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Brian Bauman, MCEC Mission Minister, Announces Retirement

Authored by: 
Lisa Williams

MCEC Celebrates Brian’s Ministry and Prepares for the Next Chapter

Brian BaumanBrian Bauman, MCEC Mission Minister, will retire December 31, 2019. “I am grateful for the knowledge and experience that God has granted me through the last 16 years,” says Brian.

Working with troubled teens is where Brian began his ministry in 1975 with Mennonite Central Committee in Winnipeg, MB and St. John’s, NFLD. In 1977, he was student chaplain at Conrad Grebel College. As God’s sense of call on his life grew, Brian entered full-time ministry as pastor at Preston Mennonite Church where he was ordained in September of 1987. He and his wife, Nancy Brubaker, and their family, moved to California, USA and co-pastored First Mennonite Church in Reedley from 1988 - 1994. After a short break from congregational ministry, Brian moved into the position of conference minister at Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference in California, also working in the area of church planting. It was here that he received a call from David Brubacher, then executive minister of MCEC, to return to Southern Ontario as the mission minister. “Brian’s entrepreneurial approach to church planting, of being “church” more broadly, and his heart for newer immigrant groups were strong reasons we called him to this position,” says David Brubacher. “I think it is fair to say that the current dynamic initiatives in MCEC mission are in large part the result of those strengths.” Brian has served MCEC since 2003.

“I have a strong sense from God that it is time for the next chapter to begin for the mission office in MCEC."

- Brian Bauman

Over the past 16 years, ministry in the MCEC mission office has changed. As Canadian culture has shifted, the church has also shifted toward an intercultural reality. MCEC has been intentional about church planting and church adoption, and has transitioned from directly funding social service ministries to funding church plants, which then do service ministry in their own neighbourhoods. “Almost five years ago Brian invited me to be a part of the MCEC church planting team and I could not refuse,” says Judith McCartney, church planter at Soul House in Scarborough, ON. “Brian listens to and inspires us and as a result, many leaders feel more confident because we have spent time with him. He believes we each have something unique and profound about us and he encourages each adoptee church and new church plant to reflect that unique expression of church."

“I have a strong sense from God that it is time for the next chapter to begin for the mission office in MCEC. My hope is that we deliberately continue to be an intercultural church,” says Brian. “I have enjoyed being a part of building new relationships and worshipping with other cultures. It has been such a privilege to introduce new leaders and congregations to the MCEC family each year. There is always a sense of holy awe at those meetings and as these new relationships develop.”

The coming year will be a year of transition. MCEC has begun the process to call a new mission minister. “Our focus on being an intercultural church and the significant relationships that Brian has nurtured position us well as we move forward into a new era of disciple-making,” says David Martin, executive minister. “The ministry that Brian has led us in these past 16 years has been an important gift that has dramatically impacted MCEC and the wider church body.”