The Rev. Paul Gehrs, assistant to the bishop at the national office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), has been voted chair of the board of KAIROS, a Canadian ecumenical organization devoted to social justice issues.
Rev. Gehrs succeeds Cheryl Curtis, former executive director of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), who completed a three-year term last February. Curtis resigned from her position at PWRDF, the relief and development agency of the Anglican Church of Canada, at the end of February.
Born in Winnipeg and raised in Delta, B.C., Rev. Gehrs received his master of divinity from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. He was ordained by the ELCIC in 1991. Rev. Gehrs served as pastor for the two congregations of St. John-Ostenfeld Lutheran Parish in rural Manitoba for six years and as associate pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Winnipeg for eight years.
KAIROS also announced the following new members of its board: Sue Wilson (vice chair), Stephen Allen (secretary), The Rev. Gordon Hayes (treasurer), and Michael Casey (member at large).
A member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of London, Wilson represents the Canadian Religious Conference on the board and is director of the Office for Systemic Justice for the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada, where she is involved in research, advocacy with politicians, education and activism on a variety of justice issues.
Allen, who has served on the KAIROS board since 2004, has served as associate secretary, justice ministries for The Presbyterian Church in Canada since 1997. He represents The Presbyterian Church in various ecumenical bodies, including the Canadian Council of Churches.
Rev. Hayes also represents The Presbyterian Church in Canada, where he is associate secretary for Canada ministries in the church’s Life and Mission Agency.
Casey has been executive director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace since 2005. He has more than 25 years of experience working with social advocacy organizations. He has worked with indigenous and other community-based cooperatives in Inuit and Dene communities in the Northwest Territories. He also spent 14 years living and working in Asia.