Rebecca Penner / Youth Pastor

I am very excited to be the Bethany youth pastor!  I love the opportunity to have a job which involves both my love of God and people.  I look forward to walking alongside our youth, and seeing what God will do in their lives. 

I grew up in Kingsville, ON, and after a year travelling with CMU’s Outtatown program, I spent four formative years at Canadian Mennonite University studying theology and international development.  While this is my first full-time ministry position, I have spent two summers as a camp Bible instructor, and have completed two summer church internships.  Passions of mine include travel, classic literature, listening to Kendrick Lamar, and learning about other cultures.  When I’m not at Bethany, I can often be found crafting, curled up with a good book, drinking coffee, or getting outside to explore God’s creation!

Herb Sawatzky / Lead Pastor

Big Dates

  • December 28, 1967 – Born in Vancouver, B.C. Other than that, a pretty quiet day

  • 1972 – First girlfriend. My mom breaks us up

  • 1975 – Give my life to Christ at a Layton Ford crusade

  • March 1984 – am baptized

  • 1992 – Graduate from Okanagan Bible College. I was the Valedictorian. We drew straws

  • September 1997 – See Lorrie. Decide to marry her. 5 months later, on Valentine’s Day, she comes around and decides to marry me

  • December 29, 1998 – Marry Lorrie. A very good day

  • April 1999 – Begin 6 adventurous years as the youth pastor to some really great kids (and adults) at Niagara United Mennonite Church. Side note: this is the farthest east I've been in Canada

  • April 2, 2001 – Aleah Blythe Sawatzky is born to us. We like her and think she is a very cool girl. Leads to new axiom: 'Make peace with your parents, they come back as your children' another very good day

  • October 19, 2003 – Colton Abraham Sawatzky is born, another very cool kid, this time a boy. Some days I feel as though one of my brothers has become my son. Another very good day

  • June, 2005 – Wrap up 6 great years as the youth pastor at Niagara UM. Met a lot of great kids and adults in our time there, and was blessed to leave on a very positive note

  • Summer, 2008 – Went to Kentucky on a mission trip with our church to fix some roofs (pardon me, ‘ruffs’) and do other home repair work. Ate some grits and biscuits & gravy for the first time in my life. Needless to say, we met more great, neat, fascinating people

  • December 1 2009 – Aleah realizes that there is no Santa Clause when the e-mail she sent him is bounced. This does not go over so very well.

  • June, 2013 – wrap up 8 years of ministry at Avon Mennonite Church. Grateful for all the many positive experiences we had and the friends we made.

  • April, 2014 – Begin serving as lead pastor of Bethany Mennonite Church where I get to minister with and serve more beautiful people who love to laugh and celebrate the life God has given us.

  • Today – This is the day that the Lord has made…’ so we know it’s going to be a good day


Favourite Things

Food - Hmm where to start: Thai food, East Indian food, Greek food, Menno Food (of course), BBQ, (most all) pie, Lorrie’s cooking

Things I love to do – Reading, playing with my kids, playing with my wife, dinners with friends, watching movies & documentaries, going for workouts, running into people like you in coffee shops and various other places around town

 What you can call me - You can call me Herb. Some people like to call me ‘Pastor Herb’ or ‘Pastor Sawatzky’ etc, but I am most comfortable being called ‘Herb’. It has worked very well for me over the years