News from Church Council and Pastor Michael

From Morden Mennonite Church Council:

Dear Members and Friends of Morden Mennonite Church:

Church Council has received a letter of intent to resign from Lead Pastor Michael Pahl. With Michael we share a mixture of sadness at his departure from his role with us on January 1, 2021, and excitement at his new call as Executive Minister of Mennonite Church Manitoba. Church Council accepted his letter at our scheduled meeting last night, June 09, 2020. Council anticipates deliberation in respect of steps forward regarding pastoral leadership of our congregation.

Here is Pastor Michael’s statement to the church:

The text of Church Council’s statement and of Pastor Michael’s video message are available in PDF form here: 2020 06 10 MMC Church Council Statement and 2020 06 10 M Pahl Statement for MMC.

An excerpt from Michael’s message:

I love you with all the affection and care of a brother for his family. I have been loved by you with the same familial affection and care. My ministry here has been meaningful to me in ways I couldn’t have imagined when I started seven years ago. We have walked through some challenging times together as a church and become stronger. We have been encouraged and built up by so many wonderful experiences of fellowship, worship, learning, and service together. I will always cherish my time as pastor here.

When you love deeply and truly, it makes separation all the harder. Just thinking about leaving Morden Mennonite Church—no longer walking with you week by week through your joys and sorrows in faith and love—this thought fills me with sadness. Your names and faces, special memories and more, flood into my mind even as I write this. I have shed tears, and I will shed more tears yet.

And yet I am also filled with hope for Morden Mennonite Church. We are a different congregation than we were seven years ago. We are smaller in numbers, pared down in programs. However, I meant what I said above: we have become stronger as a church through the challenges we have faced, and we continue to experience fellowship, worship, learning, and service together that builds us up as a body of Christ.

We have a more solid and focused sense of who we are as a church within our community of Morden. We are centred more firmly on Jesus and Jesus’ way of love. We are more confidently seeking first God’s reign of justice, peace, and flourishing life for all people. I think we are a little further on the journey with Jesus toward greater peace, greater witness, and greater service.

And so I claim the Apostle Paul’s words as my own profession of hope over Morden Mennonite Church: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6).

– Pastor Michael

We invite your prayers for us as a church over the coming days and weeks. Pray for Michael and Larissa and their family. Pray for Church Council as they lead us through the upcoming time of pastoral transition. Pray for pastoral staff, other church staff, and other church leaders as they continue to serve the church during the coming months. This will be a time of grieving for us as a church, but may it also be a time of renewed faith and hope among us as the wind of God’s Spirit moves us in new directions and fresh ways.

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