Thanks for checking out my site! My life as a follower of Jesus has led me into many interesting situations and encounters with brilliant people. So much so that I thought I should share some of these experiences with you. My hope and prayer is that my reflections and musings might be a way for you to engage your faith and your journey with God. I don't claim to be an expert or theologian, and so I hope you feel open and safe enough to challenge me and engage me in conversation. I long to learn from you as well!
Whenever I reflect on my life I am surprised that I landed where I am. Surprised, but also very thankful.
I was born in Vancouver, spent four years of my childhood in Germany, but was raised most of my life in Toronto. The middle son of 5 boys, I have great memories of my family and my parents who raised me to follow Christ. I was brought up and baptized at Heron Park Baptist Church, where so much of my faith development happened. I was given opportunities to lead worship, serve and be involved with our youth groups, even though I didn't understand what this whole God thing was about.
In 2008, after graduating high school and having no idea what I wanted to study, I went to Bodenseehof Bible School in Germany. What was supposed to be a 6-month long program turned into a 2-year adventure where I was privileged to do an internship at the school and spent one year in the small town of Neuenmarkt, in Northern Bavaria, working with children and youth in the local church. Near the end of the Bible School months, I fell in love with Jessica, who, without our planning, was asked to do the same internship and year in the German church. After two years together in Germany, we returned to Canada engaged.
I have never met any other Torontonian whose dream it was to settle in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Most of us probably couldn't even point it out on a map. But after Jessica and I got married in 2011, we decided to settle in her home city, and started attending her church, Sterling Mennonite Fellowship. Apparently Jessica was a Mennonite, which I mistakenly thought was some form of Amish. To be honest, the first year of going to Sterling was difficult for me, because I simply did not understand what it meant to be a community, or what it meant to discern together. But I soon discovered a form of faith that was more life-giving to me than anything else I had experienced. It was a faith that claimed to be able to make an actual difference, not just in my heart, but in the world.
In 2012 I started studying at Canadian Mennonite University and graduated in 2016 with a BA in Communications and Media, along with a minor in Biblical Theological Studies. During my studies I had the opportunity to work at our national denominational office, Mennonite Church Canada, where I worked in the Communications department. In 2015, after being without a pastor for about a year, Sterling Mennonite Fellowship called me to serve as their pastor. I have slowly been taking courses at Providence Theological Seminary with eventual hopes of graduating with a Masters of Divinity.
I love our church and the work I get to do on its behalf. I get to be a part of some great groups that are working hard to living out their faith. I find myself involved in worship, preaching, missions groups, pastoral care, youth and young adults, baptisms, weddings, funerals, VBS camp, music, faith formation, and much more. I have been privileged to be a part of settler-indigenous reconciliation groups, to travel to Cross Lake, to work with Mennonite Central Committee, to serve at camp, and to work with the wider church.
As I look back, I am surprised that I am where I am. I never wanted to move to Winnipeg, even though I love it now. I never even knew what a Mennonite was, even though I now can't imagine being anything other than Anabaptist. I never thought God would call me into ministry so soon, even though I always felt that nudging. But I am so thankful that God has led me to where I am. I am thankful for all the people in my life who have helped me and shaped me into the person I am today. And I am so thankful for Jessica who has stuck with me through it all.