A long-time presence at the Alliance Community Church in Sylvan Lake has stepped away and a new senior pastor is stepping in.
Pastor Kevin Haugan is retiring after 21 years of service at the Alliance Community Church.
At the Sunday service on Jan. 6, Haugan passed the baton on to the church’s new senior Pastor Tim Bergmann, literally.
After Bergmann was officially installed as the new senior pastor by Rev. Brent Trask, the church’s district superintendent, Haugan passed the baton on as if in a relay race.
A golden baton, bought on Amazon, passed from one pastor to the next.
“We don’t run this race as ministers, we don’t run them individually, especially in a church setting. In the church we really do pass the baton on from one pastor to the next,” said Haugan.
Haugan said when he took over as senior lead pastor at the church the baton was not literally passed on to him. Instead then leaving pastor gave him his blessing.
“This is a relay race, and just as the past leader, in a sense, passed the baton on to me, my leg of the journey is finished,” Haugan said.
Haugan said the process to begin retirement and find a new lead pastor for the church began a year ago.
He said he had a dream when the process began to take shape that he would stand before the congregation with the new pastor and give his blessing.
“I didn’t have the terminology or imagery until I read a book about the baton,” explained Haugan
Bergmann says he is “honoured and humbled” to have been chosen to lead the Sylvan Lake Alliance Community Church.
Previously, Bergmann suffered from ill health, which made him believe he would never have an opportunity such as this, to lead a church.
He told his new congregation on Jan. 6 that he stands before them with “joy in his heart and hope in his spirit.”
“I dream of us being such a blessing to Sylvan Lake, that they wouldn’t know what to do if we weren’t around,” Bergmann said.
He continued to say he has many hopes and dreams for his new home in Sylvan Lake and at the church and will work to make them a reality.
Bergmann and his wife Jennifer are looking forward to connecting with the members of the church and the community.
“It has been my privilege, my honour, for 21 years to be the lead senior pastor of the church,” said Haugan.