Nancy Fraser


Nancy Fraser
Surname as Student: Fraser
Education: Covenant College
Graduation Year: 1965
Designated: 1965
Where: Maritime Conference
Denomination: United Church of Canada
  • 1939 - Born, November 4
  • 2004 - Retired
  • 2016 - Died, June 6

  • 1965 - 1966: Christian Education Director, King Street United Church, Oshawa, ON, Bay of Quinte Presbytery
  • 1966 - 1969: Deaconess, West Burnaby United Church, Burnaby, BC, New Westminster Presbytery
  • 1969 -1970: Adult Programming, YWCA, Winnipeg, MB, Presbytery membership unknown
  • 1970 - 1972: Christian Education Director, Harrow United Church, Winnipeg, MB, Winnipeg Presbytery
  • 1972 - 1987: Ecumenical Institute of Chicago, later Institute of Cultural Affairs, Chicago, Illinois, Toronto South Presbytery
  • 1987 - 1988: Sabbatical. Ottawa
  • 1988 - 1989: Director of Christian Education, Trinity United Church, Grimsby, ON, Hamilton Presbytery
  • 1989 - 1996: Special Gifts, Department of Stewardship Services, General Council Offices, Toronto, Ontario, Toronto South Presbytery
  • 1997 - 1998: Interim Minister, Hensall United Church, Hensall, ON, Huron/Perth Presbytery
  • 1998 - 1999: Leave of Absence: cancer recovery New Glasgow, NS
  • 1999 - 2000: Supply Minister, First United Church, Trenton, NS, Pictou Presbytery

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Nancy Keith Fraser was born and died in her beloved Nova Scotia, but she had a life of adventure and travel in between.  She was the eldest daughter of Keith and Anna Fraser and grew up involved in local sports (swimming) and church activities.  She loved to be with people.  She enjoyed life.

In 1963 Nancy entered Covenant College in Toronto, where she trained to become a Deaconess in the United Church of Canada.  She was designated Maritime Conference in May 1965 and began a long and varied career in ministry.  For Nancy, diaconal ministry involved encouraging, motivating and empowering individuals and groups on their ongoing journey of faith and service.  She identified a highlight in her work as “Visiting and working with people who loved the church and wanted to invest in its mission.”In 2015, Trinity United Church in New Glasgow celebrated her 50th anniversary in ministry.  Nancy died June 6, 2016 at the age of 76.

Nancy wrote the following profile for Diakonia of the United Church of Canada (DUCC) in 2012

What called you to diaconal ministry?

The experience of community at Trinity United Church, New Glasgow NS; CGIT camps where Ruth Stuart was influential for me when she told us about her diaconal ministry at Brunswick Street Church in Halifax.

Experiences of Ministry

Congregational Team Ministry     1965-1972

With King St United, Oshawa; West Burnaby United, Burnaby, BC; Harrow United, Winnipeg

Responsibilities: Christian Education programs, pastoral visitation and occasional preaching.

High points:

  • Working with CE leaders; Visiting; Leadership recruitment
  • Good teaming with ordained minister. Strong support from him and key leaders
  • Con Ed: 2 labs in Group Development

Low points:

  • Fire destroying King St. bldg; financial struggles at King St. & at Harrow

Community Development    1972-1987

Ecumenical Institute of Chicago (Now Institute of Cultural Affairs); Placements in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Toronto, Chicago, State of Mahastra (India), Houston

Responsibilities:  Recruiting, training, fund raising, office management

High points:

  • Work related to summer program for 800 global participants
  • Member of leadership team at 2-month long global academy
  • Member of group of 30 participants in month long trip around the world
  • In India, documenting curriculum of 2-month global community development program
  • Part of team who held documented Community Forum events in counties in Eastern Canada

Low points:

  • Loss of close contact with family, friends & United Church of Canada
  • Beginnings of rheumatoid arthritis

Transition 1987-1989

One year in Ottawa, reintegration from global community & global context to local then one year in Grimsby, Ontario in team ministry at Trinity United Church

Responsibilities:  Christian Education programs, pastoral visitation and occasional preaching

High Points:

  • chance to re-enter my Canadian & United Church environment

Low points:

  • Congregation divided at the time
  • Major car accident & finding major disarray (over Gen. Council ’88) in congregation upon my return

Stewardship Services  1989-1996

Dept of Stewardship Services, UCC General Council: City of Toronto and then most of Toronto Conference

Responsibilities:  Visiting with people interested in making a gift to the UCC via their will, insurance or annuity as well as programming to encourage these gifts.

High points:

  • Meeting & working with people who love the church
  • Organizing & leading congregational events to promote gifts to the church (local or global)
  • Meetings with groups of gift annuitants to plan future activities
  • Creating & arranging for publication of promotional material
  • Planning & holding a celebrative event for donors with the moderator & other national staff
  • Building & running an office in my apartment
  • Meeting & working with colleagues across the Conference
  • Con Ed: Preaching course from Paul Wilson, Study trips to Dominican Republic, Peru, Two Stewardship training events in the USA, Training for Intentional Interim Ministry

Low point:

  • Leaving to start another ministry

Intentional Interim Ministry 1997-1998

Responsibilities: In a congregation going through a difficult time following their minister’s death I worked with the transition team to deal with the identified needs of the congregation, as well as the regular tasks of a minister

High points:

  • Building worship services & preaching; planning & working with transition team
  • Event to celebrate congregation’s past; sense of accomplishments when a goal was met

Low Points:

  • Dealing with anger and undercutting tactics
  • Cancer diagnosis before the end of my contract & having to leave early


Return to Health and Retirement    1998—

Back to New Glasgow and family for a year of recuperation

First Church Trenton NS as supply minister while the congregation searched for a minister, retired officially in 2004

Responsibilities: Word, Sacrament & Pastoral Care

High Points:

  • Strong support of the congregation
  • Worship preparation & delivery, visiting, children and teens, reunion with family and Church
  • Study trips: Cuba and  Ireland

Low points:

  • Return of rheumatoid arthritis near the end of the year

Volunteer and Fun activity in retirement

Maritime Conference Interview Board; Mentor with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Trinity: M&P Committee, Session, Choir; Trinitarians (Pictou County Seniors’ Choir),Tai chi & water exercises at the YWCA; New Glasgow Dragon Boat Team, helping with DUCC events