Julia came to Okotoks United as a student in 2007. In 2012, after ordination, Julia became the minister. She worked as a staff associate for 17 years in a large inner-city church before coming to Okotoks/De Winton. Julia has a passion for Spiritual Formation and Contemplation. Her favourite work in the church was one-on-one mentoring with women. She has offered many workshops and retreats to various faith communities. Julia loves working with clay, reading, walking, travelling, board games and cats. She is delighted to be working with her partner in ministry as of 2021, Rev. Matthew Heesing and looks forward to adventures ahead.
Matthew Heesing is filled with joy to join Okotoks-De Winton Pastoral Charge on their journey of faith. For as long as he can remember, he has been actively involved in the United Church of Canada, and brings with him a surprising array of experience and education: from joining his local church Board as a teenager, to serving as a United Church General Council Commissioner, living in Bogota, Colombia as a United Church Overseas Mission Personnel, and completing a Masters of Arts in Theology and Religious Studies from St. Mary’s University, Halifax.
Before joining Okotoks-De Winton Pastoral Charge, Matthew spent over five years as the student minister for the United Church in the Valley. Some highlights of that time include radically reimagining Sunday morning worship (including temporarily replacing the sermon with a time of discussion), hosting an Old Time Family Dance, and leading creative sermon series such as “Star Wars and the Christmas Story.”
Matthew’s passions for ministry include preaching, pointing out connections between pop culture and the Divine, exploring the stories of Scripture with others, and accompanying people through the most ordinary and profound moments of their lives.
Matthew lives in Okotoks with his spouse and young daughter (and his two favourite puppets: Melvin and Davey!)