Meet our wonderful staff and volunteers who work with the children, youth and families here at CMUC:
*All staff and volunteers are fully screened with Police Record Checks and are trained in the United Church’s Child Protection Policy, Duty to Care
Tama Ward, Minister of Children, Youth and Families
Tama has an MDiv from McMaster Divinity College in Ontario and for the past 25 years has worked with both Protestant and Catholic communities to nurture creative and relevant connection for children, youth and congregations with biblical narrative. She joined the staff at CMUC in January 2018 and is excited to be a part of the open-hearted, open-minded vision of this dynamic faith community.
Contact: 604-803-1195 (text or phone), firstname.lastname@example.org (Email), @TamaWard (Twitter), Tama Ward (Facebook)
Mary Toth, Children’s Church Coordinator
Mary has been a part of the Children, Youth & Families team since February 2017, working with our youngest members. A certified Godly Play facilitator, she loves to wonder with the children about how the stories of our tradition speak to each child.
When not with the children at CMUC, Mary is teaching Roots of Empathy in a local school, coaching people to create lives that align with their values, or enjoying time with her own family. She’s passionate about peaceful parenting, mindfulness meditation, and the science of happiness.
Clarissa George, Nursery Supervisor
Clarissa is originally from South Africa, where she was a Preschool Teacher for 2- and 3-year-olds. Herself a mom of two small children, she enjoys working with the youngest churchgoers and their caregivers each Sunday in our Nursery and at coffee hour.
Stephen Tanner – Godly Play Volunteer
I believe that helping children build self confidence is a most important calling. It is a delight to me when children thrive through knowing they are being actively listened to and heard. I believe that encouraging and welcoming their stories, their problem solving attempts and their questions and curiosity is fundamental to the role of an adult mentor. As a parent of two independent and thriving adults, I welcome the opportunity to continue being a positive role model. I enjoy connecting with children through music, movement and random acts of mirth- making…I also enjoy encouraging quiet moments of reflection and communion. I believe that engaging in ritual and spiritual practices of many kinds is not at all lost on even the youngest of our children.
Joanna Brewster, Youth Group Volunteer
Joanna is passionate about working with youth to foster connection, confidence and mindfulness. She teaches a positive body image program, called Free to Be, to youth in Grades 5-8. This program teaches media literacy and body appreciation and gets youth thinking about their bodies in ways unrelated to appearance. She also teaches Girlvana classes, a program for girls 13-18, that uses Yoga as a tool to connect girls to their bodies and open conversation about a variety of topics. Joanna is also trained in Restorative Yoga, a practice that helps us slow down and restore our systems through specific yoga poses. She is passionate about sharing the benefits of restorative yoga in our fast paced lives and exploring ways in which we can disconnect from devices and connect to ourselves and others in a deeper more meaningful way.