On May 11, Westview Christian Fellowship, St. Catharines, Ont., commissioned Erika Klassen as community outreach pastor. She will oversee the women’s drop-in centre that she and a team of women began last November, which has become a lifeline for many women with no other support systems. Erika will also do outreach with sex-trade workers on Queenston Street, where the church is located. She has been involved with Westview for 17 years as secretary and administrator. (See “Shine Like Stars” page 7.)
Scott St. MB Church, St. Catharines, Ont. welcomed Sabrina Wiens as youth pastor May 18. Sabrina comes back to Scott St. after serving on staff with Canadian Mennonite University’s School of Discipleship for three years, leading teams to Guatemala and South Africa. Sabrina attended Tyndale College in Toronto, where she earned a Bachelor of Religious Education and a Social Service Work Diploma. She replaces Tom Friesen, who served as youth pastor for the past 7 years. Tom is moving to Waterloo with his wife, Charity, who is pursuing graduate studies at Wilfred Laurier University.
On June 1, Central Community Church, Chilliwack, B.C., commissioned Nathan Toews as associate pastor of student ministries. Nathan is married to Melissa and they have a daughter, Natalie.
MB Biblical Seminary has named Cory Seibel assistant professor of pastoral ministries, effective fall 2008. He will be based on the Fresno, Cal. campus. Cory comes from Sioux Falls Seminary in South Dakota, where he was instructor of Christian leadership and director of contextual learning. “Cory’s strengths include an engaging presence that connects well to young
leaders, a broad understanding of contemporary church culture, and experience with contextual learning,” says academic dean Lynn Jost. Cory earlier served in full-time pastoral ministry for 9 years. He and his wife Teresa have a daughter, Savannah.
Two new staff members joined Mennonite World Conference (MWC) June 1 to help build relationships between the global church and local churches. Béatrice Kalaki, a member of a Mennonite Brethren church in DR Congo, will serve as coordinator of the Global Church Congregation (GCC) program (see story page 6) and will work part-time from Kinshasa. Choosing an African and basing the coordination of the program in Kinshasa acknowledges the large concentration of Mennonites in both Congo and its capital. Albert C. Lobe, most recently interim executive director of Mennonite Central Committee, will serve full-time as MWC Global Church Advocate in North America, working from MWC’s Kitchener office and from his home in St. Jacobs, Ont. He will be responsible to administer and promote the renewed Global Church Sharing Fund (GCSF). He will also oversee and work at implementing strategic communications and donor support programs in North America, and assist in marketing and raising funds for the Paraguay 2009 Assembly.