Our Co-Ministers


Revs. Emily and Marcus Hartlief

Revs. Emily and Marcus Hartlief consider it a joy and an honor to serve as the ministers at North Shore Unitarian Church. Our congregation called Emily and Marcus to serve our community in May, 2016. Their ministry is grounded in love of people and our world.

Emily and Marcus are a married couple with one child, Henry.

Marcus is from Berkeley, California. He was raised Unitarian Universalist by two moms who found a home for their family in our faith. He studied at Vassar College in New York, New College in California, and went to seminary at Starr King School for the Ministry. He is a dynamic speaker and storyteller with passion for beautiful and engaging worship services. He also loves theater, hiking in the woods, and a good sci-fi novel.

Emily was raised in southern Kentucky. She found the Unitarian Universalism church in high school a refuge and place of empowerment. She received a B.A. in Sociology from Lewis and Clark in Oregon, and a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry in California. She is a committed justice activist and organizer, who passion for pursuing big visions. She takes pleasure in writing, yoga, and a dark roast espresso. 

Our Staff

LYNN SABOURIN, Director of family ministries

Lynn has directed the North Shore Unitarians’ children’s program since 1981, during which time our Sunday School enrollment has grown from eight to at times more than 120.

She is a former public school teacher. Lynn has also provided leadership to regional and continental associations of Unitarian Universalist educators. Her husband, Doug, and their three sons all have been active in the church and in Eliot Institute, the Northwest Unitarian Universalist summer camp.



Cara has been involved with the North Shore church school since she was eight years old. She worked with Lynn Sabourin, the Director of Lifespan Learning, when Lynn first came to the church in the 1980s; Cara taught the younger children while Lynn worked with the older ones.

After a period away from the church, continuing her education and being a special-needs foster mother, she returned in 1995 to take on her present role. She also works in the public school system as a special education assistant.


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Ariel Hunt-Brondwin, YOUTH PROGRAM COORDINATOR and connections coordinator

Ariel joined our staff in 2017. A life long UU and hopeless church nerd, Ariel grew up attending the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, and for the last seven years served the Canadian Unitarian Council as the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Development staff.  Ariel has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Victoria and a B.Ed from Queen’s University as well as wide ranging experience working with children, teens and young adults in classroom, camp and church settings. Ariel finds finds the beauty of our natural world and meaningful connections between human beings to be important sources of her spiritual nourishment and she is delighted to be walking the next leg of her professional life with all of you at North Shore.




Alison was appointed Music Director in September 2003. She conducts several other choral groups in the area including the Douglas College Choral Society, Note Bene Women’s Choir and SummerChor.

Alison is an accomplished violinist and has performed with orchestras in Britain, Switzerland and Vancouver. She is responsible for the church’s music program, which includes a 40-member adult choir, classical ensemble, folk choir and children’s choir. Alison also coordinates the musical component of the weekly Sunday services


Toby Aldren is the accompanist for Vox Lumina, the church’s senior choir, and provides piano music for Sunday services on a regular basis throughout the year. Since 2002, he has been the pianist for Richmond Chorus and has served as a choral accompanist for several events around the province sponsored by the BC Choral Federation. Toby teaches piano and theory at his studio in Kitsilano, a place where he enjoys working with students of all ages and levels of experience.

Toby also has a growing clientele for his practice of astrology, having had much of his training through London’s Faculty Of Astrological Studies. He operates two websites for his endeavours:  tommcpherson.ca and vancouverastrology.com.


Janni oversees reception and clerical functions, publishes church documents, maintains our events calendar, updates the church website, handles bank deposits, and helps us all with many other tasks.

Janni joined our staff in October of 2013.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Administrative Management and about thirty years of Office Administration experience, including 7 years working for other churches.  Originally from Seattle, Janni now resides in North Vancouver with her husband and their cats.


Margery joined the Unitarian Church staff in January 2015. She has over 25 years of bookkeeping experience, all in the not-for-profit sector. She is delighted to be involved with the Unitarian Church again. Her father was an active member of the Church in Ottawa and Winnipeg where she grew up, and she has happy memories of the Sunday School program there.