Meet the Staff

The Rev. Dr. M. Jean Morris

Associate Minister, Pastoral Care
I was called to Grace in September 2012 as Associate Minister, Pastoral Care. It’s a role that sees me providing intentional and compassionate care for all the members of our church family. I support the prayer ministry at Grace and the pastoral work of our elders as they care for our large, vibrant, and diverse urban community. I also interact with our friends and neighbours who find their way to our doors seeking assistance.

As you might guess with a job description like that, my favourite part of my role is the people. I have the privilege of meeting one-on-one with people, sharing stories, and talking about what God is doing in our lives. Some of my story includes studying History and Politics at Brock University (although truthfully I played more basketball than I studied history!). I have a Master of Divinity from Princeton Seminary, as well as a Master of Theology and a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) from Vancouver School of Theology. I also have Advanced Standing in Clinical Pastoral Education.

I’ve served in many congregations, as a chaplain in a long-term care centre and as Moderator of the 131st General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada.

I am married to Matthew Vyse, a physiotherapist. We met in high school!

Romans 12:9-16 is a favourite piece of scripture

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.

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Roberto DeSandoli

Young Adult Ministry Coordinator
Being the Young Adult Ministry Coordinator means I plan and lead Youth Ministry, oversee Summer Sunday School, and support Sunday morning worship and Evening Grace services. I’ve also been tasked with creating a strategy to reach young adults in both outreach and engagement. My outreach work began this summer with a focused campaign of direct engagement and resource gathering for homeless youth in the Beltline.

I’ve been able to develop strong two-way relationships with many of Calgary’s homeless support partners including our neighbours at the 15th Avenue Youth Shelter. In my young adult engagement work, I’ve put together the Beltline Ministry Team, composed of some of Grace’s best and brightest young adult leaders to research programs, define best practices, and develop the capacity of individuals to support and sustain the initiative.

I started working at Grace on June 1, and this is honestly the best job I’ve ever had. I would have to say my favourite part is engaging in exciting and imaginative conversations will all kinds of different people about what the church is, where it’s been, where it’s going, and what God is calling it to be in the future.

I love running, cross-country skiing, and riding/tinkering with my motorcycle. I am also a lover of books and podcasts; I usually have several of each on the go at any one time.

Favorite Scripture:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. – John 1: 5

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Greta Bylsma

Pastoral Assistant
As a Pastoral Assistant, I work to support every aspect of the pastoral care ministry. Each year, I make hundreds of visits to members of the Grace family, and I support the Elders in fulfilling their pastoral responsibilities.

I’ve been working at Grace since 2011, and I have the great privilege of being involved in heart-to-heart conversations that lead to a deeper awareness of God’s grace and mercy in our lives. I have a Diploma in Rehab and MDN Nursing, and a BA in Leadership and Ministry. When I’m not at Grace, I spend my time puttering in my garden, reading or escaping to a cabin somewhere in British Columbia.

My favourite Bible verse:

1 Thessalonians 5:9,11: For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.

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Murdo Marple

Rev. Murdo Marple

Interim Pastoral Care Leader
Pastoral Care has always been one of the areas of ministry I have most enjoyed. At the heart of this ministry is the wonder of God’s presence blessing the one offering pastoral support as much and sometimes even more than the person being ministered to! Here at Grace, as Interim Pastoral Care Leader, I have the privilege of sharing in this ministry as part of a gifted ministry team.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree from St FX University, and a Bachelor of Divinity from Knox College. Prior to retiring from active ministry in 2010, I served the Church for 39 years in congregational ministry. I started my ministry here at Grace on November 15, 2017.

Beyond my role at Grace, I’m married to Marie, a nurse, and we have three children who all live in the greater Vancouver area. Marie and I have one grandson, whom we’re delighted to see just about every day on FaceTime. When we have free time, we enjoy heading to the mountains for snowshoeing or hiking.

One of my favourite passages of scripture is Micah 6:8

He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

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Cindy Stephenson

Coordinator of Volunteers, Interim Operations Director
I’ve been the Coordinator of Volunteers at Grace since the summer of 2014. My honour is to bridge the gap between projects and people, helping the wonderful people of Grace find places where they can serve and share their gifts. I have to say that I’m consistently amazed by the kindness and generosity of our community. What makes that job especially delightful I get to connect with individuals and learn more about who they are, what their gifts are, and what brings them joy.

My background is Chemical Engineering, but I’m happy to say that these days more of my time is spent horseback riding, walking my dogs, and gardening. Robin and I were married in December 2016, and both of us have kids – although our kids are mostly adults now.

Some words of wisdom I try to remember are
I am a child of God, and God’s got it all figured out.

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Joanne Kellough

Interim Coordinator, Sunday School
I worked for a time at Grace between 2009 and 2014 and more recently rejoined the team in July 2017 as the Interim Coordinator, Sunday School. In my role, I organise and work with the Sunday School, assess curriculum and evaluate Sunday School programs. I also help lead teacher training, and integrate children into worship services. It’s a job that keeps me asking questions and learning new things. That constant learning may be my favourite part of the job.

I’m married to Ryan, and mother of Irene and my favourite way to spend a weekend is hanging out with the two of them. Give me a little more than a weekend to work with, and I’m delighted to get in the car and head to 100 Mile House (where my family is) or Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula – if you haven’t been I highly recommend it, even the drive to get there is beautiful.

Some words I try to live by were written by Corinne Willerth

Blessed are they who are flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape!

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Susan Woodward

Music Director
I’m the Music Director at Grace and have the pleasure of directing the Chancel Choir and Tinnitus Handbells. I also coordinate guest musicians and soloists and work with the ministry staff each week to select music for worship.

The best part of my work at Grace is the people. Rehearsals for the Choir and the Bells are a gathering of friends. We share a love for music, share time together, and quite often share food as well! And the members of our music ministry teams are only a small portion of the great people I get to connect with. I have degrees in music performance and teaching, play multiple instruments, and love ABBA, but I’m not all music all the time. I also enjoy hiking, skiing, and golfing (poorly). I’ve been married to Bill for 32 years, and we have two children.

My favourite Scripture is:

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. – Matthew 7:12

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Donna Holoboff

Sitting on the Organist’s bench at Grace, I work with the choirs, vocal and instrumental soloists and groups as well as the music director to bring our grand pipe organ to life each week during worship. I had been subbing as an organist at Grace, but in 2000 became Grace’s “summer organist.” I continued filling in during the summers until 2014 when I was contracted by Grace, and I’ve been here since.

I love the sounds that I can create with Grace’s Casavant pipe organ. My practice time is a creative time. I have a Bachelor of Education in music with a double major in piano and organ from Minot State University, and a Bible/Music Degree from Prairie Bible College. I teach piano and am a member of several professional music organisations.

I’m a hiker and enjoy time in the mountains admiring God’s handiwork. I also do a lot of gardening, which I find very therapeutic. I have two married sons and five grandchildren (one of which has me listening to a band called Muse – not bad!).

I encourage my piano students to “Always do your best.” It’s a motto I try to adhere to as well.

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Tyler Williams

Communications Coordinator
As a Communications Coordinator, I work to organise and produce materials that meet the communications needs at Grace, including branding, digital and print design, social media, website maintenance, marketing, advertising and public relations. It’s a big job, but it’s a lot of fun.

My role boils down to helping Grace to tell their story. The best part of that is connecting with so many people and hearing their excitement as they tell me what they’re up to. The different ways people find to live their faith and show grace to others, inspire me.

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking and painting. In July 2017, my wife, Jessica, and I were blessed with a beautiful little girl, and I’m working hard to learn this new role of “dad.”

Words of wisdom:

The world is indeed full of peril, and in it, there are many dark places; but still, there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.

– R.R. Tolkien

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Lorna Thomson

Office Administrator
In my role as Office Administrator, I provide executive assistance to ministers and the Operations Director, including preparing correspondence, booking meetings and coordinating music and reception details for events. I also create the worship bulletins and inserts each week.

The longest serving staff member at Grace, I’ve been working here since May 17, 2005. I have the honour of working alongside some great colleagues, and I enjoy creating an attractive and accurate bulletin each week. I’m an avid quilter and gardener and love hanging out with my little grandson.

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Cindi Banman

Administrative Assistant
If you call Grace during the week, it’s often my cheerful voice you hear on the phone. As Grace’s Administrative Assistant, I support the office in many ways such as keeping official records accurate and current, posting sermons and bulletins on our website, and helping out my coworkers.

Since starting my role at Grace in 2015, I’ve been continuously honoured by the invitation to participate with the congregation in their ongoing commitment to love and care for one another. It is a blessing to observe and support the stunning number of Grace volunteers as they pursue God’s direction found in James 1:22 “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.” Outside the office, I enjoy hiking and biking, scrapbooking and most recently attempted quilting. Greg and I moved from Vernon, BC to Calgary, AB in 2003, have been married since 2004, and now have two wonderful adult children.

Favourite words of wisdom:

Live Simply; Laugh Often; Love Much.

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David Telfer

Building Supervisor
I’ve been the Building Supervisor since April 2017 – maintaining the building, monitoring security, and cleaning up the property – but my history working at Grace goes back further. In 2013 I was a Summer Student, and from 2014 to March 2017 I was the weekend facilities person.

In my time here at Grace, I think I’ve most come to appreciate the community engagement and the meaningful support provided to the less fortunate in the neighbourhood. My role has allowed me to be a part of that work, and I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with many of the people who frequent the area.

To this place, I bring a love of reading, writing, and hiking, and I’m also pleased to say I also bring some pretty classy musical taste. If you see me out shovelling or cutting the grass you might have to speak up – I might have some Beethoven, Elton John, or Ella Fitzgerald filling my ears with sweet sounds.

One of my favourite quotes is “To err is human, to forgive divine.” – Alexander Pope

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