Joanne and John

Have you ever been part of a job search where your institution looks far and wide, and then finds the right person right in your midst?

We have had such a season at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church. We had applications for our minister of pastoral care from all over the world and interviewed candidates from all over Canada. Bob Edmison led our search committee with thoroughness and care, and decided on the right candidate: our own Joanne Leatch.

Joanne has been a fixture at our church for decades. She is beloved for a reason. She has sung in our choir and organized our weddings and funerals. She has borne witness to her faith in countless ways. And now she will do so in a new way as our part-time director of pastoral care.

You likely already know that Joanne is an attorney, a mother, and a friend far and wide. She is the rare person who carries her own light around with her. I’m am so pleased she will be offering pastoral care at bedsides, in hospital rooms, in places of pain and shock, in places of surprise and delight. She will carry on Jesus’ ministry of healing, prayer, and witnessing to the resurrection of hope in places where it looks like the grave has won victory. I am so excited to have her as a colleague in this new way.

Another new addition to our staff will be more temporary, though it could extend longer. John Arndt led our contemporary 9:15 service on February 18 with aplomb. That’s no surprise: he has been playing in full stadiums and packed venues for decades. He and his friend David Gungor started The Brilliance, a group that has written more than a few of the songs we have sung in worship for years. John has won Grammys and performed all over the world. Now, from holy week for three months, he will be our artist-in-residence, helping Elaine and the rest of us to envision what “contemporary” worship looks like for a new day.

All of our staff agrees with me as I tell you what a privilege it is—a defining privilege in our lives—to serve you as staff and pastors. Thank you. And please pray for these two friends, old and new, who come to lead and serve now.

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