October 23, 2020 Newsletter

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

Dear Congregation,

Preparations for our in-person worship trial run on Nov. 1st are in full swing. We are going to start small with a maximum of 15 people (not including staff and ushers) so that we can work out any kinks as safely as possible. The formal guidelines are below and it is vital that everyone reads them before coming to church.

Please note that you must register for each week that you plan on attending.

Registration will open on the Wednesday morning and close on Friday at 11:30am for the following Sunday.

There are two ways to register.

If you have access to the internet you will be asked to go to our reopen.church link: https://reopen.church/r/G7rtRqfx

This link will also be sent out to our email list every Wednesday morning.

If you do not have access to the internet please call the office Wednesday-Friday morning to reserve a spot. We hope to give priority to those without internet access. Space is limited- please consider coming every once-in-awhile rather than every week so that others have the opportunity.

If the trial run on Nov. 1st goes well we will begin regular in-person services on Sunday Nov. 15th.

Please note that Nov. 8th is an on-line pre-taped service due to the fact that Mike and I are on holidays Nov. 2-9th.


We are also offering a FLU SHOT clinic on Sunday Nov. 1st following the service. If you wish to receive a flu shot you must register separately by Oct. 29th  either by going to our reopen.church link or by phoning the office. https://reopen.church/r/G7rtRqfx 

Space is limited. Once you have registered you will receive a consent form that must be filled out beforehand. You must also bring your care-card.

There will be three ways in which you can receive your flu shot.

  1. If you have registered for both in person worship and the flu shot you will receive it immediately following the service.
  2. If you have registered for the flu shot only you can come to the church on Nov. 1st and listen to the service on your car radio then receive the flu shot once the first group has completed their shots.
  3. If you have registered for the flu shot and live close by you can come to the church immediately following the service and receive the shot upon your arrival.

Please do not leave you car until you have been called forward.



I will be away on holidays Nov. 2-9. There will be a pre-taped service for Nov. 8th available mid-week on our YouTube channel. For any pastoral emergencies please contact

Angela Hope

We are looking for volunteers to be a part of our Building and Property Committee. The mission of this committee is to ensure that adequate care and maintenance requirements for the CVPC building and grounds are met. We are also very grateful for the work of Dave Sherstone who has served as chair for many years. His term as chair completes in January 2021. Please contact Dave if you have any questions.

Want to sing hymns?? We are looking for people to help us record hymns for our Sunday worship. Elvera has kindly recorded the piano for the November hymns so all you have to do is sing along into a microphone and Mike will record it! Please contact Rev. Jenn if you are interested.



With God’s help we continue to navigate unknown waters both as a society and as a congregation.  As a Session we feel that the time is right to begin a trial of in person attendance at services.  Our priority is to maintain safety for everyone involved by following the provincial guidelines.

Our first in person service of worship will be at 10:30 on Sunday, Nov. 1.  We will then take a break for a week to evaluate how things went and if all goes well we will resume in person services on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Of course these services can’t look or feel like they did before COVID-19!  So here are some changes to our usual procedures we’ll need to follow.

  1. We will need to maintain 2 metre distances at all times so our seating will be very limited. That means that you will need to pre-register in order to attend.  You can pre-register by phoning the office by 11:30am on the Friday before or registering online.  We will be giving priority to those who wish to attend who do not have access to the internet to watch the service on-line.
  2. When you arrive you come in through the front doors only. The doors will open about 15 minutes prior to the service.  An usher will greet you with hand sanitizer and politely remind you to wear a mask.  They will also ask you the usual COVID-19 questions that you get everywhere you go these days.  Please maintain physical distance as you are entering and any time you are in the building.  Another usher will check off your name on the pre-registration list.  This will also help the Health Authority with contact tracing should that ever become necessary.  If your name is not on the list we will ask you to enjoy the service from your car through the FM broadcast or to return home and watch it on-line.
  3. As you enter the hall through the front doors, you can place your offering envelope in the plates on the table, there will be no collection during the service, and place any prayer requests in the bowl. You must write out your prayer requests at home so that we don’t create a traffic jam or handle too many items.
  4. The chairs will be arranged with appropriate spacing and you can sit together with one other from your family bubble. The service will remain about a half hour long.  The music may be pre-recorded. There won’t be any group singing, and may not include responsive readings or unison prayers.  You could hum softly with the music under your mask.  Once everyone is seated an usher will take photograph of the hall so we have a record of where everyone was seated, again an aid to contact tracing.
  5. At the end of the service you will be asked to remain seated until an usher indicates its your turn to leave so that we maintain physical distance. Everyone will leave by the back doors.  We would ask that you continue to maintain physical distancing outdoors as well and not congregate in groups.  We’ll have to wave our greetings to each other!
  6. The washrooms and kitchen remain closed as we do not have adequate cleaning abilities to open these up. Please keep all your personal belongings with you, including your coat.

We are not yet ready to begin offering Children in Worship, one step at a time!

You can of course continue to worship from home, watching the live stream of the worship service.  You can also listen to the service from the parking lot on FM at 88.1.

We are one as God’s family and we care for each other, holding each other’s safety in our hands. As a Session we hope that this small step towards re-opening worship is an uplifting experience for you, but only participate if you feel safe and comfortable doing so.

Corinne Wester

Clerk of Session

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

In celebration of our Anniversary I asked you to share with me memories of CVPC. In the coming Newsletters I look forward to sharing those memories with you. Please feel free to continue to write to me with some memories and I will include them!


The following comes from June Heale. The cross that hangs behind the pulpit was made by her late husband Harry. Despite having moved to Parksville June remains in contact with CVPC regularly thanks to newsletters and YouTube.


“Often my late hubby and myself  would see Jeannie on the street and give her a ride home.  One very humid hot day, we spotted her at the bus stop just outside the Driftwood Mall.  We stopped and offered her a ride home.  She gladly accepted, but asked us first to go to Thrifty’s with her and pick up a few things for her.

She returned our kindness by offering us lunch, (obviously the reason for the trip to Thrifty’s

I could see she needed some help as she was totally exhausted from the heat, so I suggested that she needed to rest.  She was just so overcome with the heat, I  persuaded her to lie down.

When we had her settled away, we told her we would leave her to rest now..  Oh my she was quite indignant because she wanted to give us lunch for helping her.  I agreed if she  let me prepare the  lunch, so that is what happened, and the 3 of us set down to enjoy food from Thriftys.

This was on the Friday, that same weekend I got a call from D’Arcy, that Jeannie had passed away.  I guess someone in the family had told him about us helping Jeannie, he expressed surprise, he did not know we were doing  that.  So he kindly phoned us to let us know our friend had passed away.

That was shock to us, but both Harry and myself were so thankful that we had taken that opportunity to be a Good Samaratin.  I guess there is a moral story in this recall…..never pass up an chance to help one another out, one never knows God is going to call any of us home.  We loved Jeannie, she was such a pleasant lady to know.  We were richer for knowing her, and we were thankful for the opportunity to serve God by helping Jeannie.”

Thank you June for sharing this memory!



In person worship will resume THIS Sunday, Feb 6th, following previously adopted pandemic protocols. You can register to attend in person worship by calling the office or going to:



A CONGREGATIONAL MEETING has been called for February 20th following Worship, to consider the proposal from United Properties Resource Corporation (uprc.ca).

This is the corporation and proposal that our New Beginnings Building Committee has recommended for mixed housing on our property.  Material regarding the proposal will be sent out next week.


Rev. Jenn and Mike are on holidays Jan 31-Feb 7. Erica Farrell will be leading the service and Jean Sarrazin will be providing tech support. Please contact your elder or Angela Hope in the event of a pastoral emergency.

News August 10 2022

Hello Friends!

We’ve been having a quiet summer with Rev. Jenn Geddes away on intermission. She returns rested and ready for the pulpit August 31st.

While she’s been away we’ve had many wonderful Preachers come through the church offering Sermons, prayer and community.

Special thank yous to:

Ruth McGowan, Whitney Hanna, Ross Lockhart, and Bob Lockhart

The 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month (3-4:30pm) Mary Bittroff is hosting a Ukrainian Refugee get together. Conversation, coffee and community outreach. Children are also welcome.

THANK you to Highstreet Ventures who have graded our gravel parking lot. It is now smooth and awaiting use!

Stay hydrated!

Newsletter June 9 2022


Thank you for your kind words and encouragement regarding my upcoming Inter-mission. A reminder that I will be taking an extended leave June 20th to August 30th.  Below is the schedule of the services for June, July and August. It is our plan to offer live-streams for all of our services unless they are hosted at the United Churches in which case you can access the service through their websites.

A reminder to elders that we have a session meeting on June 14 at 7pm over zoom. 

Please note Jenn will be away June 14 9am-4pm moderating Presbytery in Nanaimo. 

Sunday Services:

June 12: Rev. Jenn

June 19: Rev. Jenn

June 26: The Rev. Ruth McCowan


July 3: SHARED SERVICE hosted at St. George’s United Church at 10:30am

505 6th St. Courtenay (for live stream: stgeorgesunited.com)

July 10: SHARED SERVE hosted at Comox United Church at 10am

livestream: comoxunitedchurch.com

July 17: SHARED SERVICE hosted at CVPC at 10:30am with Whitney Hanna


July 24: The Rev. Ruth McCowan

July 31: The Rev. Dr. Ross Lockhart


August 7, 14 and 21: The Rev. Bob Geddes

August 28: Wayne Penner


Pastoral Care:

For pastoral care please contact the office, your elder or the following people:

June 20-27: Ruth McCowan



June 28-July 11: Angela Hope



July 12-18: Whitney Hanna


July 19-25: Ruth McCowan


July 26-Aug 2: Angela Hope


Aug 3-23: Bob Geddes


Aug 23-29: Angela Hope


The office will be CLOSED July 4-8th. 

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Glacier View Lodge as their emergency muster point. In the event of an emergency they would move their residents to CVPC for a refuge period of 24 hours. As such we are storing a small amount of items on their behalf. These items are clearly labeled totes above the freezer in the pantry as well as a few cartons of non-perishable food items on the lower southwest cupboard by the left of the stoves. The staff and residents of Glacier View are very comforted knowing that in the event of an emergency we can provide a temporary shelter. 

1 Peter 4:10 – Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received

Newsletter June 1


On June 20th I will be taking an extended leave of absence called “Inter-Mission” for 10 weeks until August 29th. This leave has been in the making for two years. Permission to take an inter-mission requires a minimum of 1 year notice. The session originally gave me permission to take this leave starting June  27, 2021 but when it was clear the pandemic was still causing instability I postponed it by a year.  When people ask what is an inter-mission I often explain it as a short term sabbatical. 

Inter-mission is a policy of the PCC that was adopted in 1992. It is described as, “A time to be for the sake of self, not for the congregation, the Church or for acquiring academic credentials. The mode is to be that of follower, not leader, thus the need for a spiritual guide to enable reflection and discipline. Considerable latitude is given to what actually may happen in the time set aside.” 

The past two years have been exciting but also very challenging and to be honest have caused stress on my physical, mental and spiritual health as well as on my marriage. This leave will help me and Mike nurture all of that. 

I have signed up to take a few courses at VST including “Love and Desire according to Mark 12:20-31” and “Thomas Merton on Sustaining Hope in the face of Social Crisis”.  I was also a successful applicant into the Guder Scholar’s program at St. Andrew’s Hall in August. This is a think-tank program for active clergy. The theme this year is Missional Leadership for an Online Church. All of these courses and opportunities will compliment my retreat and spiritual renewal very well. And I hope I will come back in the Fall full of ideas, energy and lessons. 

Please note that during an inter-mission the minister is responsible for covering the costs of pulpit and pastoral supply. However, the Session has generously offered to cover 4 weeks of pulpit supply. I have made arrangements for some excellent preachers and pastoral coverage including, The Rev. Ruth McCowan, The Rev. Dr. Ross Lockhart, and The Rev. Bob Geddes (who will be here Aug 4-24).  During the month of July, Angela Hope is also available for pastoral care. A Schedule with contact information will be provided soon. 

Of the twelve students who graduated with me from Knox, College,  ten went into full time ministry. In the last year, three have left ministry all together, two are on medical/mental health leave, and two have left congregations and are currently without a call. I share this simply to demonstrate that this has been a challenging time for pastors and the hope is that an Inter-mission will provide some rest and renewal so that I can continue in full time ministry well into the future. Thank you so much for your support and prayers!


We will be celebrating the sacrament of communion THIS SUNDAY during our regular service. Those attending in person will have individual packets. For those watching online, please prepare your own elements. 

Greeters Needed: We are looking for one or two people a week to welcome congregants as they arrive. Please phone the office if you are willing to be added to the rota. 

“Meet the Disciples” Bible study continues every Thursday over zoom at 7pm until June 16. Folks are welcome to participate even if they’ve missed the first meeting. Email Jenn for the handouts and zoom link. 



Newsletter May 25th

A Message from

the Minister’s Messy Desk 

On May 26th we celebrate one of the least known Church holidays, Ascension Day.  It is always “celebrated” 40 days after Easter and commemorates the day that Jesus ascended to heaven following his resurrection. Versions of the ascension are found  in in the very last chapters of Matthew, Mark, and Luke or the beginning of Acts. The most detailed version is found in Acts 1:6-11, which mentions that after Jesus’ ascension the disciples were standing around looking up and and two men (or angels) asked them why they are standing around looking up to heaven when Jesus told them what would happen. In Matthew’s version, as Jesus ascends he gives them the great commission telling them to “GO!” and  make disciples of all nations. The point is that as we lift ourselves in praise we also need to live that praise through action. I recently learned that in Sweden, on Ascension day people typically celebrate by going into the forest at sunrise in hopes of hearing the birds sing praises. I may not get up at sunrise, but I do intend on taking a moment to hear all the earth praising God- and then see how that inspires action. 


The Session met on Tuesday May 24 the following motions were passed:

  • That the requirement to show vaccine proof be lifted
  • That mask wearing is recommended rather than a requirement
  • That an Every Home Elder Visitation program will commence in the early fall and will include discussions about the finances of CVPC
  • That Vancouver Island Musicfest is given permission to use our parking lot as a shuttle stop July 8-10

The Session also received a letter from the Fellowship Group. At their meeting on May 17th the Fellowship Group voted to disband. The Session accepted this with regret.  The Session and entire congregation are very grateful for the work that the Fellowship Group has done over the many years. A special moment of recognition will take place in an upcoming service. 

Other Announcements:

We need folks to sign up to prepare the coffee! We are also looking for a coffee coordinator who could help ensure that supplies are purchased. Please contact the office if you are interested. 

BIBLE STUDY: A new Bible study is beginning May 26th at 7pm over Zoom and will run every Thursday until June 16th. It is entitled “Meet the Disciples”. Get to know the original disciples in a new way- there were quite a diverse bunch!

Newsletter May 18 2022

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

Thank you to all who provided prayer and support while Mike was recovering from Covid. I managed to remain negative and he recovered in time to join me on a little road trip following my course in Vancouver. I’m still busy with a little catch up from our time away but I look forward in the coming months to share with you some of the insights and inspirations I gained following my course entitled, “The Art of Transitional Ministry.”

I was also able to take in a lecture by the Rev. John Lippert, entitled, “Seeing God through the Lens of Nature.” In this lecture he quoted poet Mary Oliver and it is these words that are setting my intention as we approach summer. She wrote,

“Instructions for living a life: -pay attention -be astonished -tell about it”

I look forward to spending time in nature this summer and being astonished by all that I see (and you can bet I will talk about it!) but I am also looking forward to paying attention to the ways God is at work during our time of transition, being astonished by the opportunities placed before us, and being a witness to God’s presence here and now. Tell me about the things you are noticing and how God has astonished you!

Thank you to everyone who provided leadership while we were away. Thank you to Wayne Penner who was willing to read my prepared service last minute as we were in isolation on May 1st!

Thank you to Erica Farrell for her moving and passionate sermons on May 8 and 15!Thank you to Mary Bittroff for playing piano! Thank you to George and Marion for  providing sound! Thank you to Corinne Wester for providing the live stream from her laptop!

Other Announcements:

Many have enjoyed the coffee fellowship after the service. We need folks to sign up to prepare the coffee! We are also looking for a coffee coordinator who could help ensure that supplies are purchased. Please contact the office if you are interested.

Elders, there is a Session meeting on May 24 at 7pm OVER ZOOM

BIBLE STUDY: A new Bible study is beginning May 26th at 7pm over Zoom and will run every Thursday until June 16th. It is entitled “Meet the Disciples”. Get to know the original disciples in a new way- there were quite a diverse bunch!


The Zoom invite is below:

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Meet the Disciples Bible Study

BIBLE Study Meet the Disciples

Dial by your location

        +1 438 809 7799 Canada

        +1 778 907 2071 Canada

Meeting ID: 856 0323 9217

Passcode: 670192

Newsletter April 27 2022

A Message from the Minister’s Messy Desk

For a portion of my holidays over the upcoming two weeks I will be taking a course at Vancouver School of Theology entitled “The Art of Transitional Ministry.” In my capacity as Moderator of the Presbytery of Vancouver Island I have discovered that we as a denomination are rather deficient when it comes to training ministers to assist during transitional times  for congregations. One of the textbooks for the course is entitled, How to Lead When you Don’t know Where You’re Going: Leading in a Liminal Season by Susan Beaumont. She wrote this book in 2019 to help church leaders deal with transitions usually related to loss or change within a congregation (like a Minister leaving or a significant shift in a congregation’s ability) however, this book has come to mean something different as church leaders navigate the “post”-pandemic season.

Liminal seasons are “inbetween” times, the term comes from the Latin word, limen, which means threshold. Beaumont says that, “Liminal seasons are threshold experiences where the continuity of tradition is called into question, and uncertainty about the future fuels doubt.”  Modern day Franciscan Richard Rohr says that, “this is a sacred space where the old world is able to fall part, and a bigger world is revealed.”     One of the reasons I am taking this course is because I foresee all of our churches, including ours, going through a liminal season as we are challenged by the changes that have taken place over the last 2 years of the pandemic. I recently shared with a colleague that perhaps one of the hardest changes is that 1/3 of our congregation is no longer with us or able to attend worship. Over the last 2 years over 40 previous active attendees have died, moved away, transferred membership or are no longer able to attend due to mobility/care. It’s shocking to see that in writing. Due to the uncertainty of what that means it indeed feels like a liminal space. However, I am hopeful, because Beaumont also says that, “Liminal seasons are exciting and innovative. The promise of a new beginning unleashes creative energy, potential, and passion. God’s greatest work occurs in liminal space.” I hope that when I return from my course I will have lots to share with you about how we can embrace this time and see God at work!

Thank you to everyone who is providing leadership and coverage while some of us are away. Thank you to Erica Farrell who is preaching! Thank you to Mary Bitroff who is playing piano! Thank you to George and Marion who are providing sound! Thank you to Corinne Wester who is providing the live stream from her laptop!

Please note that the live stream will be different in quality but should still be accessible via our YouTube channel at 10:30am on Sundays.

Please contact Angela Hope in the event of pastoral emergency

Other Announcements:

It is our hope to offer coffee and fellowship following the service. If you are interested in assisting please contact the office so that we can start to put a roster together.Mark your calendars for an upcoming Bible Study running every Thursday over zoom at 7pm starting May 26 until June 16. The study is entitled “Meet the Disciples”. Most of us can name some of Jesus’ disciples but not all twelve but more importantly is understanding the dynamics of the group and how they went on to influence the spread of Jesus’ teaching. This study will help us delve into the lives of the original disciples.

Newsletter April 8 2022

Announcements from Comox Valley Presbyterian Church 

Thank you to Rebecca Lupkoski who decorated our front door for Easter. You can see much of Rebecca’s work around town in various shop windows.

Session is meeting April 12 at 7pm over zoom.

Lenten Project:

April 17 is our last Sunday to collect funds for our 2022 Lenten Project, Sowing Seeds for a Secure future in Guatemala. Thank you to John Popiel who spoke to us about the work being done by PWS&D and their partners in the region. If you missed it, be sure to watch it on our YourTube Channel.

HOLY WEEK Services and Events

Join the United and Presbyterian Churches in the Comox Valley as we spend time in lament and love.

April 14: Maundy Thursday  Service at 7pm 
At Comox Valley Presbyterian Church
April 15:  Good Friday Service at 10:00am
At Comox United Church

April 16:  Holy Saturday Neighbourhood Crosswalk at 1:00pm

A walk around the neighbourhood of Comox Valley Presbyterian Church

This is a new event for us. It is a re-imagined version of the stations of the cross and will involve an approximately 30mins walk around the neighbourhood with stops, reflections and prayers along the way. 

Meet at the bench in front of the Church on Aspen Rd.
April 17:  Easter Sunday

Sunrise Serve at 6am at Goose Spit by Comox United 

Sunrise Service 6:45 Provided by Weird Church Cumberland

Meet at Marine Drive Picnic area, 39 Marine Drive in Royston

A Special Easter Service at 10:30am

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church 

Newsletter March 30 2022

Announcements from the

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church 



Mike and Jenn will be away May 8 and 15. We need a few people to learn the new sound system so that those attending in person can hear! 

Please note: these services may not be live streamed or they will be streamed according to our pre-pandemic standards (meaning from a laptop on a chair in the church) if someone is also willing to learn how to provide that service.  

2022 Lenten Project

This Sunday we will welcome PWS&D Program Coordinator for Latin America John Popiel. He will tell us about the food security work being done in Latin America.  

To donate to the Lenten Project mark it on the “other” line of your envelope or donate online through our Canada Helps page and choose “2022 Lenten Project”. 

New Beginnings Development Plan Committee 

A reminder of the short in-person meeting of the “NEW” New Beginnings Building Committee following the worship service this coming Sunday (April 3rd) in the church library. Discussion will review the next steps for the committee, particularly as they are laid out in the Letter of Intent that we are signing with the United Properties Resource Corporation. Anyone who is considering volunteering for this committee is invited to attend, but please contact Libby Day  to confirm your interest. 

HOLY WEEK Services and Events

Join the United and Presbyterian Churches in the

Comox Valley as we spend time in lament and love. 


April 14: Maundy Thursday  Service at 7pm 

At Comox Valley Presbyterian Church 

April 15:  Good Friday Service at 10:00am

At Comox United Church

April 16:  Holy Saturday Neighbourhood Crosswalk at 1:00pm

A walk around the neighbourhood of Comox Valley Presbyterian Church

This is a new event for us. It is a re-imagined version of the stations of the cross and will involve an approximately 30mins walk around the neighbourhood with stops, reflections and prayers along the way. 

Meet at the bench in front of the Church on Aspen Rd. 

April 17:  Easter Sunday

Sunrise Service 6:45

Provided by Weird Church Cumberland

Meet at Marine Drive Picnic area, 39 Marine Drive in Royston

A Special Easter Service at 10:30am

Comox Valley Presbyterian Church