TERESA BURNETT-COLE - Minister
'Ministry Musings' blog: www.revtbc.com
The Reverend Teresa Ann Burnett-Cole was called to the pulpit of Glebe-St. James in 2014 and currently serves as the coordinating minister in the ministry team. Born in London, Ontario, Teresa grew up living in the Southwestern Ontario village of Mount Brydges. Teresa first studied music at the Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. She also holds a Bachelors of Arts (Canadian History and Religious Studies) degree from King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario, and a Master of Divinity degree from Emmanuel College, Toronto where she was the Sanford Fleming Gold Medalist. She is currently completing her Th.D. in liturgical studies at the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. Teresa has served congregations in Maritime, Saskatchewan, Toronto, and now Montreal and Ottawa Conferences. Besides all these technical details, Teresa is an accomplished visual artist and musician. She has a passion for both creative liturgy and social justice. She says of worship, “If people are going to spend an hour of their precious time with us, we’d better make sure our worship services are inspiring, rejuvenating, and challenging because no one is getting that hour back!” Her strong sense of humour and self-deprecating jokes make worship at true celebration of life. (Yes folks, laughing IS allowed in church. With her strong commitment to social justice for all, Teresa works hard to support the passions and energy of GSJ’s congregation members as well as continuing with her activist work in support of First Nations and Queer people. After 12 years of ministry, Teresa still can’t believe that she gets to do this for a living. She can’t believe she gets paid for the honour of walking with people in the very best and worst times of their lives.
Married to Ruth Burnett-Cole, a Registered Massage Therapist, they round out their family with their Jack Russell Terrier, Okwaho, better known as “Oggie the Doggie.” When not playing her drums or guitars, Teresa enjoys reading, music, painting, walking, and kayaking. A perfect day means getting outside and heading for either the bush or water with her four-legged companion at her side. Beside their own little family, Teresa and Ruth are head-over-heels in love with their two nieces, Marlee and Payton, and five nephews, Riley, Bryce, Jordan, Ben, and Greyson – all of whom currently reside in Southwestern Ontario, and their beloved children-of-the-heart Maya, Anjali, Sonali, and Anil: all of whom have been known to make appearances in her sermons. As Teresa says, “We can only preach from what we know and how God has revealed love in our lives.”
ROBERT PALMAI - Music Director
Robert and his family immigrated to Canada from Hungary in 1956, settling in the Kitchener area. Robert’s father became a choir director at St. Clement’s in Preston (now Cambridge), where Robert began playing the Casavant organ when he was sixteen.
After graduating from University of Toronto with Bachelor of Music and Education degrees, Robert taught high school music for 30 years, worked in several united churches, and is the founding Director of the Amadeus Choir of Greater Torotno. In 1983, Robert moved to Ottawa to take a teaching position in the music department of Canterbury High School, where he taught vocal and choral music, harmony and piano until he retired in 2001. He was the organist at Emmanuel United Church for 16 years, and was also the Music Director of the Savoy Society from 1993 to 2000. He directed the middle school and senior choirs at Elmwood from 2001 to 2006. In 2005 he founded the Canterbury (Alumnae) Treble Choir.
Robert lives in Alta Vista, happily married to Susan, enjoying a blended family of 6 children and 6 grandchildren.
JESSICA HETHERINGTON - Minister of Christian Development
Jessica joined the Glebe-St. James community on January 1, 2016. Jessica holds a PhD in Theology (Saint Paul University), with a specialization in ecology and theology. She is committed to social justice and ecological healing, and believes that these are fundamental aspects of discipleship. She is also pursuing a call to ministry within the United Church of Canada, and is thrilled to be in a position here where she can bring these two aspects of her Christian identity together. Passionate about Christian theology and education, Jessica believes that all of us – children, youth and adults – have an innate spirituality and theology that just needs nourishment, support and encouragement to thrive. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such dynamic staff and volunteers at Glebe-St. James United Church.
Jessica's greatest teachers come from her family, who join her at Glebe-St. James: her husband Mark and their four (soon to be five!) children: Taylor, Justin, Hugh, and Grey, and little one expected in April 2016. Jessica and Mark were both born and raised in the Ottawa area.
CATHERINE FUMERTON - Church Administrator
You will meet Catherine any day you are at Glebe-St. James as she is our Church Office Administrator. Originally from Montreal, Catherine and her husband Larry Whelan have four children and three grandchildren between them. They moved from the Ottawa suburbs to the Glebe in 1996 and thoroughly enjoy the neighbourhood! Catherine has enjoyed a progressive career within telecommunications and lastly in a high tech manufacturing company. After two years of retirement, Catherine joined the GSJ family.