The Reverend Beth Bretzlaff was born in Shawville, Quebec and spent her first years learning to love life on a dairy farm. After high school, Beth studied Humanities for a year at John Abbott College in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, before achieving her Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) degree at the University of Ottawa. Wanderlust led her to Calgary, Alberta where Beth experienced working in sales and administration before pursuing her Master of Divinity at the Vancouver School of Theology. She was ordained as a deacon in the Anglican Diocese of Kootenay in 1993 and as a priest the following year. For the next eight and a half years, Beth served as curate and then assistant at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Kelowna, British Columbia. Loving change and challenge, Beth then worked as publicist for Wood Lake Books before moving to Invercargill, New Zealand in 2004. She was the child, youth and family educator for the Diocese of Dunedin, followed by a period of study and work in youth justice, obtaining her Post-Graduate Diploma in Community and Social Work from Otago University, Dunedin. Returning to Canada in 2010, Beth enjoyed a 'gap year' and then loved ministering as the Chaplain at Ashbury College in Ottawa prior to coming to St John's. Most days, you will find Beth by her laugh - enjoying life and those she meets with all her being.
An interesting article about Beth recently was posted at an online blog: click here to read it.
Brigadier-General (retired) the Venerable John Fletcher is our Associate Priest. John was born and raised in New Brunswick. After high school he enrolled in the Canadian Forces, and graduated from the Royal Military College in 1984, with a Bachelor of Science degree. John completed a Master of Divinity degree at Trinity College in 1987. Following ordination, he served a two-year curacy in the Diocese of Fredericton. In 1989, he began his ministry as a military chaplain. For more than 25 years he served in various assignments throughout Canada (primarily in the Canadian Army, the Royal Canadian Navy, and at National Defence Headquarters), as well as on international operations. John was promoted Brigadier-General in 2013, and served as Chaplain General until retiring from the Canadian Forces in 2015. As Chaplain General, John was appointed Honourary Chaplain to the Queen, and received an Honourary Doctorate from his Alma Mater. John is an Archdeacon (emeritus) of the Anglican Military Ordinariate of Canada. He represented the Ordinariate at several General Synods, on the Council of General Synod and on the “Communications, Information and Resources Committee” of the Anglican Church of Canada. John is a Dean (emeritus) of the Canadian Priory of the Order of St. George, and serves on the board of directors for the St. John Ambulance Federal District. John and his husband Nelson enjoy spending time with family and friends, and seeking to make a positive difference in the wider community.
Dr Gordon Johnston has been Organist and Choirmaster of St John's since 1986. A native of Calgary, he studied organ and choral conducting in Calgary and in the United States, receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in organ and church music from Brigham Young University (Utah, USA). Prior to coming to St John's, he was guest organist at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. In 2003 he was awarded a Doctorate in Sacred Music summa cum laude from the Graduate Theological Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. An active conductor and composer, his four-volume set of Psalms from the Revised Common Lectionary is published by the Anglican Book Centre, Toronto, as well as published by Novalis/Bayard, and self-published at www.PsalmsForPraying.com. Gordon is also Director of Music in the Anglican Studies Programme at Saint Paul University.
Laura Macdonald, our parish administrator, is a lifelong Anglican, a choral musician and a Professional Project Manager PMP(R) who brings to St John's a wealth of experience in administration, property management and finance.