Meet the Staff of The Canadian Council of Churches
Secretary, Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group
Rebecca has been with the CCC since April 2013. Her main role is to provide staff support for the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group. For the first half of 2019, she acted as Interim Secretary for the Christian Interfaith Reference Group. She works remotely from Guelph. She is an active member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Canada and is honoured to support ecumenical work having heard much about its importance from her grandmother, Kathleen Schmitz-Hertzberg.
Rebecca has an Undergraduate and Master’s degree from the University of Guelph, where she studied botany, anthropology, and international development. Part of this time was spent learning from and supporting farmer-researchers in rural Honduras. Rebecca also worked for five seasons at Whole Circle Farm, a 200-acre mixed operation near Acton, Ontario, where she started as an intern the same week that she was first hired for 2 hours a week by the CCC. She now works as the Research and Seed Program Coordinator for the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. In farming, plant breeding, and seed saving she has continued to work with plants and culture and has found a way of honouring the past, present, and future.
Rev. Hyung Jin (Pablo) Kim Sun
Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning Teaching, Research, and Program Assistant
Pablo’s main role with the CCC is to provide support to the Associate Secretary of the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning. Pablo is a PhD candidate at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto in theological ethics. He has a Th.M. from Boston College and an M.Div. and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Seminary. He pastors in a Spanish speaking church called Iglesia Menonita Nueva Vida de Toronto. With his wife Jinah Im and daughter Loa Kim, he reflects on how to live as a disciple amidst the intersection of multiple identities: Korean, Paraguayan, immigrant, and Christian. While this reflection is a never-ending endeavor, he believes that it is his calling to write and teach about his experience as he continues to follow the gospel of peace in fellowship with his sisters and brothers in Christ. This theological reflection also led him to write Who Are Our Enemies and How do We Love Them (2020).
Dr. Mary Marrocco
Associate Secretary, Commission on Faith and Witness
Dr. Mary Marrocco has been with the CCC since 2001. Her main role is to provide staff support for the Commission on Faith and Witness and its various sub-committees. Mary has a PhD in Patristic Theology from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. Mary is also a Registered Psychotherapist, which she feels is complementary to her ecumenical work as a ministry of healing and reconciliation.
She is also passionate about theological reflection and is a gifted writer. Her book, On Becoming Bread, was published in 2019 by Twentythird Publications (Bayard) and her column, “Questioning Faith,” appears in the Catholic Register.
Dr. Michelle Miller
Secretary, Working Group on Sexual Exploitation
Dr. Michelle Miller is a White Settler living on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh people, also known as Vancouver. She recently joined the Canadian Council of Churches to facilitate the Working Group on Sexual Exploitation. For 10 years she served as the Founder and Executive Director of Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity (REED), the first organization in Western Canada created to address sex trafficking. In 2013 she earned a DMin in Transformational Leadership and Faith-Rooted Organizing from New York Theological Seminary. Dr. Miller has testified before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and is a skilled speaker and facilitator. A passion for justice informed by tenderness has led her on many adventures in loving both her friends and enemies. When she isn’t engaging in holy mischief she can be found camping in wild places, reading stories or welcoming people or furry critters into the rhythms of her life.
Pastor Peter Noteboom
Peter Noteboom was appointed to a five-year term as General Secretary in May 2018. The responsibilities of the General Secretary are to lift up the call for gospel unity, to provide direction and leadership through the development of vision and priorities, to implement the strategic and program plans of the Council, to facilitate Canadian and global ecumenical relationships, and to participate and lead in Canadian interfaith initiatives.
Peter has been with The Canadian Council of Churches since 1999 beginning as Associate Secretary, Justice and Peace. In that role he has served as staff support for the Commission on Justice and Peace, the Human Rights Committee, the Ecumenical Healthcare Network, the Canadian Ecumenical Anti-Racism Network, the Biotechnology Reference Group and the Working Group on Human Trafficking / Sexual Exploitation in Canada. In 2011 he became the Deputy General Secretary with additional responsibilities in finance, administration, and organizational restructuring and in 2017 became the Acting General Secretary.
Active in his home church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, he was ordained as a Commissioned Pastor in November 2019.
Peter earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and business administration from Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa in 1980; his Master of Arts degree in European Studies from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1989; did graduate studies in Christian Political Theory at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto from 1996-99; completed a post-graduate diploma in Dialogue and Negotiation from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver; British Columbia, in 2007 and is currently enrolled in the University of St. Michael’s College Interfaith Diploma program.
For more details see his LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/peternoteboom
Program Assistant, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Currently located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Amelia is a student, lover of poetry, and two-year member of the Emmaus House, an Anabaptist-inspired intentional community. Her current project is a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Narrative Studies at the Canadian Mennonite University, studying the role of stories in religion and society through a variety of disciplines. Amelia has long been involved in various Mennonite congregations in Winnipeg and Southern Manitoba, and more recently has been a regular participant in the Winnipeg Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
Prior to her work with the CCC, Amelia lived for several months in 2019 at the Taizé community in Bourgogne, France, helping to welcome and orient the thousands of visitors who come each week, and in the summer of 2020 she worked as a worship resource curator for the Together in Worship website, an Anabaptist database of online worship resources. Amelia’s favourite part of her work with the CCC is helping to make connections with local WPCU organizers, as well as the opportunity to work in both English and French.
Executive Assistant and Registrar
Jolan has been the administrative backbone of the CCC since 2016. She brings to the Council a wealth of experience in administration and communication as well as a keen eye for detail. Building a strong relationship with the members churches, affiliates, and observer churches along with the Directors of the Governing Board is a core function of her position. In addition to handling registration and event planning for the board meetings, she is responsible for the daily running of the office, providing smooth and efficient financial administration (accounts payable, accounts receivable, donor records, book sales, etc.) and providing support to the General Secretary. She also serves as registrar for the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning Reference Group. Jolan is a faithful Orthodox Christian who, along with her priest husband, serves in parish ministry in Toronto. She also cherishes working with her CCC staff colleagues and Governing Board members in this important ecumenical work to bear a Christian witness to the world.
Dr. Nicole Roccas
Communications CoordinatorDr. Nicole Roccas, née Lyon, has worked with the CCC since the fall of 2017 when she was baptized by fire recording the minutes of the Governing Board meeting for the first time. Since then, she has also served as interim CFW Coordinator and, since spring 2019, as the Communications Coordinator. She has a doctorate in European History from the University of Cincinnati with a sub-specialty in Church History. A convert to Eastern Orthodoxy from Evangelical Christianity, Nicole believes that building and maintaining bridges between Christians of all backgrounds is a life-giving safeguard against insular thinking and sectarianism. In addition to her work with the CCC, Nicole is an author, podcaster, and communications consultant. In her writing, Nicole mines the spiritual wisdom of ancient Christianity for a modern, seeking age. She is the author of three books of interest to Christian audiences: Time and Despondency: Regaining the Present in Faith and Life (2018), Under the Laurel Tree: Grieving Infertility with Saints Joachim and Anna (2019), and A Journal of Thanksgiving (2020). She also teaches at the Orthodox School of Theology at Trinity College (Toronto). For more about Nicole’s work and writing, visit her homepage: www.nicoleroccas.com.
Rev. Jonathan Schmidt
Associate Secretary, Intercultural Leadership and Learning; Justice and Peace
Rev. Jonathan Schmidt is is staff for the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning (FILL) and the Commission on Justice and Peace. Previously he was the director of the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries, an almost 100-year-old ecumenical agency that was fully brought into the Council as FILL in 2017. He brings to the work gifts as a facilitator and designer of experiential adult learning, and many years of experience in ecumenical settings. His areas of expertise include intercultural ministry, justice, anti-racism and privilege, missiology, and overseas cross-cultural travel and relationship.
A White Canadian cisgender male, he grew up in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto. Since then he has lived in Kitchener (Ontario), El Salvador, Cleveland, Albuquerque (New Mexico), and Scarborough (Ontario). Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, he has served in parish, campus, and ecumenical ministries—with breaks for things like parenting and running a Central American restaurant. His work, research, life, and facilitation experience have led to engaging others in learning in theology, social analysis, history, culture, race, and power. He is enrolled in the thesis stage of the Doctor of Ministry program at the Toronto School of Theology. Jonathan is married to Alice Schuda and has two young adult children, Martin and Maya. Outside of work, his interests include parenting, community activism, cycling, and house renovations. His ancestors were Lutheran Missionaries to the USA in the 1800s.
Coordinator, Commission on Faith and Witness
Maria has been with the CCC since the fall of 2014. Her main role is to coordinate the CCC’s flagship program, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU). She also assists the Associate Secretary for the Commission on Faith and Witness, including facilitating the work of the Christian Interfaith Reference Group. Maria is a PhD candidate at the Toronto School of Theology, majoring in Systematic Theology. She holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York City. She is passionate about Christian ecumenism and seeing theological reflection at work in the context of ecumenical dialogue.