Monday, August 22, 2016
Luther Village on the Park Chaplain Rick Tozer
Rick Tozer is our new Chaplain at Luther Village on the Park. He has a warm smile, a welcoming manner, and many years of experience working in church leadership.
Rick grew up in Brantford, where his parents were very actively involved in church. Rick remembers being eight years old and having a playground discussion with his friends about “what they wanted to be when they grew up.” Some said, “A fire fighter.” Others added, “A police officer or school teacher.” Rick told his friends that he would like to be a “pastor.” His friends had no idea what that meant. He offered the same explanation later in life to his high school teachers who encouraged him to pursue a career in the sciences, a subject in which he excelled.
Rick has worked for many years in a variety of church leadership roles. He had the privilege of serving two congregations for a total of 17 years. He started out as a youth pastor in Bethel Temple in Tillsonburg Ontario before moving to one of our local churches in Kitchener, Immanuel Pentecostal Church on Hoffman Street to become the Senior Pastor. In 2005, Rick made a shift, becoming an executive leader with The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada in Mississauga. He helped support 300 Canadians living in 54 countries of the world and had the opportunity to visit 24 countries over the course of 8 years.
Rick currently serves as part time Chaplain at Luther Village and is also working with the Mennonite Central Committee (Kitchener Office) as a Program Team Leader. Along with a great staff, he manages the various MCC Ontario programs supporting Indigenous peoples, people living in poverty, restorative justice, Low German and material resources.
When Rick is not working, he likes to spend time with his wife Dawn (who works right next door at the Waterloo Rec Centre) and their sons Nathaniel (15) and Nicholas (10). They enjoy travelling and vacationing in Florida.
Rick was interested in working at Luther Village because spiritual care is important to him. He particularly enjoys hearing people’s life stories and how faith fits into their journeys – something that seniors are richly able to offer. He also looks forward to being part of a wellness team that considers the whole person, looking at how physical, emotional and spiritual care work together to improve lives.
Rick expresses his faith by encouraging others in their faith and by creating meaningful experiences that help build confidence. He loves it when someone discovers a new insight or learns a different perspective on faith. He wants to model kindness, authenticity, generousity and supportiveness to the people he leads. For Rick, encountering a diversity of spiritual perspectives offers an opportunity for respect and learning.
Although Rick is new to this position, he has lots of ideas … but wants to take his time to understand the needs of Luther Village. Residents can continue to enjoy Bible studies, hymn sings and worship services. Rick will look for ways to involve residents, visiting speakers and local clergy as a means of fostering meaningful experiences and spiritual growth. Please feel free to share your ideas with Rick via email or just drop by and say hello.
Rick is available to residents for personal conversation, prayer and spiritual direction. He can be reached at 519-783-3710 extension 2033, or email him here. His office hours are posted outside the Chapel.