The AbbeyChurch Vision team is charged with holding the vision. In addition to our clergy - the team includes some amazing leaders: Catherine Pate, Nancy Walker (DLM/UCC), Cornelia van Voorst, Brendon Neilson, Kirsten McMenamie, Jesse Robertson, Margot Spence, EC, Marilyn Gough, EC and Chivonne Graff.
The AbbeyChurch is also shephereded at arms length by the Chapter (governing body) of the Emmaus Community and supported by our denominational visitors (UCC and ACC), who connect us with our wider denominations.
The Rev. Matthew W. Humphrey, EC (he/him) - Priest. Matt is a writer and educator who lives, works, and plays on Songhees territory, in the Cecilia Creek watershed, (Victoria, BC). In addition to his work for the AbbeyChurch, he works part-time for A Rocha Canada, a faith-based environmental organization and serves the St. Matthias Anglican. He is a priest with the Anglican Church of Canada. He is married to Roxy and shepherds three young children, a brown Labrador, a cat named after Wendell Berry, too many books (too little time) and an imagination for the Kin-dom of God encountered in place. Matt also founded and co-leads the Wild Church element of our ministry.
The Rev. Meagan Crosby-Shearer, EC (she/her) - Priest. Meagan has a rich and varied life experience. Born in Victoria, she has a passion for creative liturgy and prayer, social justice and engaging ways of telling our faith story. She has been involved in musical theatre, gospel choirs and loves reading and the beauty of the West Coast! She served in the Philippines for a year as an ‘ecumenical-intern-in-mutual-mission’ with the United Church of Canada. She is trained as a Registered Nurse and is a priest in The Anglican Church of Canada. She also serves at St. Matthias Church. She a mother to Amaya and Zion.
The Rev. Rob Crosby-Shearer, EC (he/him) - Priest. Rob has worked in vocational Christian ministry for the last 20+ years. He's has been founding part of the Emmaus Community and Jeremiah Communities (New Monastic) and lived for 5 years in Zacchaeus House, a Catholic Worker community house of hospitality. He served as music director at the campus-based Wine Before Breakfast, was National Youth Coordinator with PWRDF, directed the the Nidus Festival with the Canadian Council of Churches in 2006, worked in campus and congregational ministry in the Anglican and United Churches of Canada, was involved for over a decade at Parkdale Neighbourhood Church (a Baptist ‘street church’ in Toronto now called “The Dale”). In addition to being with Emmaus Community and the AbbeyChurch , Rob is also the Regional Minister for Church Planting with the Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church, where he helps steward 14 new church plants, and helps out at St. Matthias Church as well. Rob is ordained as a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada. He has co-owned an organic bakery, made all kinds of music, loves hiking, urban walking, nordic noir mystery books and shows, brewing beer, cooking and coffee! He is a daddy to Amaya and Zion and spouse to Meagan.
Rev. Katherine Brittain (she/her) - United Church Minister. Katherine has been an Ordained Minister in the United Church of Canada for over 20 years. She grew up moving around BC, but most significantly on Vancouver Island. She returned to the Island in 2018, to serve a partnership between Sylvan United and Camp Pringle, after 20 years of ministry in Saskatchewan and Toronto. Although rooted in an orthodox expression of United Church theology and practice, she has a heart for worship and faith communities that grow from specific context and serve the needs of people who are searching for something beyond traditional Sunday morning, mainline worship. Katherine has served the United Church in rural, suburban and urban downtown congregations and sees this opportunity to work with the Abbey Church as an engaging adventure that will use many of the skills and gifts she’s honed over the years. She sees this partnership as an opportunity for creative and innovative ministry that is rooted in the traditions of both the Anglican and United Churches, to shape an expression of Christ’s church for this time and place. Katherine is married to Beth, and they are moms to Clare, age 8, Rachel age 6 and Benji the dog, our 5 month old pup. Katherine has loved making sourdough bread long before it was trendy, and mixes a mean cocktail.
Caroline Allen grew up in Tacoma, WA, and has always been involved in music, both sacred and secular. She was formed in the musical tradition of the Episcopal Church, and brings with her a great love of traditional hymnody and plainsong chant, as well as classical training in voice and cello. She's been a part of various choirs in the Episcopal and Anglican Churches since her childhood, most recently singing with the Christ Church Cathedral since moving to Victoria in 2018 to pursue an MA in Linguistics at UVic. Caroline has found deep joy and kinship worshipping with Abbey Church for the last year and a half, and is overjoyed to be joining the team as Music Coordinator!
Cornelia van Voorst is a contemporary artist with a studio practice in Victoria, BC, Canada. Her emerging theopoetic work through visual art, writing and speaking engages with how we think about war, trauma, good and evil, and the nature of love. Her role as Artist In Residence reflects a desire to explore what it means to have the artistic voice in conversation with theological and religious ideas within church life. Her hope is that we might learn how to see the Word beyond words that is manifest visually and materially in the world all around us. You can learn more about Cornelia and her art through her website www.vanvoorstart.com and find her on instagram @vanvoorst_cornelia
Benjamin Hertwig (he/him) is a writer and artist from Treaty Six, Edmonton, currently living and working on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh. His debut poetry collection Slow War was published in 2017 by McGill-Queen's University Press. He has offered writing workshops for inmates, veterans, and students across Canada.
[recent emeritus poet-in-residence] Céline Chuang (莊善寧) (she/her) is a diasporic settler, writer, and educator, who lives, forages, and agitates on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territory. You can find her on Instagram (@celinebythesea), on her blog, holy spit!, or as one of the hosts of Resetting The Table, a podcast expanding imagination around race, place, and faith in pursuit of collective liberation. Together with Benjamin Hertwig, she conspires, cozifies, and co-gardens from a corner in East Vancouver. They also write a column for Geez Magazine called Notes from Northern Turtle Island.
Children's Ministry Coordinator:
Anna E. is is our paid Children's Ministry leader - and she is supported by Cornelia V and Katherine B (see above). They are responsible for teaching and accompanying the youngest members of our community. These folks bring bring a breadth of leadership experience - and they share their passion for teaching our ancient stories of faith in creative ways, and accompanying children through the liturgy each week - and having a LOT of fun.
All of our staff are screened according to the policies of the Anglican or United Chuches, including vulnerable sector background checks for those working with vulnerable people.