Summer Preaching Series



May 28 – Oct 1, 2017

The Summer Preaching Series is an opportunity for the Canadian Memorial community to be fed by a rich and diverse group of guest preachers; a lovely blend of old friends and fresh faces. June features preachers who once served and were formed by this congregation. The summer months are a beautiful mix of current staff and recent graduates. In September we welcome the best from the faculty of the Vancouver School of Theology. Expect each week to hear from a new voice while our capable ministry team (Lonnie Delisle, Chris Boyle, Danica Black) continues to hold our common life.

The impetus of the Summer Preaching Series is the sabbatical of our Lead Minister Rev. Beth Hayward. Her time away will include time for rest, renewal, fun and a whole lot of walking. She will journey to her ancestral home in Scotland and to the churches she first served in ministry in Newfoundland. Beth will return to our community in October ready to jump into another faith filled year.

A huge word of thanks to Jennifer Kelly for the hard work of lining up this rich list of preachers.


May 28: Rev. Dr. Ken Wotherspoon

The Rev. Ken Wotherspoon was minister of Canadian Memorial United Church from September 1973 to December 1994. He considered our congregation a ‘wonderful flock to shepherd’ and said it was ‘a joy to live among them’.

Ken also served churches in Saskatchewan at Central Butte, Biggar and St. Martin’s, Saskatoon. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, his Bachelor of Divinity from the United Church’s St. Andrew’s College at the U of S and his Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Ken was one of the founding members of the Vancouver Police Foundation in 1976. It was established to foster the vital link between the police and the communities they serve, through programs and initiatives that would not otherwise be possible within the regular operating budget of the Vancouver Police Department. Ken also served as Vancouver Police Chaplain for 20 years.

Ken and Shirley have four children, nine grandchildren and one great grandson and live in Hope, BC, where Ken often leads services at Hope United Church.

June 4 & 11: Rev. Sarah Fanning

The Rev. Sarah Fanning grew up attending Canadian Memorial United Church. She completed her post-secondary education in Ontario, and was ordained by Hamilton Conference of the United Church of Canada in 2001.

Sarah, her daughter, and her husband, John relocated to Calgary from Milton, Ontario in January 2012. She also was appointed by Calgary Presbytery as a Commissioner to the 41st General Council of the United Church held in Ottawa in August 2012. A committed preacher, Sarah is also a self-professed film geek, an avid knitter and cross-stitcher, and tries to integrate all of these into her ministry.

Sarah has served congregations in Thamesford, Don Mills, and Milton, Ontario as well as in Calgary, Alberta.

Sarah is married to the Rev. John Crowdis, and together they have two living children, Megan and Ian.

June 18: Danica Black

Danica has been the Minister of Children, Youth and Families at CMUC since the Fall of 2014.

Formerly a summer staff youth leader and coordinator at Naramata Centre, Danica brings a passion for creative children and youth ministry. Her vision is to provide a welcoming, radically inclusive, and playful space for younger members of the congregation to wonder, play, and form lasting friendships with their peers, while nurturing their connection to Spirit and the world around them.

Danica is on the Board of Check Your Head, a youth-driven not-for-profit organization focused on educating, activating and empowering young people to engage in social, environmental and economic justice movements.

She also works part-time supporting Youth and Young Adult Ministries in the Metro Vancouver region of the United Church, and this summer is the Leadership and Facilitation Consultant for Camp Spirit.

Danica grew up attending McDougall United Church in Calgary.

 June 25: Thank You For Being A Friend!

All-Music Service

Bring a friend to church as we sing our favourites and experience the best of the past year from the choir.

July 2: Rev. Christine Boyle

Christine joined Canadian Memorial in January 2016 as our Minister of Community Life.

Previously, Christine spent five years leading Strategic Communications at the Columbia Institute and their Centre for Civic Governance, and supporting the work of GreenJobs BC. She also initiated and coordinates The Self Care Project, and co-created Fossil Free Faith: Canada’s Interfaith Divestment Network.

Christine was part of leading conversations within the United Church toward their decision to divest from fossil fuels. In 2015 she traveled to the Vatican for events around the release of Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and the economy, and later that year attended COP21 as a national delegate of the United Church of Canada.

She has an MA in Religious Leadership for Social Change from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and completed her studies for Ordination at the Vancouver School of Theology.

Christine has a 13-year-old step-daughter and an almost-3-year-old son.

July 9 & 23: Frances Kitson

Frances is a student at the Vancouver School of Theology, having just completed the first year of her Master of Divinity, which gives her bragging rights for having the best degree name ever.

A native Vancouverite, Frances came to ministry after stints in professional theatre and construction safety, both of which have been invaluable for a career in the church. She has been attending the United Church of Canada since 2004 and Canadian Memorial since 2005.

July 16 & August 20: Rev. Rhian Walker

Rhian graduated from the Vancouver School of Theology in 2016 and was ordained that year. Rhian wasn’t raised with any formal or informal religion, so imagine her surprise to find she was on the path to ordained ministry shortly after the birth of her first child.

In her younger years, Rhian looked around the world and thought it was sacred. What she couldn’t wrap her mind around was not the beauty but the horror so often created. She explored many traditions – science, education and personal practice, some of which went well and some, well, not so much.

After serving with Trinity United Church, the Heartwood Café, and Lynn Valley United Church, Rhian is now working part-time for BC Conference. She is the mother of two children, and is a singer and poet.

July 30: Rev. Bethel Lee

Bethel Lee is the founder of Yoga Chapel, a ministry that affirms the wisdom that lives within the sacred stories of every culture, tradition and generation. As the spirit of each faith tradition is shared through its own storytellers, she says, we endeavor to be just one of the voices seeking to illuminate the Christian story for modern listeners.

A child of Seoul, Korea, Bethel has journeyed across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, but has always been a West Coast girl at heart. She lives in Vancouver with her soul-mate David and their son.

Bethel earned her Bachelor of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and her Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Canada and has been joining in worship with Canadian Memorial in recent months.

Check out her ministry at

August 6: Lonnie Delisle & Hannes van der Merwe

Lonnie Delisle is a seasoned music director, performer and conductor and has enjoyed leading projects with many celebrated musicians all over the world.

Along with directing music at CMUC, he is the Music Director of the Universal Gospel Choir, Music Director of the PALS Chorus and Artistic Director of the Delisle Vocal Project. Lonnie also takes on a variety of music director, tenor soloist, keyboardist and choir/voice coaching roles for live and studio productions.

Lonnie’s formal training includes a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from Western Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Trinity Western University.

Hannes van der Merwe is a professional photographer, specializing in Fashion, Editorial, Commercial, Architectural and Travel photography.

He studied Graphic Design and Photography at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in CapeTown, South Africa. Currently he’s able to combine his love for photography and travel by photographing hotels and cruise ships all across Western Canada. Between travels he gets the chance to focus on his biggest passion: photographing people.

Lonnie and Hannes were married in 2012.

August 13: Rev. Trevor Malkinson

Trevor grew up in Victoria, where he completed a double major undergraduate degree in philosophy and environmental studies at the University of Victoria, followed by a graduate degree in philosophy at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario. He graduated from the Vancouver School of Theology in 2016 and has been serving Rosedale United Church in Fraser Presbytery for the past year as candidate supply. He will continue there following his ordination.

A chef in his first life, now a theologian by trade, Trevor maintains a deep interest in food and in supporting the development of a post-industrial food culture. With a passionate interest in evolutionary spirituality, Trevor seeks ways for the Christian tradition to live anew within this emerging worldview.

Trevor and Sarah parent Zach and are part of the extended Olsen family of singers.

August 20: Rev. Rhian Walker

(see above)

August 27: Marie Paul

(bio on it’s way)

September 3: Rev. Dr. Richard Topping

Dr. Topping is the Principal of the Vancouver School of Theology and a big fan of Canadian Memorial and all the students that come to VST from here.

“I understand that the church in Canada has undergone decline,” says Richard, “The church that we have now is not the church that many of us baby-boomers grew up with. However, God is sending us students now who have never known Christendom and they have things to teach us.”

Richard received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from University of Waterloo, a Master of Arts in Theology from St. Michael’s University in the Toronto School of Theology and a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology from Wycliffe College, Toronto.

Richard taught at Presbyterian College (2001-2009) in the Montreal School of Theology at McGill University in the areas of Preaching, Pastoral Theology, Introduction to Ministry and Church, Ministry and Sacraments.

Richard holds the St. Andrew’s Hall Chair in Studies in the Reformed Tradition. He teaches in the areas of Introduction to Theology, Reformation History, Christian Spirituality and Reformed Theology of the 19th and Twentieth Century. He has also lectured at Regent College in the area of Theology and Proclamation. He has published in the areas of theological hermeneutics, homiletics, philosophy of religion, systematic theology and the theologies of John Calvin and Karl Barth.

September 10: Rev. Dr. Pat Dutcher-Walls

Dr. Dutcher-Walls is Professor of Hebrew Scripture at the Vancouver School of Theology. In addition to teaching, she is Director of the Library and the Dean of the School, providing administrative oversight to student programs and services, the Registrar’s Office and the Diversified Education programs, and the school’s relationships with sessional lecturers, guest lecturers, and other contractual teaching staff.

Professor Dutcher-Walls, through her publications and teaching, bridges scholarship for Biblical study both in the academy and the church. A life-long Presbyterian, she was ordained by the United Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1978 and now is a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. With a love of teaching, she has led numerous adult education courses, retreats, continuing education courses, and lay education courses. Recent presentations include topics such as “Biblical Narrative Spirituality,” “Prophetic Perspectives in the Old Testament,” and “Living the Ten Commandments.” She has been active in the church through preaching, social justice ministries, part-time congregational leadership, music and campus chaplaincy. She is married to a Lutheran minister and has two children, and enjoys reading science fiction and gardening.

September 17: Fall Kick Off Sunday

Join us for a lively, heart-opening worship. Followed by a delicious BBQ with vegetarian and meat options.

Find out about ways to become more deeply engaged in the life of CMUC in the coming year.

And, of course, sink into soul-full conversations among new and old friends.

September 24: Rev. Dr. Jason Byassee

Professor Jason Byassee, a minister of the United Methodist Church (USA), holds the Butler Chair in Homiletics and Biblical Interpretation at the Vancouver School of Theology. He also teaches historical theology with an eye to how the minds and lives of the saints can help renew the church’s life today. He also teachers about writing, discerning God in popular culture, technology, and theological conversation between Jews and Christians.

Jason Byassee studied at Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina, and received his Master of Divinity and Ph.D. in Religion at Duke Divinity School and University.

Professor Byassee believes that all teachers teach for that moment when students’ eyes come alive, when the penny drops, and they see things they couldn’t see before. “Jesus calls his students ‘friends,’” he has written, “and ever thereafter the line between teacher and taught has been thin indeed. I’m fascinated by how creative pastors and other faith leaders have to be to grow something in this part of post-Christendom North America.”

Dr. Byassee believes that the church is going to have to take back more of its theological and catechetical training from the academy where we’ve about ruined it.

October 1: Rev. Dan Chambers

Dan is the Minister of Congregational Life at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church in downtown Vancouver. He offers a passion to awaken and enliven faith through worship, serving and learning. After serving as interim minister for a congregation in Wales, Dan joined the ministerial team at St. Andrew’s Wesley in August, 2013.

Rev. Chambers’ was ordained in California in 1993 after graduating with a Masters in Comparative Religion and an M.Div. He has taught World Religions at a University in Southern California and has served congregations in Santa Ana and Berkeley, California, West Vancouver and Pontypridd (Wales).

For sanity, he enjoys exercise, cooking, movies, live music, friends and after 16 years, still marvels at the vibrant beauty of Vancouver.

Incredible Commuter Challenge!

Last Sunday 72 CMUC-ers took part in the national Faith Commuter Challenge, walking/busing/biking/carpooling/scooting a total of 462km to get to and from worship.

Compared to everyone driving solo, we as a congregation saved 35L of fuel from being burned, and kept nearly 70Kg of Co2 from being released into the atmosphere.

Plus, for what it’s worth, we burned 8871 calories. While getting outside and connecting with others on a beautiful sunny morning. 

You can read blog posts from other Faith Commuter Challenge sites on the Greening Sacred Spaces blog. Including this great post from our local friends at Salal + Cedar Watershed Discipleship about the Bike Blessing they hosted at Christ Church Cathedral.

Keep up the good, green, efforts.

All Music Sunday

You don’t want to miss this: All Music Sunday

This Sunday, June 25th, we celebrate friendship and song with a powerful, faith-filled, possibly even rockin’ morning of music. It’s a great week to bring a friend or neighbour to church. And a week to not miss yourself.

Looking for a little more inspiration?

Here’s the choir singing Love Train last year!

Want to invite a Friend? Not sure how you’d go about inviting a friend to church? Here are some simple tips:

  1. Make the invitation low-pressure. “I’m not sure if you’re free, but…”
  2. Tell them why you like it here. “The community has been so supportive of me… The music is better than I expected… The preaching is powerful…”
  3. Make it personal for them – connect it to why you think it might be a fit. “I know you’ve been a bit lonely lately… I know you grew up in a church that doesn’t work for you anymore…”
  4. Respond to concerns. Honour people’s real worries about whether they would be welcome, what they would wear, whether their kid might be too noisy, what they would say to others, ect. Listen, and respond with both love and helpful information.
  5. Offer to go together, or meet them out front. Even if you know someone there, it can be intimidating to walk in alone. Particularly for folks who have had bad church experiences in the past.