Minister: Lee-Ann Ahlstrom
Lee-Ann has provided leadership in congregational ministry since 1997. She is a Recognized Designated Lay Minister (D.L.M.), a Spiritual Director and an educator. She is a candidate for ordained ministry and has returned to Emmanuel College on a part-time basis, to complete her Master of Divinity.
“As a Minister and Spiritual Director, I feel that my job is not to tell people what they should believe, but to help them articulate what it is they do believe and to notice if that belief is helpful, life-giving and liberating. The opportunity to journey with people through life’s celebrations, challenges and transitions is both a privilege and an inspiration. Each person is a story to be heard and a treasure to be discovered. ”
Lee-Ann feels called to be in community with others who want to grow, heal, wonder, create and act courageously to make the world a kinder and more loving place. Her great passion is to help people of all ages discover their own spiritual gifts and capacities, to connect with their own inner calling, and to find deeper meaning and purpose in their lives.
Whether walking the labyrinth, leading small groups, telling stories or creating programs, Lee-Ann enjoys any opportunity to be creative and imaginative. She also enjoys combining her interests in psychology, teaching and theology to explore more deeply the human story and our role in honoring the sacred gifts of life and all creation.
Music Director: Michael Smith
Michael first joined Northlea United Church Choir in 2009, while a student at Leaside High School. He went on to study music at Oxford University, whose vibrant choral culture enamoured him with ensemble singing. Upon his return to Toronto in 2012, Michael rejoined the Northlea choir as tenor section lead, while pursuing a degree in Mathematics and Finance from the University of Toronto. Although his professional focus has shifted, Michael remains a dedicated musician and singer, eager to share his musical skills and insights with the Northlea community. Michael enjoys spending time at the cottage, reading the news, and playing with his only slightly overweight cat, Juno.
Administrative Coordinator: Barb Ferguson
Barb always has a warm greeting for members and visitors, and makes sure everything runs smoothly. Her office is the central hub of the church, and is always busy. Barb works closely with the congregation, the council, the community and other staff to support Northlea’s mission – Love God, Connect with others, Nurture the spirit, and Serve the world.
Facilities Manager: Robert Pringle
Robert is the longest-serving staff member, having been our Building Manager since 1985. He works with the Property Committee and looks after the day-to-day operation of the church’s physical property. He also coordinates the use of the church facilities. Robert’s expert renovation and cabinetry skills can be spotted all over the church. Robert and his wife, Heather have two children, and Robert’s really big pickup truck can often be seen in front of the church.
Children & Youth Co-ordinator: Kim Stanbury
Kim grew up just north of the city in Richmond Hill before she headed off to Laurier/Nipissing’s joint concurrent education program in Brantford where she graduated from in 2010. She spent some time traveling and supply teaching in London, England before returning to Toronto and starting work as a Nursery School teacher. She has spent many summers working with children at various Christian camps. Kim loves playing soccer, spending time with her family at the cottage, and her Beagle-German Shepard mix, Tucker.
Children & Youth Music Specialist: Daniel Stefan
Daniel is originally from Newmarket, moving to Etobicoke to study music at Humber College graduating in May 2016. While in school he also taught in classrooms, gave private lessons, and worked at summer camps; helping individuals incorporate music into their daily lives in which ever way works best for them. He enjoys a good conversation so don’t be afraid to come over and say hi!
Northlea United is governed by the Church Council which is comprised of:
Chair – Brenda Burton
Secretary – Sue Earl
Treasurer – Andrew Steeves
Past Chair – John Donelan
Mission Coordinator – Marnie Pheonix
Any of these people can be contacted through the church office.
Northlea also has a Board of Trustees, Ministry and Personnel Committee, a Toronto Southeast Presbytery Representative and United Church Women Group.