Fanosie Legesse Appointed MCEC Intercultural Mission Minister

Helping All of Us Move Toward Becoming an Intercultural Church

Fanosie LegesseMCEC is pleased to announce the appointment of Fanosie Legesse as MCEC Intercultural Mission Minister. Intercultural Mission Minister is a new position within the MCEC team.

“I see God at work,” says Fanosie. “I have been a part of MCEC for the last 16 years and I see us becoming a mix of languages, peoples and nations from every corner of the globe.”

Over 20% of MCEC’s 104 congregations are newcomer or first-generation Canadian congregations. It is a highlight each year to welcome new congregations at Annual Church Gathering. Translation service has become a new normal at MCEC events. “Intercultural awareness has become a growing edge for MCEC,” says David Martin, Executive Minister. “It is exciting as we move toward being an intercultural church, but it also generates some challenges as we learn to integrate various cultural backgrounds. This new role of Intercultural Mission Minister is part educator, listener, mentor and bridge-builder.”

Raised in Ethiopia, his mother from an Oromo people group, and his father from an Amhara people group, Fanosie was born into an intercultural reality. He grew up learning two languages, seeing two cultural expressions and experiencing two different traditions. As an instructor at Meserete Kristos College, his students spanned many nationalities, as well as many people groups of Ethiopia. He married Dianne, a Canadian woman, and continued learning how to bridge and understand new cultures, as their family lived both in Ethiopia and in Canada. He most recently pastored at Zion Mennonite Fellowship in Elmira, ON.

"When we talk with each other, learn each other’s values and really find out who each other are, it is then that we become one body of Christ."

- Fanosie Legesse

“I cannot help but think that throughout my whole life, God was giving me an opportunity to grow, in preparation for this position,” says Fanosie. “I want to be a bridge-builder within MCEC to bring newcomer and established congregations into a place of being community, and together discovering what that means.”

Although bridging cultures has always been a way of life for him, he admits that it is hard work. “This is not easy,” he says. “It may be exciting on paper, but it is hard work to begin to understand each other. We need to rely on God’s leading.”

Fanosie will help to foster relationships between and bring a cultural awareness to the MCEC community of congregations. “Fanosie is a dynamic and engaging person who will easily draw other people together,” says Norm Dyck, Mission Minister. “He listens well and finds ways to move conversations and relationships forward. He will help us discover how to grow together in a way that honours God, the values and the gifts that each of us bring.”

“When we talk with each other, learn each other’s values and really find out who each other are,” says Fanosie, “it is then that we become one body of Christ. It is then that the Holy Spirit starts moving among us because we are of one accord – we have one heart. This is what the Holy Spirit wants for us; and this is my prayer for MCEC.” Fanosie will begin his ministry March 1, 2020.