Our Minister and Staff
Minister: Reverend Shelly Thompson
The Interim Minister Search Team is happy to announce that they have completed their search and Reverend Shelly Thompson will be joining us as our Interim Minister on August 1, 2021.
Reverend Shelly comes to us from Westport, Connecticut, where she was Assistant Minister for Faith Formation at the Unitarian Church of Westport. Previous to that she was Minister of Membership at First UU Church of Richmond, Virginia. Shelly is also a psychologist and has worked as a family and child counsellor.
Comfortable with people of all ages she encourages the growth of a congregation where each person is nurtured and supported, and a faith formation within which every individual finds meaning and purpose. Reverend Shelly also has experience with building transitions and capital campaigns. Another strength she brings to us is volunteering with Chicago’s version of our Calgary Alliance for the Common Good, so she understands our affiliation with that organization and has used that model of leadership formation to help develop leaders within congregations. Her previous positions have been in large congregations and the search team believes she will help us attract and retain new members, including young families, so that we, too, grow and develop as a congregation.
Rev Shelly refers to herself as a “techie” and is excited about our vision of multi-platform outreach and satellite congregations.
She and her black lab, Onyx, hope to arrive in Calgary mid-July to get settled before her August 1st start date. They’re both excited about living close to the Rocky Mountains, in the vibrant city of Calgary. The search team is confident that she will be warmly welcomed into our Unitarian community and that we will make an extra effort to help her transition to a new country and a Canadian version of Unitarian faith.
Music Director: Jane Perry
I have been a church musician in Canadian Unitarian congregations since 2000, serving the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa (2000-2011) and Calgary Unitarians (since 2011). As Music Director at Calgary Unitarians, I conduct three choirs (UUphonia, Chor Vida, and the Coffee Choir), play the piano at Sunday-morning services, and work with our music volunteers to create concert events like An Afternoon of Chamber Music, our popular Silent Movie Nights. and UUphonia’s annual Cabaret.
I am a full-time professional musician in Calgary. My other work includes conducting One Voice Chorus (a mixed-voice ensemble for LGBTQ2 singers and allies) and the Calgary Renaissance Singers & Players.
I trained as a classical pianist, learned how to play jazz, and continue to enjoy a wide variety of music as a pianist, conductor, composer and audience member. My twin professional passions are music education and building community, elements that find a natural home in my work with choirs.
When not at the church, I can be found sipping strong coffee and wondering how to convince more people to embrace the magical experience of singing in a choir.
Director of Religious Exploration: Sheila MacMaster
I’ve lived in Alberta most of my life, and in Calgary for the past twenty years. I am a believer in life-long education, and am currently finishing my Multidisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree (with a double minor of architecture and drama) at the University of Calgary. This means I bring a broad liberal arts education and many exciting ideas to our Children and Youth Religious Education program.
I also have over nine years experience as an Administrator and I’m very pleased to bring those skills to the position of DRE. With a young child of my own, it’s very important to me what our children are learning and I feel very blessed to be a part of it.
When I’m not at church, I’m often busy going on adventures with my family and being creative.