Levi Simpson began as associate pastor at Kelowna (B.C.) Gospel Fellowship Apr. 1, 2014, with a commissioning service Apr. 6, 2014. He has a degree in business studies from Eston (Sask.) College where he worked as academic dean and student ministry director, an MA from Regent College, Vancouver, and has served as a lay leader at Kelowna Gospel Fellowship for several years. Levi and Shelley have 3 children.
Wes Janzen and Kimberley Janzen, members at Bakerview MB Church, Abbotsford, B.C., completed decades of service teaching and directing choral activities at Trinity Western University, Langley, B.C., to devote more energy to Music Mission Kiev in Ukraine. Wes takes on the roles of MMK president and principal conductor of Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Kimberley will be association director of outreach ministries.
Menno Homes of Saskatchewan Inc., a Christian residential and vocational support program for adults with intellectual disabilities, based in Waldheim, Sask., welcomed executive director Jordan Varey, November 2013. Varey began his Christian journey at Evergreen Heights MB Church, Simcoe, Ont. With a master’s degree in disability studies, he has experience in the school system, group home supports and service agency management.
Manfred Boller resigned as lead pastor of Community Fellowship Church, Newton, Man., effective February 2014.
Ken Klassen completed his ministry as pastor at Gospel Fellowship Chapel, Foam Lake, Sask., January 2014.
Due to declining membership and finances, a congregational meeting of Restigouche Valley Church, Campbellton, N.B., passed a motion to close, effective Mar. 31, 2014. In 1979, Robert and Janice Buhr began Bible studies and fellowship meetings, which formed into a congregation that chartered Restigouche Valley Church Dec. 2, 1984. The congregation called Siegfried Wall as the first paid pastor (1985–1996), and took ownership of a repurposed building in 1988. Joel Gagnon, pastor from 2003 to 2014, is focusing on full-time pastoral care work with a regional health network.
The Access Centre, Ajax, Ont., reaffirmed its membership in the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches at convention 2014. Planted as Koinonia Worship Centre in 1997, the multicultural church was adopted into OCMBC as a Love Toronto Key Cities Initiative church in 2002, and changed its name to The Access Centre (cf. Romans 5:1–2) when it moved into a building in Ajax, Ont., in 2010. Founding pastor Dan Sileshi, who entered the Anabaptist tradition through Meserete Kristos Church in Ethiopia, planted churches in Zimbabwe and Nigeria before coming to Canada to plant Koinonia. He currently works bivocationally as a psychotherapist. The Amharic-speaking congregation formally recognized Simeon Demeke as pastor in August 2013.
Riverhurst (Sask.) Community Church, a new congregation with a historical tie to the Mennonite Brethren congregation in Gilroy, will hold its charter service June 1, 2014, and officially join the SKMB conference at that time. The church is an outgrowth of Immanuel Retreat Ministries, a 26-bed retreat centre in Riverhurst pioneered by Prairie Winds Church, Moose Jaw, Sask., in 2011. The two bivocational pastors at Prairie Winds, Willard Hasmatali and Doug Rempel, spend weekends in Riverhurst and hold services Sunday mornings before returning to Moose Jaw for Prairie Winds’ evening worship service.