Who We Are
Reverend Arlen John Bonnar
Reverend Arlen John Bonnar B.A.; B.Th.; M.Div., was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and has been a resident of Quebec for 40 years. He is a graduate of Bishop’s and McGill Universities and United Theological College. Prior to becoming a minister, Arlen worked for many years with the intellectually handicapped. His two internships while studying theology were at Augustine United Church in Winnipeg and in Lilongwe, Malawi with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa.
Upon ordination in 1984, he was settled at Sutton and Dunham United Churches in the Eastern Townships. After five years in the two-point pastoral charge Arlen returned to Montreal as Executive Director of Montreal City Mission, an outreach ministry of the United Church of Canada. Three years later he became staff chaplain at the Montreal General Hospital. For the next 10 years he worked primarily in the HIV/AIDS clinics (he was the first full-time chaplain in this milieu in the world) and in the Palliative Care Units of the Montreal General and Royal Victoria hospitals.
He attended and presented workshops at many international conferences on AIDS and Palliative Care with a focus on spiritual responses to illness from a multi-cultural and inter-faith perspective and aimed at patients, families and health-care professionals.
In 2000, Arlen began his ministry at St. James United Church. He has a passion for ministry that is inclusive of all God’s people and delights in the diverse community that is St. James.