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Retirement after 30 years of ministry – Jim Wiseman

“What’s kept me driven is the word of God!” says Jim Wiseman with a remarkable sense of certainty. After three decades of vocational ministry, Jim and his wife Jacquie responded to God’s call to retirement. They passed on the role of leading the inner-city ministry, Walls of Freedom.

“The last 30 years have been a journey, and I look back and say, where did the time go?” expresses Jim. We are grateful for the chance to sit down with Jim and reflect together on his experience.

Conversation with Jim Wiseman

How did you get involved with serving in the Inner City?

I had been in the military for 23 years, and at the age of 30, I felt led to attend Bible School. After graduation, I spent some time working with Springs Church. We began to take youth out to minister to people on the streets of Winnipeg, resulting in a passion that was birthed for the inner city. While my wife and I were praying over this, the Lord placed the scripture Isaiah 42:6-9 on our hearts, which became our mission; to see the captives set free.

So we moved to the North End and received a church on Burrows Ave, which would eventually become what is now known as Springs Inner City. After a while, we moved on and got connected with the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba(MBCM) through Elton DaSilva. With the help of MBCM, we acquired a building and were present in the community. This enabled us to minister to hundreds of people in Osborne Village and in the North End.

What factors do you believe were key to your ministry?

The personal contact in homes was one of our most significant growth factors and our visitation list grew up to 1700 people. We also placed emphasis on visiting those in prison and took opportunities to connect with former prisoners once they were released.

You ‘ve connected with many people. Any stories that have forever impacted you?

One particular story involves a connection made with a gentleman through our bi-weekly Men’s breakfast. He would attend regularly but did not say much. When he did speak, it was very vulgar and disruptive. After sitting through one of our teachings on how to deal with stress, he called to apologize and shared about his journey of being in 19 foster homes. We continued to connect and hear more about his story, and he became a regular part of the community.

What are some of the challenges you faced?

There are times when it seemed like people were stuck in all they’ve ever known. Whether that was abuse or merely a way of thinking, we had to learn to be patient as we walked alongside people. 

What do you think you will miss most?

The people. Once we retired in June, my wife and I decided one day to hand out ice cream in the community, and our daughter said: “Dad, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be retired!!”. I miss the face to face contact with people. Loving them, feeding them and being able to give advice according to the word of God.

What has it meant to be a part of MBCM?

I’m struck by their kind hearts. It has been encouraging to be pushed on with beneficial resources. At times that included things such as connecting MBCM churches to collect Christmas gifts for the kids or getting the word out for people to come help with our youth ministry. The support has been amazing.

Retirement is a significant life change, I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision?

We pulled back in June as we felt it was time to pass on the reins. My wife and I had been praying for a younger couple to come along, and they did. Derrick and Priscilla Moodley have a fantastic testimony of coming from South Africa with a call to Winnipeg. After hearing their approach and heart for ministry, it resonated deeply with what we believe.

Having pulled back, I do feel what I could describe as not really being neglected, but kind of feeling orphaned. We’ve been doing this for 30 years, it’s like being in a marriage. So now we are just waiting for the Lord to see what He has next for us.

To finish off, what advice would you give to new and existing pastors?

Have the format of God’s word on your heart. Not just being task-driven. Many family members have asked, “30 years in the inner city…how could you do that?” Having God’s word in your Spirit allows you to keep going every day. Take advice from other leaders, but the whole groundwork is to have God’s word in your heart.

Thank you from MBCM

We want to extend our sincere gratitude to Jim and Jacquie for their dedication and commitment. The impact they have had in the inner city as well as within the MBCM community is tremendous. We have no doubt that their hearts for people will only continue to benefit those around them in this next season of their lives. 


Learning together, sharing gifts, and inspiring one another.

This is almost the half-year anniversary for me in my role with MBCM as provincial director. It has been a privilege to begin journeying with you.

This summer, I had the opportunity to connect with Pastor Walter & Kelby from Steinbach MB. Partway through a tour of the church, Kelby shared their plans for the Fall preaching series. This included an invitation for their small groups to meet each week, follow up on the sermon, and seek to apply what they are learning. The focus of the sermon series is: Loving your neighbor.

At a recent pastors retreat, Walter had the privilege of connecting with Ann Marie Geddert of Jubilee Mennonite Church, who shared about their journey with “The Art of Neighboring,” a resource to help churches reach out into their community. As a result, Kelby invited Ann Marie to join them one Sunday morning, and share some stories. Steinbach MB has since launched a “Year of Neighboring” campaign. 

This story serves a great example of leaders and churches learning together, sharing their gifts, and inspiring one another to love Christ, and their neighbors. 

I am encouraged by the variety of stories that I have become aware of, much like this one. As we learn to understand one another, we then have the opportunity to share our resources along the way. May God continue to assist us in being creative in building His Kingdom and building up the body of Christ.

I particularly look forward to our Regional Meeting on Saturday, November 16, where we will have the opportunity to hear from one another regarding this and invite all Pastors, Leaders, and Members of our MB family to be a part of this conversation. Let’s do this, together.

Register for Regional Meeting 2019

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CLOSED: Job Opportunity: MBCM Communications / Admin Assistant- 1 year term

Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba (MBCM) is seeking a part-time (0.5 EFT) Communications and Administrative Assistant for a one year term. The selected individual will report to the provincial director.

Position Status: Part-time (0.5 EFT) beginning January 7, 2019. Flexible work hours

Duties will include:

  • Copywriting for event promotion,, monthly e-newsletters and other outgoing and internal documents
  • Management of MBCM social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo
  • Assistance in event planning
  • Office administration tasks such as inputting donations, responding to general e-mail inquiries and coordinating tasks and communications as part of the MBCM team.

Priority consideration will be given to candidates who:

  • are committed Christ followers
  • have formal experience in applied office skills
  • have a general working knowledge of Evernote
  • have a proficiency with WordPress (knowledge of HTML coding and development is not required)


  • Complete high school education Manitoba standards, required.
  • A combination of education and experience may be considered.
  • Proficiency with computerized systems (Microsoft Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel) is essential.
  • Experience with email and computerized calendars.
  • Excellent communication skills, verbally and in writing.
  • Ability to prioritize a large workload and independently complete a variety of secretarial duties.
  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment and work effectively under pressure to meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated problem-solving skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively contribute to a team environment.

Starting Salary/Rate: $20/hr

If interested, please submit resumes with minimum three (3) references by November 30, 2018 to Gerald Dyck at:


Phone: 204-654-5760

Mailing address:

Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba

1310 Taylor Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba

R3M 3Z6

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Announcing Cam Priebe as new provincial director

With great anticipation, the MBCM board announces Cam Priebe as provincial director beginning in late spring 2019.

Cam currently serves as the director of the Outtatown program with Canadian Mennonite University, a role he has held since 2011. Prior to that, he served the newly restructured leadership development department for the Canadian Conference with a focus on emerging leaders. (2009-11), and director of Ministry Quest, a program of MB Biblical Seminary, Fresno, Cal. (2006–09).

Cam has extensive experience and passion working in team to equip and develop leaders.

We look forward to the new leadership and direction Cam will bring to the congregations and leaders of the Manitoba MB churches as we seek to discover and live out our mission in serving Christ.

We have joyful confidence that Cam’s gifts of coaching, mentoring, teaching, and leadership will assist in fulfilling the conference initiatives of developing leaders, building community, multiplying churches, and resourcing ministries.

“My desire is to bring my gifts to promote an atmosphere of discipleship in learning to love and follow Jesus Christ,” says Priebe.

Cam completed a Master of Arts in Christian ministry from Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary (MBBS) in Fresno, Cal. He and his wife Shauna currently attend The Meeting Place, Winnipeg. They have three children, Tyson married to Alanna, Megan, and Madison.

Interim provincial director, Gerald Dyck will continue in this capacity until Cam begins in late spring 2019. At which point he will resume his role as director of church ministries.

“The MBCM team are fully affirming of this decision. We eagerly look forward to beginning our work alongside such a gifted leader.”, says Dyck.

“I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to the leaders and communities of the Manitoba churches, paying attention and responding together to the Holy Spirit at work among us,” says Priebe.

The MBCM Board and Staff are grateful to see Cam step into this leadership role within the Manitoba MB Conference and continue to pray a blessing over him and his family in this season of transition ahead.

  • MBCM news release on behalf of the board

Trusting slowness

“There is one fault I must find with the twentieth century,

And I’ll put it in a couple of words: Too adventury.

What I’d like would be some nice dull monotony

If anyone’s gotony.”

I recently stumbled upon these words by Ogden Nash. (My high school music teacher, John Neufeld, first introduced me to Nash with the couplet: “”The Bronx? No thonx!”) Nash’s poem about monotony reminds me that my life too often feels as if it’s moving so quickly that I lack the capacity for creativity and joy—and prayer.

For that reason, during my walks home last week, I was comforted and inspired by this poem by the Jesuit (and priest, philosopher, palaeontologist, and geologist) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. More specifically, I was reminded that God’s work of transformation often feels like disorientation (sometimes for a long time) before it feels like re-orientation. I therefore found myself invited to trust God with the incomplete and confusing details that I experience in myself, and in the church.

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.


The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer—perhaps more helpfully referred to as Jesus’ Prayer, since it incorporates the kinds of prayers he himself prayed during his adult life—is, in my opinion, the best prayer and model for prayer that Christians can use. In a few weeks,


How Faith Prays

During this first week of the Christian New Year, I wondered whether I might choose a suitable prayer as a focus for this year’s Advent season. That question reminded me that when I was a pastor, I once used the four Sundays of Advent to focus the congregation’s attention on four prayers associated with the Christmas story in Luke’s Gospel: the prayers of Mary, Zechariah, angels, and Simeon. With that memory, a phrase came to mind: “…and who am I to merit your attention?”


Praying the Ordinary

Poems are wonderfully evocative. With just a few lines, a poem evokes an image, a memory, a possibility, or a feeling. When I recall Robert Frost’s “two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” Bruce Cockburn’s “If I had a rocket launcher,” and Earle Birney’s “David,” I readily picture autumn leaves; I imagine righteous anger; I feel inner horror. Recently, I read a poem by Angeline Schellenberg that 


Also Praying on Vacation

During one of my early years as a pastor, I remember eagerly looking forward to spending a couple of weeks of traveling on a family vacation. Before I left on that trip, an elderly Baptist minister suggested that even while I was on vacation, I should be alert to ways that God might want me to be a reconciling presence with people I met. I took that advice to heart, and had a remarkably rich vacation as a result.

Looking back, however, I also recognize the importance and even necessity for pastors and their families to receive rest and relief from the demands of pastoral life and ministry, which can often feel relentless. To my Baptist friend, I would now say that it’s also vital for pastors to take regular sabbath-ing breaks. In other words, a vacation needs to be more than an extension of one’s pastoral ministries and duties. It can also be a much-needed occasion for being renewed by God’s loving Spirit.

These two perspectives mean that when I’m on vacation, I’m to live as an apprentice of Jesus AND it is good for me to enjoy rest from my work.  With that in mind, I’m attracted to a prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that names the dependency on God and the honesty before God that I’m convinced is just as important for daily life as for being refreshed. I’ve copied an English translation of Bonhoeffer’s prayer below. It is followed by a short song from the Taizé Christian Community in France; this song has often become an earworm for me, and has nurtured me in my life with God.

May God bless you (and me) with a wonderful summer of living in God’s way.

O God, early in the morning I cry to you.

Help me to pray

And to concentrate my thoughts on you: I cannot do this alone.

In me there is darkness, but with you there is light;

I am lonely, but you do not leave me;

I am feeble in heart, but with you there is help;

I am restless, but with you there is peace.

In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;

I do not understand your ways, but you know the way for me….

Restore me to liberty, and enable me to live now,

that I may answer before you and before me.

Lord, whatever this day may bring, Your name be praised.

Here is my rough and more-or-less singable English translation of Aber du weißt den Weg for mich (click here to listen):

God, gather all my thoughts and then turn them to you.

With you is the light; you forget me not.

With you there is help; with you is patience too.

I do not__ understand your ways, but you know the way__ for me.

Credits: and


Why do Christians Pray? (Part 2)

What happens when you thank someone? Think back to the last time you thanked a bank teller, the cook in your home, a child who cleaned up his Lego set, a grandparent who recalled a bit of her history, or the greeter who held the door open for you at Walmart. Try