Transitions July/August 2016
The MCC Saskatchewan board of directors announced Eileen Klassen Hamm’s appointment as executive director in April. She has served MCC Saskatchewan in peace and justice programming since 1992, as program director and as interim executive director since December 2015. “Eileen has demonstrated a strong commitment to the vision and mission of MCC,” says board chair Dan Siebert. “She has a gift of relating well to young adults as a teacher and mentor, inspiring and engaging them in the development and delivery of programs.” MCC Saskatchewan’s theme during 2016 is Peacebuilding.
The B.C. Conference of MB Churches appointed Denis Federau as director of resource ministries, beginning Apr. 1, 2016. Denis will serve the church in terms of resource needs, governance guidance and providing practical resources for the administrative realities of ministry. He previously served as pastor at Nechako Community Church (Vanderhoof, B.C.) after completing a BA in biblical studies from Columbia Bible College.
Square One World Media will welcome Shoaib Ebadi as executive director, beginning in September, assuming full responsibility Oct. 31, 2016. Born in Afghanistan, Shoaib received a master’s degree in law, and worked for UNHCR in Uzbekistan. As a refugee in Pakistan, he became a follower of Jesus in 1999. After immigrating to Canada in 2000, he worked as an accountant at Concordia Hospital (2002–2009), established CHAI Immigrant Centre Inc. in 2006 where he continues to serve as executive director, and joined Pamir Production, an Operation Mobilization Canada media ministry for Afghanistan in 2009. He has a graduate certificate in Christian ministry from Canadian Mennonite University and is working toward an MTh. He speaks English, Russian and Persian/Dari. Shoaib and his wife have 3 children. Claude Pratte, executive director 2008–2016 retires Oct. 31, 2016, after serving Square One World Media (formerly Family Life Network) for 10 years.
House for All Nations Toronto changed its name to New Living Church and began English services in 2016. Begun in 2009 as a Toronto campus of the Vancouver-based multisite congregation HFAN, it was originally an Indonesian-speaking church. In 2012, the church became independent from the Vancouver body and began an affiliation with The Jesus Network in Toronto. Through prayer, the church discerned a vision to broaden their outreach beyond Indonesian speakers. Jacob Nuh is the pastor of the congregation with an average worship gathering of 50 people.
Vauxhall (Alta.) MB Church formally welcomed Harold Reimer as lead pastor Apr. 17, 2016. He received his BRE from Prairie Bible Institute and has begun his master of divinity. Previously, Harold served as interim pastor at Vauxhall Bethel Evangelical Free Church and lead pastor at Elm Creek (Man.) MB Church. He has also been self-employed and worked in farming. Harold and Bernice have 5 married children and enjoy their 7 grandchildren.
Sabrina Wiens, director of youth ministries at Scott Street MB Church (St. Catharines, Ont.), since 2008 shifted to the role of director of family & community services, and Philip Klassen, a youth ministry volunteer at Scott Street for the past 4 years, took over as director of youth ministries, Apr. 15, 2016. Phil has a BA in illustration and has also worked at Camp Crossroads and Bethany Mennonite Church (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.).
Wally Nickel began as senior associate pastor at Jericho Ridge Community Church (Langley, B.C.) in April 2016. He previously served 16 years in a variety of ministry settings including Coast Hills Church (Surrey, B.C.), Living Hope Christian Fellowship (Surrey), Murrayville (Langley), and Sherbrook Mennonite (Vancouver). Wally has an MA from ACTS Seminaries and an MA from MBBS Fresno, where he met his wife Sylvia. They are the parents of 2 adopted children, Joel and Savana.
Dalmeny (Sask.) Community Church welcomed Tony Martens as lead pastor Apr. 18. Tony previously served Riverbend Fellowship (Borden, Sask.) for 15 years. Tony and Michelle have 2 children.
Steve Savage said farewell to Port Rowan (Ont.) MB Church Apr. 10, 2016. He served the congregation as lead pastor since March 2012.
Carol Penner, pastor at Lendrum MB Church (Edmonton) since 2014, completed her ministry with the church. She was appointed assistant professor of practical theology at Conrad Grebel University College (Waterloo, Ont.).
Northgate church in Dawson Creek, B.C., started in 1962 by Jacob “Jay” Neufeld, withdrew from the Mennonite Brethren conference and was accepted into the membership of Mennonite Church B.C. as Northgate Anabaptist Fellowship Feb. 27, 2016.