Staff Contact Information
|General Inquiry||(204) 783-4490
|Principal||Michelle Owens||(204) 783-2728 ext 21
|Office Administrator||Cheryl Thiessen||(204) 783-4490 ext 20
|Program Staff||David Lappano||(204) 783-2728 ext 26
|Program Staff||Janet Ross||(204) 783-2728 ext 23 email: email@example.com|
|Program Staff – Integrating Year,
|Marcie Gibson||(226) 343-7799 (text/talk)|
|Development Coordinator||Lori Stewart||(204) 783-2728 ext 22 email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Information and Program Administrator, Registrar, Library||Scott Douglas||(204) 783-2728 ext 28 email: email@example.com|
|Communications||Kimiko Karpoff||(604) 306-1298 (text/talk)
Michelle Owens, Principal
Michelle joined the Centre for Christian Studies as principal in August 2017. She is a graduate of the Centre and a diaconal minister in the United Church of Canada. Michelle came to Winnipeg from Ontario, where she served as London Conference’s Personnel Minister.
Michelle grew up in Kincardine Ontario, and during the time she studied at the Centre, she worked at Kincardine United Church in children and youth ministry. Following her commissioning, she was settled to Atwood Pastoral Charge, a three point rural charge in Perth County. She was a candidate from Trinity St Paul’s United Church in Toronto, and active at Metropolitan United Church in London.
In meetings and at home, Michelle often has a knitting project in process. She also likes to explore her neighbourhoods on foot or on her bike.
David Lappano, Program Staff
David joined the CCS Program Staff in 2015. His arrival at CCS also marks his return to Canada after several years living, teaching, and studying in the UK. David grew up in Ontario (Toronto and Guelph) where he was active in United Church Outdoor Ministries, a period of his life that he regards as spiritually formative. Most of his adult life has been involved with education, either as a teacher or as a student. He holds degrees in Literature, Education, and Theology. He taught high school students in London, England and he studied theology. David has long been drawn to the writings of the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, which was the subject of his Ph.D. Areas of specialization and ongoing study for David include modern theology and contemporary critical theory, pedagogy, and religion and culture. He loves film, music, and pretty much all of the arts. And if you’re in Winnipeg, you will likely see him walking around – walking is his preferred mode of transport.
Janet Ross, Program Staff
Janet joined the CCS community as Program Staff in 2016, coming from Emmanuel College and McMaster University where she taught in the areas of Contextual Education, Religion and Culture and Biblical Studies. Janet’s past work experience includes Interim Director of the Teaching Fellows for Ministry Programme at Emmanuel College, Program Coordinator, Intercultural Education and Engagement at the United Church of Canada General Council Office in Toronto, and Asst. Professor at Clark Atlanta University (an Historically Black College and University, Atlanta, GA). In her doctoral work at Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia), Janet majored in Jewish Scriptures and minored in Christian Testament and Islamic Studies.
Janet has published and written on such topics as “The Biblical Basis of the Friends’ Peace Testimony”, Ancient Near Eastern Adoption Formulas and Hebrew Theology, “Hidden Manna, Hidden Meanings: Unveiling Revelation”, the Hodayot (Thanksgiving Psalms) from the Dead Sea Scrolls, W.E.B. Du Bois and Apocalyptic Themes and Interpretations in Christian History.
Janet’s areas of interest focus on religion and social change—including Indigenization and ecology, apocalypticism, ancient and modern monsters/the ‘other’, and practical ethics. Janet is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). She enjoys hiking with her spouse and their charismatic miniature Australian Shepherd. If Janet had her choice of super-powers she would be a time-traveler.
Marcie is a graduate of the Centre for Christian Studies (2013), and a diaconal minister with the United Church. She is currently serving in congregational ministry at Arkell United Church, near Guelph ON, and has most recently served at Kahnawake UC, on Kanien:keha’ka Territory near Montreal, QC. She also teaches United Church Polity through United Theological College. Marcie co-facilitated the recent CCS Program Review and Redesign Process and appreciates the multi-denominational affiliation of CCS, as she grew up in the Anglican tradition and joined the United Church as a young adult. She comes to ministry with a background in social work (BSW-McGill, CommunityEconomicDevelopment-Concordia), and a passion for community engagement, social justice, and the arts. When not working, she is likely celebrating something or other with her large queer interfaith family, in Hamilton ON, or wishing she were in a canoe.
Lori Stewart, Development Coordinator
Lori joined the CCS staff as Development Coordinator in 2013. She graduated from CCS in 1987, and spent a year at St. Michael’s College in Toronto completing my MRE. After four years in congregational ministry, she moved into a position as Stewardship Minister in the London Conference office, where her diaconal skills were put to good use in designing workshops, consulting with congregations, and building a strong stewardship network all over southwestern Ontario and in Algoma. In 2001, an opportunity came to participate as overseas personnel in Jamaica, where she spent six years with her family: Paul worked as an agronomist, and Brose and Ellen (then 7 and 5) attended school, while Lori was assigned to a regional branch of the International University of the Caribbean where she coordinated a training program for elders and lay pastors, and tutored ministry students in their field placements. Following six more years in Canada in congregational ministry, and completing her doctoral studies, Lori finds herself at CCS.
Scott Douglas, Information and Program Administrator
Scott is an award-winning playwright, and co-editor (with Nanette McKay) of The Unofficial United Church Handbook. His plays include The Touring Test (winner of the Rintoul Award for best new Manitoba play at the 2012 Winnipeg Fringe), Treading Water(performed at the 2009 Winnipeg Fringe Festival),Undiscover’d Country (produced in Edmonton at the Catalyst Theatre in 2005), as well as Maybe One?, A Christmas Karl, and Strange Angels. He has written plays for various church gatherings and social justice resources, many of which can be found in his bookStrange Angels and Other Plays published by Wood Lake Books. From 2006 to 2008 Scott served as overseas personnel for the United Church, working with the Ecumenical Centre for Research, Education, and Advocacy in the Fiji Islands. Scott currently works part-time at the Centre for Christian Studies, providing admin support and comic relief to the Program Staff. He looks after student records, student resources, website, communications, and the CCS library.
Cheryl Thiessen, Office Administrator
Cheryl joined the CCS staff in March of 2015. Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition from the University of Manitoba, and worked in the field of nutrition in her young adult years. Witnessing the effects of mental illness in several family members, combined with her own personal experience, Cheryl was motivated to learn more which led to her volunteering at the Canadian Mental Health Association Manitoba’s Mental Health Education Resource Centre and library (MHERC). Six months later, Cheryl was hired by CMHA as the Resource Coordinator for MHERC, and was passionate about her work, providing help and hope for those affected by mental health issues. After five years, Cheryl took on the role of Administration and Finance Coordinator at CMHA Manitoba, providing support to the Board of Directors, Executive Director and staff. Cheryl continues to speak up about mental health issues in an effort to break down the walls of stigma surrounding mental illness.
Cheryl grew up in the Wesley (now Immanuel) United Church in Winnipeg. As a young adult, she moved away from the church, and spent many years exploring different spiritual paths and traditions. After years of searching, Cheryl has finally found her way back home to Christian community in both her personal and professional life, and looks forward to serving at CCS.
Kimiko Karpoff, Communications and Recruitment Coordinator
Kimiko Karpoff is a diaconal minister, a communications professional and a graduate of the Centre. Kimiko lives on the beautiful west coast in New Westminster, BC. She has particular responsibility for CCS publications such as Common Threads and Tapestry, as well as other communication-y things. If you’ve got a great story idea or would love to share how you are imagining church differently, please drop her a line.
In other parts of her life Kimiko is a writer, healer and photographer. Check out her website at scatteredsacred.com.
CCS Staff Vision Statement
“Sharing a commitment to CCS, the staff will value and risk mutual encouragement, support, and deep reflection in a spirit of trust, laughter, and a sense of the sacred.”