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New denominational minister appointed

Sven Eriksson

September 25, 2002

Winnipeg, Man.—Sven Eriksson has been named as the next Denominational Minister for Mennonite Church Canada. He succeeds Henry Paetkau, who leaves the position at the end of 2002 to become president of Conrad Grebel College.

Eriksson has pastored Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond BC since 1989. He has spent eight years as a Canadian Mennonite Bible College board member and served on various committees in the BC area conference.

Prior to that he has been pastor of a Baptist church in Penticton, dean of students at Columbia Bible Institute, an Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship staff member, and a counsellor in a correctional institution.

As denominational minister, Eriksson is charged with resourcing pastoral leadership across Canada and developing and implementing ministerial leadership policies. The denominational Minister's office also helps churches and pastors find each other, provides guidelines for salaries, benefits and sabbaticals, and plans the annual Ministers' Conference at assembly.

“From (my) very early days I have sensed a very clear call to ministry,” said Eriksson. “God has placed me in various places of ministry; each has provided much growth for me.”

Dan Nighswander, General Secretary, says MC Canada’s newest staff member “is solidly committed to the Anabaptist/Mennonite view of ministry and the church, and has a reputation as ‘a very wise man and a good counsellor.’”

"It feels really good to have someone so well gifted and suited for this vital role in the life of Mennonite Church Canada," added Nighswander.

Eriksson, born in Finland, emigrated to Canada at age eight and still speaks Swedish. He is married to Laura, his wife of 34 years. Their children are Peter, John Olaf and AnnMarie. He assumes his new position in February 2003.