Speakers Listing

David Barker

David BakerAs a gift planning consultant at Abundance Canada, David is available to conduct weekend, full-day, part-day and single seminars for church groups. He is also available to preach on stewardship themes, and to conduct Sunday school classes for all ages. Check out abundance.ca for more details, or call David at 519-745-7821, ext. 202.

Topic Ideas: Gift and Estate Planning, Charitable Gift Planning, Contentment, and Generosity.

David is also available for one-to-one consultation to discuss charitable giving and estate planning.

Contact David


Brian Bauman

Brian BaumanAs MCEC Mission Minister, Brian's presentations typically focus on the mission of the local congregation and their support of MCEC in mission. Sermons, SS classes, meeting with Mission Committees and other Leadership groups are educational and inspirational. People are invited to see God at work in the midst of their local context as well as the wider church.

Contact Joan Schooley, MCEC


Chris Brnjas

Chris Brnjas

Chris loves making people think - particularly in ways they haven't thought before. His speaking is not meant to give easy answers but to help people understand God's vastness in deeper ways.

Chris does lay ministry with The Gathering Church in Kitchener and is completing an MA in Theology: Spirituality & Psychotherapy at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. He also holds an MTS from Conrad Grebel University College. He has previously served with Pastors in Exile (PiE), Conrad Grebel, and Parkwood Mennonite Home. He is available for Sunday morning preaching and delivering workshops/Sunday School sessions.

He can preach anywhere within driving distance from Kitchener-Waterloo. Chris would appreciate receiving reimbursement for travel costs as well as the standard honorarium for your church."

Contact Chris


Alicia Buhler

Alicia BuhlerCreativity, spirituality, and healing are topics that Alicia is passionate about. She is available to preach, lead workshops, and offer retreats. Kitchener is her home-base, though she is willing to travel.

As a minister and spiritual caregiver, Alicia meets with individuals for spiritual growth work, is a member of the on-call spiritual care team at Grand River Hospital, an instructor of the Anabaptist Learning Workshop, and a deacon of Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church.

She holds a Master of Divinity degree from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts from Canadian Mennonite University. Her educational background and experience have focused on counselling, healthcare chaplaincy and spiritual direction. She has completed both the foundational and practicum levels of supervised training in Gestalt Pastoral Care, and has been a teaching assistant for the foundational course.

Creativity, mystery, and embodiment have been themes in her own spiritual journey, and she is continually surprised by the creative ways God’s Spirit moves in our lives and the world.

Contact Alicia


Brent Charette

Brent CharetteAs MCEC Operations and Church Engagement Minister, Brent is pleased to preach, provide a presentation or lead a discussion on the vital role of the wider church. He enjoys sharing stories about MCEC ministries and congregations across Eastern Canada.

Contact Joan Schooley, MCEC


Kevin Derksen

Kevin DerksenAs MCEC Regional Ministry Associate, Kevin brings a depth of personal and church wide awareness of God's movement in our world. Kevin is a part of a team which provides strong support for congregations through their pastoral leadership.

Contact Joan Schooley, MCEC


Sara Erb

Sara ErbThere are two significant passions in Sara's life and work: worship and youth. 

1. Worship and spirituality spanning various ages, lifestyles, spirituality types, and histories. Worship ultimately is an expression of our relationship with God, and therefore can and should take on a variety of forms. Including, but not limited to: music, silence, relationships, conversations, and embodied movements and practices. She has deeply valued a breadth of worship experiences and enjoys exploring what it means to bridge and blend our differences when it comes to worship and spirituality (i.e. worship preferences, theological backgrounds and geographical locations). 

2. Youth and Young Adults: faith formation with youth and young adults does not require us to simplify our understanding of the Bible or experience of faith. Instead, it calls us as leaders to fully engage with our own relationships with God and live into the gospel story of grace. And then to share it with youth. She is a strong believer that teaching in the congregation deserves a creative edge.

The culmination of these two passions leads to a desire to bring the Bible to life in our worship, personal faith journeys, and in our formation and relationships with youth and young adults.

Sara is available for preaching, brainstorming sessions, workshops, and retreats.

She is limited to a handful of Sunday mornings which require several months notice, but is happy to chat about possibilties!

Contact Sara


Marlow Gingerich

Marlow GingerichAs a gift planning consultant at Abundance Canada, Marlow is available to conduct weekend, full-day, part-day and single seminars for church groups. He is also available to preach on stewardship themes, and to conduct Sunday school classes for all ages. Check out abundance.ca for more details, or call at 519-745-7821, ext. 208.

Topic Ideas: Will and Estate Planning, Charitable Gift Planning, Contentment, Generosity, Talking About Money, Marriage and Money.

Marlow is also available for one-to-one consultation to discuss charitable giving and estate planning.

Contact Marlow


Sherri Grosz

Sherri GroszAs a gift planning consultant at Abundance Canada, Sherri is available to conduct weekend, full-day, part-day and single seminars for church groups. She is also available to preach on stewardship themes, and to conduct Sunday school classes for all ages. Check out abundance.ca for more details, or call at 519-745-7821, ext. 201.

Topic Ideas: Will and Estate Planning, Charitable Gift Planning, Contentment, Generosity, Talking About Money, Marriage and Money.

Sherri is also available for one-to-one consultation to discuss charitable giving and estate planning.

Contact Sherri


Lydia and Gary Harder

Lydia and Gary HarderLydia Neufeld Harder has been a professor, scholar and interim pastor. Gary Harder has been a long term pastor and interim pastor. Together Lydia and Gary taught a course on “Church & Ministry” at Conrad Grebel University College for a number of years, and at AMBS several times. 

Lydia and Gary Harder are available for the following ministries: 

  • Guest preaching.
  • Leading workshops.
    • Marriage and sexuality
    • Diversity and conflict 
    • Leadership and change
    • Discernment and biblical interpretation

Contact Lydia and Gary


Peter Haresnape

Peter HaresnapePeter is on the preaching team for Toronto United Mennonite Church, and has often had the honour to preach at other churches through his work with Christian Peacemaker Teams. He preaches on the lectionary, or on specific topics, included but not limited to Indigenous-Settler Relations, Land Justice, Peacemaking & Nonviolence, the Social Gospel, Ecumenism, ministry with young adults/students. He also offers workshops tailored for adults or young adults on these topics, at events/retreats or as a Sunday School class.

Peter has worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams for 6 years in their Indigenous Peoples Solidarity team and currently works with the Student Christian Movement of Canada as the National Coordinator (General Secretary).

Contact Peter


Jean Lehn Epp

Jean Lehn EppJean Lehn Epp is an ordained minister, a certified coach practitioner and a member at Breslau Mennonite Church.  It is her hope and dream that the church engage youth and families in prayerful and intentional ways.  With 19 years of experience as a pastor working with youth, junior youth, young adults and families, in the setting of the church as well as over 7 years with MCEC’s winter retreat for youth, Jean has a rich background in engaging the church in very practical ways. 

As the landscape around us changes, how are you attending to growing faith in youth and families? Are you challenged by models for ministry with youth that just don’t seem to fit for your church?  Ministry with youth and families needs special support. Jean is available to help you look at your church’s vision for ministry with youth from a leadership perspective or work directly with youth, junior youth and/or parents.

She is available for: 

Workshops and Resourcing with Leadership: 

  • A two hour youth ministry visioning and priority goal setting workshop in the area of youth, junior youth, young adult and/or family ministry. This interactive workshop is great for engaging youth ministry teams, sponsors, youth pastors and/or workers, church leaders and youth leadership groups. We look at:

     - how your church is nurturing faith in young people
     - explore spiritual types as a tool for thinking intentionally about ministry with youth
     - create an inventory of how your church engages in ministry 
     - seek directions for the future. 

  • Speaker on Youth and Family Ministry for the 21st Century: Navigating Cultural Shift and its impact on Youth and Family Ministry
  • Personal coaching for youth workers/pastors

Workshops with Youth:

Interactive Workshop, Event or Sunday School class with youth or junior youth on the following topics:

  • Prayer
  • Spiritual disciplines
  • Spiritual types
  • Discerning God’s voice in your life 

An honorarium is expected and mileage for locations outside of Waterloo Region is appreciated.

Contact Jean


Brandon Leis

Brandon LeisBrandon is a dynamic speaker, performer, and workshop facilitator. With a focus on multi-generational participant engagement his workshops/sessions are designed to explore a broad range of topics, as they relate to a gifts-centered approach to music making, within a congregational context.  

Possible Workshop/session topics:

  • Musical skills: Song leading/conducting (especially hymns with irregular meter), accompanying skills, learning/teaching new songs, incorporating instruments, re-framing or re-contextualizing hymns , hymn writing/arranging 
  • Identifying and incorporating our gifts: How to incorporate those with varying degrees of musical giftedness, children and youth into the music-making of our worship 
  • Performance vs. Worship: When are we worshiping God through our music-making and when are we worshipping the music we are creating or the creators of the music? 
  • Why do we do what we do in the way we do it? Adopting the spirit of asking both why and why not?  
  • The question of ‘Style’: Instruments of torture, or simply guitars? Do we understand the ‘styles’ of music within our worship? How can we present music in an ‘authentic’ way? 
  • Balancing the new and old; Being true to the creative work of the Holy Spirit and the traditional roots that anchor us, both inside and outside these walls?  
  • Service Development: Co-ordinating the music with other elements of worship and the worship ‘arc’ – within and between services 
  • The possibility of uncertainty and ‘letting go’ to certain standards and metrics we apply to our music-making 
  • Identifying roles of individuals within worship - are there participants, leaders and performers? 
  • Looking at the physical worship space and its strengths and/or limitations for our music making: Can I see you, can you see me? Are you within arm’s reach? Physical proximity and formation in congregational singing  
  • Working with our music and worship as a place of engagement: ‘heart’ vs. ‘head’ 
  • Identifying the ‘right’ way to sing a hymn: Seldom is there a right way to sing a hymn, yet we are aware of many ‘wrong ways’ 
  • Utilizing our resources and worship materials (technological, paper, human, etc.): What resources are ‘open’ to us for church music? What can we appropriate for our usage and from where?  
  • The myriad of roles for music in our worship 
  • Participation and engagement with the congregation; is our music excluding specific participants? What of new attendees/members? 
  • Worshipful noise vs. noise 
  • Trusting your musical and theological instincts
  • Others...

Contact Brandon


Lifted Voices

Lifted VoicesLifted Voices is a singing group of six women from First Mennonite Church in Kitchener who have been singing and praising God together for over 25 years. They provide special music or a full worship service. Worship services consist of music, scripture, readings, prayer and drama.

They are open to singing for small groups or for the entire congregation for a Sunday morning worship service.

They would prefer to stay within a one hour drive of Kitchener/Waterloo, however, would consider further distances if there was compensation for travel. Due to vacations, they are typically not available during July and August.

Contact Lifted Voices


David Martin

David MartinAs MCEC Executive Minister, David is available for speaking engagements. His presentations are usually focused on the mission and vision of MCEC and MC Canada and how we engage our common mission at the local congregation level as well as the Regional Church and NationWide levels. Sermons are biblically based and will challenge listeners to engage the call/mission of the church. David enjoys an interactive approach to small group presentations. Presentation options can include sermons, small group presentations and Sunday school class interactive engagement about the ministries of MCEC and MC Canada.

Contact Joan Schooley, MCEC


Roberson Mbayamvula

Roberson MbayamvulaAs MCEC Regional Ministry Associate, Roberson brings a depth of personal and church wide awareness of God's movement in our world. Roberson is a part of a team which provides strong support for congregations through their pastoral leadership.

Contact Joan Schooley, MCEC


Colin McCartney

Colin McCartneyColin McCartney is the founder of UrbanPromise Toronto and current President and Founder of Connect Ministries (www.connectministries.org). Colin is also part of the MCEC family through his wife Judith who is church planting with the MCEC and is also training urban leaders in under - resourced neighbourhoods for the MCEC. Colin has appeared on Canadian television, radio and national newspapers regarding urban issues. He is an author of two best sellers (“The Beautiful Disappointment” and “Red Letter Revolution”, Castle Quay Publishers), mentor to pastors and business people and is in high demand as a ministry trainer and coach.

Contact Colin



Henry Paetkau

Henry PaetkauAs MCEC Church Leadership Minister, Henry interacts daily with pastors and leaders across Eastern Canada. He provides strong support for congregations through supporting their pastoral leadership.

Contact Joan Schooley, MCEC


Fred Redekop

Fred RedekopFred was pastor at Floradale Mennonite Church for 25 years. He preaches from the lectionary texts, in order to work/preach on difficult texts and was affirmed at the church for his style and content. 

He has travelled to Turkey and Greece, exploring the world of Paul and is willing to do a four-part bible study on the complex guy we call Paul of Tarsus.

Contact Fred


Al Rempel

Al RempelAs MCEC Regional Minister, Al would be delighted to participate in your service of worship or adult education time. He welcomes the opportunity to speak on congregational vitality, Christian discipleship, stewardship and missional vocation. He is open to being a resource for interactive events.

Contact Joan Schooley, MCEC


Tamara Shantz

Tamara ShantzTamara Shantz is a spiritual director, pastor with Pastors in Exile and Enneagram teacher based in Kitchener. She studied Religious Studies/PACS at Grebel in undergrad, and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. Her recent spiritual direction training was through the Ignatius Jesuit Centre of Guelph. Right now, she is especially excited about prayer and the inner life of faith - helping others to discover the many ways that the Spirit of Christ is present within them (and others! And Creation!) and learning how to listen more deeply for the sacred whisper that speaks from within.

Tamara is available for guest preaching or teaching in faith formation classes. She is willing to preach or teach on a wide variety of topics but her particular passions and areas of interest include:

  • Ecology/Creation, and Spirituality
  • Prayer and Contemplation
  • Discernment and Vocation
  • the Enneagram as a tool for self-understanding and spiritual growth (best for faith formation context, not a sermon)
  • Social Justice - especially topics related to Indigenous-Settler relations
  • Sexuality and Spirituality

Tamara is also interested in retreat facilitation and would be available for teaching in a day or weekend retreat setting as well. 

If you are interested in exploring the Enneagram in depth, she is available for Enneagram workshops varying in length from 5 hours to two days. She is willing to travel, especially for any retreat weekend opportunities.

Contact Tamara


Elmer Thiessen

Elmer ThiessenElmer is a semi-retired philosopher, having moved to Waterloo in 2007. While living in Alberta for most of his teaching career, he was active in his home church as Moderator, Elder, Lay-minister and Sunday school teacher. He has also preached and given teaching seminars in other churches and church colleges. In 2001-2002 he did a year of pulpit supply in the Seven Persons Community Church in Alberta, while this church was without a pastor.

Elmer likes topical preaching, but will also follow the church’s lectionary. Some possible topics for seminars or a Sunday school series: the Ethics of Evangelism; Biblical Ethics for Today’s Postmodern Society; A Christian Worldview; A Biblical Approach to Knowledge; Doubt; Committed Openness; Christian Education in the Home and the Church.

He is available during most of the year. An honourarium and travel expenses as per church policy would be appreciated.

Contact Elmer


Cathrin van Sintern-Dick

Cathrin van Sintern-DickAs MCEC Regional Ministry Associate, Cathrin brings a depth of personal and church wide awareness of God's movement in our world. Cathrin is a part of a team which provides strong support for congregations through their pastoral leadership.

Contact Joan Schooley, MCEC


Devon Wagler

Devon WaglerDevon is the pastor and founder of the Network Church in Kitchener, a multi-site house church founded on radical community and practical compassion as acts of worship. He has occasional Sunday availability and is excited to speak on any range of topics including mission, outreach, the Kingdom of God, compassion, spiritual gifting and Old Testament/New Testament theology. Devon loves delving into difficult topics, and finds that even in the 'easier' topics, there is value in striving to find the challenging and difficult message for God's people.

Devon has strong Anabaptist convictions and believes in God's presence and activity in the world, as well as His creativive work in different ways through different people. Devon has led the Network through various initiatives in the community over the years, and loves being able to tell the stories of our failures and successes.

Contact Devon


Patricia Wagler

Patricia WaglerPatricia is a follower of Jesus, Ordained Minister, certified Spiritual Caregiver, and Labyrinth Facilitator, and simply enjoys planning and facilitating events with any age group, any topic. Patricia is available for speaking/preaching, leading retreats/workshops. 'We can have a conversation and develop an experience that will invite participants to encounter God.' 

She also has a canvas labyrinth that she travels with, as well as an outdoor labyrinth on my farm that she uses for events.

Special music can also be provided for worship or events.

Contact Patricia


Amanda Zehr

Amanda ZehrAmanda has spent several years working in pastoral ministry in Mennonite churches around southwestern Ontario. 

Amanda has a BA in Recreation and Business and a Masters of Theological Studies, both from the University of Waterloo.

Contact Amanda