Rev. Jeff Werner

Interim Minister

I was born in Ingersoll, ON, where I was baptized into the faith and family of Jesus Christ.

Dad was a music teacher. He believed he was adding to the beauty that is in the world through the gift of music. He was the music director at Bethel UC in Milton, and then Maple Grove UC in Oakville.

One Sunday morning we were sitting in a front pew and putting on our boots, getting ready to go home. I looked up at the pulpit and said, I'm going to be up there one day.

I began attending Erindale United at the age of 13. I became a candidate for the ministry.

When I enrolled at Emmanuel College in 1986, I discovered the important conversation we have on a Sunday morning is God's story. I came to better understand what I sensed at the age of 4. God's story is helpful, healing, anointing, affirming, challenging, and empowering.

I romanticized God's story in 1989 when I drove out to Coleville, Saskatchewan and began ministry on a two-point charge. I imagined changing the world. I learned it is hard work to remain grounded when you leave downtown Toronto and land in a rural town of 250 people.

I learned about loneliness. The congregation talked about the migrant oil patch workers who would begin to struggle with their own mental health.

I moved on to a three-point charge in south-central Saskatchewan. That was even harder! I was doing a funeral every ten days. Some farmers were committing suicide. A child whom I had baptized was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer. I struggled with feeling powerless.

I went on to serve a two-point charge in the Sudbury area (Levack-Dowling) for 10 years.

I met my life partner in Sudbury. We have 2 children. We moved to Mississauga in 2005.

I had 2 short-term appointments, and then a ten-year call to Bolton United. What a gifted community. The music program was fantastic.

In 2017 I moved to a half-time position at Cawthra Park in Mississauga. I held a second part-time position with the Presbytery in 2018. In 2019, I started training for intentional interim ministry.

I am excited about this calling and engaging with others who are passionate about being a particular expression of the body of Christ in their neighbourhood.

I've changed my vision of being Church. I enjoy shared stories rather than the clergy as sole storyteller. I hope we tell our stories of anointing, healing, reconciling love, being at peace, living an overflowing hope and adding to the beauty that is in the world.

Rev. Jeff Werner
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