New reverend in town

Tim Ellis is the new reverend of Zion United Church

Tim Ellis ready to take charge at Zion United

With an upbeat attitude and enthusi- astic smile, Tim Ellis admitted he didn’t initially want to become a reverend.

“With the exception of three years, I’ve lived in or around Moose Jaw and this was certainly an unexpected second career,” Ellis, the new reverend of Zion United Church, said last week.

He was inspired to become a rever- end when his daughter expressed an interest in a strong faith relationship.

“Our eldest daughter started going to a youth group with a friend. Not being familiar with church, I thought it’ll be a good idea to start going so I can understand what she was talking about,” Ellis said.

This prompted him to attend Minto United Church in 1993 which, through his exploration of faith, led him to his new calling.

“It felt like home for us. e minister who was there at the time — John Carley — was very influential in my faith development and starting my faith journey,” Ellis said. “I was involved in many groups with leadership positions within the congregation.

“I wanted to do something in my life that would allow me to interact with people in a meaningful way. To have the possibility of helping out people, particularly when they’re at the most vulnerable, whether they’re ill or having issues with life,” he added.

As head of Zion United Church, he hopes to strengthen relationships be- tween the institution and its people.

“One of the things I’m looking for- ward to is working closely and devel- oping stronger relationships between Zion, St. Andrews (United Church) and Minto as we’re all United Churches and we all have various relationships. Minto was my home church before I went into ministry so I know a number of people there,” said Ellis.

Before taking over, Ellis held a position at Trinity United Church, Mossbank and the now-closed Grandview United. The opportunity to become the new minister at Zion United Church arose when Rev. Doug Hallman departed.

Before becoming a reverend, Ellis worked at a number of places over the years. He was employed at the Western Development Museum and the now- defunct Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. He also held jobs in retail, nance, and hospitality.

With a newfound passion, Ellis attended St. Andrews College to complete his studies.

“I ended up going back to school in my 40s and graduated in 2009 with my Masters of Divinity degree and was or- dained. I’ve been on a ministry path for quite a number of years,” he said.

As a student minister, he served at Mortlach with Jim Tenford, reverend of St. Andrews United Church and Linda Tomlinson-Seebach, reverend of Minto United Church.

“Tim is an outstanding minister, pas- sionate and compassionate, easy to relate to, a great preacher and very pastoral in his approach to ministry,” said Tomlinson-Seebach. “He also is a great friend and colleague of mine, whom I admire deeply.”

Ellis has also introduced a Conversa- tions in Community initiative, which will be presented by a di erent Moose Jaw United Church each week, hosted by St. Andrew’s College. A different faculty member will share stories, discuss, theological teachings, ministry practices and church history among others.

Week one will feature Sandra Beardsall, professor of church history and ecumenics at St. Andrews’ College on ‘talking to strangers’ — Christians learning to love their neighbours and the world: a historical tour.

Zion United Church will host week four with Don Schweitzer, professor of eology on ‘How the United Church of Canada interprets scripture.’

The week two seminar will be held at Minto United Church while St. An- drew’s United Church will host the week three seminar. e forum begins on Oct. 14 to Nov. 4.