pastors

Pastors prepare to become climate leaders

Warmed by a campfire and the scent of wood smoke, pastors prepare for a forest church experience outdoors. (Photo by Jennifer Schrock)

Wendy Janzen, centre, leads the group’s worship services. Janzen pastors at St. Jacobs Mennonite Church, Ont., and leads the Burning Bush Forest Church, which worships outdoors. (Photo by Jennifer Schrock)

Hopelessness. Denial. Grief. Guilt. Despair. Pastors face these emotions in their congregations as they walk with people suffering from personal losses.

Paving the way to the Promised Land

After serving as interim pastor at Grace Mennonite Church in St. Catharines, Ont., Waldo Pauls ended up staying on as minister for seven years. He is pictured with his wife Pam at their farewell service following Waldo’s retirement in 2014. (Photo by Ernie Janzen)

Pictured from left to right, top row: Claire Ewert-Fisher, David Brubacher, Gerry Binnema, Harold Schegel. Bottom row: Waldo Pauls, Wanda Roth Amstutz and Melissa Miller.

“You don’t go quickly from Egypt to the Promised Land,” quips Harold Schlegel. “The wilderness is where God forms us.”

The wilderness Schlegel speaks of is the transition in a congregation’s life between one pastor and another. Church leaders suggest it’s a time that’s ripe for interim or transitional ministry.

AMBS conference models practices for sustaining faith and hope

Daily opportunities for worship are an integral part of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary’s annual Pastors and Leaders Conference. Pictured, members of the seminary learning community lead participants in worship on Feb. 27, 2018. (AMBS photo by Jason Bryant)

With contentiousness and fracturing in the body of believers, and hostility and injustice all around, these are difficult days for church leaders, who are supposed to provide guidance for people struggling with the trials of the times while at the same time often wrestling with their own challenges.

From Mexican Quaker to Canadian Mennonite

Andrea De Avila enjoys her role as associate pastor at Sargent Avenue Mennonite Church in Winnipeg. (Photo by Aaron Epp)

Andrea De Avila is pictured at her graduation from Eastern Mennonite University. To the left are her grandparents, Ana Victoria Aguilera Martinez and Juan Manuel De Avila Perez. To the right are family friends Nancy Peachy Bontrager and Marion Bontrager. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Andrea De Avila is pictured at the Forks in Winnipeg with her husband Nate and their friend Carina Contreras. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Andrea De Avila, second from left, celebrates Christmas in 2013 with, from left to right, her sister Isabela, mother Norma, father Rodrigo, sister Laura, and brother Rodrigo. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Participating in a Quaker youth pilgrimage to the U.K. was a formative experience for Andrea De Avila. (Photo courtesy of Andrea De Avila)

Ask Andrea De Avila when she first wanted to become a pastor and her answer is simple: “I didn’t.”

Prodigal pastor

Lee Hiebert is the new pastor at Steinbach Mennonite Church. (Photo courtesy of Lee Hiebert)

Lee Hiebert with Jacqueline Neun at the 70th-anniversary celebration of Kelowna First Mennonite Church earlier this year. (Photo courtesy of Lee Hiebert)

Lee and Rachel Hiebert with their Harley. (Photo courtesy of Lee Hiebert)

Seventy-four-year-old George Ediger rushed out of church during the final song and caught up with the newcomer in the parking lot before the big young visitor with the shaved head and biker beard could escape in the maroon hot rod that stood out among the grey and beige sedans.

Principal hits mid-life, takes to pulpit

Cheryl Braun

After 23 good years as a teacher and principal, Cheryl Braun asked herself a simple question: “What does the last part of my career look like?” Would she stay the course or risk change?

As Braun (no relation to the author) considered this over several months with a small support group, she eventually asked herself, “If I’m going to make a change, why not explore a big change?”

Letting Christ abide, from Saskatchewan to Gambia

Tending to the grapes she grows in the house she lives in provides Terri Lynn Paulson with a very tangible way of considering John 15, a chapter of the Bible she has been reflecting on in recent months. It begins: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”

The invisible poor

Alicia and Billy Good with their daughter.

Alicia Good and her family lived below the poverty line for more than three years. That is, until last year.

The 32-year-old currently serves as a pastor at North Leamington United Mennonite Church, in Leamington, Ont., while her husband Billy attends law school. They have a young daughter together.

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