Our Staff

Rev. Dr. John Pentland - Lead Minister

John Pentland has been the Lead Minister at Hillhurst since September of 2005. He is originally from Ontario, and studied at Queen's University, the University of Toronto, Princeton University, and the University of Chicago, earning his D.Min. in 2002. John is married to Anna and together they parent four children: Jesse, Josh, Allie, and Charlotte.


He is passionate about making connections between religion or spirituality and living a meaningful life. With one foot in the church, and one in the community, he believes that what we do at Hillhurst United should impact and support all areas of our life. 


He explores crossover theology with topics like wine and spirituality, "REEL" theology, and issues of lived hospitality. He is excited to be working in a community that seeks relevance, connection and the living of a passionate life.  In 2015, John published his first book "Fishing Tips - How Curiosity Transformed a Community of Faith". You can reach John at john.pentland@hillhurstunited.com. If you are interested in ordering John's book - please click here.

Rev. Dr. Danielle Ayana James - Minister

Danielle Ayana James joined the Hillhurst Clergy Team in July 2015. As a teenager Danielle emigrated from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and found a spiritual home in the United Church of Canada.


Danielle has served churches in Alberta, Ontario, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She earned her Master of Divinity (M.Div) from Yale Divinity School; her Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) from McCormick Seminary, Chicago and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (H.BSc) from McMaster University. She is an ICF certified leadership coach and enjoys collaborations across cultures, faith traditions and in areas of social justice and soul-work. 


Danielle is passionate about ‘praying with her feet’. She believes that life can be thought of as a weaving of moments that deepen wisdom, foster love and embrace the diversity of Creation.


She is thrilled be working in this community that strives to be vibrant, inclusive and progressive.  You’ll find Danielle on her yoga mat, dancing to live music, contemplating beauty and planning her next travel destination.


You can reach Rev.D at danielle.james@hillhurstunited.com.

Rev. Sheena Trotter-Dennis - Minister, KidSpace

Rev. Sheena oversees the Kidspace team in addition to presiding at Sunday services whenever needed.


She is an ordained United Methodist Pastor who has pastored churches in Southern California and in Texas. Her most recent appointment was at Belmont Heights United Methodist Church in Long Beach, California. heena, and her husband Pete, moved to Calgary in September 2010. Together, Pete and Sheena parent Katherine and Lauren. You can reach Sheena at sheena.trotterdennis@hillhurstunited.com.

Clint Marble - Facility Manager

Clint joined the staff team at HUC in December 2015 for a six month term position overseeing our facilities, external rentals and working with our dedicated volunteers that provide TLC to our elegant, but aging, building. 


Clint has been a member of HUC for many years , most notably as part of our monthly Early Bird Breakfast crew. 

Nancy Watts - Finance Administrator

Nancy joined the Hillhurst team in 2009. Her roots are in the Maritimes (NB), though she and her husband, Bob, and three children, Alec, Jillan, and Deanne, really enjoy the challenges of western outdoor pursuits, such as backcountry camping, canoeing, and hiking. Nancy is very involved with many events and initiatives at Hillhurst, and enjoys working with the many committees and volunteers! Nancy can be reached at nancy.watts@hillhurstunited.com.

Jana + Jan Loncikova - Custodians

Jana is onsite each morning Monday to Friday. Jana and her husband Jan have owned and operated various business enterprises including residential and commercial cleaning. Malicher European Deli and Bakery in Kensington was operated by Jana and Jan until family health circumstances required the closing of the business. Jana is also trained and experienced as an Alternative Medicine health practitioner.


Jan has had a varied and interesting career as an academic chemist, IT specialist and professional baker. Jan is frequently onsite with his wife, Jana, helping her keep our busy church clean and offering advice for minor repairs and equipment needed to maintain our elegant, but aging, facilities.

Joanne Kellough - Office Administrator

Joanne joined HUC in April 2015. She brings much administrative leadership education and experience to her new role, including five years as Office Adminstrator at Grace Presbyterian Church in Calgary. She is currently completing her Certificate in Theological Studies at Vancouver School of Theology.


She is the mother of a daughter, Irene, and is married to Ryan. Her spare time is spent volunteering at church. She also has her Purple Belt in Shotokan Karate so be nice!


Joanne can be found in our Office Reception area Monday to Thursday, 10am - 3:30pm and can be reached at joanne.kellough@hillhurstunited.com.

Pam Rocker - Affirming and Creative Coordinator

Pam started with us as our Media and Communications Coordinator in 2010, and with her visionary and pioneering approach, established a solid foundation in many important areas. Her creativity and drive to actively plan, dream, and work to further engage Hillhurst in our ever-changing culture, has been phenomenal.


She has been our Affirming and Creative Coordinator since 2012, a pioneering role within the United Church of Canada, and serves in our faith community and beyond to find ways to continually integrate and live out our Affirming Statement in tangible ways.


Pam is an award-winning writer, poet, activist, and speaker. She has trained in playwrighting and screenwriting in Canada and Los Angeles. She has always sought to entertain with a purpose, and challenge prejudice in non-prescript ways. Dozens of her scripts have been seen on stage and screen. An active member of Calgary's LGBTQ+ community, she is honoured to be a part of this Affirming Ministry. Contact Pam at pam.rocker@hillhurstunited.com

Adrea Wirl - Communications & Media Lead

Adrea is the creative touch behind Hillhurst United Church's visual identity and communication strategy. In print and on the web, Adrea designs and executes much of what you see - everything from weekly communications to special event marketing and collateral. You can reach Adrea at adrea.wirl@hillhurstunited.com.

Nancy Chegus, B.Ed., MTS - Director, Music Ministry

Nancy joined HUC’s staff leadership team in January, 2015 and is responsible for coordinating and mentoring the music programs offered at HUC, including the annual spring musical.


Previously, Nancy worked in congregational ministry as choir director for children, youth, and adults, and as a Designated Lay Minister in the area of faith formation. She is a published song writer and has offered music leadership for workshops and conferences at all levels of our United Church. Nancy can be reached at nancy.chegus@hillhurstunited.com.

Justin Macosky - Choral Director

Justin was formerly the Music Director at Forest Lawn United Church, where he began his church life and appreciation of choral music at a very young age. The children's choir that he started there recorded a song with him on his album, Past, Present & Future (2007).


He spent eleven years in the Mount Royal Family of Choirs, touring across Canada and to Mexico. Justin has sung with the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus Chamber Choir, and directed the Women's Chorus for the performance of Holst's "Planets" in 2009. Justin was also the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Ismaili Muslim Youth Choir of Calgary from 2009-2011.


Justin directs an annual cantata at Hillhurst, featuring our choir and special guests from the community. Justin can be reached at justin.macosky@hillhurstunited.com.

Lori Follis - Director, Hillhurst Children's Choir

Lori Follis began attending Hillhurst United church in 2012 and has enjoyed the community, the values and the commitment to connecting people through their gifts.


Lori is an elementary music teacher and has always loved participating in choral music. Directing the Hillhurst Youth Choir has been a joy for Lori and she looks forward to a bright, musical future for our youth. Lori can be reached as follis5@shaw.ca.

Bruce Petherick - Accompanist

Bruce's resume is way too long. It is full of gigs with very important people that no one remembers anymore - Count Basie, Woody Herman, Dame Kiri TeKanawa, Manhattan Transfer -  and concerts for very important people that no one cares about anymore - most of the Royal Family (British, Malaysian) and several Prime Ministers (almost all Asian or Commonwealth countries).


Bruce prides himself on being able to play most styles of music, but listens to weird complex Classical music and his 12 year-old daughter’s weird dance music at home.


Although he has very few official students, Bruce uses every performance as a teachable moment. Bruce co-hosts open mics at Cafe Koi with his musical partner Deanne Matley as often as he is allowed, and is always overjoyed, and humbled by the community.

Pace Anhorn - HACKED Youth Leader

bio coming soon...

Shauna Thompson - KidSpace Coordinator

Shauna has been part of the KidSpace team since early 2012. Wife to Sadie, and Momma to 2 very active kids, 3 dogs, 3 cats, a bird, a hamster, and some fish, Shauna loves spending time with her family. Shauna has always had a passion for working with children and families, and outside of HUC works full time in psychology/assessment. Shauna really enjoys travel, playing outside, great food, action movies, good books and playing video games. Shauna can be reached at shauna.thompson@hillhurstunited.com.

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Hillhurst United Church

1227 Kensington Close NW | Calgary, AB | T2N 3J6

phone: 403-283-1539   email: office@hillhurstunited.com

The office is open Monday to Thursday from 10:00am to 3:30pm


Sunday  Services: 9:05 am and 10:45 am

problems with our website? please email office@hillhurstunited.com

© 2018 - Hillhurst United Church

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