Introducing Our Team
Get to know our fabulous staff and volunteer team.
We are all part of the life and work of St. Andrew's.
Reverend Susan Chisholm (she/her)
B. Mus; B. Ed; M.A; M.Div.
Call/Text- (902) 405-3490
Email - [email protected]
Growing up in the church, Susan remembers committee meetings held at her dining room table, choir practices held around her piano, youth retreats held at her cottage, and farewell and welcome parties held around her barbecue. Her connection to God came first from her sense of belonging in a loving and supportive faith community. It was a good start, but then there are countless ways to grow in life and spirit.
Susan holds degrees from the University of Western Ontario, McGill University, and Atlantic School of Theology. As an educator, Susan worked in the Arctic, East Africa, Central Canada, and Eastern Canada, always with an interest in education for social change. Susan has been involved in the healing work of reconciliation, and the collaborative work of intersectional justice. She has particular interest in progressive theology with real world engagement – personally, collectively, globally.
Her joy in St. Andrew’s is its radical welcome of diverse expressions, perspectives, orientations, and traditions. Thank God for that! What we explore here helps us to bear more gracefully the realities and responsibilities of being human, and frankly, we need all the help and wisdom we can get. This world needs all the help and wisdom we can get.
So meeting, singing, celebrating, and belonging still matter, and with the breadth and depth of spirit at St. Andrew’s, we keep growing.
Kevin Parks (he/him)
Congregational Designated Minister of Music
Call/Text - (902) 221-1597
Main email - [email protected]
Venue inquiries - [email protected]
Kevin has been the music leader at St. Andrew’s since July 2002. In 2015, St. Andrew’s asked Halifax Presbytery to define this position as a Congregation Designated Ministry. Kevin’s perspective as a “pastoral musician” led him to pursue theological training which has opened him to deeper perspectives and richer understanding of how to enliven what is deep in our souls through a well-selected text and tune. Kevin prefers to work in collaboration with many others to make music in worship a source of insight and inspiration, a touchstone upon which faith is grounded and built.
Kevin wears many hats at St. Andrew's and, in addition to worship, is involved in strategic planning, site development, mission and outreach, as well as Sanctuary bookings and managing presentations on The Stage at St. Andrew’s.
Beyond St. Andrew’s, Kevin is University Musician at Atlantic School of Theology, and a member of the development team for the United Church of Canada’s (UCC) upcoming digital Worship and Music resources “Gathering Worship” and “Then Let Us Sing!” He is a sought-after clinician and music leader for conferences and events, and commentator on matters related to teamwork in ministry, copyright in the church, and making music in pandemic circumstances. His partner, Dana Pardy, is a candidate for ministry in the UCC, and they have three ‘mostly’ grown children.
Thunder Shanti Narooz van Egteren (she/they)
Call/Text - (902) 405-3163
Main email - [email protected]
Hall rental inquiries - [email protected]
Finance related inquiries - [email protected]
Click to book a meeting with Thunder
Thunder hails from Alberta and has spent the past decade working in the nonprofit and social services sectors in their home province and BC. They have also lived in Ontario and Quebec, but are happy to call Nova Scotia home for the past 3 years.
As Operations Manager, they bring a wealth of lived and practical experience to their role, having worked with children & youth in various capacities, with newcomers, with women and families living in poverty, with individuals fleeing abuse and violence, in leadership positions, and in community development and partnership work.
Thunder looks after the overall operations of St. Andrew's including strategic planning and direction, finance, facilities, rentals, communications, and program/ministry support. They are excited and passionate about continuing to build community, connection and church, within St. Andrew's and out in the larger Halifax context.
In the evenings and on weekends, you are most likely to find Thunder either curled up with their cat, Pico, and a good book, or out exploring the many beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and campgrounds in Nova Scotia.
Crispin Empaynado (he/him)
Facilities Manager & Sexton (Custodian)
Call/Text - (902) 329-9660
Email - [email protected]
Crispin Francisco Empaynado is the Facilities Manager & Sexton at St. Andrews United Church.
Originally from the Philippines, he migrated to Halifax more than 16 years ago. Together with his wife, Maria Lourdes, he started and grew a cleaning company in 2008, which still operates and is managed by Maria Lourdes.
Crispin finds happiness in helping others. He also enjoys outdoor activities, like gardening and takes pride in a job well done.
His favourite line is “How may I serve?”
Jillian Eisener (she/her)
B.A Child and Youth Studies; Minor Psych
Sunday School Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Jillian is in her third year supporting St. Andrew's Sunday School.
She has been working with children for 8 years and has been in a variety of management and family support positions throughout her career. As the Sunday School Coordinator, she is responsible for ensuring the Sunday School is running well and supporting the families and educator that are apart of our program.
If there is a way she can support you or your children involved in the program, don't hesitate to reach out.
Strategic vision, guidance, and direction
At the 2022 AGM, our congregation voted in favour of transitioning to a strategic Council, operating in the United Church structure of a streamlined board.
With our dedicated volunteer Council members, we continue this process towards building a board that focuses on the strategic vision of St. Andrew's, and provides guidance and direction, empowering staff to manage the day-to-day operations of our growing mission.
New members are welcome on this team! Be a part of building the future of St. Andrew's. Click below to get started.
Council Members are volunteers from our congregation and community who focus on long-term planning and goals for St. Andrew's, as well as provide operations oversight.
Together, we explore new and exciting ideas that we may not have heard before.
We bring "It's All Church" to life!
Click on the images below for biographies.