Tim has been a trusted mentor through most of my 20 years in pastoral ministry. Somewhere along the way, he and Carol also became friends. Through crises and celebrations, his quiet encouragement and steadfast hope in the good news of the gospel have been a steadying influence on me and on our conference.
During my years on the Pastoral Leadership Committee, I observed Tim navigate deftly between search committees and prospective pastors as he listened carefully and asked the right questions. His caring, compassion, and desire for health and wholeness in the body of Christ were evident. In interviews, he was able to elicit what was in people’s hearts and help them articulate that to the rest of us. Beyond that, I always felt that when Tim prayed for someone, they were prayed for thoroughly and well.
Thank you for your faithful service, Tim. Blessings as you embark on the adventure of retirement!
Susan Janzen, pastor
Cedar Falls Mennonite Church, Cedar Falls, Iowa
I have known Tim for all of the years he has served the Central Plains Mennonite Conference as Conference Minister. As a pastor, I knew him as my Conference Minister, as well as the close working relationship as a member, and as chair of the Pastoral Leadership Committee. As part of PLC, I used to tease him that I was his “boss” and as a Conference Minister, he was my “boss.” In actuality, it was more of a comradery relationship which I deeply cherished. He is a close Christian Brother and Friend and we had many experiences together. We talked, laughed, cried and prayed together.
Because of our location (1000 miles away) and setting (cross cultural), Nadine and I had the privilege of hosting Tim for lodging (often 3 or 4 nights) and meals in our home many times. One time when a meeting was cancelled in our area, Tim and I drove to a basketball tournament together 100 miles away. After he asked me, I shared with him the “wilderness journeys’ in our lives and ministry. That confirmed what I already knew, that Tim was a good listener and I never felt judged by him. I could trust him and share anything with him.
Tim’s brother-in-law from Illinois has been coming here under the SOOP Program for the past 10 years to help us with the mechanical work at our Camp at Crazyhead Springs. Two years ago while on vacation, Tim and Carol, and a sister and brother-in-law (from Ohio) came here to visit their brother. They stayed in our home and ate at our table. During that time they helped with work on our new Thrift Store project. We had so much fun and I appreciated Tim’s construction abilities. He wasn’t afraid to get dirty. On other visits Tim helped with whatever we were doing, ie: shoveling snow and planting shrubs.
Our church (and I personally) deeply appreciate Tim’s willingness to come all this way to “walk with us” in ministry. Even though we are 1000 miles away, he came here regularly. We will miss you Tim, and we wish you God’s blessing.
Willis Busenitz, pastorWhite River Cheyenne Mennonite Church, Busby, Montana
I am indeed grateful for Tim’s years of service as Conference Minister for Ministerial Leadership in CPMC. On Pastoral Leadership Committee, I have appreciated Tim’s steady, thoughtful approach, his experience and counsel. As the PLC has interviewed pastors for credentialing, Tim has guided us in discerning pastoral leaders who are grounded in Anabaptist-Mennonite theology. Tim’s searches for pastoral leaders in congregations often led him far (AMBS recent graduates) and near (local communities).
When, as a pastor, I was in transition, I visited with Tim. In our conversations, Tim helped me by planting seeds of opportunity for pastoral leadership in particular congregations.
I have appreciated Tim’s commitment to support and stay in touch with CPMC pastors and congregations given the hundreds of miles and hours on the road from one end of our conference to the other. Tim’s work, with others, in planning the Annual Leaders Retreat, a two-day retreat for pastors, chaplains and spouses to be together, re-connecting with other pastors, listening to a special speaker, worshiping together, enjoying the outdoors, resting and being renewed, is further proof of his commitment to the well-being of CPMC pastors and leaders.
I am further grateful for Tim’s guidance for PLC when we have faced differences, conflict, or disciplinary situations. He has always suggested good processes in these situations and has met these challenges with wisdom, care and clarity.
Tim has served with a pastor’s heart in building up the ministry of pastors and congregations within CPMC. Thanks Tim!
Marcia Yoder Schrock, chair
Pastoral Leadership Committee