MC Sask Announces Interim Executive Minister

Interim EM, Gary Peters, calls us to “keep before us the hope that God... is with us.”

In the midst of the worship, reporting, and discussion at this year’s Annual Delegate Sessions, it was with great joy that outgoing Moderator Terry Stefaniuk officially announced the hiring of MC Sask’s new Interim Executive Minister, Gary Peters, effective March 15, 2023.

Peters currently serves part-time at Herschel and Fiske Mennonite Churches together with his wife, Margaret, and pastored at Hanley Mennonite Church until their closure in 2021. Peters has served MC Sask in a variety of capacities, and takes over the interim position from Josh Wallace, who has resumed his role as MC Sask Church Engagement Minister. While Peters and his wife Margaret are familiar faces to many within the MC Sask family, we asked him to share a few introductory thoughts with us as he prepares to take on this role.

Q: What other ministry positions have you served (employee or volunteer) in?

Peters: I have been involved in various committees in MC Sask: Camp-Coordinating Committee, Pastoral Leadership Commission, Nominating Committee. I also served as Deputy Moderator. I have been involved in interdenominational organizations during the time I served at Hanley Mennonite Church and currently in the Rosetown and Area Ministerial. I am also involved in the Food Grains Growing Project at Fiske.

Q: How are you feeling as you enter into this position?

Peters: I was surprised when I was asked to serve as Executive Minister. This has been replaced by feeling overwhelmed and anxious but I am also honored and excited as I anticipate fulfilling this role. I am questioning if I have the gifts and abilities necessary for the work but I am gratified by the encouragement and support that has been expressed to me.

Q: What do you enjoy about working for the Church?

Peters: Meeting and working with people. I am looking forward to seeing how others have developed ministries in their communities.

Q: Is there a word or scripture you feel the Church today needs to hea

Peters: For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11). It is crucial we keep this before us as we maintain and develop our ministries. Jesus has called us to a life of peace and servanthood and encourages us with these words: By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another(John 13:35).

Q: What is something about you not many people know?

Peters: I was a counselor on a cycling camp sponsored by the Conference of Mennonites of Saskatchewan (forerunner to MC Sask) in the 1970s. We travelled and camped from Saskatoon to Regina.

Q: What is one thing you would like to tell the MC Sask family?

Peters: We have been experiencing many pressures caused by recent COVID restrictions, the military conflict in Ukraine, natural disasters, increased polarization of the political and social worlds, economic uncertainty, and others. Let's keep before us the hope that God has called us and is with us. Jesus walks among and along with us. The Holy Spirit will continue to direct, strengthen and comfort us.  

Peters begins his time as Interim Executive Minister on March 15 at 0.5 FTE (half time), and joins fellow staff members Josh Wallace (Church Engagement Minister, 0.3 FTE), Kirsten Hamm-Epp (Regional Church Minister, 0.5 FTE), and Marianne Siemens (Office Administrator, 1.0 FTE) in resourcing and serving the wider MC Sask family.

The search for a permanent Executive Minister is ongoing. MC Sask is deeply grateful to Peters for his willingness to answer the call to ministry during this transitional season, and invites your prayers for Peters and all MC Sask leaders as we work and serve together. 

-Kirsten Hamm-Epp