Canada Lutheran, December 2021, article “Ministry in Saskatoon Hospitals” by Chaplain Richard Engel

Chaplain Richard Engel

Phone: (306) 229-1663

Reverend Richard Engel graduated from seminary in 2013 with a masters of divinity and was ordained September of that year.  Ordained ministry is a second career for Pastor Richard, complemented with experiences in assembly work, retail, and restaurant.

Pastor Richard consistently and enthusiastically served only multi-point parishes, beginning with his seminary internship.  His last call prior to chaplaincy was a shared ministry arrangement, whereby three two-point parishes (six congregations) shared him equally as their Pastor.

He fondly remembers his work with the United church in his community until its closure, collaboratively engaging United and Lutheran worshippers in Holy Week and Advent services over the years.  They also worked together with the community to host the Watoto Children’s Choir in 2017 and the ELCIC’s Sask Synod youth on their way back from a gathering in 2018.

Other wider church work included serving four years on his synod’s Candidacy Committee (interviewing and accompanying persons discerning a call to ordained and diaconal ministry) and two years on his national church’s program committee for leadership in ministry (PCLM).  From 2017-18, Pastor Richard served as an internship supervisor, working collaboratively with other ministry leaders to provide a shared ministry experience for an intern.

The spirit of collaboration continued as an Anglican parish closed its doors and several of its members found a genuine welcome in the Lutheran church ‘down the street.’  In a membership and welcoming Sunday service, Pastor Richard remembers ‘officially inheriting an Anglican Deacon’ in which a cherished and thriving ministerial relationship continued.  Pastor Richard even became known as an honorary bishop in that community, which, he then was beginning to serve.  Running a little late, he mistakenly arrived at the Roman Catholic Church, in full vestments from the first service, while the Lutheran church ‘down the street’ awaited his arrival.  The priest later disclosed he was surprised by Pastor Richard’s appearance in his parish.  And, in that surprise, mistakenly thought him to be the bishop of his diocese.