Reverend Dr. Fred Shaffer
Rev. Dr. Fred Shaffer is a native of Pittsburgh, PA who came to Canada as a boy with his family and grew up in MIssissauga. He is a graduate of the University of Guelph and of Knox College, the Presbyterian seminary at the University of Toronto. He worked as a minister in new church development in Calgary in the early 1980s, before moving back to southern Ontario where he served several rural and small-town churches. Fred’s own strong academic bent and an increasing interest in the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran theologian of the Nazi period, took him back to Knox College for graduate studies in systematic theology. Once his doctoral dissertation on Bonhoeffer’s theological ethics of the church as Christ existing as community was finished, he returned to congregational ministry in Toronto, serving there until he was called to St. Paul’s in the spring 2010.
Fred’s leadership at St. Paul’s is aimed at helping and enabling the congregation to be what God calls it to be – a disciple community of Christ’s real presence here in Hamilton. What that means in terms of our being together in worship, study, mission, outreach, service and, yes, recreation and fun, is a work in progress. Christian perfection eludes us, but what really matters is our direction toward becoming a people in whom Christ is really present and lives for others, and our actual Christian integrity now – are we rightly representing Christ, or grossly misrepresenting him? We pray that it is and will continue to be the former – and trust that our prayers are heard and answered.
Fred doesn’t actually think about theology all the time. He is married to Susan, and they have an adult daughter. When he has time off, he likes to read history and biography, and he is a sailor and antique car enthusiast.