Minister – Rev. Deborah Foster
BA (hon), MDiv, ThM
Thank you for checking out St. Mark’s United Church. I hope what you find, what you feel and see here on our website will invite you to come and meet us in person. Here at St. Mark’s, we truly believe all are welcome, all the time.
My name is Deb Foster. I am the minister here in my eighth year and I can tell you St. Mark’s is a wonderful, warm and caring church family. It is our church home and I choose and am happy to be here journeying with this congregation.
I was born in Scarborough, lived, worked and went to school in Scarborough, and then attended the University of Toronto for a BA in Psychology and French. When I was young, church wasn’t a part of my life, but into my teen and university years, I explored the Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Anglican and a Christian Fellowship churches. The United Church is where I found home for my beliefs, my faith, my heart and eventually my family.
I have not always been a minister. I come from many years with the Ontario Government in Organizational Development, leaving in 1994 to become certified for financial services and becoming a coordinator and teacher of early parenting programmes. Then in 1998, God’s call was so strong I had to leave and pursue ministry, returning to the UofT for a Master of Divinity in biblical, pastoral, Christian history and theological studies. Later, while in ministry after ordination, I pursued a Master of Theology where I studied my passion, the relationship between science and faith. My thesis was on the changing relationship among God, humanity and nature between the 15th and 18th centuries.
My other passions are for faith, for life, for love, for understanding the scriptures through the languages and context of their time, and then with scripture in one hand, the newspaper in the other, and scientific discoveries in between, I work to explore how the scriptures are still relevant today for revealing God’s presence beyond us, with us and within us too.
As you can tell, my work and church background are diverse. I bring a strange combination to St. Mark’s including that of my previous rural churches in which I served.
St. Mark’s is a good, kind, caring and exciting church family filled with curiosity, adventures, love and food. It is humbling to be a part of St. Mark’s, to be their spiritual leader, sharing in questions and wonderings, doubts and celebrations, being and serving in our community too. If you look on our What We Believe section, you will see we are a place many can call home. We have a very diverse congregation.
I hope you will come for a visit with us. Feel free to email, or call me, or drop by. I’d love to chat, get to know each other, and grow on this spiritual journey of faith coming to know God together.
Peace to your hearts always,
Rev. Deb Foster, BA(hon), MDiv, ThM
905-668-3091 ext. 222
Henry Remiz – Organist/Choir Director
I was born in Toronto; my parents had a deep appreciation of classical music, and I started taking piano lessons when I was about five years old. I attended St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, where I continued taking piano lessons, and also learned how to play the organ. I sang in various choirs there. Soon after, I was appointed organist for a church in west Toronto, and from 1977 to 1999, I was the organist and choir director for a number of churches in the Toronto area. I gave up these weekend responsibilities in 1999, and started attended church more with my family, while occasionally filling in for other organists and choir directors.
My family moved to Whitby in 1993. I have four not-so-young children. Some of them like to sing. All of them have complained about taking piano lessons. I’ve been filling in occasionally at St. Mark’s since early 2006, and I was appointed organist and director of the Chancel Choir in 2009.
I’m very pleased to be here at St. Mark’s. I can see how important music is to you, as part of your tradition and your worship experience. I have enjoyed working with the Chancel Choir, with the parish staff, with the Worship and Music Committee, and with the other musicians in the parish. The congregation has been very friendly and welcoming to me.
Children’s Program Leader
and her family