Five Oaks Board of Directors
Officers of the Board
Peter Wall, Chair
2019 – Present
John Joseph Mastandrea, Vice Chair
2019 – Present
The Rev. Dr. John Joseph Mastandrea was called to be the Minister of the Congregation at Manor Road United Church in May 2019 after 19 years at Metropolitan United Church. Interfaith Toronto Police Services Police Chaplain for 51 Division.
John Joseph cut his teeth in the Etobicoke area of Toronto and now resides in Cabbagetown with his husband Bill Calkins. He has BSc. In Chemistry, M.Div.,M.R.E, M.A.M.S degrees , all from the University of Toronto. John Joseph completed his Doctorate from Chicago Theological Seminary, May 2010. Ordained in 1989, he is a certified Labyrinth Facilitator and Spiritual Director. Co-Chair of the Parliament of World Religions Toronto 2018. November 2018 completed a course in First Nations Education. In September 2018 John Joseph received the Order of St. George. John Joseph believes in nurturing body, mind and spirit.
John Joseph has served congregations from the Maritimes, Saskatchewan, northern Ontario and rural Quebec to urban and suburban parts of the Greater Toronto Area. John Joseph was awarded the Queen’s diamond Jubilee in 2012. Canadian delegate to the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, in February 1990.
Today John Joseph seeks to meet people where they are and build the capacity for relationships in a diverse spectrum of society.
Fran Ota, Treasurer
2019 – Present
Fran Ota was born in Saskatchewan, the daughter of a United Church minister. She lived in Canora, Assiniboine, Prince Albert and Winnipeg. She graduated from University of Manitoba in 1970 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance. In 1970 she went to Japan as Overseas Personnel, in 1971 married her language teacher, Norio Ota. They spent 1971-74 in Viet Nam with the Japanese Government Aid agency, and had two children. Fran worked with YMCA Refugee Services. Returning to Japan, where their third child was born, they then moved to South Orange, New Jersey…Norio was a Fullbright Exchange Teacher, and their fourth child was born. In 1975 they moved to Melbourne, Australia where they ran a small hobby farm. Norio taught and studied, Fran took courses in Ethnomusicology. From Australia they moved to Michigan State University where Fran worked as a translator, community aide in international housing, church secretary and music director. The Otas moved to Toronto in 1984, and Fran has worked in medical research, in World Outreach at the national office, and Canadian Council of Churches. Ordained in 1995, she has served ten congregations, both long-term and short-term. She has served in various positions in the church including President of Conference. Fran is a qualified Supervisor, Liaison for search teams, and a trained Intentional Interim Minister. She is currently beginning a contract at York Pines United Church, assisting in some work around clustering and transition.
Naba Choudhury, Secretary
2019 – Present
2015 – Present
Rhonda lives on the Territory of The Six Nations of the Grand, and has been serving on the Board for the past two years. Rhonda’s passion to keep the land as a sacred place for the people calls her to serve on the board. Rhonda is the Director of Nations Uniting and brings a voice from the Six Nations community and surrounding areas and offers her gifts and skills to the Partnership Team.
2016 – Present
Jayne lives in St. George, and feels called to serve on the Board citing that “Five Oaks needs to be available for generations to come” and feels her gifts/talents/experience compliment the more standard skills available in church organizations. Jayne is a Cyber-Security consultant working with multinational corporations. She has been serving on the Member Working Group (MWG) and has just completed her first year of service on the Board. Jayne’s skill set and interests lead her to the Operations Team.
2017 – Present
Ausma lives in Toronto, and states that safe spaces that facilitate meaningfuldialogue and cross cultural encounters have never been more urgent than now and that Five Oaks can be such a place. Ausma feels called to serve on the Board in order to help ensure Five Oaks’ future. Community, place, collaboration, diversity, integrity, resilience, learning, reverence and action are the values that define and guide Ausma’s work for human rights and social justice. These are the gifts she brings to offer to service on the Board. She serves on the Governance team.
2017 – Present
Barbara lives in Paris, and states that “Five Oaks is one of those ‘thin’ places celebrated in Celtic Spirituality. Her passion for social justice and commitment to right relations intersect with a sense of “coming home” in Five Oaks’ new directions. With experience in stewardship development and communication, she offers her gifts to the Fund Raising and Donor Development. Barbara also served on the MWG for the past year.
2018 – Present
Amira was a pharmacist who 10 years ago turned to natural health looking for answers that Big Pharma does not offer. She got her PhD in Natural Health and is currently pursuing her Master in Pastoral Studies with Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. She practices natural health private consultation at her Clinic in Mississauga combining the best of both worlds: science with spirituality. Amira has published 6 books. Her books have been translated into more than 10 languages and read and taught by thousands around the globe. In 2016, she founded Women Whispers Academy, an online platform, where women learn to listen to their Body Whispers® before they turn into screams.