Churchill Park United Church is pleased to welcome Rev. Dawn Rolke, who has accepted our call to ministry effective March 15, 2020, following the retirement of Rev. Janet Walker in December 2019 who served for more than 12 years.
Growing up in the Lutheran Church in rural Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Dawn chose the United Church as an adult and was ordained in 1993. Since then, her spiritual journey has been inseparable from the United Church of Canada, though she continues to learn and grow through the gifts of other traditions. She has had a diverse career in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, serving congregations in rural, inner-city and suburban communities as part of solo, team and interdenominational ministries. Later, as a chaplain, Dawn worked in hospitals, prisons and long-term care settings.
Dawn values ongoing education and learning. “Each time I prepare a sermon, I set a goal to learn something new, not just to share that knowledge with the congregation, but for the pleasure of personal growth,” Dawn says.
As part of her spiritual and knowledge quest, twelve years after ordination, she studied Spiritual Direction in Denver Colorado to deepen her skills in prayer and spiritual listening. Three years later, she began a second Masters degree to study counselling from an anti-oppressive perspective.
Dawn has enjoyed several opportunities to study, learn and travel with the United Church. She was the Saskatchewan delegate for learning trips to Zambia, Quebec and the Arnprior Gathering in Ontario. She has worked, led events or spent time at all the United Church Centres in Canada. She’s also travelled to numerous communities in Saskatchewan and Canada as a witness to the Truth and Reconciliation hearings.
In the summer of 2019, Dawn Rolke celebrated 25 years of ordained ministry in the United Church of Canada. (Congratulations, Dawn on your dedication to a life of service.)
Dawn loves music, singing, reading, thinking, walking, exploring, renovating old homes and loud boisterous family gatherings. Among her interests, she’s a practicing massage therapist. She’s also a devoted animal lover and has two sweet pups, Jack and Bella.
With her acceptance of the call to Churchill Park United Church, Dawn looks forward to this next step of ministry with our openhearted, curious and progressive congregation.
Chances are that if you phone Churchill Park United Church (204-452-8561) or send an email (), your first point of contact will be our genial office administrator, Cindy Kraus. Cindy came to CPUC in August 2019 and has been quickly recognized for her helpfulness and organizational skills. Before coming to Churchill Park, she’d had a long career as a remote agent and supervisor for a corporation where she’d interact from home by phone, email and chat with a wide array of corporate clients. So she’s well skilled at handling enquiries. After working from home for many years, one thing she likes about Churchill Park is being able to meet visitors to the church live-and-in person.
Married with two young-adult children, Cindy is also a devoted cat lover, and as her children have become more independent, she’s able to devote more attention to her beloved cat Smudge, which graces the screen saver on her computer homepage.
So, if you have occasion to contact Churchill Park in person, by phone, email, or facebook Cindy will help you or direct you to the appropriate person. She’s in the office Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or leave a message if your enquiry can wait.
Arlene has been calling Churchill Park United her home since September 2008 when she and her husband, Richard, moved into Winnipeg after having lived in a variety of places in Manitoba - Brandon, Ebb and Flow, Ste. Rose du Lac, Russell, The Pas. She participated in a year of musical exploration with the congregation and now provides music direction and accompaniment on contract.
She says she and Richard have always found the United Church to be a strong home base across many moves, an instant supportive family when you move into a new community. It's not just the people but also the theology that attracts them, a theology that always encourages people to grapple with the question of Jesus, "But who do you say that I am?" Also, it's how the music carries the message, the joy, the mystery, the profundity, the celebration.
Arlene lends her many talents --singing, choir directing, piano and organ playing--to sharing this experience of music-making with others at Churchill Park United. She invites everyone to join her in expressing through music the Gospel and their gratitude for the gift of life, its beauty, its grandeur, its meaning...
Wayne was a member of the House and Property Committee of Riverview United Church for many years and stayed on the Property Committee of Churchill Park United Church once the amalgamation of Rosedale and Riverview United Churches took place.
Wayne paired up with John McNairnay for several years and contracted themselves to the church as caretaking contractors. John and Wayne could be described as "a couple of retired guys who kept the building going."
And now Wayne is solely responsible for the caretaking. The building and grounds are always in excellent condition, thanks to Wayne!