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About us

Hope United Church has been blessed to experience two amalgamations since 2005. Those amalgamations successfully united our founding congregations of Edgewood, Oxford Street and United Memorial United Churches into the thriving church family of Hope United, largely due to the spiritual leadership and guidance of two of our former ministers.

Rev. Diane MacVicar was the minister at Edgewood United when Oxford Street United and Edgewood began their amalgamation journey in 2004. She travelled with the two congregations, offering advice and encouragement, as they followed their road to becoming Edgewood-Oxford United Church in the fall of 2005. Rev. David Hann came to Edgewood-Oxford in February of 2006 and, under his vibrant and enthusiastic leadership, the newly amalgamated congregation truly became a united church family. Over the next 10 years, Edgewood-Oxford experienced growth – growth in numbers as many new, young families joined the congregation; and spiritual growth as Rev. Hann opened our hearts and minds to new ways to become a more worshipful and welcoming faith community.

In the winter of 2014-2015, Edgewood-Oxford and United Memorial – a long-time “sister church” of Edgewood and Edgewood-Oxford – embarked on a new amalgamation journey. As with Oxford Street United 10 years earlier, the United Memorial congregation had been getting smaller and, rather than closing their doors, the members chose new life as part of an amalgamated church family.

Hope United came into being on January 1, 2016. In the same year that Hope was born, our founding congregations of Edgewood United, Oxford Street United and United Memorial celebrated their 70th, 145th and 98th anniversaries, respectively. Each of the original three has a rich history of faithful service to the church, community and the world. Together, we are even better.

Today our Ministry Team includes Rev. Dr. Kathleen Anderson, music Katrina Mills Pecknold, organist Rafael Alcolado and office manager Nancy Nelson. Under the leadership of our Ministry Team and many committed volunteers, Hope United continues to build on the foundation of our faithful ancestors. We honour and respect our past. We are united today in faith. We journey together into the future with hope – as the family of Hope United Church.

our ministry TEAM:

Minister Rev. Dr. Kathleen Anderson

Rev. Kathleen was ordained in the Alberta-Northwest Conference of the United Church of Canada in 2014.  She has served in churches from BC to Newfoundland, and has called Halifax home since 2017.


Rev. Kathleen holds a BSc in Health Information Science from the University of Victoria, a Diploma in Health Services Administration from Dalhousie University, a BA and MA in Religious Studies from the University of Calgary, and an MDiv (Master of Divinity) and DMin (Doctor of Ministry) from St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon.  She considers herself a ‘life-long learner.’


Rev. Kathleen loves stories – of people, history, events, and places – and believes that the stories we tell ourselves and each other have the power to shape our world.  While much of her ministry time is devoted to crafting and leading worship through study, writing, preaching, prayer, and song, Rev. Kathleen cherishes time spent with people, be it at home, in hospital, or at a coffee shop.


In her downtime, Rev. Kathleen can often be found with a gathering of friends, playing games and enjoying each other’s company, or curled up with a book or her latest crafting project.  Generally with a cat on her lap.


Her favourite biblical passage is Proverbs 8:22-31 (which was the focus passage for her MA thesis),  and she has a particular fondness for the story of Jonah.


Phone: (902) 455-0261


Portrait photo of Office Manager Nancy Nelson.
Office Manager Nancy Nelson

Nancy is the face at the door and the voice on the phone in the church office at Hope United. She previously managed the office at United Memorial Church for 8 years and joined the Ministry Team at Hope during the most recent amalgamation process in 2015. Nancy keeps the temporal side of church life running smoothly and can be reached in the office weekdays from 9 am to 12 noon.

Phone: (902) 455-0261

Portrait photo of Organist Rafael Alcolado.
Organist Rafael Alcolado

Rafael Alcolado graduated from the Conservatory Esteban Salas in Santiago de Cuba as one of their youngest graduates in piano performance. His teacher, Raul Estevanell Abreu was a student of the famous international Chilean concert pianist, Claudio Arrau. A winner of a National Piano Competition in Havana, Rafael pursued further studies abroad in Poland and Germany from 1966-70 obtaining Diplomas from the State Music Academy, Krakow and the Franz-Liszt College of Music, Weimar. He also attended Advanced Music Theory, Harpsichord, Pipe Organ and Orchestration classes with other professors in Poland and Germany.

Soon after arriving in Canada, Rafael was a piano soloist with the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, 1971-1972. He was a Faculty Member of the Maritime Conservatory from 1978-89. He has been President of the Halifax Chapter of the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers’ Association and the Provincial Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers’ Association. He also was Bethany Chorale Accompanist for over nine years.

Rafael began as Organist at the former Edgewood United Church in 1984, so is now in his 35th year at Hope United Church. Involved as a musical advisor and editor since the early days of Adventus Inc. (a piano education software company based in Halifax), Rafael took the responsibility as their “MusIQ Club” Program Director for the Halifax area from 2007 to 2014. Most recently, on April 19, 2018, Rafael was invited to play at the opening reception of the new Refuge Canada exhibition at Pier 21, in the very spot where he had lived as a refugee forty-eight years before, closing a symbolic circle for his life.

Choir Director Katrina Mills Pecknold

Katrina Mills Pecknold has been a music educator with HRCE for over 25 years. She has directed the Halifax Girls Honour Choir, Halifax Youth Honour Choir, Vivace Children’s Choir, Junior High Chamber Orchestra, Halifax Schools Symphony Orchestra and currently directs Halifax Regional Arts Honour Violins and Lighthouse Bo Choir. In addition to teaching strings and Oxford and Inglis schools, Katrina is department head for Halifax Regional Arts.

Katrina graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) with a triple major in school music, choral conducting, and instrumental conducting, and received her Bachelor of Education from The University of Western Ontario. Katrina holds two Masters of Education from MSVU (Educational Psychology and Technology Integration) and one from Acadia (Music Education Curriculum Studies).

Before coming to Halifax she was the music director/conductor of the semi-professional choir of Erskine and American Church in Montreal.  

Katrina has two adult children, Kaitlynn and Robert, who live in Prospect, and two granddogs.  In her spare time Katrina loves to scrapbook and make various crafts such as mugs, canvases, ornaments, and cards.


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