Henry Paetkau, former president of Conrad Grebel University College, has been named area church minister for Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, succeeding Muriel Bechtel, who is retiring after 12 years in that role.
Beginning his duties in this summer, Paetkau will invite pastors and congregations to be intentional about their mission of making the church relevant in an increasingly secular society. In particular, he will work closely with pastors in discerning their sense of call, assisting with their credentialing, and providing a consistent and strong support for leadership within MCEC.
Not only has Paetkau been directly involved in nurturing leaders for the church, he himself has been the recipient of such formation and care.
“I’ve grown up and been formed by the church, and have served the church all my life,” says Paetkau. “It seemed natural and appropriate to continue to minister in a role that prepares people to serve the church.”
Through his recent presidency at Conrad Grebel and his former minister roles at Mennonite Church Canada, Grace, Harrow, and Windsor Mennonite churches, Paetkau has had a hand in church leadership formation and development.
David Martin, MCEC executive minister, is delighted by this appointment and states, “Henry is uniquely qualified to shape curriculum and new training initiatives for the next generation of pastoral leaders. He brings a depth of experience that will inspire the new vision for this position, as he provides leadership for the rich theological, cultural, and leadership mosaic in MCEC.”
He reflects, “I continue to be grateful for the love and grace that I have received from the church in pastoral ministry and want to nurture and offer that to other pastors. It is a challenging, but very fulfilling and life-giving ministry. My heart remains in the church, and at heart I am a pastoral person - so it feels like I am coming home.”
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada is comprised of 105 congregations and church plants in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick, worshipping in 12 different languages. They are committed to extending the peace of Jesus Christ to their communities, provinces, and world.
--April 18, 2012