The Ministry and Employment Unit and National Indigenous Council are pleased to announce that the position of Office of Vocation minister serving Indigenous Communities of Faith is being filled by the Reverend Susan Beaver (All Native Circle Conference) and the Reverend Dr. Will Kunder (Manitou Conference) in a job share of a full-time position. The interview and selection team included two members of the National Indigenous Council.
Susan Beaver (OM) serves the Grand River United Church and is currently the Conference Personnel Minister in All Native Circle Conference. Susan has chaired the Great Lakes Waterways Presbytery, the presbytery Council of Learning, and the Conference Interview Board and has served on the Conference Council on Learning. She had a circuit ministry in Great Lakes Waterways Presbytery and served six communities. She was a member of the Caretakers Council, who developed the Calls to the Church. Susan describes herself as “a Mohawk woman with great respect for our Longhouse tradition. I’ve greatly appreciated and been blessed with much generosity from Anishnawbe, Cree, Stoney, and Dakota peoples. I’ve always seen my role as helper, providing whatever support I can to all our communities.” A moderatorial candidate this year, Susan’s various roles have prepared her well for the work of ministry formation and support of ministry personnel serving Indigenous communities, a role of accompaniment and learning together.
Will Kunder (OM) is in his 14th year as the Manitou Conference Executive Secretary. As a candidate and following ordination Will served the New Credit-Delaware Pastoral Charge in Hamilton Conference, where the elders trained him. For five years he was the Principal of the Francis Sandy Theological Centre before moving to North Bay. He served on the All Native Circle Conference Council on Learning and was part of the team establishing the Toronto Urban Indigenous group. In Manitou Conference he has offered leadership in Right Relations work. Manitou Conference has piloted the Candidacy Pathway and the Effective Leadership and Healthy Pastoral Relations project. Will is a practitioner of interest-based mediation, where there is sharing of concerns in a circle process. He is a member of the General Council: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Steering Group. Before entering ministry, Will was a teacher and school administrator in the Northwest Territories and was part of dismantling the residential school system by ensuring access to local high school education in all northern communities. As a strong educator with a passion for ministry formation, Will feels that this new role pulls together so much of his experience to date supporting collaboration with Indigenous communities of faith and new colleagues.
Office of Vocation ministers for the regional councils were announced in September.