Get to Know You

As part of our desire to intentionally develop and nurture caring relationships, we have dedicated this page to get to know women in our church community. By sharing a bit of our faith journeys, our family lives, and our passions and projects, we hope to become more connected with the women in our ministry and in our midst. Come, let’s get to know each other. 

TammyQ&A with Tammy Rempel (FGMB Office Administrator)

1.Tell us about your family & work (or typical activities).

My family consists of my fabulous husband, Bernie, and four great kids! Judson (and Ashley) is 25 and attends FGMB and is a DJ at CHVN Radio. Dexter is 23 and graduated with his Agronomy degree this past April. He now has full-time employment and will be taking three months to visit Australia over winter. Jozanna is 22 and is a hair designer and amazing wedding photographer and is getting married to Cody on October 8, 2017 in Waterton, AB. Rayzanna (and Nick) is 22 (yes, Jo & Ray are twins!) and has finished her General Arts degree at CMU and is presently in her first year of Nursing at U of M. I also have two grandchildren, Bentley (5.5) and Thealyn (3).

I enjoy playing board games – our current favourite for two Christmas’ in a row – is Code Names. Knitting (even some Macrame) is a self-taught hobby that I enjoy in the evenings (YouTube is priceless!!). And I am excited to start painting again this winter! I have a blogsite that I try to keep updated, but some weeks are way easier than others!! (tubetopsandturtlenecks.net)

2. What are 3 words you (or others) would use to describe yourself?

Creative. Compassionate. My kids might add, ‘a little nuts!’

3. What is your current favorite book? (or Song)

Here is my problem: I LOVE reading and read almost every night, however, I can never remember book titles and so I am terrible at helping people find good books!! Two that stick out: “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova (this book was huge in helping me deal with my aunt who suffers from dementia) and “Q & A” by Vikas Swarup (this is the book that Slumdog Millionaire was based on). I found the “Q & A” book at a used bookstore in Edmonton (I am a bookstore junkie!!) – best buy I made – fascinating to read the book because it gives you so many more details than the movie.

4. What are you learning from God these days? or What is your favorite Bible verse right now?

Right now I am learning to be okay with not being okay. My dad passed away last summer and it has been really hard. He was not only my father, but a really good friend and mentor – someone I went to with all my questions. I recently wrote in my blog: “To say that I doubt my faith or that I am lacking in faith would not be accurate at this juncture of my life. However, my soul feels distant somehow. I don’t think I have any less faith or a meeker faith – but it just feels farther away somehow – not quite my norm. I don’t know how to describe it because I don’t want people all concerned or distressed about my faith life – I just want to share that right now – it feels… maybe it is like I am getting a hug from my nephew. He wants to hug me. He loves me. He just can’t quite get his arms to encircle me fully. His hands stay clenched and he kinda tap taps me. I know he is there. I know he cares. But he just isn’t fully embracing me. And I can’t even explain whether it is me who is not embracing faith (God) or if I don’t feel faith (God) isn’t fully embracing me. Not sure. So I will sit in that space for a bit – feeling the love and feeling the embrace just not fully experiencing it.”

My favourite verse right now is from Romans 12 – well, actually the whole chapter. When I read it from The Message, I just love the imagery. I love the idea of just placing my whole life in front of God as a sacrifice. I don’t do this well – usually I feel I can tackle it and I will manage – and maybe even that I know better than God! Haha! As if! But to give myself up to Him and allow him to show me what he has in mind for me. “12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Q&A with Leanne leanneOlfert (FGMB Women’s Ministry Team Member)

1.Tell us about your family & work (or typical activities).

My husband, Trevor, and I have been married for 18 years and have both been teachers for over 20 years.  Currently, I am working at Oakenwald School teaching Grade six and EAL (English as an additional language).  We have two boys, Ethan who just recently became a teenager and Tait, who will be turning 11 very soon.  We share a variety of different interests between the four of us; music, art, volleyball, basketball, photography, running, outdoor projects and entertaining.  These interests fill much of our spare time and have helped us connect with our community in a variety of different ways. 

2. What are 3 words you (or others) would use to describe yourself?

This is a tough one. It’s always easier to think of words that describe others but so much harder when it is yourself.  I would say creative, gentle and patient (most of the time, my family might disagree!).

3. What is your current favorite book? (or Song)

I have to be completely honest here, I’m not a big reader.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t read, but my favorite things are magazines with less to read and lots of big, bright images to soak up every last detail from.  A dear friend recently gave me the book “Brazen” by Leeana Tankersley.  She knows me well and she also knew that this book, even though there isn’t a single picture, would be just the thing for me.  I am only halfway through it but I’m finding it very timely.  It focuses on having the courage to find and be the real you. As I’ve been reading, I’ve been underlining parts which have impacted me or parts that I want to remember.  I recently underlined this…”I am so often waiting for all the Hard to dissipate before I believe I can really live.  But perhaps the solution isn’t in the absence of the Hard, it’s what we do when we’re in the midst of it.  Will we succumb to colorless, motionless, woefulness, martyrdom?  Or will we persevere, look for the hope?” 

4. What are you learning from God these days? or What is your favorite Bible verse right now?

God has been busy with me over the last year!  : )  I feel as though He has been teaching me so much!  There are times my head is full with so many different thoughts and emotions swirling around as I’ve processed so many life lessons over the past while.  I’ll try to organize a few of these swirling “thoughts” and how they have impacted me.

1)  TRUST – I’ve been learning that trusting is a choice or decision we make.  It is hard.  It seems to be counter-culture to trust and when we do, people may be confused by us or think us lazy.

2)  TIME – The theme of time has particularly been resonating with me recently.  Seasons are just one way that time is organized.  We all go through different seasons in life.  Every season brings with it good things but every season also brings with it things we don’t care for so much.  We need to embrace the “seasons” we are in.  They will bring good but also the Hard.  Seasons begin but they also end.  They don’t last forever.  God can use our seasons to grow us, heal us, change us, encourage us and speak to us.  All of this happens over a period of time.  Through these periods of time, I need to embrace the season that I am in and the benefits/good things the season brings me.

anneQ&A with Anne Hildebrand

1.      Tell us about your family & work.

My first husband and I pastored three different churches in Manitoba, until he became ill and resigned. He later passed away. We had five children together and they are all married-all have given me grandchildren and even two great-grandchildren.

In 1986 I married Peter, whom I attended high school with. His wife was in a fatal accident three weeks after my husband died. Peter has four children, all who are married, and 10 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. It gives us reason to travel to Saskatchewan, Alberta and around Manitoba.

WORK – I taught in a one room country school for one year and as a substitute teacher for 16 years. I was also employed in several nursing homes, as a payroll clerk doing resident trust accounts, and as a recreation manager setting up new programs for residents. I retired in 2000, 16 years ago.

2. What are 3 words you (or others) would use to describe yourself?

Ambitious, studious, good listener, and as my grandson says, “loves cleaning” but I say it’s more like “doesn’t like mess or dust”.

3. What is your current favourite book?

I love reading and I need more time to do so.  “Whence Cometh a Prince” by Liz Curtis Higgs is the first of her series I read. She wraps up Biblical stories in Scottish cultural design. The book is in today’s language. Fascinating! I was getting reacquainted with old time friends like Jacob & Esau, Rachel & Leah! And enemy Laban?

Other similar books are “Fallen from Babel”, and “The Priest, The Prophet, & The Scribe”, all about Old Testament characters.

4. What are you learning from God these days? or What is your favourite Bible verse right now?

I truly do love the Lord my God, Creator of all things. So I am learning more about Him, as I read how science and scripture compare so beautifully.

I am learning that His ways, His thoughts, and His plans are higher than mine. (Isaiah 55:8) For example, one Sunday morning I needed to take Peter to emergency. We had done this many times, often waiting six or eight hours. I would miss my granddaughter’s baptism.

As I walked thru emergency, a lady in a bed called me, saying, “God told me He sent you.”

“Really?”

She told me she and her partner had traveled day and night from Palm Springs to get to the Vic.

“I was told that a Chaplain would come and see me, and he never came. I am an alcoholic. The first time I learned about God was at Alcoholics Anonymous. I am dying and am not ready. I have never died before. I don’t know what to pack.”

Desperately she kept openly confessing the many sins she had committed. She needed to do this for her own sake, I think. When she paused for a minute, I interrupted her and said, “I have good news for you. You have confessed your sins before God. He heard you. In the Bible we read, “If we confess our sins to God, He will keep His promise and do what is right. He will forgive us of our sins, and cleanse us from all our wrongdoing. He loves you and is preparing Heaven for all those who accept His forgiveness, His free gift of salvation.”

We talked and then we prayed together, confident that she understood. A few weeks later we met her partner for coffee. He told us that he was an atheist, but she was religious, and had died at peace shortly after.

I believe this was all part of God’s plan for me that Sunday. Not my initial plan.

amanda3Q&A with Amanda Foord (FGMB Women’s Ministry Team Member)

1.      Tell us about your family & work.

I am married to Jonathan, and together we are navigating our way through the early years of parenthood. We have 3 children- Selah (6 yrs), Elise (4 yrs) and Liam (1 yr). I work part time as a nurse on the high risk labour and delivery unit at Women’s Hospital. I’m also thoroughly enjoying serving on the Women’s Ministry Team at FGMB.

2. What are 3 words you (or others) would use to describe yourself?

Authentic, Caring, Practical

3. What is your current favourite book?

To be honest, I am a bit of a “self-help” book junkie. Although I read it quite a while ago, I really loved the perspective in the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voscamp.

I just recently finished reading “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown and thought it was amazing. Brene is a shame & vulnerability researcher, and I had many enlightening moments while reading it- for myself and for the influence I want to be on my kids.

4. What are you learning from God these days? or What is your favourite Bible verse right now?

Since adjusting to being a mom to 3 kids, I’ve (finally) realized that there just isn’t enough time in the day to do it all. So I’m learning the (painful) art of letting go. And you know what I’ve found- it’s actually OK, albeit quite humbling. Instead of racing to get a chance to knock off some check marks on my (often very unrealistic) to-do list between naps, meals, tantrums and school/ activity drop-offs, I’ve been trying to take more moments to pause, really observe and engage what’s going on around me. These ‘pauses’ include when I watch & join into the giggle-fits as my kids play, stop to look into my children’s eyes, and attempt to guide them through (yet another) conflict. When I do this, I find peace and meaning instead of being frustrated and resentful of what I didn’t accomplish on my list. I’ve realized, and am experiencing that I already am enough and have enough. I’ve certainly not mastered it yet, but when I do pause and engage in these moments, it’s so much more gratifying than trying to clean off our kitchen island (our household dumping ground) AGAIN.

So through this God has been impressing on me to “Be still and know that I am God.”(Psalm 46:10) It seems really ironic to me that He is teaching me this lesson during the busiest/ most demanding time of my life when my time rarely seems to be my own. God is showing me that it is possible to experience these meaningful moments of stillness (and ultimately, His Majesty) even amongst the chaos in the Foord household, if I choose to pause to yield to Him.

JanessaQ&A with Janessa Giesbrecht (Pastor of Youth and College & Career)

1. Tell us about your family & work.

I view family as Andrew and myself IN the communities we have in our own extended families and our church family. Our extended families are fantastic – we truly lucked out in both. Each have a great sense of humour and an appreciation for authenticity and honesty. The Giesbrechts lean towards louder and more sarcastic, while the Naylers are more soft spoken and a bit goofy. We also feel fortunate in our church family (and I’m not just saying that because I should). Andrew is part of the Sr. Youth ministry and we have enjoyed the community of leaders and students that we get to be a part of. The larger church has also been a wonderful home for us. In regards to just Andrew and I, we are busy with courses (both of us at CMU part time), work, and being avid Montreal Canadiens fans. We continue to work on finding rhythms of rest in the midst of the demands of life and will be enjoying a long anticipated trip to Guatemala this February!

2. What are 3 words you (or others) would use to describe yourself?

Oh  boy. This is difficult. I’ll go with: optimistic (especially when it comes to people), creative, and empathetic (if Andrew could add his own three it would be “does too much”)

3. What is your current favorite song? (or book)
Song: “Hero” by Family of the Year
Book: “Brimstone: The Art and Act of Holy Non Judgment” by Hugh Halter
4. What are you learning from God these days? or What is your favorite Bible verse right now?
I’m learning about releasing unnecessary demands and expectations while holding tightly to his grace and truth. My favourite verse is: “No longer will you need the sun to shine by day, nor the moon to give its light by night, for the Lord your God will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set; your moon will not go down. For the Lord will be your everlasting light. Your days of mourning will come to an end.” -Isaiah 60:19-20

CaileyQ&A with Cailey Wieler (College & Career Leadership Team, Junior Youth Sponsor)

1. Tell us about your family and your work.

I’m the oldest kid of Shanon and Conway Wieler, and I have two younger brothers. I’m currently a full-time student at the University of Winnipeg (majoring in International Development Studies) and given that I held a full-time position at Union Gospel Mission over the summer, I decided to just do school this semester. Also, because I’m on the leadership team of the College and Career at FGMB and a junior youth sponsor, it’s nice to have some extra free time to lend to schoolwork!

2. What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Leader, empathetic, passionate

3. What is your favourite song currently?

What isn’t my favourite song at the moment would be a better question! I love music and love to worship God through music. Some current favourites include Come Thou Fount (Audrey Assad), anything by Lauren Daigle, and Relentless on Hillsong United’s Zion Acoustic Sessions album.

4.    What are you learning from God these days?

I’m learning so much from God these days. Observing more of a Sabbath is a main one. I’m participating in an online study with a group called She Reads Truth on Psalms of Gratitude, and every morning I’m reminded of how good God is and how much i have to be thankful for. My favourite Bible verse right now (emphasis on the “right now” part, as my favourite verse changes frequently) is from John 1:16: “for from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” It’s so good to know that there’s always grace for us.

Q&A with Ruth Schellenberg (Pastor of Children’s Ministry)

Ruth1. Tell us about your family and your work.

I have been on staff with Fort Garry for nine years now, initially as a coordinator, and now as Pastor of Children’s Ministry. Two years into my role as coordinator, the church decided that they wanted to have their staff serve as pastors, encompassing the needs to coordinate and organize, but also to set direction theologically and to care for and shepherd children and families, so they increased my scope and my time to .7. It has been a great joy to serve in this capacity.

I have been married to David for 27 wonderful years. Our boys are 20 and almost 18. Jordan is currently in Ireland working and travelling. Caleb is in Grade 12 at MBCI. Jordan has served as a youth leader for several years, has played on a worship team, and served in a few other areas. He likes to be busy and has a lot of capacity. Caleb has served in our Boys Club ministry for several years, as well as in VBS every year since he was in Grade 6. He is planning on going on the youth mission’s trip to Mexico in March.

2. What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Good listener, patient, caring

3. What is your favourite book currently?

I am reading a few things, but I guess I would say “Falling Upward” by Richard Rohr.

4. Where do you see God at work?

My role as Pastor of Children’s Ministry has evolved over the years. Initally, it was brand new for me and the church. Certain things needed to be put in place before other areas could be dreamed about and implemented. Along the way, a vision statement and goals were put into place specific to children’s ministry.

Numerous areas have grown or changed in the last number of years, like Boys and Girls Clubs being on the same night and Club Supper beginning.  New ministries have begun, like Advent Activity Time and Faith@Home events. There is always more to do and always areas to improve on.

I look forward to seeing how God will draw me closer to Him and challenge me as I listen for his voice.

LaurelQ&A with Laurel Wiebe (Women’s Ministry Team Leader)

1.    Tell us about your family and your work.

I have been married to Ken for just over 27 years (sheesh!). Life is never boring in our house because Ken is always up to something.  We have two young adult sons; Josh, almost 21 attending U of M, and Levi, 18 who just left to attend Bible School in Germany (Bodenseehof). I own and operate a business called Just Giftbaskets Inc., which provides gourmet & baby baskets to the public through an online store, as well as custom work to a large corporate clientele.

2.    What are three words you would use to describe yourself?

Three words that I would use to describe myself are: warm (smiles/hugs/welcoming), enthusiastic (eager/laughter/all-in), and a good listener (open/interested/patient).Okay, I realize that is more than three!

3.    What is your favourite book currently?

My favorite book right now is “All the Light we Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. I read this book in January while on vacation, and I still think about it often. An amazing story, beautifully written, that illuminates the choices we still have even when we are in situations beyond our choosing. Thought-provoking & hopeful.

4.    What are you learning from God these days?

I am learning much these days, as I walk with God through grief with a dear friend.  Many lessons are too fragile to share at this point, but there is one that seems quite clear already. It has to do with the tension/connection between deep pain & blessings from God. As I listen to the grief pour out, and as I reflect on my own grief, it seems as though there is both the reality of deep pain and also the reality of God’s presence, with evidence of his work in the lives of those impacted, and with clearly articulated blessings. And they can’t be separated – there is pain, and there are blessings, and they come together, inextricably linked. Although this isn’t a new idea, it has never been so clear to me as it is right now, and I find myself often mulling on it, and talking to God about it. I am thankful for a God who is present (in very real ways) to his people in the midst of deep pain. Blessed be the name of Lord.

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