This summer Stettler’s St. Peter Lutheran Church saw a change of hands at the helm as Pastor Karl Faltin, who has served the community for 22 years, retired and his place was taken by Pastor Jonathan Aicken.
“I’m pretty new at pastoring,” admitted Aicken in an interview. “Ultimately, my calling is to study and teach God’s word faithfully, provide spiritual care.”
“Those are big shoes to fill,” he added in reference to his predecessor’s work in the community.
Aicken moved to Stettler with his wife and three young children last summer from Red Deer, where he was completing his internship at a Lutheran Church.
“My wife and I, we’re both from Alberta, and are grateful for the opportunity to put roots down in ‘native soil’,” said Aicken. “I have an interest in global Christianity and in learning how Western Christians can learn from and work with Christians from other countries and contexts.”
Aicken and his wife spent four years overseas in Mongolia working with a Christian organization, teaching English and helping run a cafe/student centre.
“We loved our time there and since then, I’ve been a young adult mission mobilizer here in Alberta and we’ve recently lived in Vancouver to study for my Masters degree at a theological school called Regent College,” added Aicken. “Both distraction and fear are common challenges before us all today, and ones that I’m not really sure how to overcome, to be honest.”
“I don’t really see myself as being here to change anything specific, sure, there will be things that will inevitably be done differently but we are all unique people, and so when we are put to a task, that task will naturally be done differently,” stated Aicken. “I really want to slip in, as if unnoticed if that’s even possible.”