About Us

Our Values

Epic Vineyard Church is a welcoming community of honest folks.  Our aim is to learn to love God more, as we love one another.

We believe Jesus’ good news is transformational, not just for individuals, but for the whole world.  And because of this we aim to live out our faith in everyday ways – sharing our stuff, praying for one another, being generous, caring for people experiencing marginalization, and celebrating God’s goodness in lots of diverse ways.

You could say we’ve summarized our values to being centered primarily around worship, community, and mission.


At Epic, everybody gets to play their part.

It doesn’t matter whether we’re serving leading worship, providing tech support, preaching, on the kids team, or serving coffee – everybody plays a part and most of our community serve at least once a month in some capacity for our Sunday gatherings. Additionally, there’s a myriad of people serving our community outside of Sundays – leading community groups, working on projects as a board, leaning into prayer together, planning for upcoming events, making youth events fun, bringing food to people in need, running our social media accounts, and much more! 

We believe our church flourishes when everyone participates! Sharing our gifts, as well as making room to grow in other areas, is key to our development individually and as a community. 

We are a healthy mix of folk at every stage of life and becoming more diverse all the time.

Because of our high value for whole community, intergenerational participation we intentionally have a smaller staffing team. While these are very helpful roles to keep us on track with learning and growing we don’t see these roles or gifts as being more important than anyone else in the life of the church.

Joyce Rees

Lead Pastor

Joyce has pastored for nearly thirty years. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker for diverse parts of the Church because she’s an exceptional communicator.

As our co-lead pastor at Epic, Joyce’s primary responsibilities are teaching, leadership development, and pastoral care. She also works part time for Vineyard Canada, as the National Resource Coordinator.

When she’s not busy being an overachiever, Joyce loves to make stuff – cooking a feast, writing, fibre art, print design, lino-cutting or painting – you name it, she loves to create! A passion for good coffee features prominently in her life, as well as long walks with her dog, her boys, or the love of her life, Calum.

Check out her podcast “Down to Earth” where she and her good friend Jess tackle issues like power & racism, kingdom theology of mission, and much more!  

When you meet Calum you quickly realize two things – he has a tremendous sense of humour and he is proud of his Welsh heritage!  Born in Wales and raised in London, England, Calum has devoted his life to the art of groove making. Son of professional drummer Chris Slade (AC/DC, Tom Jones) Calum has translated his inheritance of rhythm making into an amazing feel on the drums. He has recorded over 200 albums with diverse artists, but he’s perhaps best known for his grooves on albums like “Come, Now Is the Time” (1997) and “Hungry” (1999) with Brian Doerksen

While he is a great technical exponent of the drums, what is really special about Calum is his sensitive soul and strong pastoral gifts and wisdom. As our co-lead pastor at Epic, Calum oversees our staff, as well as facilitates strong teamwork with our elders and board. He is especially invested in equipping artists, musicians and songwriters, and framing our worship gatherings. A true pastor he is sought out by many in our community for his compassionate care and penetrating heart questions, which have enabled many to grow in their journey with Jesus.

Calum Rees

Lead Pastor

Jasmine has been at Epic Vineyard since the beginning as her parents were one of the couples who planted the church when she was just seven years old. Growing up in the Epic community has given Jasmine a passion for intergenerational connection and life-on-life discipleship. Many of those who Jasmine would consider her mentors growing up now have children of their own, who Jasmine gets to serve in her role as our children and families pastor. 

As a true creative, Jasmine brings her gifts to bear in a myriad of ways at Epic – through photography, videography, event planning, and even playing the ukulele for worship! Jasmine loves to create engaging environments that draw everyone nearer to the heart of God, whether they’re kids or not.

Jasmine is bi-vocational, also working as a Registered Nurse in two hospitals here in Calgary. Between her jobs, she enjoys getting outdoors as much as possible to hike, camp, take photos or ride her horse. She is an avid traveller, (when global pandemics don’t get in the way), as well as a local adventurer – exploring coffee shops, restaurants and local businesses with her fiancé, Matt.

Jasmine Bartel

Children & Families Pastor

Steph Helsel

Youth Pastor

Originally from Ontario, Steph traded the Great Lakes for the Rocky Mountains as a young adult after being involved with camp ministry out west for many summers. She was introduced to Epic at the beginning of 2019 and quickly found herself at home. 

Steph served Youth With a Mission (YWAM) for four years and it was a great transformational experience for her. She especially loved trekking the Himalayas distributing bibles and working with an adventure eco-tourism company in Myanmar! 

Currently Steph is completing a Master of Christian Studies degree at Ambrose Seminary.  She’s passionate about making biblical training more accessible and practical in both local and global settings. As well, Steph has a passion to help equip youth and adults to respond to the Holy Spirit and share the gifts He has given them.

Steph is a true outdoor enthusiast (with scars and selfies to prove it), a frequent café dweller, curator of poetry, an amateur artist, and a very fine dry humour specialist! We love having her on our team.

Somer Bartel

Community Life
& Admin

Somer has been part of Epic Vineyard since she was a kid, as her parents were a key part of leading the church plant. Her spiritual formation in both her family and in the life of the church sparked Somer’s great passion for Jesus’s Kingdom, social justice engagement, and connecting relationally across all age-groups. She is a real catalyst at bringing people together, and fostering environments where people are free to come as they are.

A recent graduate from Ambrose University (Behavioural Science and Community Development) Somer said yes to serving on our staff team to both bring her gifts as well as to learn! As our church admin and communications coordinator we benefit from her wild creativity, and she is learning to be an administrative whizz!

Somer’s life dream is to launch ethical and sustainable social enterprises, (Epic coffee truck, anyone?), to provide employment for vulnerable people, as well as promote ethical business. Her heart is to see Jesus’s Kingdom flourish within the business world, and to educate everyone on issues of ethical and sustainable production, as well as consumerism. To all of that we say, “Go, Somer!”

Somer enjoys the mountains, coffee, classic literature, old movies and analog photography. You’ll want to check out her work at unboundfilm.ca


Our elders team carry spiritual authority and enable the vision and spiritual health of our church. They are appointed with input from the wider church community. Elders commit to praying regularly for the church, leading a community group, helping with pastoral care, discerning areas for growth, and enabling every person in the church to flourish spiritually.

Kurt & Marian Doersken

Heidi Bekker

Andy and Debbie Wilson

Joyce and Calum Rees

Merlin & Sigi Bartel

Robyn & Jeremy Boldt


Our board directors are responsible for the fiscal aspects of our church. They plan budgets and make sure we stay on track.  Additionally they help with governance and organizational structure so the church can be strengthened in practical ways. The board also are accountable for our resource stewardship and discern our financial distribution to our partners in mission. Their role is a vital part of maintaining our charitable status in Canada and fulfilling our purposes as a community.

Sarah Singer

Scott Kolochuk

Merlin Bartel

James Lee

Calum Rees

Lisa Fox

We’re a Vineyard Church

We are a part of Vineyard Canada, a growing movement of churches across Canada, sharing resources and relationship, as we serve Jesus and make him known. Our National Director, David Ruis, created a “Why Vineyard” digital booklet to enable everyone to know much more of the Vineyard’s values, practices, history, and theology as well as understand our leadership structure. Grab a cup of coffee and read the whole Why Vineyard booklet, or pick and choose the bits you want to learn more about here.


Epic Vineyard has three partner churches, in India, Thailand, and Vancouver, as well as 3 missionaries we support – one local, and two in Brazil.

We share financial support with our partners in mission, but our aim is to share much more than money. For instance, our Palm Sunday service this year featured a panel of four of our partners who shared from their wisdom and experience to help shape our discipleship journey here. All our partners receive our weekly church emails, so they can effectively pray for our community. This is one of the simple ways we “share life” together. We also do our best to visit one another. Rather than being a church parachuting in with stuff and ideas about the “right way” to do things, we are always looking for increased ways to be mutually reciprocating in our sharing. Our hope is that this two-directional sharing strengthens all our communities, as we experience the gifts of God in one another.

JLYS (Jesus Loves You Society)

Strathcona Vineyard (Vancouver, BC)


Art & Cyndi Rae