A Community Exploring Faith, Seeking Justice, and Living with Respect in Creation

Office & delivery address: 165 Avenue Road, Unit 402, Toronto ON, M5R 3S4

Weekly Sunday Services on Zoom and in person at 10:30am at 729 St. Clair Ave. W

Staff

Reverend Douglas duCharme

Minister

Rev. Douglas duCharme has a rich experience in ecumenical, international, and interim ministry working with faith communities as they transition from what they have been to what, and who, they are becoming. He loves the stories and songs that come out as we discover the ways God’s Spirit is dancing with us into a future that can sometimes be a bit bewildering but is ultimately incredibly hopeful. He also knows that these experiences of renewal will only come with leadership and competency.
 
As a Presbyterian theology student at Knox College in the early 1980’s he attended Bloor Street United regularly. Eventually he trusted that instinct and has been working in the United Church in ministry for almost 20 years.
 
Douglas and his wife Elaine Perkins each have an adult daughter and a 6 year old grand-daughter and they live in the Beach neighbourhood in Toronto. 
 
To reach Douglas: 416-924-1325 or [email protected]

Mikey Zahorak

Music Director

Born in Manila, Philippines, Mikey holds a certificate, diploma, bachelor, and two master degrees in songwriting, piano performance, piano pedagogy, with minors in psychology and philosophy, from Berklee College of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
 
Following a three-year ghostwriting stint with Universal Music Group in Nashville, collaborations include Glen Caldwell, orchestrator for Stevie Wonder’s National Wonder Tour, and Grammy-Award winning pianist Angelin Chang. Interning under Hans Zimmer in Los Angeles while composing short films, one feature, two web-series, and commercials for Apple and Calvin Klein, set a foundation upon returning to Toronto in 2014, where “Come Back To Us” received the ‘Official Selection’ at the 2016 Ozark Shorts Film Festival.
 
Within musical theatre, he has music directed “Footloose”, “Junie B. Jones”, “Matilda”, as well as other independent musicals selected and performed in the New York, Toronto, and Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Mikey has also directed choirs in various Christian congregational settings as pianist, organist, and band leader in the United States and Canada.
 
Specialized in the Taubman Approach, a holistic approach in injury prevention, Mikey is faculty at Arcadia Academy of Music teaching band & theory programs, composition, piano, saxophone, songwriting, ukulele, and vocals. Notable students include “Milk ‘n Cookies” and Jessica Sutta. Mikey is an active member of “David Backshell and the Nighttime Gals” and the “Blackboard Blues Band”.
 
To reach Mikey: 647-797-1430 or [email protected]

Nancy Gordon

Faith Community Nurse - Volunteer

Nancy Gordon has been a member of Bloor Street United Church since 1974.

After graduating as a registered nurse in 1976 from Ryerson (now called Toronto Metropolitan University), she worked in oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital, palliative care at the Toronto Grace Hospital, and general internal medicine at UHN Toronto Western Hospital. She has recently retired from palliative care nursing at Kensington Hospice.

Nancy completed her training in Parish Nursing (now called Faith Community Nursing) in 2002 with InterChurch Health Ministries in association with Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. Since then, she has been the faith community nurse in a joint ministry with Bloor Street United Church and Bathurst United Church.

Nancy is also a member of the Bloor Street Choir and enjoys quilting, cycling, and hiking in her free time.

To reach Nancy: 437-431-3039 or [email protected]

Martha Reyes Huependo

Refugee Outreach Program Co-ordinator

Martha is the lead staff person for the Refugee Outreach Program. This social justice and pastoral care activity of the congregation welcomes newcomers and helps people build a sense of community in their new country.

Martha helps refugees and newcomers with finding resources and dealing with problems. On Saturdays there are English conversation groups for adults and English or Spanish language groups for kids. Contact Martha if you want to improve your English skills in a beginner or advanced conversation group. If you are fluent in English and want to help newcomers learn a new language, volunteer with the Refugee Outreach Program to lead conversation groups – good talkers and good listeners are all welcome.

To reach Martha:

437-432-0087 or

[email protected]

Wendy Goodwin

Operations Manager

To reach Wendy: 437-432-2422
[email protected]

 

Tina Edwards

Pastoral Care Connector

Tina has been a member of Bloor Street United Church since 1989 and has held several staff positions including Church School Teacher and Office Secretary.  As Pastoral Care Connector, she connects regularly with members and adherents of the BSUC community to maintain social contact, support community-building and identify any pastoral concerns to be addressed by the Minister and/or Faith Community Nurse.  That is an official role; but she considers herself one of many doing what connectors do.

To reach Tina: 437-432-6407
[email protected]

Susan Jennings

Church Office Administrator

To reach Susan: 647-557-6063
[email protected]

Amanda Christie

Congregational Communications Coordinator

Amanda (they/she) is the Congregational Communications Coordinator for Bloor Street United Church. Amanda is responsible for congregational and external communications, including BSUC’s website and social media pages.

To reach Amanda:  437-580-1560 or
[email protected]

Rev. Dan Benson

Voluntary Associate Minister

Bloor Streeters may remember Dan as student minister, minister, clockmaker, bookseller and publisher, chair of property and worship (albeit not at the same time), choir member, coordinator of those historic rummage sales, and a plethora of other roles and activities in and around 300 Bloor St. W. Dan is retired from Intentional Interim Ministry at East End United and has joined BSUC as a VAM. He lives with his husband Grant and their wonder-dog Keeley in a small house with many clocks in Leslieville(ish).

Rev. Michael Blair

Voluntary Associate Minister

Rev. Dr. Martha ter Kuile

Voluntary Associate Minister

Born in Quebec City, Martha grew up in Toronto and Montreal. After studying music and African history at Victoria College, she began a career in international development. She worked for CIDA and the UN, living with her husband and children in Kenya, Ecuador, Nigeria, and Guatemala, eventually returning to a farm outside Ottawa. An M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Guelph led her to focus her work on agricultural research for developing countries.

In 1992, Martha began preparation for ordained ministry with an M. Div. at Queen’s University, and served at Zion United Church, Apple Hill Ontario and Bells Corners United Church, Ottawa before coming to Bloor Street in 2007. She continued her theological studies at Saint Paul University with an M.A. in Christian Ethics, on the history of Christian ideas about poverty. Martha completed her PhD in Theology at Saint Paul University, University of Ottawa. Her dissertation developed a Christian Realist Virtue Ethics, based on Reinhold Niebuhr and Martha Nussbaum. Martha retired in 2022.