Fred Kaan was born in a terraced house in Voorhelmstraat, a treeless street in the North Holland city of Haarlem on 27 July 1929. The years of early adolescence coincided with the Nazi occupation of Holland. His father was a member of the Dutch Resistance, and for two years the Kaans sheltered a Jewish woman in their home, and later gave refuge to an escaped political prisoner.
John served as a United Church minister for many years in Manitoba, including 14 years at Donnelly United Church in Winnipeg. While there, he developed a deep respect and affinity for native spirituality and how it relates to the Christian tradition. It is out of this experience that the text for the Oldham/Klusmeier collaboration SWEETGRASS AND CANDLE emerged.
Sheelah is a vibrant singer-song leader who also writes and performs dramatic monologues which interpret and present Scripture in a powerful and innovative style. Her creative ministry gives new life to biblical stories, bringing them into the present and inspiring listeners (and readers) to revisit and contemplate these stories with a new perspective.
Shirley Erena Murray (b. 1931) was born in Invercargill, New Zealand. She is a hymn text writer and hymnal editor, now living in Raumati Beach, New Zealand. Her Church traditions are Methodist, Presbyterian and ecumenical. Her work appears in over 50 collections worldwide, and her hymns have been set by more than 30 contemporary composers, notably Colin Gibson and Jillian Bray (NZ), Jane Marshall, Carlton Young and Jim Strathdee (USA), I-to Loh (Taiwan), Per Harling (Sweden), and Ron Klusmeier (Canada).
The Very Rev. Walter Farquharson was elected Moderator of The United Church of Canada in 1990, at the 33rd General Council. Born in Rosetown, SK, he was settled at the Saltcoats-Bredenbury Pastoral Charge in Saskatchewan Conference in 1961 and remained in pastoral ministry there until his retirement.