Rev. Dr. Ian Manson
Born and raised on the prairies, Ian grew up on a grain farm outside a small town south of Winnipeg with no streetlights and about 100 residents (including cats and dogs). On those winter nights when it was too cold to curl or play hockey, he developed a love of history - which led to two degrees at the University of Manitoba. He also caught the political bug, worked for a few years as a political assistant to Liberal Cabinet minister Lloyd Axworthy, and (as a Trudeau Liberal in the west) developed a set of survival skills that has proven extremely useful in the church! He then felt called to study theology in Toronto, was ordained, and earned a doctorate in history from Emmanuel College. After returning to Manitoba he served two different pastoral charges, started a successful drama group in a lively Winnipeg congregation, and taught some theology courses at the University of Winnipeg. The East then beckoned again, so he accepted a call at a large traditional church where he served for nine years. Looking for new experiences, he accepted a call to help the members of a smaller but spirited congregation figure out a plan for the future. Here he developed a real affinity for transitional ministry and especially enjoyed the opportunity to explore some innovative ways of worshipping. Ian then worked on several congregational renewal projects as a Toronto Conference staff person (where he visited lots of area churches and discovered that his political experience again came in handy!), became a designated Intentional Interim Minister who helped an area church heal and unite around a new vision, then decided to move to Saint John in 2019 and spend more time writing.
In addition to his part-time work at Harmony, Ian is a Sessional Lecturer at Emmanuel College (teaching an on-line course on church governance for soon-to-be clergy) and is writing two books - one on the history of the United Church - and the other (not historical) on the current challenges and opportunities facing Canadian Mainline Christianity. He loves preaching, teaching, writing, and working with congregations that are keen to define their priorities and develop a clear and sustainable ministry plan for the future.
When he’s not trying to figure out this city’s confusing street system (still not mastered, alas), Ian loves hiking, kayaking, reading, cooking, walking the dogs, exploring new parts of the province, and (in non-pandemic times!) attending lots of concerts, plays, and cultural events.
You can contact Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org