Dear Grace United members and friends,
It is with deep gratitude for God’s guidance that, on behalf of the Search Team, I introduce you to our new minister, the Rev. Andrew Macpherson.
Andrew graduated with a Master’s degree in Divinity from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto in 2017, at the same time as he earned a Master’s in Pastoral Care in Muslim Studies and certification in the Buddhist Mindful Meditation Program. He will have completed his certification with the Canadian Association in Spiritual Care by this July, a step towards completing the requirements to be recognized as a registered psychotherapist. Andrew is a listener and mindful of emotions. He has served as a chaplain with the Scarborough Health Network, at the hospital bedside and with family members while, at the same time, researching the influence of modern religious and spiritual practices in a clinical environment.
Andrew’s undergraduate degree from the University of Windsor in Public Administration (1997) led him to positions at the Canadian Embassies in Washington, D.C. and Tegucigalpa, Honduras where, among many other things, he learned conversational Spanish. Born in India, he also speaks Urdu, and has a deep interest in the history, culture and food of the Indian sub-continent. Indeed, although he grew up, the son of a United Church minister, in southwestern Ontario, he has a passion for travel and discovery, and spent his most recent study leave in Syria and Iraq. He has traced the route that the apostle Paul took as he spread the Good News to the world.
Our new minister is committed to intercultural ministry. He says of himself, “I structure my messages and liturgy to share the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in a multi-religious and secular world.” Worship, pastoral care, Christian education and outreach are the pillars of ministry he focuses on. He is committed to listening and to working with a team to understand how the hands of Christ can materialize in community.
He is also passionate about multi-generational ministry. He loves the diversity of music, culture and food. He is learning to play the saxophone along with the piano, but confesses that the instrument he plays best is the radio. He has developed an app, Faith Match, coming soon to the Apple App and Google Play stores, to make learning about religious pluralism fun! He has put together his own video production room so that he can generate sermon teasers and announcements, and has been designing and coordinating live-streaming in his current pastoral charge.
Andrew’s leadership style is based on a collaborative model. He’s a team player. He is a listener and a doer. He participates in the operation of the National church to gain insight into the practice of governance and movement of the Spirit.
Of our Ministry Phrase, “Sharing Christ, so all will know the forgiveness, love and grace of God,” Andrew says his passion for intercultural ministry will fuel his involvement as he interprets the word “all” as embracing anyone, regardless of race, colour, sex, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity or economic circumstance.
The Search Team of Grace United Church believes that in the Reverend Andrew Macpherson, we have found the right person to join us on our faith journey and celebrate God’s presence with us. His call confirmed at our Annual General Meeting on February 27, and by Regional Council, we look forward to welcoming Andrew here at Grace, beginning July 1, 2022. We hope to have some events before that date when everyone can have an opportunity to come and meet him. We will let you know of these opportunities as we continue to plan.
Prayerfully, and with joy,
Chairperson Grace United Church Search Team