Our People

"All believers are given gifts for ministry, and the Mennonite church values the priesthood of all believers.  Each believer has direct access to God.  All are called to share in the priestly role of interpreting Scripture, participating in mutual discipline and forgiveness, and being Christ's witness."

- A Shared Understanding of Ministerial Leadership 

Council of Church Ministries

Our council is made up of our pastor along with elected executive officers and ministry coordinators from amongst our congregation.  They are accountable to our congregation and gather together every month to discern and administer the activities and direction of Calgary First Mennonite Church.  The council roles are currently being filled by:


Executive Officers:


Moderator: Erv Thiessen

Vice-Moderator: Robert Fiss

Recording Secretary: Rob Ratzlaff

Ministry Coordinators:


Congregational Life: Karen Janz

Christian Education: Moni Janssen

Stewardship: Dan Thiessen

Outreach and Service: Jenn Ratzlaff


The deacons are elected from among our congregation to exercise leadership through a ministry of caring, visitation, and reconciliation, working closely with the pastor.  They can often be seen assisting our pastor with communion, baptism, leading prayers, or assisting with various other ceremonial occasions or aspects of our communal worship.  And behind the scenes, our deacons seek to keep a pulse on the spiritual well-being of our congregation, while listening to, and discerning, the needs of our members.  Our current deacons are:


Nathan Burgess

Bernie Feddema

Susanne Feddema

Richard Gorecki

Kelly Janz

Marlene Pytyck


Caleb Kowalko

Caleb was called to be pastor of Calgary First Mennonite Church in 2018.  


Caleb grew up in Calgary as the eldest in a large, church-going family.  He really had no intentions of following in his father's footsteps of pastoring a congregation and he certainly knew nothing about Anabaptists or the Mennonite Church.  But as a young adult, he found himself drawn to the peace theology of Anabaptist writers and eventually to the worshipping life of Mennonite congregations.  


He received his formal education from Warner Pacific College (2010) and Duke Divinity School (2016).  Before formally entering ministry, he was shaped by the friendships he formed with those caught up in the criminal justice system while volunteering in North Carolina and working for the Calgary John Howard Society.  His Christian and pastoral formation has taken place in the context of a variety of congregations and denominations, most prominently Glamorgan Church (where his father currently pastors), Southview Alliance Church, Long Memorial United Methodist Church, Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship, and Foothills Mennonite Church, among others.


When Caleb isn't pastoring and his spouse, Triana, isn't teaching, they are trying to be the best parents they can be to their two energetic, young daughters.  And despite there not being enough hours in the day, Caleb remains an idealistic hobbyist, dreaming of learning how to play his mandolin, how to speak Triana's native Spanish, or how to watercolour paint.  When free time does pop up, what usually wins out is a cup of coffee and a book of theology ... unless there's a Portland Trail Blazers game on.

Rita Fiss

Rita has been the church administrator since May of 2012.


Rita grew up in Calgary and was Baptized and married at Calgary First Mennonite Church.  She and her husband and children lived in several cities in Canada before returning to Calgary.   She loves spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren.  She enjoys travelling, snorkeling, hiking, gardening, and photography.