Katharine Edmonstone, diaconal minister and former leader of the flock at Highland Road United Church, has the responsibility of Pastoral Care. It’s a happy choice, because Katharine is no stranger but a familiar face to our congregation, a number of whom have joined us from Katharine’s former charge at Highland Road United. Previously she has acted as substitute minister during our ministers’ absence and been a frequent visitor on other occasions. You warm to Katharine almost immediately. She is so unaffected, has a marvelous sense of humour, and there is a centred calmness about her…clearly someone you feel comfortable talking to…admirable qualities for her new role in pastoral care.
Born and raised on a farm in Kemble, Ontario, north of Owen Sound, she attended a one room school and with her four siblings went to church every Sunday. But the church was not in her plans back then or for many years after. There was a Bachelor’s degree from University of Guelph in Psychology and Philosophy, graduation from Conestogo College in non-traditional arts for women—carpentry, maintenance mechanics, and welding—a year in England, a turn in banking, and much more. In fact, she confesses, you could say she was “shoved” into the ministry. She applied for a job as secretary at Dublin Street United in Guelph, and while she didn’t get the job, it was suggested by the minister that she would be great in Christian Education.
So in 1982, to develop the skills she needed, she enrolled at the Centre for Christian Studies. Later, as a diaconal minister she served for a time at Calvary United in Kitchener and, since then, never needed to apply—the churches came to her. She served at both Conestogo United and Highland Road simultaneously—the congregations adjusting the times of their services to make this possible—and she has served the wider church: as Chair of Waterloo Presbytery, President of Hamilton Conference and Co-chair of the local arrangements committee for General Council in 1994.
If you wish to be in touch with Katharine, she is at the church from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Mondays or you can use our contact page to send her a note.