Pastors Blog

Lift Your Eyes

Click the below video to listen to Pastor Gareth's reflection for Ascension Day - a call to lift our eyes in prayer.

read more

When Tragedy Strikes – What to do in Times of Crisis?

As the news is undoubtedly finding its way around, this past Saturday evening, one of members, and her younger sister were involved in a quad accident that claimed the younger sister's life. In the face of such a tragedy, those who are part of their church family...

read more

Reflections on the Lord’s Supper at Home

The video below contains some pastoral reflections on celebrating the Lord's Supper in our homes as we did on Good Friday. Not knowing how long the gathering restrictions will last, I have been thinking a lot lately about how church will continue to look and feel...

read more

Daily Reflection – Holy Week – Good Friday

Read Psalm Reading Read Psalm 117 [Silence] Questions for Reflection What surprises, excites, or puzzles you? What are ways you see the Psalm pointing to Jesus? What does the Psalm make you want to do in response? Gospel Reading Read John 13:36-38 [Silence] Read the...

read more

Daily Reflection – Holy Week – Maundy Thursday

Read Psalm Reading Read Psalm 116 [Silence] Questions for Reflection What surprises, excites, or puzzles you? What are some ways you see the Psalm pointing to Jesus? What does the Psalm make you want to do in response? Gospel Reading Read Mark 14:12-25 [Silence] Read...

read more

Daily Reflection – Holy Week – Wednesday

Read Psalm Reading Read Psalm 115 [Silence] Questions for Reflection What surprises, excites, or puzzles you? What are some ways you see the Psalm pointing to Jesus? What does the Psalm make you want to do in response? Gospel Reading Read Mark 12:1-11 [Silence] Read...

read more

Daily Reflection – Holy Week – Tuesday

Read Psalm Reading Read Psalm 114 [Silence] Questions for Reflection What surprises, excites, or puzzles you? What are some ways you see the Psalm pointing to Jesus? What does the Psalm make you want to do in response? Gospel Reading Read Mark 11:27-33 [Silence] Read...

read more

Daily Reflection – Holy Week – Monday

For each day of Holy Week, I plan to post a daily reading plan and brief reflection that can be used as part of your personal or family devotions. The reflections will include a reading from the Gospels from Jesus' final week on earth, and one of the "Hallel" Psalms...

read more

Calvary Worshiping at Home

As promised, below are some photos and videos shared by you, the congregation, of you worshiping at home. Some Family Photos Nice to see folks are still "holding on" to some traditions This family was a little camera shy - I'll let you try to guess who it is ... Palm...

read more

Be Still

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging ... He says, "Be still...

read more

Returning to Our Roots?

The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic is affording us an opportunity to return to our roots as the Christian Church. Yesterday, for the first time for however long, instead of meeting together at the church for our weekly service, we met together in our...

read more

One Pastor’s Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 has now hit very close to home. World Renew decided that the upgrade of COVID-19 Coronavirus to ‘pandemic’ status by the World Health Organization warranted the cancellation of short-term mission trips, including our CYHonduras team who were due to leave...

read more

A Sacrifice Worth Making

This week marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, and tomorrow is “Fat Tuesday” (Mardi Gras makes it sound nicer, but translated it still means the same). I never really understood (and likely never will) the whole practice of “Fat...

read more

Is Jesus Our Rabbi? (Reflections on Discipleship Part II)

I concluded my previous post with the same question I opened it: how does Calvary CRC become a church of disciple-makers? I felt it was necessary to dive into the history (of sorts) of disciple-making before addressing the question for our own context. There is always...

read more

Teacher? Rabbi? Lord? (Reflections on Discipleship Part I)

I’ve mentioned before that the origin of the English word disciple shares similar etymology to the Greek word mathetes (ma-they-tays). Disciple is the Latin translation of the Greek word, and both mean, essentially ‘pupil’ or ‘learner’. It has the same root as the...

read more

What is Truth? A Philosophical Reflection

We live in a polarized world. And it isn’t getting any easier. But really, we should not be surprised that we are where we are. I first heard the terms ‘pluralism’ and ‘subjective truth’ in High School at youth group in the late 1990s. These were used to describe the...

read more

A Song by Any Other Language Would Sound as Sweet?

Both this year and last year, I have been (directly or indirectly) told that we did not sing a particular song on Christmas Day historically sung on Christmas Day here at Calvary: Ere Zij God (A Dutch hymn based upon the words of the heavenly host in Luke chapter 2,...

read more

Do You Know Jesus?

Who is Jesus (and Why Does He Matter)? This question is asked during the second Alpha Session and is the most important question to answer ever. At its most basic understanding, a world without Jesus is completely different from the world as we know it. Everything...

read more

Three Years and the Changes they Bring

Last Wednesday, September 11, was the third ‘anniversary’ of my ordination. I had hoped to post this then, but it’s taken a lot of time and thought to try and pull my thoughts together to reflect on these first three years of ministry. It’s hard to believe that three...

read more

The Importance of Discipline

Discipline is generally not a word we like to use. For many of us it carries some negative connotations. When we think of discipline, we tend to think of time-outs, "groundings", spankings, or other forms of punishment we received as children for misbehaving. But the...

read more

December 30 Sermon Reflection Questions

Do you feel like you never have enough time to do everything you think you need to do? What might you need to give up in order to live more intentionally? As you look back on 2018, are there regrets about how your time was spent? Joys over time spent well? What was...

read more

Blessed … to be a Blessing (Psalm 67)

I do not find it at all coincidental that I preached a sermon on Psalm 67 over the summer, only to find out a few weeks later that both GEMS and Cadets for this year have selected “Be a Blessing” for their theme this year. This also took place independently of the...

read more

Let’s Go! Initial Thoughts for the Journey from Exodus

I have a couple more reflections on the Psalms to update on the blog, but I want to republish for you the summary points and reflection questions from this past Sunday morning’s message on Exodus 2. Although taking on Exodus is a bit of ambitious project (especially...

read more

Praying the Psalms

It has been far too long since I last added a post to the Blog. But it seems appropriate at the outset of our summer "series" to reflect on what we learned yesterday and look ahead to what we hope to accomplish through our summer in the Psalms. Given the reality of so...

read more

What’s in a hashtag?

What's in a hashtag? BY PASTOR GARETH on January 22, 2018 Just because I was born in the 1980s, don’t assume I’m technologically competent or up on the latest technology trends … because I’m not. For the most part, this is intentional. I am always careful about how...

read more

The Inversion: Not Peace but Sword

BY PASTOR GARETH on November 29, 2017 In our third and final message of our series Cozy Christianity and the Counter-Cultural Christ, we looked at Matthew 10:26-39 and some of the practical implications of what it means to follow the counter-cultural Christ. We were...

read more

The Instruction: “No Student is Above the Teacher”

BY PASTOR GARETH on November 20, 2017 So I need to start today’s post with an apology. I had thought I sent the Scripture references and questions for the bulletin publication, but did not hit the “send” button. However, as promised yesterday morning, I am posting...

read more

The Invitation: Follow Me

“Follow me” are words we often read Jesus speak to various people in the Gospels. It is a summons and a command to leave behind what many of them once knew to travel on a journey of danger and discovery as this peculiar and powerful Rabbi taught them many things about...

read more

Walking in the Spirit of Love and Service

BY PASTOR GARETH on October 20, 2017 I’ve been remiss in my blogging duties for a few weeks. I’d like to offer a recap of the last TWO messages in our Galatians series in this post. In my next post, I will reflect on this past Sunday’s message with a reminder of the...

read more

Giving Thanks for God’s Forever Love

BY PASTOR GARETH on October 19, 2017 On thanksgiving Monday, we reflected on Psalm 136 and God's "Forever Love". We looked at God's enduring and faithful love to his people throughout creation and all of history, leading up to today. You, as a congregation, were...

read more

Walking in the Spirit of Freedom

BY PASTOR GARETH on October 18, 2017 'Freedom' and 'rights' language is ubiquitous in our current Canadian culture. Borrowing perhaps somewhat from our neighbours to the south, we spend a lot of time discussing in our homes, workplaces, schools, and churches about the...

read more

Walking in the Spirit of Adoption

BY PASTOR GARETH on October 16, 2017 I've been neglecting my blogging duties ;o). With the short week last week, it was hard to make time to post the follow-up to Sunday evening's message on Galatians. Today I will post on that message, and tomorrow or Wednesday I...

read more

Walking in the Spirit of Faith

BY PASTOR GARETH on October 2, 2017 Before posting this week's recap of the message, I need to take a moment and apologize to any of you who may be feeling like you're "drinking from a fire hose" with our Fall series on Galatians :0). I'll admit I struggled on how to...

read more

Walking in the Spirit of Righteousness

BY PASTOR GARETH on September 26, 2017 "HA! I'm justified!" is a phrase we often use when we find out that we are "in the right". Typically this is after a heated discussion over something we disagree with another about. Though often, too, we might say it to ourselves...

read more

Walking in the Spirit of Christ

BY PASTOR GARETH on September 20, 2017 I wanted to give a couple of days' space between an entry on the first and second messages on our series on Galatians so people could have a chance to reflect on the first post. On Sunday evening, our second message of the series...

read more

Walking in the Spirit of Grace

BY PASTOR GARETH on September 18, 2017 Yesterday we began our Fall series in the book of Galatians: Walking in the Spirit. Over the next several weeks, we will be "walking" through Paul's letter to the Galatians and reflecting on the ways in which God's Holy Spirit...

read more