Secretary, Faith and Life Sciences
After volunteering for the Faith and Life Sciences Reference Group for seven years, Michael now serves the Reference Group and Council as staff. Michael calls the Anglican church home, but he also grew up Mennonite, married into a Dutch Reformed family, and has studied with Roman Catholics for years. He is a doctoral candidate in Christian Ethics at the Toronto School of Theology and holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Regent College in Vancouver. He and his wife Irene are active in their home church in Toronto and enjoy cooking, gaming, and walking with friends in Toronto’s many urban green spaces.
Dr. Setri Dzivenu
O’Gara CFW Research and Program Assistant
Dr Setri Dzivenu joined the Council in February 2023 as the O’Gara CFW Research and Program Assistant. He is also a Pastor and Director of Outreach and Administration at Southgate Baptist Church in Edmonton, AB. Born in Ghana, he graduated with a BA from the University of Ghana and MScR/PhD from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is currently on an M.Div degree at Carey Theological College, Vancouver.
Dr Dzivenu’s role with the Council consists of providing program and staff support for the Commission on Faith and Witness as well as research on current program priorities of the CFW as determined by the Commission.
Setri’s religious experience spans across three traditions; Catholic, Reformed and Baptist and his involvement with global ecumenical movements provide him with a unique perspective on ecumenical relations. He is passionate about interfaith dialogue, faith-based diplomacy and advocacy.
Marina started with the Council in 2023, first as Summer Student Event Coordinator, and then as Communications Assistant. Having grown up in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Canada, she now attends the Orthodox Church in America. Marina holds an Honours BA in French Literature and the Study of Religion, as well as a Master’s of Theological Studies, with specialization in Orthodox and Eastern Christian Studies, both from the University of Toronto.
CJP Research and Program Assistant
Roshney was born and raised on Dish with One Spoon territory on the traditional lands of the Erie, Neutral, Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas in Hamilton, Ontario. Her family is from Kerala, India and is part of the Malankara Mar Thoma Syrian Church founded by St. Thomas the Apostle, which is an Eastern reformed faith tradition. Roshney studied at McMaster and Carleton universities, and has an educational background in English, Social Work, and Gender and Social Justice. She is a Registered Social Worker with a passion for social justice, anti-racism, decolonial theory and praxis, and holistic, trauma-informed community healing. Roshney’s favourite pastimes include reading, writing, hiking, dancing, and spending time with loved ones. Her role in the Council is to support the Commission on Justice and Peace.
Dr. Mary Marrocco
Associate Secretary, Commission on Faith and Witness
Dr. Mary Marrocco has been with the Council since 2001. Her main role is to provide staff support for the Commission on Faith and Witness and its various sub-committees. Mary has a PhD in Patristic Theology from St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto. Mary is also a Registered Psychotherapist, which she feels is complementary to her ecumenical work as a ministry of healing and reconciliation.
She is also passionate about theological reflection and is a gifted writer. Her book, On Becoming Bread, was published in 2019 by Twentythird Publications (Bayard) and her column, “Questioning Faith,” appears in the Catholic Register.
Dr. Michelle Miller
Secretary, Working Group on Sexual Exploitation
Dr. Michelle Miller is a white settler living on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh people, also known as Vancouver. She joined the Council to facilitate the Working Group on Sexual Exploitation. For 10 years she served as the Founder and Executive Director of Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity (REED), the first organization in Western Canada created to address sex trafficking. In 2013 she earned a DMin in Transformational Leadership and Faith-Rooted Organizing from New York Theological Seminary. Dr. Miller has testified before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights and is a skilled speaker and facilitator. A passion for justice informed by tenderness has led her on many adventures in loving both her friends and enemies. When she isn’t engaging in holy mischief she can be found camping in wild places, reading stories, or welcoming people or furry critters into the rhythms of her life.
Deivit Montealegre, MA
Teaching, Research, and Program Assistant, Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning
Deivit’s main role with the Council is to provide support to the Associate Secretary of the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning. Deivit has dual Colombian and Argentinian citizenship. He is a Ph.D. candidate at Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto in economics and theology He holds a master’s degree in theology from the same university, a diploma in Ecumenical Studies and Interculturality from the University of Geneva and Bossey Ecumenical Institute, and a bachelor in theology from UNIBAUTISTA, Cali, Colombia. In the past, Deivit has served as Educational Consultant for the Global Ecumenical Theological Institute (GETI) of the World Council of Churches and as Program Assistant of Globethics.net. Latin American Program.
Deivit is a living testimony of how intercultural ministry is a powerful tool to transform lives and society. He is convinced that intercultural ministry is crucial for social change and one of the fundamental ways to connect ecclesial, social, political, and economic responsibility with God’s message of life, justice, and salvation for all.
Pastor Peter Noteboom
Peter Noteboom was appointed to a five-year term as General Secretary in May 2018. The responsibilities of the General Secretary are to lift up the call for gospel unity, to provide direction and leadership through the development of vision and priorities, to implement the strategic and program plans of the Council, to facilitate Canadian and global ecumenical relationships, and to participate and lead in Canadian interfaith initiatives.
Peter serves as the Co-Chair of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation, advocating for religion in a pluralistic society and in Canadian public life. He is also a member of the Interfaith Committee on Canadian Military Chaplaincy and the Interfaith Committee on Chaplaincy in the Correctional Service of Canada.
Peter has been with the Council since 1999 beginning as Associate Secretary, Justice and Peace. In that role he has served as staff support for the Commission on Justice and Peace, the Human Rights Committee, the Ecumenical Healthcare Network, the Canadian Ecumenical Anti-Racism Network, the Biotechnology Reference Group and the Working Group on Human Trafficking / Sexual Exploitation in Canada. In 2011 he became the Deputy General Secretary with additional responsibilities in finance, administration, and organizational restructuring and in 2017 became the Acting General Secretary.
Active in his home church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America, he was ordained as a Commissioned Pastor in November 2019.
Peter earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and business administration from Dordt CollegeUniversity, Sioux Center, Iowa in 1980; his Master of Arts degree in European Studies from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 1989; did graduate studies in Christian Political Theory at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto from 1996-99; completed a post-graduate diploma in Dialogue and Negotiation from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver; British Columbia, in 2007 and in 2021 is currently enrolled in received the Diploma in Interfaith Dialogue from the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto. Interfaith Diploma program.
For more details see his LinkedIn profile: www.linkedin.com/in/peternoteboom
Executive Associate (Governance, Finance and Administration)
Jolan has been the administrative backbone of the Council since 2016. She brings to the Council a wealth of experience in administration and communication as well as a keen eye for detail. Building a strong relationship with the member churches, affiliates, and observer churches along with the Directors of the Governing Board is a core function of her position. In addition to handling registration and event planning for the board meetings, she is responsible for the daily running of the office, providing smooth and efficient financial administration, processing donations and book orders, and providing support to the General Secretary. She also serves as registrar for the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning Reference Group. Jolan is involved in ministry in Toronto, and is committed in her supporting role at the Council to helping bear a Christian witness to the world.
Dr. Nicole Roccas
Dr. Nicole Roccas, née Lyon, has worked with the CCC since the fall of 2017 when she was baptized by fire recording the minutes of the Governing Board meeting for the first time. Since then, she has also served as interim CFW Coordinator and, since spring 2019, as the Communications Coordinator. She holds a doctorate in European History from the University of Cincinnati with a sub-specialty in Church History. A convert to Eastern Orthodoxy from Evangelical Christianity, Nicole believes that building and maintaining bridges between Christians of all backgrounds is a life-giving safeguard against insular thinking and sectarianism.
In addition to her work with the Council, Nicole is an author and certified trauma-informed coach. In her coaching, she supports survivors of spiritual abuse and other trauma as they work towards hope, healing, and meaningful connection. Her writing integrates the spiritual wisdom of ancient Christianity with deep spiritual struggles like despondency, grief, and trauma. Her books are available here and she also blogs about the theology of trauma on Substack.
Rev. Dr. Jonathan Schmidt
Associate Secretary, Intercultural Leadership and Learning; Justice and Peace
Rev. Dr. Jonathan Schmidt is staff for the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning (FILL) and the Commission on Justice and Peace. Previously he was the director of the Canadian Churches Forum for Global Ministries, established in 1921 as The Canadian School of Missions and fully brought into the Council as FILL in 2017. He brings to the work gifts as a facilitator and designer of experiential adult learning, and many years of experience in ecumenical settings. His areas of expertise include intercultural ministry and interculturality, justice, anti-racism and privilege, missiology, pedagogy, and overseas cross-cultural travel and relationship.
In 2021, Jonathan completed a Doctor of Ministry at the Toronto School of Theology. This project documented the development of The Forum for Intercultural Leadership and Learning and the five-day Engage Difference! program as responses to the need to resource Canadian Christian communities to understand their cultures and contexts, engage across diversity, and to develop local theologies, praxes, and pedagogies.
A White Canadian cisgender male, he grew up in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Toronto. Since then, he has lived in Kitchener (Ontario), El Salvador, Cleveland (Ohio), Albuquerque (New Mexico), and Scarborough (Ontario). Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, he has served in parish, campus, and ecumenical ministries—with breaks for things like parenting and running a Central American restaurant. Jonathan is married to Alice Schuda and has two young adult children, Martin and Maya. Outside of work, his interests include community activism, cycling and cycling advocacy, camping, canoeing and amateur astronomy. His ancestors were Lutheran Missionaries to the USA in the 1800s.
Dr. Maria Simakova
Coordinator, Commission on Faith and Witness
Maria has been with the Council since the fall of 2014. Her main role is to coordinate the Council’s flagship program, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (WPCU). She also assists the Associate Secretary for the Commission on Faith and Witness, including facilitating the work of the Christian Interfaith Reference Group. Maria is a PhD candidate at the Toronto School of Theology, majoring in Systematic Theology. She holds a Master of Arts (MA) in Theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York City. She is passionate about Christian ecumenism and seeing theological reflection at work in the context of ecumenical dialogue.
Teaching, Research, and Program Assistant
Based on the West Coast, on the traditional lands of the sc̓əwaθən məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen First Nations), Nadia’s role with the Council is to support the work of the Forum for Intercultural Leadership and learning.
A social introvert, Nadia can be lured out of doors to tend gardens of both the literal and figurative nature. She is a pastor at heart, but a nerd in thought. Nadia has spent most of her adult life in urban and international ministry, in Canada, the USA and Africa blending academic rigor with practical hands on ministry. Nadia holds degrees in marketing and education as well as an MDiv earned at Carey Theological College.
She loves her family fiercely, always has a stack of books she is reading, believes in the theology of radical welcome and is reimagining faith all the time.