We’re excited to get going on discerning how we might shape our common life around some of the ancient and re-emerging models of New Monastic leadership as we make decisions, take on specific roles in our community and work through conflict as we live into the vision.

Decision-Making Body:

A little bit on how decisions are made:

Emmaus Community has a “Chapter” (the monastic word for decision-making body) made up of all Covenanted Members of the Community.  Decision-making is made by consensus involving all Covenanted Members at regular meetings.

In Autumn 2015, we elected 2 “Co-Priors” (spokespeople and figureheads to represent Chapter – ideally a mix of people who live in Belmont House and those who don’t), a “Formation Director” (to shape Novices as well as shape ongoing formation in the Community) and a “Cellarer” (one who keeps an eye on community finances, the books and sustainability).  We also elected a “Safe Church Coordinator”  this person may be a Novices or Companion Members)…

The decision making model and roles may evolve as necessary.



Margot Spence – cellarer (treasurer) is a founding Emmaus member and currently has the role of “Cellarer” (aka bookkeeper since we don’t just have ‘bottles’ these days).  After years with an intellectual and evangelical bent, Margot is attracted to the Emmaus vision of bringing prayer, presence and simplicity to life through Christian community in the Fernwood neighbourhood.  Margot lives in the upstairs suite at Belmont house (with a new kitticat 🙂 and is thrilled that she can walk to her full time job with the BC Government (in forest policy) through Fernwood!


crosby-shearerMeagan and Rob Crosby-Shearer have been married since 2007 and are parents to incredible 7-year old twins! From 2008-2012 Meagan and Rob were involved in co-planting and leading the Jeremiah Community, a new monastic community in Toronto’s west end.

Here’s a little bit more on each of them:

The Rev. Meagan Crosby-Shearer has a rich and varied life experience. Born in Victoria, she has a passion for creative liturgy and prayer, social justice and engaging ways of telling our faith story.  She has been involved in musical theatre, gospel choirs and loves reading and the beauty of the West Coast! She served in the Philippines for a year as an ‘ecumenical-intern-in-mutual-mission’ with the United Church of Canada.  She is trained as a Registered Nurse and is currently a (transitional) Deacon with the Anglican Diocese of BC as well as Assistant Curate at St. Barnabas Church. She also has worked part time at the Local General Store – a local/fair-trade store in the Haultain Corners (Oaklands) neighbourhood.  In 2015 Meagan was elected as Formation Director for Emmaus Community for a one-year period.

The Rev. Rob Crosby-Shearer – co-prior – has worked in Christian ministry for the last 15+ years. He has been part of Pentecostal, Baptist, United Church, Anglican and Roman Catholic congregations (to name a few!). Prior to forming the Jeremiah Community, Rob lived for 5 years in Zacchaeus House, a Christian/Catholic Worker community house of hospitality, served as music director at the campus-based Wine Before Breakfast, was National Youth Ministry Coordinator with PWRDF (a Global Development/Justice organization), directed the the Nidus Festival with the Canadian Council of Churches in from 2005-2006, worked in campus ministry and congregational ministry in the United Church of Canada and was involved for over a decade at Parkdale Neighbourhood Church (a Baptist ‘street church’ now called “The Dale”).  He has co-owned an organic bakery, made all kinds of music, loves bike riding and touring, hiking and loves cooking and coffee! Rob currently works as Community Life Minister at St. Philip Anglican Church in Victoria, where one of his varied roles has been to shape the Bluegrass Mass.  Rob occasionally blogs at www.waitingforthebelievers.wordpress.com.    In Autumn 2015 Rob was elected as co-Prior of the Emmaus Community for a one-year term.

marilyn goughMarilyn Gough  – co-prior – is a granddaughter, niece and daughter of United Church of Canada ministers.  She holds bachelor’s and master’s degree in vocal performance.  Attracted to the Anglican Church through performance in choirs of the great English Choral repertoire, she now sings in the Cathedral Choir at Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria.  Currently, she chairs the Adult Faith Formation committee at the Cathedral.  She completed a  Post-graduate Diploma in Theological Studies at the Vancouver School of Theology, UBC, in 2013.  A founding member of the Emmaus Community, she is supported and nourished by our communal prayer.  Emmaus supports her in her call to embody Christ here in our neighbourhood and to open spiritual conversations with our neighbours.

Kirsten Horncastle – Formation Director.  Kirsten was born and raised on Vancouver Island. She is has lived in multiple places on the island, and loves all that the island has to offer. Kirsten works in conflict management at the University of Victoria and is passionate about community building, restorative justice, fostering conflict competencies and social justice. She also loves knitting, hiking, surfing, snowshoeing, biking and camping.  She has held many roles throughout her time in the diocese including but not limited to: parishioner, Sunday School Teacher, Vacation Bible School Coordinator, Youth Group Leader, YouthFest Coordinator, Representative in Companionship Diocese Exchange, and Chair of the Partners in Mission Committee.