Congregational Designated Minister for Youth and Families
Huda joined our ministerial team on July 2, 2020.
Huda grew up in Syria and studied theology and Christian Education both in Lebanon and in Canada. She is certified for ordination of word and sacrament by the Presbyterian Church in Canada.
Her faith roots are deep. When asked when she was converted to Christianity, she replied over 2000 years ago. Huda is thankful for her family who raised her in the Christian faith and taught her to love God with all her heart and all her soul and all her strength. To be rooted in faith taught her the importance of passing on faith to the next generation.
Huda is a third generation Presbyterian. She attended Sunday School, joined youth groups, and became a member of the choir in her home church in Syria.
At the age of 15, Huda was nominated to become the church school superintendent. When she was 18, she became a youth leader and a regional youth team leader for Syria and Lebanon. She attended and led church conferences and retreats in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, USA, and the UK.
She received a B.A. in English Literature, but dreamed of studying theology. There was no seminary in Syria; she would have to study in Lebanon. As a middle eastern young woman, it was not easy to convince her parents to allow her to study for ministry, but after many discussions and prayer they blessed her decision.
Huda received her master’s degree from the Near East School of Theology in Beirut, Lebanon affiliated with the American University of Beirut.
After graduation, she was invited to spend time in the USA as a missionary in residence preaching and teaching about Christians in the Middle East, and leading Summer camps. She later returned to Syria to minister in her home congregation as a minister of youth and families and served as regional director of Christian Education for the Province of Homs in Syria.
Huda moved to Canada with her husband in 2002, a week after getting married. She became a member of St. Andrew’s and St. Paul’s in downtown Montreal. She studied theology at the Montreal School of Theology affiliated with McGill University and graduated in 2004. She later worked at the Presbyterian college as Chaplain. She also became a faculty member and taught Christian education courses to last year students of the Presbyterian, United and Anglican churches at the Montreal School of Theology.
Huda has over 20 years of experience in ministry within the reformed tradition in Canada and the Middle East.
She served as the director of Christian Development in two congregations in Canada: in Montreal, at the Presbyterian church of St-Columba-By-The-Lake in Pointe- Claire, and in Ottawa at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church.
Huda was a board member of organizations such as Action Refugee Montreal and Canadian Friends of Sabeel. She was a member of the doctrine committee, the advisory committee of international ministries, and the Education for mission committee of the Presbyterian church in Canada. She also served on the Canadian Council of Churches commission of faith and witness.
She speaks of her gratitude for the opportunities God has placed before her to make a difference in the lives of many youth and children, to be able to reflect Jesus’ light, enable and equip them to follow Jesus’ footsteps. When asked about what keeps her cup overflowing with joy, she replied: “seeing the wonder in the eyes of children and youth as they discover who God is, and God’s amazing love for them”. Huda hopes to be able to be a spark of light that reflects Jesus’ love to the people of Parkdale.
Huda and her husband Saad live in Stittsville where they are raising four children. She enjoys meditation, nature hikes, painting, reading, and listening to music.
Huda Kandalaft Kanawati: 613-728-8656