Ministerial and Administrative Staff
Rev. Coral Prebble is our Coordinating Minister since November 2003. She came to St. James United Church in January 1991 as Minister of Christian Development and loved the warm-hearted, open-minded and willing spirit of this community so much that she has stayed ever since. She passionately enjoys teaching, learning, visiting, gardening and the healing ministries. It is her firm conviction that everyone is made in the image of God and that God’s Spirit dwells within us and works through us. Coral leads by inspiring, facilitating, equipping and freeing people to discover and use their God-given gifts to make a positive difference in the lives of others. When our purpose and God’s purpose unite, our lives overflow with joy and fulfillment. She treasures the opportunity to nurture and celebrate this reality as we live out our vision of being “a Spirit-filled, connected, transformational church”.
Personal History and Background
Coral grew up in an ecumenical family of Roman Catholics, Anglicans and agnostics, and was introduced to Jesus Christ by Baptists while studying at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. This was a life-changing turning point for her. After an initial career as a Community Recreation Director in Saskatchewan, she pursued theological studies at Acadia Divinity College and earned a Master of Divinity degree. This was followed by a year of specialized training in urban ministry in Chicago, and then a second Master degree in Religious Education through Emmanuel College in Toronto. Her ministry within The United Church of Canada began in 1986.
Wendy Simone joined the St. James family as Director of the St. James Junior and Youth Choirs in 2018. The two choirs sing regularly at Sunday morning worship services and for special events throughout the school year. The primary goal of the choirs is to foster a love of music while providing children and youth with an opportunity to contribute to the worship experience of the congregation. The choristers develop a love of singing and further their musicianship skills in a safe and supportive environment while enjoying a wide range of repertoire.
Personal History and Background
Wendy has sung in Greater Toronto Area-based choirs for over 30 years. Her love of choral singing and passion for high-quality music-making have granted her the opportunity to sing with such groups as: the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, University of Toronto MacMillan Singers, Oriana Women’s Choir, Ontario Youth Choir, and Amadeus Choir. Wendy attended the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice, with a concentration in History & Theory. She also holds a Diploma in Early Childhood Education from George Brown College and a Bachelor of Education degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Wendy is a certified member with the Ontario College of Teachers and has been teaching with the Peel District School Board since 2012. She currently sings with the St. Patrick’s Gregorian Choir under the direction of Surinder S. Mundra, as well as the Chancel and Senior Choirs here at St. James. Wendy also performs with the Wavestage Theatre Company and has had leading and supporting roles in over 20 musicals since 2010. Although she may be a resident of Richmond Hill, Wendy is delighted to make St. James her second home.
Danuta Zawierucha began serving as our accountant in October 2009. She prepares monthly financial reports that combine the volunteer services of our bookkeeper, Karen Munday and the cheques written by Dave Head for our expenses. Danuta attends the monthly meetings of our Finance Committee, prepares the year end financial statement and forecasted budget for the upcoming year, and completes the financial portion of annual reports required by The United Church of Canada, and the Canada Revenue Agency.
Matty joined our team as Office Administrator in the fall of 2017. She is the one who will answer your calls, respond to your emails, posts announcements, books rooms for gatherings and handles the every day needs of our office. She has 20 years of experience in the administrative field and is very excited to be here. Originally from El Salvador, she immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1987. She grew up in Etobicoke, attended Glendon College/York University as well as Canada Christian College. She is also the mother of three wonderful children and enjoys spending time with family and friends.
A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, J.-C. Coolen grew up surrounded by the music of the Church. Music in worship has always had a special meaning for him, and childhood piano lessons quickly provided him with skills to take a leadership role in worship music. He studied music (piano) at the university level in Massachusetts, and has taken further varied studies in organ, voice, choral conducting, handbells, percussion and music in worship, all of which inform his music ministry.
J.-C. is a free-lance church musician, conductor and accompanist active in the eastern Greater Toronto Area. J.-C. is currently the Music Minister at St. James United Church, Etobicoke, and also serves as organist and occasional cantor for the Sunday 5pm mass at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Pickering. He directs the Durham Community Choir and Espressivo Singers in Oshawa. He is also extensively involved in English handbell ringing in Ontario. He conducts Bells of Bowmanville at the Bowmanville Seventh-day Adventist Church; The Bronze Foundation, Toronto’s auditioned community handbell ensemble; and Bronze Foundation Academy, a new intermediate-level community handbell choir.
Naturally inquisitive, in his free time J.-C. likes to travel, read, think, and satisfy his curiosity
Building Maintenance & Custodial Staff
Worku Gebrekidan is responsible for pre-arranged room set-ups and take downs, lawn maintenance and snow shovelling of the walkways and extra jobs as needed.
Nursery Care Coordinator
Aruni Balasuriya began serving as our Primary Nursery Caregiver in 2015.