About Us

Mission and Vision

Parkdale United Church is a home and a journey. We are a centre for spiritual growth and social justice, with a motto of, Building Connections, Living Faith, Acting for Justice. We are people with a deep yearning for God and God’s vision of equity, justice, and well-being for all. We are sustained and energized to do God’s work through a strong and caring community!

We help each other to recognize that, at different times, we each need:

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  • rest to refresh and rekindle passion
  • stillness and reflection to discern our callings
  • lifelong learning for personal and spiritual growth
  • engagement with others to become stronger individually and collectively
  • challenges and opportunities for social action

We are a diverse Christian community who covenants with each other to:

  • listen to and for God
  • be authentic and align our actions with our God-given gifts and callings
  • trust that whatever steps we each take on this journey are the right ones for us
  • encourage people to participate through personal invitations, believing that saying “yes” and saying “no” are equally honourable
  • practise gratitude generously

Our community is a place of safety. We welcome everyone as full and valued participants in the life and work of our church, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and social and economic circumstances. We acknowledge and celebrate the diversity of God’s creation, respecting each other and all of life. We invite all members and adherents to participate in our ministry as they are called and are able. We extend to everyone the opportunity for baptism, marriage, communion, pastoral care, and participation in all other programs that are part of our congregational life.

Read more about our congregational ministry priorities and the work and worship of Parkdale United Church in our Annual Report for 2016.

 

Staff

The staff at Parkdale United Church includes the following people:

  • Rev. Dr. Murray Laverty – Worship, Ministry Development and Congregational Care
  • Michael Coburn – Director of Music
  • Ruth Jacques – Office Administration
  • Youth Ministers
  • Children’s Ministry Facilitator
  • Nursery Care Workers
  • Facilities Staff

Rev. Dr. Murray Laverty – Worship, Ministry Development and Congregational Care

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Murray began his service with Parkdale United Church in 2004. Initially, he offered leadership as the congregation planned, financed and worked their way through a comprehensive re-development of their church facilities. Currently, Murray’s primary responsibilities include Worship, Ministry Development and Congregational Care.

Murray encourages and seeks a Christian faith that is personally meaningful, intellectually responsible, and lives in the world with hope, love and respect.

Ordained as a Minister in 1983, he received his Doctor of Ministry in 2003 from St. Stephen’s College and has served churches in Canada and the United States. Murray is a self-described lifelong learner and enjoys time with family and friends, reading and traveling. He is active in the community, volunteers with The Calgary Foundation and participates in a variety of recreational sports.

Michael Coburn, Director of Music

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Michael Coburn, a native of Waterloo, Ontario, began piano lessons at the age of six. He obtained his A.R.C.T. from the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2002. In 2006, he received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Calgary, where he concentrated on piano performance and conducting. At the University, Michael had the opportunity to work with internationally acclaimed artists such as Paul Badura-Skoda and Emanuel Krasovsky. In 2004 and 2005, he attended the Académie Musicale Internationale “Barbara Krakauer” in Vaison-la-Romaine, France. In 2006, he was featured as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since his graduation, Michael has enjoyed freelancing in Calgary. He has accompanied ensembles and soloists, taught piano and theory, and been a choral director for the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts. In addition to being Director of Music at Parkdale United Church, he is currently the Piano Faculty Director at Chinook School of Music.

Ruth Jacques, Office Administration

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Ruth, our Office Administrator since October 2011, has brought outstanding gifts and skills and has been a valued addition to our Parkdale staff. She provides support to our minister and is a welcoming presence to newcomers and those long connected with Parkdale United Church. Ruth facilitates communications, congregational and community relations; handles our facility bookings, rentals and the use of the space within the church building; and manages the church office.

Ruth’s office hours are 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Fridays. She looks forward to helping you find the answers to your questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beliefs

Parkdale United Church is a member of The United Church of Canada. Our beliefs are expressed in the Creed of the United Church.

A Creed of the United Church of Canada:

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  • We are not alone,
  • we live in God’s world.
  • We believe in God:
  • who has created and is creating,
  • who has come in Jesus,
  • the Word made flesh,
  • to reconcile and make new,
  • who works in us and others
  • by the Spirit.
  • We trust in God.
  • We are called to be the Church:
  • to celebrate God’s presence,
  • to live with respect in Creation,
  • to love and serve others,
  • to seek justice and resist evil,
  • to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
  • our judge and our hope.

 

  • In life, in death, in life beyond death,
  • God is with us.
  • We are not alone.
  • Thanks be to God.

 

Governance

Church Council

The Council of Parkdale United Church is responsible for governing and administering the work of the church. Council facilitates the growth, vision and mission of the congregation. Council is accountable to the congregation and derives its authority from the congregation. Members of Council include the Chairperson or Co-Chairpersons, the Past Chairperson, Secretary and representatives from Standing and Acting Committees that include:

  • Adult Spiritual Formation
  • Discovering Our Neighbours
  • Faith and Justice
  • Ministry and Personnel
  • Operations
  • Pastoral Care
  • Stewardship
  • Trustees
  • United Church Women (UCW)
  • Worship Arts

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is the legal body that holds the title to all the real and personal property of Parkdale United Church (Calgary). It does this in the name of the United Church of Canada, for the use and benefit of the Parkdale congregation. It is the liaison between the congregation and Calgary Presbytery in all property matters.

Parkdale United Church (Calgary) Foundation

The Foundation, formed by the Parkdale United Church congregation in 1995, is registered under the Societies Act of Alberta and is also registered as a charitable organization by Canada Revenue Agency.

Although the Foundation is a separate legal entity from Parkdale United Church, it is closely associated with the Church. The Foundation supports the work of the Church and members of the Foundation must also be members of the Church.

The Foundation raises capital through private and public donations and accumulates assets for the purpose of investment so that income from the investments can be used to fund:

  • Outreach in keeping with the mission of Parkdale United Church,
  • The partial or total cost of major maintenance or extensive renovations to the Church,
  • Short term educational courses for laity and clergy of Parkdale United Church,
  • The purchase of materials to be placed in the Church libraries,
  • Projects designed to carry out wishes of donors, if compatible with the above four items.

Requests for funding by the Foundation are considered by the Church Council which then makes recommendations to the Foundation.