Rimbey United Church has a new minister.
Marco Ste-Marie preached his first sermon in the Rimbey church Sunday, filling a 10-month vacancy left By Rev. Deborah Laing.
It’s good to be in Rimbey, said Rev. Ste-Marie. “I’m very excited to be here.”
After being interviewed for the position and meeting with some of the people in the community, Ste-Marie knew that Rimbey was the place where he was supposed to be living and working.
“I fell in love with the people here,” said Ste-Marie. “Everyone is so warm and welcoming and I love the experience of a small town.”
The new clergy is no stranger to rural living, having grown up at St-Remi, a small community near Montreal.
He took the lions share of his training to become a minister in Quebec and also spent some time at Fort Qu’Appelle in Saskatchewan taking part in intensive seminars through a learning circle.
Prior to coming to Rimbey, Ste-Marie was pastor at St. Andrew’s United Church in Lacombe for five years.
The calling to be a minister has been strong throughout his life, he said.
“I felt God was saying to me to tell them (the people) that I love them. I want everyone to experience the beauty of faith.”
Ste-Marie believes serving the community as the United Church minister is a 24/7 job and he is looking forward to building relationships within the community.
“No one should be left in the margin of the community. God loves us because we all have a difference expression. I am truly inspired by the Gospel and want to make the church relevant to the community.”
“We are all here to learn and keep our hearts humble,” he said.
Ste-Marie already considers Rimbey home.
“Home is where God is calling me.”
While he said he had tremendous respect for Rev. Laing, adding she does have big shoes to fill, he wants to forge his own path of spiritual leadership.
“I’m here to be me and I’m tremendously excited and enthusiastic to be here,” he said.