Will Loewen moved to Alberta to work at Trinity in the spring of 2010. He has a passion for engaging the Biblical text, studying Anabaptist history and theology, interacting with youth and young adults and connecting with family networks within the congregation.
He grew up in southern Ontario as a second generation immigrant in a Mexican Mennonite community. He later attended university to study statistics and it wasn't until half way through his degree that he realized he was much more engaged by the Religious Studies and Theology courses he had been taking as electives.
He went on to work for three and a half years as a youth pastor in Ontario before heading to South Korea on a volunteer service assignment for two and a half years. He co-wrote, directed and produced "The Shadows of Grossmunster", a full length musical about Anabaptist history.
To experience the love of God at the heart of our being and extend that love to others
To be a discipling church, encouraging all to follow Jesus in life
To proclaim the biblical story through faithful teaching and preaching
To be a praying church, communicating regularly with the heart of God and responding to the Holy Spirit's leading
To be agents of God's healing grace, caring for one another in our church and broader community
To practice participatory worship
To delight and rejoice in God and God's people
To stretch and grow beyond our comfort zone, open to God's surprises on our journey
To support the wider church in the global body of Christ
To practice Christian service within our communities and beyond
Practicing Peace, Love, and Justice
We strive to follow the teachings and example of Jesus who through His life modelled non-violence, showed love to His enemies and practised servanthood. We aim to build a more peaceable and just society by:
What We Believe
Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective
1. We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near, by faith. We worship the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally. God has created all things visible and invisible, has brought salvation and new life to humanity through Jesus Christ, and continues to sustain the church and all things until the end of the age.
2. We believe in Jesus Christ, the Word of God become flesh. He is the Savior of the world, who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and reconciled us to God by his death on a cross. He was declared to be Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. He is the head of the church, the exalted Lord, the Lamb who was slain, coming again to reign with God in glory.
3. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit of God, who dwelled in Jesus Christ, who empowers the church, who is the source of our life in Christ, and who is poured out on those who believe as the guarantee of redemption.
4. We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness. We accept the Scriptures as the Word of God and as the fully reliable and trustworthy standard for Christian faith and life. Led by the Holy Spirit in the church, we interpret Scripture in harmony with Jesus Christ.
5. We believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and that God preserves and renews what has been made. All creation has its source outside itself and belongs to the Creator. The world has been created good because God is good and provides all that is needed for life.
6. We believe that God has created human beings in the divine image. God formed them from the dust of the earth and gave them a special dignity among all the works of creation. Human beings have been made for relationship with God, to live in peace with each other, and to take care of the rest of creation.
7. We confess that, beginning with Adam and Eve, humanity has disobeyed God, given way to the tempter, and chosen to sin. All have fallen short of the Creator's intent, marred the image of God in which they were created, disrupted order in the world, and limited their love for others. Because of sin, humanity has been given over to the enslaving powers of evil and death.
8. We believe that, through Jesus Christ, God offers salvation from sin and a new way of life. We receive God's salvation when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In Christ, we are reconciled with God and brought into the reconciling community. We place our faith in God that, by the same power that raised Christ from the dead, we may be saved from sin to follow Christ and to know the fullness of salvation.
9. We believe that the church is the assembly of those who have accepted God's offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the new community of disciples sent into the world to proclaim the reign of God and to provide a foretaste of the church's glorious hope. It is the new society established and sustained by the Holy Spirit.
10. We believe that the mission of the church is to proclaim and to be a sign of the kingdom of God. Christ has commissioned the church to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all things he has commanded.
11. We believe that the baptism of believers with water is a sign of their cleansing from sin. Baptism is also a pledge before the church of their covenant with God to walk in the way of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers are baptized into Christ and his body by the Spirit, water, and blood.
12. We believe that the Lord's Supper is a sign by which the church thankfully remembers the new covenant which Jesus established by his death. In this communion meal, the church renews its covenant with God and with each other and participates in the life and death of Jesus Christ, until he comes.
13. We believe that in washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus calls us to serve one another in love as he did. Thus we acknowledge our frequent need of cleansing, renew our willingness to let go of pride and worldly power, and offer our lives in humble service and sacrificial love.
14. We practice discipline in the church as a sign of God's offer of transforming grace. Discipline is intended to liberate erring brothers and sisters from sin, and to restore them to a right relationship with God and to fellowship in the church. The practice of discipline gives integrity to the church's witness in the world.
15. We believe that ministry is a continuation of the work of Christ, who gives gifts through the Holy Spirit to all believers and empowers them for service in the church and in the world. We also believe that God calls particular persons in the church to specific leadership ministries and offices. All who minister are accountable to God and to the community of faith.
16. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ is one body with many members, ordered in such a way that, through the one Spirit, believers may be built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
17. We believe that Jesus Christ calls us to discipleship, to take up our cross and follow him. Through the gift of God's saving grace, we are empowered to be disciples of Jesus, filled with his Spirit, following his teachings and his path through suffering to new life. As we are faithful to his way, we become conformed to Christ and separated from the evil in the world.
18. We believe that to be a disciple of Jesus is to know life in the Spirit. As the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ takes shape in us, we grow in the image of Christ and in our relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is active in individual and in communal worship, leading us deeper into the experience of God.
19. We believe that God intends human life to begin in families and to be blessed through families. Even more, God desires all people to become part of the church, God's family. As single and married members of the church family give and receive nurture and healing, families can grow toward the wholeness that God intends. We are called to chastity and to loving faithfulness in marriage.
20. We commit ourselves to tell the truth, to give a simple yes or no, and to avoid the swearing of oaths.
21. We believe that everything belongs to God, who calls the church to live in faithful stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us, and to participate now in the rest and justice which God has promised.
22. We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God's peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance, even in the face of violence and warfare.
23. We believe that the church is God's holy nation, called to give full allegiance to Christ its head and to witness to every nation, government, and society about God's saving love.
24. We place our hope in the reign of God and its fulfillment in the day when Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. He will gather his church, which is already living under the reign of God. We await God's final victory, the end of this present age of struggle, the resurrection of the dead, and a new heaven and a new earth. There the people of God will reign with Christ in justice, righteousness, and peace forever and ever.
Our History and Milestones
Tracing Our Roots
Mennonites trace their origins to 1525 in the city of Zurich in Switzerland. They were part of the Protestant Reformation but diverged in their beliefs from Luther and Calvin in that they rejected infant baptism, holding that baptism (essentially church membership) should be reserved for adults on confession of their faith. They also rejected military service, following Jesus' teaching. These beliefs were considered heresy by both Roman Catholics and protestants, and the Anabaptists, as they were called, were widely persecuted and many were martyred.
This persecution drove them from Switzerland into Austria, down the Rhine River and into the Netherlands. Persecution in these countries drove them into North Germany, Prussia and Poland. From there a large group migrated to Ukraine on the invitation of Catherine the Great about 1780-1790. In the 1870s a major migration took place to present-day Manitoba and the western USA. Further migration to Canada occurred in the 1920s, and following WWII in the 1940s and 1950s.
The late 1880s saw considerable movement of people into what was to become the Province of Alberta in 1905, and among these people were Mennonites. They were joined by Mennonites from Ukraine and Russia in the 1920s. Most of the new arrivals were farmers. During the early 1930s they were struck by twin disasters: a long-term drought and a world-wide depression. The result was a period of desperately hard times.
One way to relieve the poverty of rural families was for some of the young women to take employment in Calgary as housemaids. Part of their earnings could be sent home. To look after their spiritual and social needs a Maedchenheim (home for young women) was established by home congregations, and served by their ministers. This was the initial beginning of a Mennonite church in Calgary.
Gradually young men also migrated to Calgary in search of jobs, and Mennonite numbers grew large enough to form a "mission church". This became the forerunner of the Scarboro congregation, which in turn, developed into what is now First Mennonite Church.
Increasing numbers of immigrants following WWII, flowed into Calgary. Since these immigrants could not speak English, the question of which language to use for church services became a serious issue: the need for German on the one hand and English on the other. This became one of the reasons for the formation of a second Mennonite congregation: Foothills Mennonite Church.
With the passage of time and the growth of the two existing congregations, it became clear that a third one should be started to serve the south of the city. Volunteers were called for in the two existing churches to form such a church, which became Trinity Mennonite Church. That's us.
From the beginning, Trinity felt it important to be a participating member of the conferences then in existence, hence we joined The Conference of Mennonites in Alberta (formed in 1923), The Conference of Mennonites in Canada (formed in 1903), and the General Conference (formed in 1860). Since that time restructuring has resulted in Mennonite Church Alberta, Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. Trinity holds membership in the first two. Some of the functions of the General Conference were distributed between Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. Through its membership in Mennonite Church Canada, Trinity continues to participate in relevant international programs.
- Fred Enns
"It is at the Church"
The desire to have our own church building to worship in, began, I believe, almost as soon as TMC formalized the church plant. We began laying monies aside from the beginning of our existence. Eventually we had enough laid aside that we began striking committees to look into an existing building or buying property on which to build. Much energy and commitment was poured into these searches. Several proposals were presented to the congregation, discussed, and for various reasons, rejected.
In September 1999, one parcel of land was purchased just South of Highway 22X on the western edge of the city, and in January 2001, a second parcel of land, adjacent to the first was purchased. Now began a time of dreaming, discussing when we might start to build, what shape it would be and what size of building we could afford. Very quickly a "Land Vision & Development Committee" was struck to begin to draw together the many ideas, dreams and possibilities that were voiced among our church members. Excitement was building fast. This committee soon had a proposal for a building size, an architect with a lot of experience in designing church buildings (Charles Olfert), and also a long term vision of a senior citizen complex for the land beside the building for worship. This committee spent a lot of time bringing this together and did an excellent job. Their proposal was presented to the congregation and with some tweaking to the plan, a decision to apply for a "Land Use Development Permit" was made. This turned out to be quite an undertaking; the committee and especially Ron Thiessen spent countless hours preparing for this. After having processed the various stages that were required to make this application, it was presented to the Foothills Municipal District Board in April 2002. The application was rejected, primarily because of residents surrounding the area objecting to a proposed church building on their road. Needless to say, most of us were devastated. We had not considered the possibility of an objection of this nature. The second application was made in May 2003, and was again rejected. We then accepted the disappointing reality that we would not be able to build at this location (we did not immediately recognize the financial gain we would experience by having to sell that land). A new search for land at a different location was begun. Again, many hours were given to this endeavor with Marvin Baergen giving a lot of leadership to this search. In February 2004, 11 plus acres were purchased just off of Highway #552. The land on 22X was sold at a considerable profit, and monies were now definitely available to continue with the actual building. What an exciting time this was for our congregation.
In August, 2004, a "Building Committee" was struck to oversee the various stages involved in the actual building. Doug Boyes, Leonard Dyck, Ron Thiessen, Hans Van der Wal, Doreen Neufeld, Walter Wiebe, Doug Janzen, Reg Lowndes, Rose Krahn, Susanne Baergen, Henry Epp, Rob Doerksen and Erv Wiens served on this committee, over the two year period. Kurt Janz accepted the position of "Project Manager" on a volunteer basis. Kurt, with his many years of experience in the construction community, was invaluable to us. His generosity and great sense of humour contributed immeasurably to making the task of constructing our present house of worship a rewarding experience. I (Susanne) undertook to be at the church building site full time, my position primarily being the liaison between the Building Committee, Kurt Janz, the architect, and the various professionals involved. This was an exciting and sometimes overwhelming assignment for me, but a very rich experience in my life. We received our "Building Permit" in September 2004. More tweaking happened with the actual building plans for the next six or seven months as we awaited the arrival of spring. What an exciting time of dreaming, and awaiting the beginning of construction this was. On April 27, 2005 we began excavating for the basement and footings. I was beside myself with excitement and phone quite a few people to come and watch; this was too exciting and wonderful to view alone. That began a time of much excitement, picture taking, waiting at the site for deliveries, sub-trades, running into town on errands and organizing volunteers (of which we had many). Most everything that happened on the building site was an experience that has made our church building very special to me.
The original building plan called for a simple wood frame building with conventional heating. In response to suggestions from a variety of sources, the Building Committee did extensive research on the following options: We researched GeoThermal heating; it was a great idea but ended up costing too much. Building with "foam blocks" was also researched and accepted, as a result, our building is very well insulated and was a lot of fun to build. We had to re-engineer the South End wall and build it out of wood in order for it to be strong enough to hold up the beautiful beam at the peak of our building. Other than that, I believe most of the building was constructed as first approved, with some minor changes required to accommodate unforeseen glitches at this particular site. The construction of the building, as a rule, went very well. There were definitely times of delay, waiting for sub-trades to have time and sometimes waiting for supplies, but this did not happen very often because of Kurt's expertise in lining up sub-trades and ordering supplies for each stage in a very timely way. We did however, run into a fairly major situation with our septic system. As we began the first installation of the septic system, we soon discovered that we had been blessed with an over abundance of underground water. The water table was also very high, and as a result, the septic tanks that were originally engineered to go into the ground were unable to withstand the water pressure and cracked into two useless piles of concrete. A scramble was begun to find someone capable and willing to design tanks strong enough to withstand this pressure underground. There were many consultations between engineers, the septic installer, myself and the building committee. It seemed at first that this was an insurmountable problem. In the end, we were blessed right in our own congregation with the gifts and willingness of Hans Van der Wal, who designed new tanks which have, to date, held up perfectly. We had many inspections by the engineers responsible for the different areas and then finally, the final building inspection by the municipality, and we received our occupation permit. Willi Friesen replaced myself in the daily supervision of the construction in July 2006. Willi spent many, many hours there to see to the final completion.
On August 13, 2006, we held our first worship service in our building. The Worship Committee did a fine job of planning this to make it even more meaningful. We celebrated the dedication service for our "House of Worship" on September 17, 2006. What a blessed day that was, many people came to celebrate with us.
After so many years of generous use of our homes for meetings and even the odd church services, we now can say with joy and thankfulness, "It is at the Church".
- Susanne Baergen
All of the pastors that have served Trinity since our beginning.
Herman Walde: 1983-1987 - Part-time volunteer pastor
Bruce Wiebe: 1987-1990 - Trinity's first paid pastor
Jake Froese: 1990-1996
Hugo and Doreen Neufeld: 1998-2004
Erv Wiens: 2005-2010
William Loewen: 2010 - present
Milestones in Our First 25 Years
From March 1982, The Joint South Calgary Church Committee, with representation from the three existing General Conference churches, meets seven times to explore interest in a new church plant.
- Reg Lowndes and Liz Elias
Game nights in church members’ home where we have food and fun in a relaxed environment
Movie nights at a local theatre, or in a member’s home
Potluck or BBQ dinners or suppers at a restaurant
Seasonal activities like the Corn Maze in the fall, Light up Okotoks around Christmas time and other activities
Trinity Mennonite Church BFC Response
At the 2016 Mennonite Church Canada (MC Canada) Annual General Meeting, MC Canada put forward a motion flowing out of the Being a Faithful Church (BFC) process. The motion said that while the definition of marriage in the Confession of Faith will remain unchanged, MC Canada will extend freedom to its congregations and individuals within them to explore other interpretations. After discussion, the motion passed with a clear majority.
In response to these developments, the pastor and deacons of Trinity Mennonite Church have discussed the topic of marriage. With regard to teaching and practice, we remain committed to the traditional definition of marriage, as being between a man and a woman, in keeping with the Confession of Faith from a Mennonite Perspective.
Trinity Mennonite Church seeks to be first and foremost a Christ-centered church. We will continue to uphold the institution of marriage and advocate for strong families, relationships and households in keeping with Jesus’ example, but we will also continue to be welcoming to all seekers and believers because we believe that's what Jesus did.