Our Staff

Our Ministers:

Intentional Interim Minister: Rev. Mary Jo Patterson

Mary Jo Patterson was raised in the small town of Harriston with her late brother Don and her late parents Burt and Wyn Dixon. In grade 5 she met and then years later married the Reverend Gary Patterson. Mary Jo and Gary have two married children with four beautiful grandchildren. Mary Jo received her Designation as an Interim Minister in 2014. Mary Jo is also a registered psychotherapist with a small practice in Simcoe and brings those skills with her to the interim process. She likes to garden and finds much comfort and strength in being in her gardens as well as in her tiny art studio and at a desk where she is still editing her first novel. Mary Jo is delighted to be ministering at Humbercrest.

Short Term Supply Minister: Rev. Dr. Nancy Hardy

The Rev. Dr. Nancy Hardy is a United Church minister living in Toronto. Her pastoral ministry began in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where she was director of Christian Education, and also ministered in St. Catharines, Southwestern Ontario and London (ON). As well as her ministry in the pastorate, she worked at the United Church’s national office for a number of years as mission study editor, producing print and audio-visual material for children, youth and adults.

In retirement, she returned to the Toronto School of Theology for Th.D. studies, focusing on the hymns we sing and the faith we live. She is also a recipient of a  McGeachy Scholarship, a United Church of Canada research grant for work that expresses the prophetic vision of the Church. Two years of research and writing.resulted in publication of the book Worship in the City: Songs and Prayers for Urban Settings. In her spare time, pre-pandemic, she has indulged her passion for travel, both within and outside Canada.

Our Music Director: Melvin Hurst

Humbercrest invited me to come as their Director of Music in 2004 after a twenty-three year tenure at Kingsway Baptist Church. And suddenly, I am going into my sixteenth year in this faith community!

My academic preparation includes an  A.R.C.T. (Associate Diploma with the Royal Conservatory) in piano, a B.Ed. with Distinction (University of Sask.) and M.Mus. (University of Oregon, USA) in choral literature. This graduate degree included studies in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Our lives are enriched by time spent in another country. This was particularly true for me, as I had the good fortune to study with outstanding German musicians, notably Helmut Rilling, a scholar in the music of J.S.Bach.

The congregation at HUC values the role of the Music Ministry, and it is a joy to work with our semi-professional choir. We offer a wide variety of repertoire, engaging professional musicians when needed. The three manual Casavant organ and Steinway concert grand piano are both a real asset to the music program.
Helping a congregation find their voice in a sacred space is a very enriching personal experience.

Visit Mel’s website www.melhurst.ca

Child & Youth Coordinator: Meredith Gries

Meredith Gries is a graduate student at the Ontario Institute for
Studies in Education, in the University of Toronto. She has been a
part of the Humbercrest United community since her baptism. Her
Sunday School lessons focus mainly on the simplification and
explanation of Bible scripture, as well as discussions about the
Church seasons and Bible structure. Everyday examples which the
children and youth can relate to are used to make bible lessons more
accessible and understandable. In particular, there is a on focus
what can be learned from our weekly bible story, and how
our Sunday Schoolers can practically apply these teachings to their
day-to-day lives. Our Sunday School is interactive and informal, with lots of group discussions and questioning during the lesson. The children are encouraged to actively participate by generating and sharing their ideas with the group. We follow our discussion with fun, lesson-related crafts and games, where we touch base about our past week and hear about each other’s lives. We have a different
mix of kids every week, and newcomers are always welcome!

Our Office Administrator: David Drake

David Drake has been working at Humbercrest for over ten years and he is still surprised he’s working as a church  office administrator. It was a job which came ‘out of left field’, however he has come to really enjoy it. There is always a variety of tasks to keep things interesting and there is a wonderful community of people. In a previous life, David had his own photography business, he still enjoys shooting Black & White film (yes film!) and processing and printing in his own darkroom.

Whether you are curious about attending  Sunday morning worship, or are looking for a venue for your wedding or recording project, please call or email David. Or just drop by the church during regular office hours.

Our Evening Custodian: Besnik Gjunkshi

Besnik Gjunkshi is our very reliable and friendly evening custodian. Four evenings a week he can be found either monitoring the East Door or taking care of the grounds. Besnik and his wife own the wonderful Europasta, which provides catering to many Humbercrest events.

Our Cleaner: Sam Walters

Sam Walters and his team of S6 Cleaning are thorough and accommodating. Things are looking spic and span around Humbercrest! Sam is a pleasure to work with- he always has a smile on his face and he’s got lots of energy!