Bringing Grace to Oshawa

Becoming a pastor changed Reverend Jack Hetzel’s life.

As a god fearing church goer from a young age Hetzel always enjoyed his time within the congregation, but he never thought about being the leader of one until the day he spoke to his pastor. “One day I walked into my pastor’s office and told him I was going away for school, and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do,” said Hetzel.

Not long after he was enrolled in a pre-seminary program to begin his training as a member of the clergy.

But becoming a pastor isn’t always an easy job.

One of the other hardships of being a pastor is the constant moving anytime you get the calling to take over another church. In his 26 years Hetzel has worked at three different churches. His first was a small church in Brandon, Man., where he worked for six years. The second church was St. Mathews in Calgary, Alta., where his family settled for eight years.

Finally 13 years ago he got the call from members of Grace Lutheran Church and his family made the trip from western Canada to take over a church celebrating 42 years of worship.

And according to Hetzel, one of the best things to happen since moving out here was something that not many people get to say… He officiated his daughter’s wedding.

Three years ago he was not only the proud father of the bride, but also the lucky ordained minister who got to preside over the wedding of his eldest daughter and her fiancé.

“I felt like I was wearing two hats that day, and maybe I was neglecting my duties,” said Hetzel.

But once again he gets to be the proud father with two hats next July, when his second daughter marches down the aisle to say “I do.”