at-risk youth; providing group facilitation with youth concerning mental health; and running an afterschool program for high needs children of diverse backgrounds and supporting their growth through intercultural enrichment activities. In Diana’s words, “I believe in building bridges, not building walls, and that we best do this by supporting each other in our learning journeys.”

Diana has developed and continues to deliver educational sustainability programs. She coordinates Country Fun Nature Camp, an “eco-ecumenical” nature day camp led by youth volunteers. She is passionate about the intersection of science and faith, theology and ecology, and teaching respect for our planet and all people. Her work has included the participation of students of all backgrounds, including those with special needs.  If you would like to speak to Diana please contact her through the church office – 613 722-7254 or at diana.brushey@kitchissippiuc.com.

 

 

Kirsten Gracequist, Office Administrator  

 

Kirsten Gracequist, B.A. is the front line of Kitchissippi United Church. A Sr. Office Manager with over 25 years’ experience in non-profit and small business. A resourceful, relationship builder able to effectively manage complex and sensitive issues.  Excellent interpersonal, organizational, communications and public speaking skills. Experienced resource person specializing in site management and group site rentals and bookings.  Experienced technical resource person with experience managing office computer networks, website, social media, database development and finance/accounting.

Kirsten is also a lifelong member of the United Church, an active Youth Leader, and a member and of the  Ottawa Presbytery Youth and Young Adult Committee. She is also Host Church Coordinator for Kitchissippi’s summer day camp program – Camp Awesome. Contact Kirsten at kgracequist@kitchissippiuc.com or by phone at 613-722-7254.

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Gavan Quinn, Music Director

 

Gavan brings a wealth of experience and versatility as a musician to his role as music director at Kitchissippi United.  An Ottawa native, Gavan received his A.R.C.T. diploma in piano performance before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in music composition at the University of Toronto., followed by a Master’s degree in voice performance at the University of Ottawa.

Gavan has sung professionally with the Elora Festival Singers, as a soloist in operas, oratorios and recitals, and his compositions have been performed at music festivals and on CBC Radio.  A devoted teacher, Gavan has also completed a Bachelor of Education at the University of Ottawa, is a member of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers’ Association and maintains a studio of piano, voice and theory students at his home in Ottawa. Gavan joined KUC in July 2014 and is thrilled to be a part of the team and church community.   For more information or to listen to some of Gavan’s musical performances, please visit www.gavanquinn.com.