New/Returning Pastors in MCEC

February 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021

Quenton Little, Pastor, Agape Fellowship

I can’t say how, where or what God is at work during this time in our world. But perhaps, strangely enough, this may be exactly where God wants us to be. The world is a crazy place that is hard to understand. In spite of that, we have God, and we are still able to talk to God every day. The things that we don’t understand we can give to God to keep for the day and he will make us understand. This may very well be God saying to us, “Trust me, I got you, and I will not let you get lost.” Now is our time to trust God a bit more, talk less and listen more to God. And to wait patiently for God. The writer of Lamentations wasn’t far off when they wrote: “God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out; his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.” (Lamentations 3:24; The Message)

Erwin Wiens, Interim Pastor, Elmira Mennonite Church

I've been an interim pastor at Elmira Mennonite Church for nine months. I have not yet met the congregation, although I have visited some members in their driveway or on their porch. We have had several members who have contracted Covid-19, but fortunately, no deaths.  We record our Sunday service weekly and all of our meetings are via ZOOM. God is teaching me and the entire congregation patience as we wait for the pandemic to give way to a routine of worship, singing, teaching and sharing food.

Fanosie Legesse, Intercultural Mission Minister, MCEC

I see God’s active engagement in the time I am in, the space I am invited into, the staff I am to work with, and the constituency I am committed to serve. Yes, the title “Intercultural Mission Minister” is a visionary effort of the hiring body to describe what will unfold as the fruit of this office, both in a short-term and long-term basis. I see God at work already in the meeting and interaction of people of several cultures, nations, languages, colors and socio-economic statuses. I also have very strong optimism brewing in me that comes from my trust in God who has been with the body of Christ throughout history. I know that the same God will also be with us today and for the unknown future. In other words, I see God at work in my daily functions as I try to use every opportunity to grow into this new position and be a more useful servant to the church. In addition, I believe that God will grant all of us the wisdom that we need to facilitate the interaction, intersection, interrelation, inter-dependency and inter-empowerment of each other as we become an intercultural community of Christ.  

Beth Woelk, Associate Pastor, Grace Mennonite Church

In my work during the pandemic I have spent a lot of time on the phone with the elder members in our congregation. I call to encourage and often come away encouraged myself! I'm amazed at the ways God moves in hearts that are open and receptive to create growth, resiliency, meaning and beauty in the midst of our experiences and in whatever season of life we find ourselves. 

KyongJung Kim, Co-pastor, Preston and Wanner Mennonite Churches

I experience God when I read the Scripture text and understand the meaning of it. I experience God in a nature walk with my wife, breathing in the fresh air, looking at a night sky. I experience God in the worship service, prayer meetings and in the small group. I also experience God when I see my neighbours connected with others who are quite different from each other. I experience God in my family life eating, talking and spending time together. Most of all, I experience God in my spirit and heart through thought, emotions, physical strength and will.

Leah Reesor-Keller, Executive Minister, MCEC

Since starting my role with MCEC in September 2020, I’ve seen God at work in the passionate and faithful pastors and congregational leaders who are finding creative ways to lead worship and support their faith communities despite the pandemic challenges.

Annika Krause, Pastor, Mennonite Fellowship of Montreal

I see God at work in my congregation in how people are committed to care for each other. People have brought food to those who are unwell and they call or Zoom with those who are having a hard time with the current restrictions and curfew in Montreal. And, this generosity of spirit has extended beyond the immediate context of the congregation and into the struggles of the people in this city. It is a joy to be called to serve here.

Matthew Bailey-Dick, Interim Pastor, The First Mennonite Church

I see congregational members encouraging each other, loving each other, joking with each other and prodding each other into new leadership roles. I see congregational members working on the front lines of COVID, side-by-side with other healthcare workers, service workers, farmers and teachers. I see the hands and feet of Jesus.

Credentialed Ministers in MCEC

February 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021

Kendra Whitfield Ellis, Pastor, Waterloo North Mennonite Church (Ordination)

I experience God's presence in many ways in the Waterloo North Mennonite congregation where I have the privilege to share in ministry. One of the most profound ways that I have witnessed God at work has been through an online grief group that emerged after several people had experienced the deaths of loved ones in our congregation. These experiences of loss and grief, as many of us know, have been magnified during this pandemic time period. The way this group listens and cares for each other, along with each member sharing so vulnerably and openly is the evidence of the sacredness of "God with us." Our God is a God with skin who sits among us, cries with us and carries what is too great for each of us to bear alone.

Hyung Jin (Pablo) Kim Sun, Pastor, Toronto Mennonite New Life Church (Ordination)

In my life and in my congregation, I experience God working in the midst of uncertainty. For my whole life, I have lived as an immigrant, whether in Paraguay, the U.S., and now in Canada. For more than 13 years, I’ve lived with a temporary visa status; always wondering and not knowing what next year will look like for me and my family. While the pandemic made the situation worse, the uncertainty that I am experiencing in this new reality is not that different from what most of our church members have experienced. Yet, in the midst of uncertain life, we experience God’s powerful presence during our weekly Zoom gathering. We sense the warmth of love and care when we call each other. We hold each other tightly through our prayers. In each of these gatherings, encounters and conversations we experience the work of the Holy Spirit. I believe that we will continually experience God in this way because we are always immigrants, spiritually and in our social status, and are always on our journey toward a true home.  

Caleb Ratzlaff, Pastor, Westview Mennonite Fellowship (Licensed Towards Ordination)

Westview is called to be contributing member of the Queenston Street neighbourhood in St. Catharines. Every neighbour has a gift to share, and it's a blessing to have talented neighbours. For example, although we've had to all learn wisdom and patience, it's been a delight to discover what it means to support our neighbours who run and use the Consumption & Treatment Services next store. The community gardens are another example. Together with our neighbours, supported by the city, we've cultivated the earth's gifts while learning about food security. We witness the grace of God in and through our neighbourhood.