Shaun has been serving as an ordained minister for over 35 years and has devoted his ministry career to advocating for justice within and beyond the church. He is also dedicated to pastoral ministry and to helping the church to adapt to a changing world. Shaun has been at Beaconsfield for 20 years, and before that served in Manitoba and Ontario. He is from St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia, and received his Mdiv from the Atlantic School of Theology(AST) in Halifax. In 2014, AST honoured Shaun with the Distinguished Alumni Award for his excellence in pastoral ministry. In addition to his congregational leadership, Shaun has served on committees of the regional and national church. Shaun has been a lifelong member of the United Church of Canada, and holds a deep love for it, and a belief in its ability to be a force of positive change in the world. He has throughout his career been a voice to encourage and challenge the church to engage with current social, political and environmental issues.
Shaun is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. His leadership was instrumental in Beaconsfield’s becoming an Affirming Ministry. Notably, he played a major role in the initiative to open a centre for LGBTQ+ youth on the West Island, and later to expand the centre’s reach to include programs for adults and seniors. He continues to serve on the West Island LGBTQ+ centre’s Board of Directors. He has also spoken at international conferences on LGBTQ+ issues and rights. For these and other achievements, in 2013 the United Theological College awarded Shaun the Craig Chaplin Award which recognizes someone from the LGBTQ+ community whose life’s work has been particularly distinguished in its clear embodiment of such central Gospel values as personal courage and integrity, life-affirming faith and spirituality, an unswerving commitment to social justice and a sustainable environment, and solidarity with those who are poor or marginalized.
Another social Justice concern close to Shaun’s heart is the regulation of Canadian mining practices abroad and particularly human rights Advocacy in the Philippines. He led the formation of the Beaconsfield Initiative which led to the governing bodies of the United Church passing motions for Action on human rights abuses in the Philippines. He has travelled to the Philippines several times over the course of his advocacy work, and served as an International Election observer in 2010.
Shaun does these things with compassion, hope and humour. He is undaunted by the demands before the church and is able to speak to them faithfully and thoughtfully.
Beaconsfield United Church 202 Woodside Road Beaconsfield,Québec H9W 2P1