Rev. Doug Craig and Rev. Milo Spooner Craig
We are pleased to be working together in a Team Ministry for Central United Church. We have a combined ministerial experience of 58 years. We have served in 2 previous Team ministries and many single ministries.
We are grateful to have served in Waskada, Lyleton, Pierson, Coulter, Goodlands, Belmont, Baldur, Glenboro, Holland, Cypress River, Morden, Darlingford, Cartwright, Mather in Mantoba and Yorkton, North Battleford and Lloydminster in Saskatchewan.
We are part time ministry people working in specific areas. Milo works 25 hours and Doug works 25 hours a week. We share Worship preparation and preaching. Doug is the primary pastoral care person visiting in homes, hospitals and nursing homes working alongside of many other volunteers. Milo is the one who deals with the administration pieces and the general operation of the church and its ministry.
We are hired through a yearly appointment which runs July 1 – June 30th. Each year our contracts are negotiated between the church and us, as to whether we are appointed for an additional year. We are currently contracted until June 2020.
During our time, we have initiated a Visioning process which has led us to becoming an Affirming Ministry, in September of 2018. Through this same process, the congregation agreed to expand the chancel/stage area to be able to accommodate larger groups of people and more flexibility.
Due to repeated financial deficits, a lengthy process took place whereby the church now rents our lower level space and shares the sanctuary with Cities church. This transition warranted a moving of our worship time to 9:30 a.m. We have entered into a 5-year contract of sharing space with Cities church.
It is fair to say in our time at Central we have definitely walked with the congregation through many changes and growing pains.
“Walk with me, I’ll will walk with you and build the land that God has planned where love shines through.”
Milo and Doug
Mary Chambers (Neets) was born south of Brandon, moved with her Macleods’ family to Foam Lake, SK where she started school, then on to McCreary, MB and on to Brandon where she completed her schooling at Vincent Massey Collegiate. It seemed as though Macleods was in her blood as she worked there after school and on weekends until graduation, when she went to work in the Bank of Nova Scotia. After marriage and moving to a farming life and raising 4 children, she went to work as an Educational Assistant at Minto School. She has just retired after 24 years.
Mary started her career as organist in Boissevain at St. Paul’s United Church and after 19 years there, relocated to Elgin and Souris charge. Then the opportunity arose to be organist at Central United and she accepted the position with eagerness, an opportunity to play a ‘Casavant’. I enjoy my association with colleagues and the family of Central United and hope to continue to appease or meet the approval of the congregation and staff.
Kenneth is a educational assistant at Crocus Plains High school. He has sung for many years.
He also has enjoyed participating and performing in many local musical theatre productions.
Here and in Brandon and in Winnipeg at Rainbow Stage and the Winnipeg fringe festival.
Kenneth is a graduate of Brandon university, he grew up in Minto, Manitoba.
Murray Spratt – Caretaker
I have been at Central for so long, I can’t remember.
Perhaps I started in 1997?
Obviously, my job is to keep the place looking clean and tidy but
what I really love is the interaction with people.
Central is not just my place of work, it is also my church family.
My wife Lawana and daughter Kiara worship here as well.
Larysa Varakina – Administrative Assistant
My name is Larysa Varakina. I joined Central United Church as an Administrative Assistant in March, 2019. I enjoy working with people and helping them in their needs.
I am Ukrainian by nationality. My husband, our son and I came to Canada in fall, 2013. In Ukraine, I used to work as a teacher of English Language and literature, interpreter, translator and student coordinator.
Upon arrival to Brandon, Manitoba, I worked as an office assistant and later program coordinator at Westman Immigrant Services. The ability to speak Ukrainian, Russian and English gave me a wonderful opportunity to become a community interpreter and serve people with my linguistic skills. Being now a part of Central United Church, I am excited about great opportunities to build new friendships and reach more people who need help and support.
Thank you for welcoming me to your team!