APPROACHING FROM HARROW STREET
ENTRANCE BETWEEN HARROW & STAFFORD
APPROACHING FROM STAFFORD STREET
BELIEFS & AFFILIATION
Bethel Mennonite Church confesses that God is active in the world. We want to align our worship, education, community life and witness with what God is already doing in the world.
Loving God, each other, and our neighbors, we recognize that this work is both across the street and around the world.
Bethel Mennonite Church is rooted in the Mennonite / Anabaptist tradition of the Christian faith. We are a congregation of Mennonite Church Manitoba and Mennonite Church Canada and partner together with congregations near and far. We affirm the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective as a guide for our collective faith and life.
Recognizing that we are all treaty people, with gratitude Bethel acknowledges that we are on Treaty No. 1 land and the traditional homeland of the Metis Nation. Imitating the inclusive welcome of Jesus, we seek to be a community marked by the love of God. Regardless of age, race, or sexual orientation, we invite you to make Bethel your spiritual home. Sharing the peace of Christ, together we strive to reveal the realm of God in the world.
Experiencing the call of the Spirit early in his life, Darrel was afforded numerous opportunities to test emerging leadership skills in church, school and conference settings. Formal educational thrusts yielded Bachelor degrees in Religious Studies and Education, and a Master of Divinity at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries in Elkhart, Indiana.
Continually reading and integrating expansive theological thought aid in shaping his faith trajectory. Ordained on November 28, 1982, Darrel served as youth pastor at Gospel Mennonite Church in Winnipeg, then ministered for 25 years (to the day) in southern Ontario with Tavistock Mennonite Church and then Breslau Mennonite Church (Kitchener).
Married to the lovely Lucille Harms Toews, Darrel also enjoys sharing the journey with three adult children and as Opa to four young grandsons. Appreciative of good literature, music, drama, sport, ballroom dancing and stimulating conversation, he seeks to remain abreast of both past and current world movements shaping our collective human experiences. Still longing for love to infuse the world…
Kathy grew up in the beautiful community of Pinawa, Manitoba. It was working at summer camp as a young adult that first set her on the path towards exploring a call to pastoral ministry. That eventually led to further studies at Canadian Mennonite University, where Kathy completed first a Bachelor of Church Ministries degree, followed by a Master of Arts in Theological Studies. Prior to coming to Bethel, Kathy worked for sixteen years as an occupational therapist, while also working in a couple of part-time pastoral ministry positions, first as a junior high pastor and later working among people at risk of homelessness. Kathy finds deep joy in walking alongside people in all of the various seasons of the journey of faith, and hopes that the church can be a safe and inviting place for people to explore conversations about the things that truly matter. Alongside her work as a pastor, Kathy’s loves include long walks in the woods, lingering over a good cup of tea, curling up with a good book, and delighting in her young nieces and nephews.
Valerie Alipova was born in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. She came to Winnipeg in 2015 to do a volunteer service year at Carter Early Learning Centre. She became a member at Bethel Mennonite Church in 2016, and has been involved in the church since then. She is currently studying at Canadian Mennonite University, and planning to major in Psychology and Peacebuliding and minor in Theological studies in April, 2020. She is currently an Interim Part-time Associate Pastor at Bethel Mennonite Church with the focus on the Children, Youth, Young Adults and Young Family Ministry. Her motto is “everyday has a new opportunity to be a blessing to others.” She loves animals, especially dogs, and enjoys spending time outside. Valerie loves traveling and learning about traditions of different cultures.
John grew up on a farm near Leamington, Ontario, and after finishing high school enrolled at CMBC in Winnipeg. He entered the pastoral ministry in 1977 and is married to Velma Wiebe Braun. They have 3 adult children with their partners and one grandson. John has been the leading minister of two congregations, Grace Mennonite Church in Steinbach for 15 years, and Charleswood Mennonite Church for the last 25 years where he retired in the summer of 2019. In the fall of 2019, he responded to a call from our conference minister Rick Neufeld, to come to Bethel as a part-time interim pastor to offer pastoral care for seniors.
John is a graduate of University of Waterloo and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries and has studied at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon. He has had sabbaticals studying at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, and Tantur in Jerusalem. He looks forward to being part of the Bethel pastoral team this coming year.
Gerald Warkentin grew up in the rural farming community of Winnipegosis. After High School he attended Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, SK for two years which was followed by two years at the University of Manitoba. After a few years filled with different jobs and travelling he married Cheryl in 1989. They moved to Winnipeg in 1991 and he has worked at Bethel since the fall of 1992. His spare time is filled with raising three young adults, playing baseball in summer and curling in winter.
Lois grew up in a family that placed a high value on Christian service. During her early years, her parents were missionaries in Mexico. Later, her father was a pastor in several congregations on the Canadian prairies. Living in diverse locations, Lois became friends with people from many different backgrounds, helping her to appreciate how faith can be expressed in a variety of ways. In Lois’ family, gratitude for God’s blessings was often celebrated through music. Studying at Canadian Mennonite Bible College strengthened Lois’ faith, and improved her musical abilities. She worked for many years at the Mennonite Church Canada office, before joining the staff at Bethel Mennonite Church in June 2016. She enjoys playing the organ for worship services, and in her free time likes to go for walks, and spend time with family and friends.
ART AT BETHEL
The space in which we gather is surrounded by works of art that touch our hearts and lift our souls.
In the foyer we are greeted by “time jars” which represent past, present, and future. On the same wall is the stunning clay installation “Twelve.” Its 12 clay platters recall Israel’s 12 tribes and Jesus’ 12 apostles. Inspired by Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . .” that theme is echoed on the opposite side of the foyer where the Lord’s Prayer is transcribed in the languages of the nations and cultures that comprise Mennonite Church Canada.
Within the sanctuary our songs and prayers are surrounded by stained glass, with colours and shapes that evoke heaven and earth, the Triune God, and ultimately the story of the cross as told by the four Gospels.
We are grateful to our member, Alvin Pauls, for sharing his vision, creativity, and hard work so that our surroundings inspire our worship and enliven our mission.
Bethel Mennonite Church began in January 1938 when Benjamin Ewert, a minister ordained by the Bergthaler Mennonite Church, was commissioned by the Canadian Conference of Mennonites to visit Mennonite families and settlements in Western Canada. In Winnipeg, he gathered a group of 21 individuals and held their first services in the Emmanual Baptist Church at Sargent Avenue and Furby Street. Later that year, they rented a church at the corner of Sherbrook Street and Sargent Avenue and held services there for the next six years.
In 1945, new facilities were needed and the congregation purchased a church at the corner of Furby and Westminster. From 1947 to 1949 the Canadian Mennonite Bible College was located in the basement of this church.
In 1955 property was acquired and a new church built at the corner of Stafford Street and Carter Avenue. An education wing was added to this facility in 1962. Due to continued growth, in 1991 a new sanctuary was built on this same location and the old sanctuary was converted into a dining hall and kitchen.
Over the years our congregation has changed its name several times. Originally known as Winnipeg Mission (1938), then Bethel Mission Church (1939/40), then Bethel Mission Mennonite Church (1946), the permanent name Bethel Mennonite Church was chosen in 1957.