Acting General SecretaryPeter has been with the CCC since 1999, beginning as Associate Secretary, Justice and Peace where he provided staff support and accompanied the members of the Council in their work in justice and peace as well as biotechnology and the life sciences. In 2011 he became the Deputy General Secretary with additional responsibilities in finance, administration, and organizational restructuring.
He now serves as the General Secretary of The Canadian Council of Churches with responsibilities similar to a chief executive officer.
A believer in a better world, Peter’s life work has been to build peace, one step, one relationship, at a time. As a program leader, community organizer and learning facilitator, he knows how important it is for people to participate, join in the process of change, and make decisions together.
Active in his home church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, Peter has volunteered in leadership roles on the Boards of several church and non-governmental organizations.
He has a post-graduate diploma on Dialogue and Negotiation from Simon Fraser University, has done post-graduate studies on Christian Political Theory at the Institute for Christian Studies, has a Master of Arts degree in European Studies from the Catholic University of Leuven, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and business administration from Dordt College, Iowa.
He is married to learning facilitator and community leader Jeanette Romkema and admires the passion, commitment and spirit of his two grown children Reuben and Jude.
Rev. Jonathan Schmidt
Associate Secretary, Intercultural Leadership and Learning; Justice and Peace
Rev. Jonathan Schmidt is the Director of the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning, a reference group of the Canadian Council of Churches. Prior he was the director of the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries beginning in 2005. 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, he grew up in Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto. Since then he has lived in Kitchener (Ontario), El Salvador, Cleveland, Albuquerque (New Mexico) and Scarborough. 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 teenage 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 1800’s.
Associate Secretary, Commission on Faith and WitnessMary 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 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Patristic Theology from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto.
Mary is also a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT), 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 column, “Questioning Faith,” appears in the Catholic Register and Prairie Messenger.
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.
Jolan Ready Executive Assistant and Registrar
Jolan provides administrative support to the General Secretary and is responsible for office management and financial duties, liaising closely with the Director of Operations. Building a strong relationship with the Governing Board is an integral component of her position. She handles event planning, registration, and report distribution for the Governing Board meetings twice a year. She also fulfills the role of registrar for the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning Reference Group. She is highly experienced in administration and brings to the Council many strong skills in organization and communication and has a keen eye for detail.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Ottawa and has lived abroad for many years in the United Kingdom and France. She is married with three children, belongs to the Orthodox Church in America, Archdiocese of Canada and is committed to ecumenism.