Rev. Jeff Smith
Jeff is a proud Newfoundlander and the son of Bill and Betty Smith. For the first 8 years of his life, Jeff grew up in Dunville, Newfoundland near the American Naval base at Argentia where his parents worked. When the Base closed, the Smith family moved back to St. John’s.
Jeff attended High School at Bishop’s College in St. John’s. Afterwards, he went on to study at Memorial University attaining a B.A. Honours and M.A. in English Literature. During his M.A. program, Jeff felt a “calling” into ministry, having been an active member, board member and choir member for almost a decade in his home congregation, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. So, for the next 4 years, Jeff studied theology at Knox College in Toronto, part of the Toronto School of Theology at the University of Toronto. During the summers, Jeff finished off his M.A. degree in English and the required thesis. It was a busy 4 years, especially considering that Jeff’s thesis was in the realm of Shakespearean studies and there was a lot to read!
Jeff was ordained in 1990 in his home church in Newfoundland. In 1996, Jeff was drawn to the openness and inclusivity of the United Church and in 2000 was admitted to the ministry of the United Church through London Conference.
In the Presbyterian Church, Jeff has served congregations in Manitoba – Winnipeg and Stonewall and in Ontario – Sarnia and Puslinch. In the United Church, Jeff has served congregations in Ontario – Thedford, Sylvan, Sarnia, Waterford, Port Dover and Woodhouse.
Jeff values our ecumenical relationships and retains close connections with friends and colleagues in a variety of denominations. Jeff’s parents were members of Gower Street United and St. James United in St. John’s. Jeff’s grandmother and great Aunt were Presbyterian. Jeff’s maternal family are Anglican. In the United States, Jeff’s family are Roman Catholic and Lutheran. Jeff has found that the body of Christ is diverse yet wonderful! Over the last 5 years, Jeff has been a member of Inshallah, an ecumenical choir based out of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, committed to teaching people the songs of the global community.
Jeff has a variety of interests. Music has always been a love of Jeff’s and is what drew him into the church and into ministry. Jeff is a pianist and studied in St. John’s under Sylvia Lea-Morgan and Carla Furlong. For two years, Jeff took pipe organ lessons at Gower Street United Church. Jeff loves to sing and has been a member of many choirs. He has been a tenor in the Memorial University Festival Choir, The Knox College Choir, The Stonewall Community Choir, Pro Music (St. George) and Inshallah. Jeff loves music of all styles and eras, classical, traditional and contemporary and has too large a collection of music, both sheet and disc! During his time in Sarnia, Jeff took Watercolour lessons and loves to paint. Jeff also loves to read and has an extensive library. He especially enjoys Science Fiction. Jeff loves to watch movies. Jeff enjoys exercising in the gym or hiking a trail or just going for a walk. Jeff also enjoys spending times with his friends and family. Jeff’s cousin is a professor at the University of Guelph and Jeff looks forward to going to her girl’s hockey games and dance recitals.
Jeff considers himself above all else a “pastor” and enjoys it when the community of faith gathers for worship, fellowship or to help those in our community. Over the years, Jeff has been blessed by the friendships made in the congregations he has served. Jeff has also learned from the life stories and active faith of the many people he has served. Jeff believes that all of us have a ministry, all of us can touch those around us with the love, the acceptance and the compassion of God. Jeff loves the image of the church as the body of Christ, all of us are part of the body, all are valuable, and all are needed. Jeff’s favourite passage from Scripture comes from 1 John 4: 16, “God is love and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them.” Jeff’s favourite song comes from More Voices United, “Let us build a house.” Jeff especially loves the line, “Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter, all are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.”
Bev Killen – Music and Handbells Director
Bev has a Bachelor of Music (Honours) Piano Performance and a Voice Minor from the University of Western Ontario. She has been a soprano with the Eden Choir for several years, prior to taking on the position of Music Director. Bev has considerable choral experience, having sung in the Ontario Youth Choir for five years, 1975 to 1979 inclusive, the Stratford Youth Choir as part of the Stratford Festival 1980, The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for several years with Elmer Iseler, the Exultate Chamber Singers for 15 years with John Tuttle, and was a soprano soloist and section leader at Deer Park United Church for 23 years with William Wright. She has also taught voice and piano privately. When she is not singing or conducting, Bev works as a court reporter in Toronto.
Erika Archer – Property Manager
Erika is a graduate of both the University of British Columbia and Algonquin College. For the past 17 years before joining us at Eden, Erika has worked as a property manager.
Erika was born in Toronto. She is proud of her Italian heritage. Her life partner is Chris. They have two children, a daughter Emilia (Lia) and a son Alexander. In her spare time, Erika loves to cook. She also enjoys a game of bingo and spending time with her family. As a family, they love to play board and card games. Erika also has a love of music. For years, she sang in her Catholic school and church choir. She was also a back up vocalist in several bands.
Sharon Rowsell, Office Administrator
Sharon was born in Corner Book, Newfoundland and moved to Ontario in 1984 with her husband, Blair. Worked for a few years with a Mississauga Chrysler Dealership as a Sales Consultant. Then worked with a non-profit organization as their Event Coordinator for a number of years. After that, worked over 13 years as an Office Manager with Scouts Canada in their Mississauga Regional Office. Returned to the Chrysler Dealership for a few years as their Customer Relations Manager. Now have spent the last 6 years working at Eden United.
Catherine Ambrose, Organist/Accompanist
Catherine Ambrose has been the Organist/Accompanist at Eden for many years, working with a number of choir directors. She was the Junior Choir leader for a few years during which some biblical musicals were presented at Eden. A retired elementary music teacher, she is currently a member of the Mississauga Festival Choir and accompanist for community music theatre groups.
Vision + Mission
Gather, Grow, Go
Led by the Spirit, inspired by the Word,
as followers of Jesus Christ,
We strive to create a safe, inclusive, welcoming community where we can:
Gather in fellowship as we explore
Our personal faith journey
Grow in Faith, Love and Service
Go together into the world, reaching out to all people