Minister and Staff

the Rev. Dr. Steven Davis

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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was born. Well, actually I was born in Scarborough and, grey hair aside, it really wasn’t that long ago! I have, however, been on a journey since my birth – a journey that has ultimately led me here to St. Mark’s in Whitby. I joined the congregation in February of 2023 and I’m excited to be a part of the ministry here, shared with faithful staff and lay people, as St. Mark’s serves the community of downtown Whitby and extends a hearty welcome to all, striving to live out God’s love and setting aside those things that so often divide us.

I was raised by a single mother in an era when single-parent families were not the norm. We lived first with my grandparents and then with my mother’s aunt and uncle, so from a very early age I understood that “family” wasn’t always defined as mom and dad and two kids and a dog. I also grew up in a non-religious household and didn’t feel the first stirrings of faith until I was in my early-mid 20’s, which eventually led to me joining Victoria Park United Church. I met my wife, Lynn, at Victoria Park and we were married in June of 1991. In 2005, we adopted our beautiful daughter Hannah. I’ve also been the adopted faither to many pets over the years, and since I was a child I’ve had a particular fondness for budgies and have had several, along with two beloved dogs who both lived to ripe old ages!

I graduated with a B.A. in History from York University in 1987 and worked a few different jobs before sensing a call to the ministry that was confirmed by the congregation of Victoria Park United Church and Toronto Scarborough Presbytery. I began my studies at Emmanuel College in 1990 (completing an internship at Central Avenue United Church in Fort Erie as part of the process). I graduated from Emmanuel with a Master of Divinity and was ordained by the United Church’s Toronto Conference back in 1994. Since being ordained I’ve served the Green Bay South Pastoral Charge in Central Newfoundland for 3 years, the Sundridge Pastoral Charge in Ontario’s Near North for 8 years, Central United Church in Port Colborne for almost 11 years, and Pickering Village United Church in Ajax for almost 8 years before coming to St. Mark’s. While I was serving in Port Colborne I completed a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Chicago – a United Methodist Seminary located on the campus of Northwestern University. My doctoral thesis dealt with strategies for preaching to churches experiencing conflict. In ministry, through preaching and teaching and serving, I strive to live out the love and example of Jesus as best I can, and to make the Scriptures meaningful to our own times and lives, showing by both the relevance of faith in today’s world.

Aside from ministry and theology, I have a healthy love for and interest in history and politics, and I’m always up for a hearty discussion about those things. In the warmer months during downtime I can often been found riding my bike along the side roads of the Beaverton area, where we now live. I’m also a sports fan. I played a little baseball and hockey and volleyball in my early years, but came to the conclusion that I was better suited to be a fan, so every now and then you’ll hear me pontificate (and sometimes grumble when things aren’t going well) about the Leafs, the Raptors and the Blue Jays.

I would love to welcome you to St. Mark’s and get to know you, and I hope that opportunity arises soon!


Henry Remiz
Organist/Choir Director

 003Henry Remiz was born in Toronto; his parents had a deep appreciation of classical music, and he started taking piano lessons when he was about five years old.  He attended St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto, where he continued taking piano lessons, and also learned how to play the organ. Henry sang in various choirs there.  Soon after, he was appointed organist for a church in west Toronto, and from 1977 to 1999, was the organist and choir director for a number of churches in the Toronto area.  He gave up these weekend responsibilities in 1999 and started attending church more with his family, while occasionally filling in for other organists and choir directors.

Henry’s family moved to Whitby in 1993. He have four not-so-young children. Some of them like to sing. All of them have complained about taking piano lessons.  He had been filling in occasionally at St. Mark’s since early 2006 and was appointed organist and director of the Chancel Choir in 2009.

Henry is very pleased to be here at St. Mark’s. He can see how important music is to the congregation, as part of the tradition and worship experience. He has 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.

Arleane Ralph
Church Administrator

John Herscheid
Church Custodian