Board and Staff

Ross Bartlett


This is Ross Bartlett. 
He’s the chair of the board of the aUCC. 

He thinks that this work is very important because ministry is not getting easier.  One of the gaps he sees in the life of the church arises around the ways we fail to offer helpful supports for healthy, thriving clergy.  Rather than lament the absence, he wanted to do what little he could to bridge the gap.

He loves being a husband, father and grand-father and thrives on helping people identify the solutions that are within them.

When not working in church-land you’ll often find me working on issues of economic poverty and housing insecurity with Rotary or reading/watching sci-fi – the weirder the better!

Linda Yates


This is Linda Yates. Before she was clergy, she worked in an Infectious Disease Research Lab and is always surprised how much that experience has come in handy. She is fascinated by the intersection of faith and science, and, by her own admission, her grandchildren and dogs pretty much own her.

She is serving on the board of the aUCC because as a newly retired clergy she is grateful for my careers as a UCC Minister.  When she was ordained she distinctly remembers being told we are ordained for life.  She takes that seriously. This means she is always called to do ministry and serving on the board is her ministry to my colleagues. 

She is fascinated by fields and, for a period of time, was obsessed with painting cows. 

Catherine MacDonald


This is Catherine MacDonald.

She is serving on the board of the aUCC as treasurer because in a previous life she was a financial planner and someone thought that it might be a good fit. 

When she is not working in church-land, she is walking, often with her camera in hand, spending time with her youngest granddaughter or with her nose in a book. She loves fiction of all kinds, except horror. 

Fun fact, at 13 years of age, I was the youngest lifeguard in Canada in 1972. 

Betsy Hogan

Member at Large

This is Betsy Hogan.  (Or a stock approximation of her – she really doesn’t like getting her photo taken!)

She’s serving on the Board of the aUCC because if she was going to yammer on about the problem she felt she had to say yes to helping build the solution.

When she’s not doing churchy things, she’s either trying to keep strong by walking, or doing ballet and pilates.  Also really likes lounging around and being lazy and fill that time by watching TV, reading, knitting and all sorts of other activities. 

Someday she hopes to retire to a second career of rocking newborn babies all day long.

Wayne Smith

Member at Large

This is Wayne Smith. 

He’s a husband/father/stepfather/grandfather.  In writing his bio he recognizes that what is not said often carries more weight than what is shared – the challenge is how to tell the difference.

He is serving on the board of aUCC to support advocacy for clergy in situations where the UCC and/or Communities of Faith – out of institutional and group survival and identity –  may not always have the best interest of its clergy at heart. 

When he’s not in church-land he’s a program Director of a community radio/online broadcaster and an Assistant Chaplain/Firefighter with a volunteer fire department.

Also, he once studied to be a jazz musician.

Susan MacAlpine-Gillis

Member at Large

This is Susan MacAlpine-Gillis. 

She is serving on the board of the aUCC because she believes in the vision of aUCC and has always valued clergy colleagues.  Serving on the board is one way to offer support.

When she’s not working in church-land she is spending time at the cottage, being a Gramma, or reading.  This winter she is getting a puppy because she love dogs. She also really loves taking groups of people on trips and one of the most unique trips she did was a Russian River cruise.

Alicia Cox

Member at Large

This is Alicia Cox.  She’s doing schooling at Saint Mary’s University and the Atlantic School of Theology and now works in Cape Breton.  She’s passionate about the United Church’s camping ministry and has been involved with it here in the Maritimes in various ways for over 10 years.

She is serving on the board of the aUCC because she believes that the work of the aUCC is important. She believes that for clergy it is important to have a space that offers community, advocacy, renewal, and a way they can learn, grow, and pray together.

When she’s not working in church-land, she’s exploring Cape Breton Island with her camera or singing musical theatre songs around the manse.  She’s also become an avid birdwatcher since moving to Cape Breton, and has documented over 40 species since moving to the island, many in her own backyard.

Mary-Lynne White

Member at Large

This is Mary Lynne Whyte.  She enjoys working as a Pastoral Care Minister at Woodlawn United Church in Dartmouth.  She felt the call to become a Minister in The United Church of Canada later in life. It’s her second career and she loves it.

She is serving on the board of the aUCC because she’s passionate about United Church of Canada clergy receiving the pastoral care they require and deserve, now that the Presbytery level of government has disappeared. She thinks it’s wonderful that aUCC established four pillars to meet the needs of clergy and she’s the Pillar Lead for Renewal.

When she’s not working in church-land, she enjoys time at home with her family, connecting with friends, reading, doing cross-word puzzles, and camping.  Fun fact: her first degree is music and she spent the first half of my career days singing professionally with the Elmer Iseler Singers touring across Canada, the United States, and Europe.  Later, she took up the harp in order to accompany herself in worship as well as entertain people in retirement homes, nursing homes, and hospitals.

Jeff Chant

Board Advisor

This is Jeff Chant. 

He is serving on the board of the aUCC because the isolation over these last couple of years created opportunities for him to connect with colleagues for learning, support and community.  In doing this he rediscovered the meaning and joy in these collegial relationships and wants to serve in creating a sustainable and purposeful association.

When he’s not working in church-land, he is business coaching, playing the piano or spending time with his partner.  Currently, he am rebuilding an antique car but freely admits he knows nothing about cars and engines.

John Wray

Communications Director

This is John Wray.

He’s the aUCC communications staff person.  He’s a father, minister, farmer and is nearing the end of a 5-year renovation to complete an energy efficient home.  Since his undergrad, he’s been running a small media company producing videos and websites for various organizations.  He also serves a little community church in Canard, Nova Scotia.

He’s serving as aUCC communitions staff because he enjoys the challenge and loves the fact that this organization is creating a much-needed support system for clergy.

When he’s not in church-land, he’s pasturing his animals, raising his daughters, and desperately trying to get caught up on sleep. 

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