Our Minister

Rev. Carolyn Insley

CarolynI grew up in Woodstock, Ontario, where my father was a local high school Biology teacher. Those growing-up years were fun.  I loved music. I played piano, oboe, and the violin (my favourite), which I learned classically. I could be found in orchestra or band practices many days before school began, Show Choir and other groups at lunch time; sports came after school. The sports I enjoyed longest were skating, cross country skiing, synchronized swimming, and field hockey. I was also in Brownies, and Guides,Explorers, our church choir, and our church youth group. Looking back, I wonder why I never felt busy. But somehow I always had time to read, walk for hours with our dog, a Samoyed/Boxer/Golden Retriever mix, and work on my hobbies, which were embroidery and sewing.

Summers always found me camping with my brother and parents. Most often we journeyed to Algonquin Park, where we sometimes had fun camping in the interior. Oh, how I love canoeing! A few times we camped to one coast or the other across Canada. I sure learned to appreciate this grand and vast country of ours.

My work career before becoming a minister was varied. I worked as a Stable Hand in Algonquin Park; in a Rest Home (I was responsible for the care of over 50 residents during my shifts); and I taught swimming and boating for the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines on First Nations Reserves in Northern Ontario. The Canada World Youth program took me to Saskatchewan where I again worked in a rest home, and then to Sri Lanka where I taught English and moved dirt. For a few months I could be found working on a mixed farm in the Ignatius Farm Community north of Guelph. The Iona Community in Scotland was also my home for a while, where I worked in a bake shop. I learned how to play recorder on that windy coast. (Recorders don’t make a sound when the wind blows up them, which is probably just as well at first…) I also lived and worked with Special Needs folk in the l’Arche communities founded by Jean Vanier – first for a year in France, and then another year in Hondouras. Even today I still get my Spanish and French all mixed up.

In the midst of all this, I received the call to become a minister. I thought one had to be crazy to become a minister. (I was right.) Once I finally accepted the call to be a minister, I was filled with peace, and I’ve never looked back. I did my undergrad in Religious Studies and Geography at Queen’s University, and later followed this with my Masters of Divinity at Queen’s Theological College. My year of internship was spent at a four point charge in the Alexandria, Ontario area, where I began to learn Celtic music on my violin. I guess you could say my violin began turning into a fiddle.

I was settled in New Brunswick, in the Bayfield-Little Shemogue Pastoral Charge, right along the coast where the Confederation Bridge goes over to Prince Edward Island. Such beauty there, and I loved the people. After three years, I knew it was time to leave, and in 2002 I accepted a call to North Gower Pastoral Charge. During my time at this charge, I got married and we now have two wonderful daughters.


4 thoughts on “Our Minister

  1. Hello, my name is Agustin Sanchez. I´m from Mexico City. My daughter Abigail and I are christians attending a Methodist Church down here. We are looking for lodging alternatives for Abigail, because she is starting a masters degree in piano on September at the Ottawa University. I wonder if there is a christian couple or family attending your church, willing to receive her for the whole 2017-2018 academic year?
    If you need additional references from our church or our pastor, please let me know.
    Agustin Sanchez


  2. Hello,

    At Rural Ottawa South Support Services we continue to serve rural seniors in our community with transportation, personal care, home support and social programs.

    We are pleased to announce our newest program; A Friendly Voice.

    A Friendly Voice was launched in December and is available throughout the Ottawa region. It is a 24 hour telephone friendly visiting line for seniors powered primarily by volunteers. Our volunteers visit with the callers and, when asked, can help identify programs and services in their community for the senior to contact.

    A Friendly Voice is not a counselling service, distress or crisis line nor emergency service. Any calls of that nature results in immediate contact or referral to the appropriate responders, agency or service.

    We are reaching out to you today for two reasons. We would like your assistance in getting word out to seniors who may benefit from our service. A Friendly Voice can be reached at 613-692-9992 and 1-855-892-9992 http://www.afriendlyvoice.ca

    Due to the increasing call volumes, A Friendly Voice is also in need of volunteers to answer calls.

    Would you be willing to help communicate to your community about A Friendly Voice and our need for volunteers? Volunteer applications can be submitted online through our website or we can email or mail applications to interested parties.

    I would be happy to answer any questions and provide information if you require it. I am also available to speak with members of your organization if that is of interest. Please feel free to contact me at ROSSS at 613-692-4697 Ext 243.

    Thank you for your support,


  3. Hello Rev Carolyn Insley,

    I apologize if this is the wrong format in asking these questions.

    I am here to inquire about my Fiancée and I getting married in your lovely church the Friday of the Labour day weekend. August 30th 2019 to be exact.

    A little back story. My fiancee and I grew up down the road from each other in a Horseshoe Bay, BC. But as time goes she went off on her adventure and I mine. Kathleen went off to the University of Victoria and I went to work. Eventually finding myself with the Canadian Armed Forces and currently posted to Edmonton, AB. It wasn’t until Christmas of last year when Kathleen and I reconnected at the local pub and I took one look at her and said, “That’s the girl I am going to marry.” Three months later she made the leap and moved out to Edmonton for me and she started back into school at the North Alberta Institute of Technology for Personal Training. March 29th of this year I bent the knee at a small used book store and she stammered out the best word I have heard to date.

    Moving forward. So in the military I have found the opportunity to be posted to Petawawa, ON on the condition I pass a ten month course that begins in August 2019. During the ten months of training Kathleen will once again be following me and moving in with a friend in Ottawa so I can she her on holidays. We want to get married, be married and live the rest of our lives together. We were very much hoping to have the ceremony held and officiated at Haley United Church. It will be a very small ceremony consisting of Kathleen, myself and her parents and my parents.

    I must be honest I am a little naive when comes to proceedings of a wedding ceremony. So please forgive me of that. I guess my questions would be:

    Is this achievable in this time frame? Are you available on that date? Is there anything else I should be asking?

    Thank you very much for your time. God bless,

    Sean Hamilton and Kathleen Fawley
    (250) 317 0598


  4. I apologize again. The comment in my last post stating that “We were very much hoping to have the ceremony held and officiated at Haley United Church.” is entirely incorrect.

    My fiancee and I would really like you and your church to officiate the ceremony and make us one with God.

    Thanks again.

    Sean Hamilton and Kathleen Fawley.
    250 317 0598


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