(The Rev. Dr.) Stephen Drakeford was ordained in 1990 and has served in various parishes for these 30 years in the Diocese of Toronto. He arrived at Epiphany and St. Mark in 2013. Very quickly he realized his work here was to get the church ‘opened-up’ and ‘out on the street.’ His guiding text, from the Gospel of Luke (13:29) is ‘Then people will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and will eat in the Kingdom of God.’ Stephen shares his world with his life partner Jim and their ridiculous Boston Terrier, Lola! He loves anything to do with the outdoors: hiking, biking, birdwatching and gardening.
The Rev. Claudette Taylor is our permanent Deacon, not only participating in the leading of worship but essentially involved in organizing many parish activities, particularly the vital ‘Social Ministry’ organization. Claudette is a long time parishioner here and was called by this community to accept her role as deacon. Claudette was ordained in December 2012.
The Archbishop, Michael Peers has been an active member of our congregation and an Honourary Assistant here since his retirement in 2004. As well as serving the church in Ottawa Diocese and the Dioceses of Rupertsland (Manitoba) and Qu’Appelle (Saskatchewan), he served as Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 1986 to 2004. Highlights of his ministry included his apology on behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada to our indigenous brothers and sisters for the suffering and abuse they endured during the Residential School years. His apology was accepted and led our church to the long, hard work of reconciliation which is still on-going today. On the ecumenical front, Archbishop Michael signed, with his counterpart in the Lutheran church, an accord that established full communion between the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, an agreement that has transformed our church in many communities across the country. While the Archbishop no longer presides at our worship services as Honourary Assistant, he participates as a member of the congregation and enjoys opportunities to read the scriptures and the prayers.
Michael’s wife Dorothy is deeply involved too and is a great asset to this community and the neighbourhood at large. Dorothy has been a member of the congregation since 1986. She is passionate about connecting the church with the community around us and heartily supports all efforts to do so. She is an enthusiastic participant in HOPE Community Garden across from the church and has been a member of the Steering Committee for many years. She is one of our representatives on the West End Interfaith Refugee Settlement Committee (3 churches and a mosque) who are currently looking forward to welcoming their third refugee family – this time, a Christian family from Pakistan. Part of being a welcoming community in Parkdale is hospitality, and Dorothy looks forward to opportunities to extend hospitality to both our parish family and the wider community.
The Rev. Dr. Jason McKinney joined the parish in May, 2014 as Assistant Curate. Jason has a passion for theological education, creative ministry, and loves the neighbourhood of Parkdale. He has lived here for many years with his wife, Sandra, and their two children, Isabel and Lucas.
When Jason is not working for the church, he spends his time with the Jeremiah Community and as an adjunct professor with the Toronto School of Theology. He holds an MA and a PhD from the University of Toronto and a Masters Degree in Theology from Regent College (Vancouver).
Michael Burtt is the Founder and Artistic Director of Making Room Community Arts. For over a decade, he has been bringing Parkdale residents together to celebrate and reflect through collaborative art making. Michael brings these skills and interests to his various roles in and around Epiphany and St. Mark Church. As a Sunday School teacher, Michael approaches prayer as something we do with our hearts, bodies and spirits and tries to share this sensibility with the kids of Epiphany and St. Mark. Michael is also part of the Jeremiah Community. Along with Jason McKinney, Michael started the Friday morning Centering Prayer group. His most recent venture is “Contemplative Parkdale,” a group committed to bringing Christian Contemplative practice into our daily lives.