Tag Archives: Interview

Pastor Albert Loewen: It Is An Awesome God We Serve!

by Albert Loewen

ALYMER, Ont.—Albert Loewen was asked to tell us about his ministry as the senior pastor of Mount Salem Community Church.

Tell us about where you were raised, educated, and served prior to MSCC.
I was born in Mexico, but from the age of three southern Ontario has been home. My family has always lived in Aylmer and I grew up in the church I currently serve in.

My goal in life was never to become a pastor and so my post-secondary education is all over the place. I took one year at Steinbach Bible College. Then, convinced that policing was my call, I pursued a college degree in Police Foundations. A few years after that I felt called not to pursue policing, despite not being sure what God did want me to pursue. During the next few years I felt that perhaps counselling was my call and so I gathered all my courses together and began working on a Bachelor of Theology and Counselling from Emmanuel Bible College.

During that time, I was hired on staff at Mount Salem and continued my education until the demands of family and work were too much. I need two more courses to obtain my degree—so perhaps one day I will return. A few years ago I attended Arrow Leadership’s Emerging Stream program which is a 15-month program, and it has been the most impactful learning that I have done in regards to my work as a pastor and would highly recommend other pastors consider it—despite its high cost.

Tell us about your family.
My wife Josie and I started dating in grade nine and have been in love ever since. This journey would have never been possible without her support and wisdom through the years. Together we have six kids and enjoy the chaos that brings (most days).

What led you to serve here?
When I felt compelled to give up policing God really instilled in me a love for the local church. We started serving in our church and, in time, as doors opened we walked through them, and are grateful that we did. Serving here has been the privilege of a lifetime. The leadership and congregation have taken such incredibly great care of us over the past eight years and we are so thankful for that.

To understand you as a pastoral couple, what do people need to know?
We are pretty simple people. We love helping people, love laughing and being challenged; and I love the variety that a job like this brings. Never knowing what the next day will hold fits my life well.

What else would you want to say?
There is so much I would love to say, but I think I would summarize it up like this: God is faithful. Through all the great and difficult times, I have often not known what to do, but God has never failed me and for that I am so grateful. It is an awesome God we serve.

Pastor Ryan Rear: We Love Serving at Morris Fellowship Chapel!

by Ryan Rear

MORRIS, Man.—Ryan Rear was asked to tell us about his ministry as the senior pastor at Morris Fellowship Chapel.

1. Tell us about where you were raised, educated, and served prior to MFC.

I was born in Innisfail, Alberta. I went to Prairie Bible College for a few years, and then to the University of Alberta, where I got a BA in psychology. Years later, I got my Master of Theological Studies at Taylor Seminary in Edmonton. I served in a variety of churches: Baptist, Free Methodist, Independent, and FEBC. The FEBC was the first church I served in that had Mennonite roots. I am now serving at the Morris Fellowship Chapel, our EMC church here in Morris.

2. Tell us about your family. 

My wife Uma was born in Malaysia, and, for me, she has been God’s wonderful gift. We have two grown-up children. Cassandra is 22 years old, and after she finished her degree in sociology, she began working in a group home for level five teenage girls. Sam is 21 years old, and is busy working and making music.

3. What led you to serve here? 

We came to Morris to serve in an FEBC church, which had a great group of people. Unfortunately, by the time we got here, the church pretty much only had seniors. We were unable to attract the families we needed and after four and a half years the church shut its doors. Uma and I also worked at Youth for Christ here in Morris. I was between church jobs, and we started attending Morris Fellowship Chapel. I was asked to do some pulpit supply, then served as its interim pastor; and one thing led to another and here we are the pastoral couple.

4. To understand you as a pastoral couple, what do people need to know?

As a pastoral couple, we work closely together. We emphasize Bible study and discipling. We emphasize taking God at his word, and living obedient lives of faith through the power of the Holy Spirit. We especially love to work with the young people. They are the future of the church and need to be equipped with sound teaching and be discipled in the faith. Uma teaches the youth Sunday School class. I lead the College and Career Bible study with Uma’s help. We have temporarily split our C and C into male and female groups. Uma leads the young ladies. I lead the young men. We believe in equipping people of all age groups so they can live God-inspired lives.

5. What do you think of the EMC? 

There are two things I particularly like about the EMC. I like the Statement of Faith because it is simple and yet remains true to the foundational truths of the faith. I also like the EMC’s emphasis on supporting missions.

6. What else would you want to say? 

We love serving at Morris Fellowship Chapel. It is a privilege.

Steinbach EMC: Jason Heide Blessed by the Comradery

by Pastor Jason Heide

STEINBACH, Man.—Jason Heide was asked by Terry Smith to tell us about his ministry as the youth pastor at Steinbach EMC. He began serving on June 1, 2008.

Tell us about where you were raised, educated, and served prior to Steinbach EMC.

I was born and raised in Winkler, Man. After high school I spent a couple of years at Briercrest College and then, after meeting my soon-to-be wife, transferred to Providence College to complete my Bachelor of Arts degree. Throughout high school and college I spent my summers serving at Winkler Bible Camp. After college I spent two and a half years working there full-time as the director of one of their satellite camps.

Tell us about your family. 

I am blessed to be married to my beautiful and supportive wife Paige for the past 11 years. She is such an integral part of our ministry to the youth at Steinbach EMC. God has blessed us with two wonderful boys, Logan (7) and Lucas (5). Over the past seven years they have helped me learn so much about what child-like faith looks like. It has been such a joy to respond to their surprisingly deep questions about God.

How did you hear about Steinbach EMC and what led you to serve here? 

Toward the end of my time at camp I felt God leading me elsewhere. I didn’t know where. I just knew that working with youth was what I wanted to continue to do. Paige and I had just built a new house and I was looking for job listings close to home. When I saw the ad for a youth pastor at the Steinbach EMC, I remember asking Paige (assuming she wouldn’t be interested), “What would you think about moving to Steinbach?” To my surprise she was very positive about the possibility and I applied. Six months later we sold our new house and moved to Steinbach. It’s been amazing to see the way God’s hand was at work in all the details that have led us here.

To understand you as a pastor, what do people need to know?

In 2006, while I was working at Winkler Bible Camp, I remember the director had asked each of the staff to complete the following statement: “I work at Winkler Bible Camp because….” My answer that day is the same answer I have today with the only difference being the place I am serving. “I want to be involved in work that will still be worthwhile in eternity.” One of the greatest joys in my life and ministry is seeing people come to know Jesus and give their lives to follow Him!

What do you think of the EMC?

I grew up attending a non-denominational church in Winkler and therefore had no first-hand experience of what a conference was like prior to moving here. Since joining the EMC I have found it to be a fantastic experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed the conference events I’ve been a part of, specifically TRU, the Young Adult Retreat, and Abundant Springs. I have also been very blessed by the comradery and the relationships I have been able to build with the other youth pastors in the region. It’s encouraging to know that we are in this together.

What else would you want to say?

I thank God for how He has graciously worked in and through me. It is a wonderful privilege to be able to partner with our Lord and Saviour in this significant work of reaching people for Him.

 

Wymark: Paul Little Says EMC Direction a Concern

by Pastor Paul Little

CHORTITZ, Sask.—Paul Little was asked questions by e-mail. Here are his responses. He has served as pastor of the Wymark EMC, its building located in Chortitz, since March 5, 2010.

Tell us about where you were raised, educated, and served prior to Wymark. 

Paul: I was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I was born into a pastor’s family. I lived in NB until I was four and then my dad took a church in Ontario. We lived there until I was 14 and then my dad took a church back in NB where he was until I went to Bible school. I was educated at New Brunswick Bible Institute. I got my theological diploma in 2000. I also got an undergraduate degree in Sociology at the Crandall University (formerly Atlantic Baptist University) in 2006. I was a youth pastor in Rochester, New Hampshire, at Rochester Baptist Church from 2001-2003. I also served at Jacksontown Baptist Church prior to coming to Wymark.

Tell us about your family. 

Paul: I have been married to my beautiful supportive wife Amy since May 5, 2000. We have three wonderful children for which I am so grateful to my Lord and Saviour. Jaedon is our oldest; he is 15. Keagon is our middle child who is 13, and finally our little girl Amareis is 11.

How did you hear about Wymark and what led you to serve here? 

Paul: My father-in-law [Pastor Dwight Munn, WCC, Grande Prairie] had told me about the EM Conference. He mentioned that there was a list of churches in The Messenger that were looking for a pastor so I pursued it. God clearly lead me to Wymark through His Word and the prayers of God’s people. I am so grateful for the people of this church and thank the Lord for leading me here.

To understand you as a pastor, what do people need to know?

Paul: I have a heart to preach God’s Word to His people. God has been so good and faithful to me, which leads me to strive to be faithful to Him. I have a desire for God’s people to take God at His “word” and strive to follow Him with all of their hearts. As a pastor, like all believers, I am called to serve God and His people. I love to help people and point people to their creator who desires to be their Saviour.

What do you think of the EMC? 

Paul: I believe the people in the EMC have a desire to serve God. I struggle with the direction the conference is heading. I struggle with the conference’s stance on women leading men. I also disagree with their stance on creation. I know we should celebrate the diversity of our conference; however, diversity that is not grounded on truth of God’s Word is not something that I believe I am called to celebrate. There are different cultures in our conference that have different worship styles and I gladly celebrate those differences.

What else would you want to say? 

Paul: God does not call us to be successful, but He does call us to be faithful (1 Cor. 4:2). This is my true desire!