“This begins an exciting new chapter for our church which has been living in the High Park-Roncesvalles-Junction neighbourhood for over seventy years,” said Klaus Uhlig, Chair of Redeemer’s Church Council. “Pastor Steve is joining us to continue our journey of faith and community outreach, providing a wide range of important talents to our congregation that will enable our work to become ever stronger and available to all.”
A graduate of Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Pastor Steve was ordained in 2012 and became the minister at St. Mark’s, Kingston, Ontario until his arrival now at Redeemer. Pastor Steve is on THE CHURCH COUNCIL ON JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONS as the treasurer and representative of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, and is the Vice-Chair Person of the Board of Governor’s for MARTIN LUTHER UNIVERSITY COLLEGE. He is a proud member of PROCLAIM, a growing professional community for LGBTQ+ Lutheran-rostered ministers and seminarians.
“Joining Redeemer as well as moving to Toronto brings many changes to my life which definitely have been guided by the Holy Spirit,” said Pastor Steve Hoffard. “I am both humbled and excited about the opportunity to serve this incredibly caring congregation, to worship together, and to contribute to our collective work ahead.”
Organized in the 1930s and after many years meeting in various West End buildings, Redeemer Lutheran Church built a church home in 1947 at the corner of Bloor Street West & Indian Road and has been an important heartbeat in the community for worship and outreach since then. Redeemer provides church land for the Garden Party, a community-based giving garden that grows crops of vegetables for sharing with local food banks. The congregation contributes to local and international support programs, provides space for neighbourhood support groups to meet, houses a small and growing child care program, and helps out weekly with the city-wide Out-of-the-Cold program. The church has partnered with other faith communities in Toronto’s west end to privately sponsor two refugee families and offers a weekly meditation group and youth group.
“With Pastor Steve’s arrival, we now have the capacity to do even more,” said Uhlig. “We look forward to introducing Pastor Steve to our neighbours and community and welcoming everyone to join our work ahead.”