Leah Reesor-Keller Appointed as Mennonite Church Eastern Canada’s New Executive Minister

“I am excited to get started.” – Leah Reesor-Keller

Leah Reesor-KellerKITCHENER, ON – Mennonite Church Eastern Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Leah Reesor-Keller as the next MCEC Executive Minister. Arli Klassen, MCEC Moderator, is confident in the decision, “Leah has great passion and vision for guiding the church to be the best it can be, as Anabaptist followers of Jesus. Leah has the organizational leadership, management skills and spiritual maturity to lead MCEC, along with strong intercultural and multilingual skills.”

Leah is enthusiastic about building community among MCEC congregations and increasing our capacity to live out our faith. Leah says, “I am excited to get started. Congregations have chosen to come together under the umbrella of MCEC because of a shared vision of living out our unique Anabaptist Christian faith in communities across eastern Canada.” 

Leah continues, “MCEC’s role is to provide tools and resources for the member congregations to do ministry in their own context, yet it is the congregations and members that drive the movement forward. As leader of MCEC, I want to listen deeply, ask reflective questions, foster relationships of mutuality between congregations, and hold space for new dreams and visions of what it means to be an Anabaptist Christian to take root.” 

"The work that I feel called to do is seek out and amplify voices, and find ways to discern together what we are being called into in this time as churches and individual Christ-followers."

Arli says that the Search Committee, which recommended Leah to MCEC’s Executive Council, was impressed by her leadership, both through work and volunteer experiences. Leah is currently the Community Program Manager at House of Friendship in Waterloo Region. Formerly she was the Country Representative (Nepal), and a Food Security Advisor with Mennonite Central Committee. Leah provided leadership during the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, coordinating a disaster response while sleeping outside on the ground. Leah also has experience with boards and with fundraising, and is a regular preacher, worship leader and Bible study leader wherever she has lived. Her travel has led to a passion for languages – Leah is proficient beyond English in French, Haitian Creole, and Nepali. 

The search for a new Executive Minister was thorough. It was a six-month process which included ten focus groups across MCEC and a reexamination of the position description, including a review of the essential qualifications and requirements. The search took into consideration the current executive staff at MCEC which has strong pastoral and administrative gifts. 

The comments that staff and Search Committee members heard in the focus groups will be the starting point for new strategic directions and priorities. “Leah wants to draw people together around the shared values and vision within MCEC. I see this as her strongest skill,” says Arli. Listening to the MCEC community of congregations to develop priorities for these times will be one of Leah’s first tasks as the new executive leader of MCEC. 

MCEC’s Executive Council believes that Leah is called to this position because of her vision, and her enthusiastic energy for working with the challenges facing churches today. Leah says, “The work that I feel called to do is seek out and amplify voices, and find ways to discern together what we are being called into in this time as churches and individual Christ-followers. I see so much potential in the MCEC family of congregations to be beacons of hope and action in the world, even more so than they already are. I want to be part of letting the lights shine and bringing forth God’s new words just waiting for the right ears to listen.” 

Leah and her husband Luke live in Kitchener and have 2 children, Isaac and Ava. Leah and her family are active members of Erb Street Mennonite Church. Leah will begin her ministry with MCEC late summer 2020 and succeeds David Martin. After 15 years as Executive Minister, David retires in summer 2020.