October was a big month for pastoral leadership in Mennonite Church Saskatchewan as two young pastors, Rodney Hennessey and Curtis Wiens, were ordained by their congregations.
“It was a great month,” said Gary Peters, the regional church’s interim executive minister. “We’ve certainly had a handful of ordinations in the past few years, but this is the first time that we’ve had two in a month.”
Hennessey is the pastor of Grace Mennonite Church in Regina. Originally from Prince Edward Island, he discovered MC Saskatchewan during his last semester at Edmonton’s Taylor Seminary in early 2020.
When COVID-19 hit, Hennessey and his family moved in with his in-laws in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan. The churches he had been in conversation with about pastoring decided to hold off on hiring until the effects of the pandemic became more clear.
Amid that uncertainty, Hennessey found Grace Mennonite.
“I’m still blown away to have found this church,” he says. “That it happened, it was such a good fit, and that the church was only two hours away from where we were living was incredible.”
Hennessey is grateful that Grace Mennonite supported his ordination as well as what it means for his connection to the regional church. “For me, being ordained is just that extra level of support and accountability to the denominational body,” he said. “We stand together…. it’s another layer of binding us together.”
About three hours north, at Aberdeen Mennonite Church in Aberdeen, pastor Curtis Wiens appreciated the opportunity to reflect on his pastoral leadership through the ordination process.
He grew up in MC Saskatchewan and has served in several of the regional church’s ministries.
“It was really neat to put experiences into conversation with other ministers in MC Sask,” he said. “A lot of the processing about ministry happens internally, in one’s own head—where you found growth edges, what has surprised you—but being able to say it out loud was really uplifting.”
For regional church leadership, these back-to-back ordinations feel like a new seedling of hope.
“To me, it means that there are younger people who are willing to serve as pastoral leaders and that we as a church are finding it important to discern and grow those pastoral gifts,” Peters said. “It’s working together to build the kingdom.”