Pastor’s Blog

October 7, 2021


   What images come to your mind when you think of Thanksgiving? Hopefully Thanksgiving brings
fond memories of family gathered, traditions celebrated, stories remembered, and new memories
created that will be recalled at next year’s gathering.

   One tradition Jan’s family observed at holiday gatherings was the reading of the Bible prior to the
meal. Normally the Bible was read after the meal but at large gatherings it worked better to read it
before hand. Although I don’t remember any specific passages that were read on these occasions it
was very likely that Psalm 65, a popular Thanksgiving Psalm, was chosen.
   Psalm 65 is a song of praise to God celebrating and remembering his faithfulness and care during
the previous year. The Psalm has three stanzas: they are praise for God’s personal concern for us,
praise for His sovereign and providential care over us, and praise for His abundant provisions to us.
This Sunday we will be remembering Thanksgiving and looking at Psalm 65. There will be an
opportunity for sharing and in preparation I encourage you to think about how you might respond to
either of these questions.
      1.     Over this past year or years what are some examples of God’s timely provision for you and
your family?
      2.     Over the past year or years what are come examples of God’s sovereign and providential
care in your life? Where has God shown up for you, bringing various circumstances together at just
the right time?
    I hope to see you Sunday. If you are away with family may your celebration be joyous, memories
be rich, and maybe a new tradition inaugurated.
Grace and peace,
September 30, 2021


    What is a significant challenge you are facing? What is the fear you feel that is connected to
the challenge? In many, if not most cases, there is a fear associated with what we are facing. For example: We are planning a move to Ohio. A fear I have is how are we going to make it financially?
There will be limited retirement income so I will need a part-time job. Then there is the high cost of healthcare in the United States. So, what do we do with the fear? A side note, is fear a learned
response? I recently found out that there are only two innate fears in humans: the fear of falling and
the fear of loud noise. Every other fear is learned. How are they learned? Through experiences.
    I believe that most times when we are faced with challenges we try and figure out how we can
solve it using our own resources, energy, abilities, or understanding. In other words, we try to fix
the problem ourselves.
    So, what do I need to do with fear? I need to acknowledge it and confess it. By confess, I mean,
tell God, who already knows how I am feeling. I need to be specific, not sugar coating it or wrapping
it in religious jargon. I need to tell the truth about how I am feeling. Then, I need to ask God for His perspective or response to my fear. Two questions to ask God are ~ What do I need to know?   and   
What do I need to do? Once that is clear then “just do it”.  Act or live in harmony with what God
reveals to you. In this way we are able to transform the way we were thinking to what God revealed
and act as if what God revealed is the truth!
    We all have fears. God knows this and invites us to trust Him. To lean into Him drawing on His strength, His wisdom, and His abundance. God’s encouragement to Judah is timeless:
I have chosen you and not cast you off;
do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:9b-10
    Jan and I are traveling to Calgary for an appointment with the U.S. Consulate General on Friday morning. We will be back for Sunday. Jennifer will be leading us through John 4 and the story of the woman Jesus encounters at a well in Samaria.
   One more encouragement:
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1
Grace and peace,
September 23, 2021




   A transition is in our near future. In February my Mom had a condition which landed her in the
hospital for a few days and then in rehab for a few more days. Fortunately, my sister was able to
fly from Utah to Ohio to help. In May my Mom had a fall. Back to the hospital and then rehab. This
time, due to some relaxed restrictions at the border I was able to go to be with her in June. During
our time together we discussed next steps. At that time the plan was for Mom to stay in her condo
for a year or a little longer, then move to a small studio apartment and eventually to an assisted
living facility. That timeline has since compressed, and she is hoping to move into an assisted living facility in October.
   Given this new development, along with the challenges of crossing back and forth across the
border, as well as considerations regarding our son and his family, we feel the time has come for
us to move closer to family. Thus, we are in the process of applying for documents that will allow
Jan to enter the U.S. Our plan is to move to Ohio to be with my Mom to help with her care. We are
not sure of the timing as we need to work with the U.S. Consulate in Calgary to get permission for
Jan to cross the border as a permanent resident. We hope this can happen by December at the
   We did not think our time in Yorkton would be this short. This has been the right place for us to be,
and moving back to the States was not on our horizon when we came here. This has been a unique
time as COVID has been a great disrupter. What has been extremely encouraging is your faithful commitment to the faith family of Yorkton Alliance Church. You will be missed. We are not sure of the date of our move but likely within a couple of months.
   The Elders will be meeting with Bernie Van De Walle to discuss the transition process and next
steps. Your continued prayers for the Elders is greatly appreciated. They will keep you informed as
we walk into this new season at YAC.
   Sunday we will be looking at John 2 where Jesus did his first sign (miracle). The story has several levels of meaning starting from the first words of the story “On the third day…”. Hoping to see you on Sunday.
Grace and peace,
September 16, 2021


   This week we are going to look at something Christians today pretty much take for granted. It
is the Incarnation, a foundational truth of orthodox Christianity that we affirm but don’t fully
understand. We are in good company because it took over 400 years for the Church to establish
an understanding of the nature of Jesus. It was at the Council of Chalcedon in 451AD that the
Council affirmed that Jesus is “complete in Godhead and complete in humanness, truly God and
truly human.” He is “of one substance (homoousios) with the Father as regards his Godhead, and
at the same time of one substance with us as regards his humanity.” Jesus Christ is to be
“recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation.”
   We affirm this each Sunday in the Nicene Creed when we declare, “We believe in one Lord,
Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from
Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him
all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of
the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man.”
   This is well and good but how does this confession impact or relate to Monday morning when
you head off to school or work or to your tasks in the home? I will attempt to provide a satisfactory answer on Sunday. You can do a little preparation by reading John 1:1-5, 10-18; Genesis 1:1-3;
Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-4; and 2 Timothy 2:9b-10. I toss in at no extra charge a quote
from Irenaeus (120-202), “Our Lord Jesus became what we are that He might bring us to be even
what He is Himself.”
   Jesus Christ, in His infinite love, has become what we are, in order that He may make us entirely
what He is.
   Blessings as you follow hard after Jesus.
Grace and peace,
September 9, 2021


   What does it take for you to change your mind? Especially if it is something that you sincerely
and firmly believe? The first time for me was while I was a grad student at Wheaton College.
I believed and argued my position on a particular issue related to our primary responsibility as
followers of Jesus. I was so convinced I was right that I prayed that God would show the others
how wrong they were and how right my position was. I even went so far as to pray that if, by some remote chance, I was wrong God would show me. It took several months for God to answer my
prayer, but he did. The answer changed my career path.
   This Sunday we begin a series in the Gospel of John. The Apostle states his purpose for writing
near the end of the gospel. He said that his purpose for writing was to convince people that Jesus
was who he said he was, and that people would believe what he said, and that following what he
taught was the way to a rich and full life. John knew that this was a tall order because people were
stuck in their misguided way of thinking. The gospel is John’s effort to reveal what God is really like through the life and teaching of Jesus.
   I hope you will be able to join us in person or online this Sunday and following Sundays as we
explore the One who reveals the Father to us. For those joining in person we will be having a fall
kick off picnic after the service. Oh, by the way, God showed me that I was the one who was wrong.
Grace and peace,
September 2, 2021


  What do you do when you are faced with a significant challenge, or what appears to be an overwhelming obstacle and there just doesn’t seem to be a way forward? Our passage this
Sunday is Psalm 121. I imagine the psalmist standing on a plain, a level place, looking west
to the mountains. What is ahead is a journey into those mountains. This is no ordinary journey;
it’s a pilgrimage in which the person is carrying a heavy burden. The mountains represent a
significant challenge, a weight, a situation with an unknown future. The psalm is a response to
such a situation. It is not clear whether the response is a declaration of assured confidence based
on experience, or one of trusting hope. In either case, it describes a journey or pilgrimage into an unknown future.
   I am guessing that each of us can identify at some level with facing a challenge or carrying the
weight of a burden and not knowing how you will be able to make the journey through the
“mountains”.  In some ways I see COVID as a significant challenge, a heavy weight and how this
will play out is still unknown. So, how do we make a pilgrimage while being weighed down into an unknown future. This is what we will explore on Sunday as we reflect on Psalm 121.
   One of the gifts of being part of a community of faith is that whatever challenge or burden we face
we do not face it alone. We are better and stronger together.
   Looking forward to our gathering this Sunday. If you are away traveling this final long weekend of summer may it be a time of refreshing and renewal.
Grace and peace,
August 26, 2021


 At a recent gathering with the Elders, one of the items we reflected on was the 18 months of
COVID and its impact on our church family, and what we can learn from it as we move forward.
It was a fruitful discussion and one of the re-occurring themes was a lack of connection throughout
the COVID months and the need for opportunities to re-engage. Certainly, Sunday morning is a
natural time for connecting but we also felt we needed to offer additional times as well. Our church
picnic is one such time. We will be planning others. Your ideas and participation in planning
connecting events are encouraged.
   A couple weeks ago I mentioned we would be offering some opportunities for you to share your thoughts on our ongoing discussion of women in leadership. We have arranged three gatherings
and you are welcome to come to any of them to share your reflections and questions you have.
At least one elder will be at each gathering. We will be meeting at Yorkton Alliance Church on the
following dates:
  • Monday 23 August at 7:00 pm,
  • Thursday 26 August at 7:00 pm, and
  • Sunday 29 August at 4:00 pm.
   As I mentioned in an earlier Thursday email; we recognize there are a range of opinions on this
topic, and we want to hear from you. If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to
view the two presentations. Our desire is that through discussion and discernment we can learn
and grow together, and in a spirit of unity come to a decision on this topic for our congregation.
   This Sunday our focus will be Psalm 51. I am looking forward to our gathering in person and
Grace and peace,


August 19, 2021


 At a recent gathering with the Elders, one of the items we reflected on was the 18 months of
COVID and its impact on our church family, and what we can learn from it as we move forward. It
was a fruitful discussion and one of the re-occurring themes was a lack of connection throughout
the COVID months and the need for opportunities to re-engage. Certainly, Sunday morning is a
natural time for connecting but we also felt we needed to offer additional times as well. Our church
picnic is one such time. We will be planning others. Your ideas and participation in planning
connecting events are encouraged.
   A couple weeks ago I mentioned we would be offering some opportunities for you to share your thoughts on our ongoing discussion of women in leadership. We have arranged three gatherings
and you are welcome to come to any of them to share your reflections and questions you have. At
least one elder will be at each gathering. We will be meeting at Yorkton Alliance Church on the
following dates:
  • Monday 23 August at 7:00 pm,
  • Thursday 26 August at 7:00 pm, and
  • Sunday 29 August at 4:00 pm.
   As I mentioned in an earlier Thursday email; we recognize there are a range of opinions on this
topic, and we want to hear from you. If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to
view the two presentations. Our desire is that through discussion and discernment we can learn
and grow together, and in a spirit of unity come to a decision on this topic for our congregation.
   This Sunday our focus will be Psalm 51. I am looking forward to our gathering in person and
Grace and peace,


August 12, 2021


   It was a dark and stormy night. The date was 12 August 1979. In a cabin at Honey Rock Camp
in northern Wisconsin were nine graduate students from Wheaton College; we were sorting and organizing equipment in preparation for setting out on a two-week wilderness trip. I looked across
the dimly lit room and noticed a curly haired woman who was speaking with a funny accent. Over
the course of the two-weeks in the woods all the participants got to know each other. We even had
a group identity, The Twilight Trippers, as most every day we would not reach our destination until
well after dark. Fifteen months later that curly haired lady became my wife. (It was a good thing I
could understand Canadian).
   A lot of decisions over several years came together which landed Jan and I in the north woods
of Wisconsin forty-two years ago. The decision to pursue graduate studies at Wheaton College,
that began with the wilderness learning seminar, changed my life. Over our lives there are likely
a handful of life-changing decisions we make, although at the time we may not realize that to be
the case.
   How about your life? Can you recall a meeting, decision, or turn of events that was life-changing
for you? This Sunday there will be an opportunity to share. It can be a life-changing event or simply
an encounter with God that has been encouraging for you.
   We will be hearing from Kallie Hutton this Sunday. Her sermon is on Psalm 66. In addition, we will
once again gather around the Lord’s table.
Grace and peace,


August 5, 2021


At our 2020 annual meeting a request was made to the Elders to consider the role of women
in church leadership, in particular women as elders. This was in response to the C&MA at a
General Assembly voting to open eldership to women. This was to be a matter for individual congregations to discern. The Elders began the process by reading and discussing various
theological positions on the topic. The discussions were engaging, revealing a variety of
opinions on the topic. Some of the resources are listed below.
One conclusion was that the Elders wanted to engage the congregation in the discussion. The
first step was to invite Bernie Van De Walle, our district superintendent, to present a historical
overview of women in ministry in the C&MA and issues related to the topic. The presentation
was informational and did not support or recommend a position for or against women as elders.
One recommendation Bernie made was to look at the various passages in the Bible on the topic.
We felt this was good advice and sought out a New Testament scholar to walk us through the
passages. Dr. Paul Spilsbury, Professor of New Testament and Academic Dean at Regent
College was contacted, and he graciously agreed to do a presentation. Paul is familiar with the
C&MA as he began his career at Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina and then at Ambrose University in Calgary. He made the presentation via Zoom.
There was time during both presentations for us to ask questions. These were good discussions.
The Elders want to make sure everyone who desires can contribute to the conversation. Thus,
we are scheduling some opportunities for your reflections and questions. We recognize there are
a range of opinions on this topic, and we want to hear from you. I will let you know the dates and
times once we have them confirmed. If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to
view the two presentations. Our desire is that through discussion and discernment we can learn
and grow together and in a spirit of unity come to a decision on this topic for our congregation.
Our summer in the Psalms series continues. This Sunday I will be preaching on Psalm 27.
Looking forward to our gathering around the Word and the Communion Table.
Grace and peace,
List of resources:
Stanley Gundry & James Beck, eds., Two Views on Women in Ministry
All God’s People: An Exploration of the Call of Women to Pastoral Ministry
Scott McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible
Peter Enns, How the Bible Actually Works 
July 29, 2021



   Some people are wondering if we will discontinue the live streaming of our Sunday
services now that we can gather without restrictions. This will be a long-winded response.
   Is COVID over? Is COVID to be thought of as a blip on the radar screen of our lives?
Is it over and done with and now we can get back to “normal”? Or, has the pandemic inaugurated
a significant shift and the trajectory of our lives has been forever altered, and as thus, there is no
going back to “normal.” This is worth pondering. Your conclusionwill impact your actions.
   Each morning between 6:00 – 6:30am I, along with over 80,000 others, receive an email from
Carey Nieuwhof. He is a Canadian church pastor who researches and writes on leadership. I do
not read every email he sends, just the ones that catch my interest. He has written much about the impact of COVID on the church and its future. From his research he is convinced that COVID has brought a sea change in how people relate to and will relate to church. He believes that on a
number of fronts COVID has accelerated trends that have been developing during this century.
You can click on the links below to sample a few of Carey’s blogs.
   Carey’s repeated advice is to take advantage of the changes that have shaped and are shaping
our society as a result of COVID. One of those is not to neglect those who connect on-line. He admonishes churches to consider those viewing on-line as just as valuable as those who attend
in person. One reason for this is that a large percentage of people who are considering church will
first investigate the church via live stream or YouTube before they ever show up in person. There
are other reasons as well. All this to say continuing to do live streaming is important.
   Certainly, there are other points to be raised that are worth discussing. I would be happy to
discuss any questions, concerns, ideas, or anything else for that matter that is on your mind.
Let’s do it over coffee or a drink of your choice. Let me know if you would like to connect and I
will be happy to meet with you and I will buy the coffee. That was a long post so I will not raise
a second topic I was hoping to discuss. I will leave itto next week.
   This Sunday we continue our summer series in the Psalms with Dave Dyste focusing on
Psalm 52. We will also gather around the Lord’s Table. Safe travels for those of you away on this
long weekend.
Grace and peace,
Thoughts from David Dyste…
   Over the last year, I’ve been listening to a great band, Poor Bishop Hooper, who are working
on making a song based on each of the Psalms. Their song based on Psalm 52 Poor Bishop Hooper – Psalm 52 (EveryPsalm) – YouTube has been stuck in my brain for a long time now, so I decided to
share some of what I’ve come to learn about this Psalm. David wrote Psalm 52 at a dark time in his
life, the backstory of which you can find in 1 Samuel 21-22. If you want to see how Jesus reflected
on this period of David’s life, read Mark 2:23-27, and watch The Chosen, Season 2, Episode 6.
   All this backstory sets the stage for observing how David, in the depths of his pain, expressed his
heart to God with honesty and openness. While expressing his pain, he also looked to God, and saw God’s unwavering presence with him every step of the way.
   I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.
David Dyste


July 22, 2021


   I finished the book of Jude yesterday in my quiet time. I turned the page to Revelation, but I
didn’t feel drawn there for my morning devotional reading. The gospels came to mind, and I
flipped the pages and they opened on Luke. I have nothing against Luke, but I balked at first with
going through the nativity story in July. Nevertheless, I sensed Luke will be for the rest of the year
for my quiet times.
   My general practice is to read then reflect on a short passage. Nothing caught my attention in the
introduction, so I kept reading. You may be familiar with the story. Zechariah, a priest, was visited
by an angel while ministering in the temple. He was terrified, and the angel said to him “Do not be
afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son…” (1:13). Why
had Zechariah continued to pray for a child? The implication was that Elizabeth was close to or
beyond childbearing years (1:7). If that was the case, why continue praying? That is what captured
my attention. Elizabeth was old, yet Zechariah continued to pray for her. Why? What motivated him
to persevere in prayer for an unlikely and a growingly remote possibility? Maybe out of his love for
his wife, knowing her desire for a child and her sadness at being barren may have kept him praying. Maybe it was his faith, believing God could do a miracle the way he had several times in Israel’s past.
   The passage got me thinking about prayer and its role in our lives. One thing prayer does is it
shapes us, it impacts our spiritual formation. What I just wrote is worth pondering. So, how did Zechariah’s prayer for Elizabeth and a child shape him spiritually? What do you think? I jotted down
some thoughts. Another thing to ponder is, how might your prayers be contributing to and shaping
you? There is a lot going on when we pray, a lot more than we realize!
   If you want to get a head start on Sunday, you can read Psalm 56. Juan, one of our elders, will be preaching. It has been good to be back together. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. For those
who are away on holidays or just able to get some time away, may you be refreshed in body and spirit.
Grace and peace,
July 15, 2021
   Freedom. It is good to be free to move beyond the borders of our property, especially
when it is a very small property. I know that the time in quarantine could have been much worse. I thought of those who had to go through fourteen days in a six hundred square
foot high rise apartment. I was able to be outside and get relief in a cool basement. In whatever circumstance we are in there are things for which to be thankful. For me I had shelter, food, companionship with a loving and long-suffering wife, and most significant,
the abiding presence of God. When I turn my attention from whining to reflecting on
God’s presence and activity in my life and the world around me, I begin to see Him at
work all around me.
   This Sunday there will be an opportunity for you to share how you have experienced
God. A recent sense of His presence, care, or speaking to your spirit though His word or
world or another person.
   This Sunday Dwayne will be guiding us though Psalm 19. I encourage you to read and ponder the passage. I am planning a treat for us after the service to celebrate our
freedom to gather without COVID restrictions.
Grace and peace,
Psalm19 teaches about how great God is. 
It is such a comprehensive psalm
that talks about the word of God being so complete.
And it talks about creation being over everything.
At the end of the psalm it talks about
what our response should be in light of who God is.
God has been teaching me about loss and vulnerability.  
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you on Sunday.
Yours in Christ,    
Dwayne Kruger   
July 8, 2021
   Quarantine comrades, those who have faced and endured 14 days of quarantine, what did you do
to keep from going crazy? Currently, I am in day nine and seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
   After the first couple of days, I have gotten into a “rhythm” for the day. One of the main activities is reading. Two primary books I am reading are Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus by Robert Farrar Capon and Reversed Thunder: The Revelation
of John & the Praying Imagination by Eugene Peterson. Both of these flow in the stream I have been moving in over the past three years. These books, along with about a dozen others, have awakened
and shaped me in life-giving ways. They have opened and broadened my understanding of and experience with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The reading I did while I was with my Mom, and
the current reading I am doing is nourishing my soul. An extended time with my Mom and two weeks
of quarantine were not part of my original summer plans. Looking back, I can see God at work and
there is much in which to give thanks.
   Each of our journeys is unique. God is in each of us, crafting a one-of-a-kind masterpiece which
takes a lifetime. Our part is to be open to and participate with His transforming work. Where have you seen, and are you seeing, the Master’s hand in your life?
   This Sunday Paul Ens, the missions mobilizer for our district, will be preaching on Psalm 67. I encourage you to read it in preparation for Paul’s sharing. Looking forward to being physically present with you on 18 July.
Grace and peace,
July 2, 2021
   I am back in Canada and in quarantine prison. The temptation is great to break out and go for
a bike ride. It is only day three. Even with the asphyxiation of quarantine I am glad to be home.
Now that I have my whining over with I can move forward. I am truly thankful and appreciative
for all who have stepped in to serve in my absence.
   It was good to be with my mother for the month of June in order to see first-hand what she is
faced with on a daily basis. The goal was to help her get the resources she needs to stay in her
own home as long as possible. For those with wealth or for those in poverty there is ready access.
For those in the middle it is much more complicated. My sister and I continue to seek alternatives
and solutions. From my experience in Canada and Jan’s parents we in this country are blessed.
   You are likely aware of, and looking forward to, the rescinding of the COVID-19 restrictions on
11 July. We could call this Independence Day. There are many things for which to give thanks. One
is your continued connection, service, and support as a church family over these past 15 months of COVID. A goal as we move forward is to provide opportunities to connect as a church family. Your suggestions and ideas are welcome.
   I will be participating by watching on-line for this Sunday and next. I very much look forward to my release from quarantine prison on the 13th of July.
   Join us this Sunday as Scott Fitzsimmons preaches on Psalm 139.
Grace and peace,
June 24, 202


When I was 7 years old my family went to Florida, and my dad took me in the ocean to jump
waves. At first, in between swells, the water was only knee deep for me, and the real fun
seemed farther out. Jumping higher and higher with each wave, I kept urging him to go deeper,
to the big waves, until not only were my little legs far from the bottom at the peak of the wave,
but my dad reached the point where he, too, was losing his footing due to the strength of the waves. 
As one particularly big wave hit, we did not go up with it, but rather, got pulled under. I struggled and thrashed desperately trying to get above the wave, but my father held me fast. I remember being
angry with him for holding me under the water. That was my perspective anyway, and for quite some time, I was not even able to hear, never mind understand any kind of explanation from him. The
truth was that my dad knew that if he had let go of me at that moment, I would have been pulled
into the undertow and been separated from him permanently. He had enough weight to act as
an anchor on the sandy bottom to keep us from being pulled out too far; I did not.
   Sometimes, I feel like I am drowning in an ocean as I am hit by wave after wave of disappointment, struggle, sorrow, tragedy, and anger; unable to even regain my footing between waves. I may not
have enemies trying to take my life, as David did, but I feel attacked in so many areas. I feel like screaming, “God what are you doing?! What is going on?! Why is this happening?! What else do
you want from me?!” I don’t want to get stuck at that point in my lament, but sometimes I don’t
even get that far because I am afraid to address God in such a manner. 
   This Sunday, I am not focusing on any one Psalm in particular, but I want to talk about lament;
types of lament, the components, role, and necessity of it in our relationship with God and our
worship of him. Feel free to bring the burdens that are weighing you down—perhaps holding
you back from genuine worship—as we learn to lament together.
See you Sunday,
Jennifer Loewen
June 17, 2021
   When I was asked to share for Ron this Sunday, I saw it was Father’s Day and thought I’d do
a Psalm on fathers. Seemed appropriate. So I googled ‘psalms with fathers’. It came up Psalm
103 so I told him I’d be preaching on Psalm 103. Perfect.
   Then I read it. It’s funny how God works because even though there is a verse about fathers in
that psalm, the rest has precious little to do with actual dads. The neat thing is that when I went
through the psalm, it spoke to me about things I’d been mulling over for quite some time. So as
you read through Psalm 103 in preparation for Sunday, what do you think I’ve been thinking about
that this psalm speaks to? 
See you Sunday,
Dion Walker
June 10, 2021
   Peter ended Chapter 1 by affirming the validity of the Old Testament prophesies about the
Messiah. In Chapter 2 Peter warns about false teachers.
   Peter acknowledges that false prophets have always plagued Israel, even in the days of
the genuine prophets of God. Men would attempt to mislead God’s people by claiming that
God had given them a message for Israel when He had not. Often, in fact, their false
prophesies would directly contradict the messages of God’s actual prophets.
   Peter reveals that a similar problem was going to happen now for Christians. Rather than
false prophets though, it will be false teachers who will rise up amid the ranks of Christianity
to mislead believers by challenging the authority of Jesus, spreading lies about Christ’s
authority, and twisting the truth.
   Who are these false teachers? They are not strangers who showed up spouting false doctrine
in a full frontal attack against the community of Christians. Instead, they come from within the church. They are sneaky, secretly introducing their destructive lies about the truth. However,
this attack on the truth, Peter states, is not obvious, and warns that the goal of these false
teachers is to convince Christians to join them in denying Jesus.
   Peter urges Christians not to waiver in their beliefs, but to continue to live out what they
know to be true and urges them to live holy and godly lives, and to keep working to grow in
the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Join us on Sunday as Pastor Peter Hay teaches on 2 Peter chapter 2.
June 3, 2021
   Living a life of faith means that we put our faith in the Word of God – more specifically,
the Promises of God.
   Peter was someone who understood what this meant more keenly than anyone else.
He constantly put himself in situations where he needed to know that God was still with
him and that He still loved him, and so he rested his faith on the promises of God, and it
worked. He knew God could be trusted.
   All we need for our life, God has already given us. We are prepared for anything. All
the opportunities, information, relationships have already been given to us through
knowing Him.
   Never let your circumstances dictate to you what you can and can’t do.
   Paul was in prison when he wrote most of the New Testament and the Scripture that
has guided people to salvation and the church to victory for two thousand years.
   John Bunyan wrote the most sold Christian book, ‘Pilgrims Progress’ when he was in
prison for 12 years in Bedford England.
   When Moses had perfect circumstances, he was completely ineffective at delivering
the Hebrew slaves. He tried but failed. But when he had been a shepherd for 40 years
and could barely speak, and was a fugitive from justice in Egypt and an employee of his
father-in-law, it was then that he became the great deliverer of Israel.
   Your circumstances never dictate success or not. Your faith, the fact that God is with
you, and your persistence are what will give you victory.
   Work with what you have.
   ‘Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be
content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all
things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ – Philippians 4:11-13
   ‘The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God.’ 
– Psalm 92:12–13 (NKJV)
   We are often tempted to imagine that if we could be that person, or if we could have
what they’ve got, or if only I was younger or older, or if I go to live in that city, that
everything would work out.
   Our lives are the sum total of what we believe, not where we live, or what possessions
we have.
   God is not looking for how powerful we are, but for how weak we are. He is not looking
for us to have the best, the biggest or the most to be able to do His will. He can do
anything with anyone with whatever they have, if they are simply surrendered to Him.
   Don’t think that you can’t do something big just because it seems your resources are
not enough. A small boy thought his little lunch of three fish and five loaves could feed
25 thousand people, and so did Jesus, but the disciples asked, ‘What is this little lunch
among so many?’ Once that little lunch had been given over to Jesus and then blessed
by Him, it began to multiply miraculously to feed that multitude.
   Samson was trapped one day by a thousand Philistines who surrounded him getting
ready to kill him. He had no weapons. But he saw the jawbone of an ass, so he reached
took what was within his reach and slew those thousand men.
   Whatever you need, if it’s not in your hand, it’s within your reach, it is in your fallow
ground. If you work the ground God has given you it will yield all that you need.
   The promises of God are exceedingly great and precious because they are bigger
than any problem you’ll ever face and they are precious because they’re the only thing
we’ve got, therefore they are the most valuable thing we have within our reach.
Phil Pringle
Founder and Leader of C3 Church Global
Join us on Sunday as Pastor Peter Hay teaches on 2 Peter chapter 1.
May 27, 2021
   The storyline of the book of Hebrews is helping people facing troubling times to know, in their understanding and in their experience, that Jesus really can help them and give them hope so
that they can persevere. Since the primary audience for the sermon that we have as the book
of Hebrews were Jewish, the preacher draws on Israel’s history to show how Jesus is superior
to all that has gone on before them. 
   This Sunday the comparison is between the old covenant and the new covenant. The mediator
of the old was Moses and Jesus is the mediator of the new. The passage is found in Hebrews
chapter 8. Features of the new covenant were foretold by the prophets. Hebrews explains how
they have now come true through Jesus. The benefits for us are significant. We will look at these
as well as the challenges we face that hinder us from making them the reality of our being.
   On a separate topic. My Mom is not doing very well, and some changes are needed in her living situation. My sister has been researching various options. I will be traveling to Ohio, leaving on
Tuesday, to be with my Mom and to work on next steps for her care. Jan will not be able to come
with me as she is restricted from crossing the border into the United States. I hope to be back in
early July.
   This Sunday we can have 75 people in our service so I am looking forward to seeing those of you
who can join us in person. We will continue our live streaming for those you are not able to join in
Grace and peace,
May 20, 2021
The events that took place in a remote area of New Mexico during the predawn hours of
July 16, 1945 forever changed the world. In the early morning darkness, the incredible
power of the atom was unleashed and what had been merely theoretical became reality.
The test was the culmination of three years’ planning and development within the
super-secret Manhattan Project headed by General Leslie R. Groves. Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer directed the scientific team headquartered at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
   Preparations for the test included the building of a steel tower that would suspend the
bomb one hundred feet above ground. Many were apprehensive. There were concerns
that the blast might launch a cataclysmic reaction in the upper atmosphere leading to
world destruction. While some others feared the test would be an outright dud.
   General Farrell, captured the tension in the room prior to the test when he said, “We
were reaching into the unknown and we did not know what might come of it.”
   Finally, the rains that had delayed the test for almost two weeks subsided and in the darkness of that July morning history was made. Click here to watch it on YouTube.
   Can you imagine what it must have been like for the scientists and military personal
as they waited and waited and then the result. A single event unleashed a power that
forever changed the world.
   Sunday is Pentecost. This event took place in Jerusalem. It released a power in the
person of the Holy Spirit that makes the splitting of the atom pale in contrast to its
influence and power. The Holy Spirit was unleashed. The Holy Spirit is active; baptizing
us with power as well as revealing and giving us understanding of the Father and
transforming us into the likeness of the Son. The Holy Spirit is up to a whole lot and we
are the recipients of God’s gift of himself!
Grace and peace,
May 13, 2021

The Tri

Right now, what do you fear? What are you afraid of? If fear was not part of the equation, what would you be willing to do? In other words, is fear holding you back from pursuing a passion, a dream, an adventure, or a significant change in your life? All of us have fears. I have never counted the actual number or personally verified it, but I have heard that the
most frequent topic in the Scriptures is the exhortation to “fear not”! So, why do we fear?
   This Sunday we will be looking at fear as it impacts the Jesus followers who are facing troubling times. The heat is being turned up and people are feeling the pressure. Some
are pulling back while others are bailing out. Fear is a big factor motivating their actions.
The preacher wants the people to take a couple of deep breathes and consider their circumstances in relation to the help and hope Jesus can, will, and desires to provide so
that they do not need to fear. What was helpful for believers in the first century remains relevant for us twenty centuries later. The focus will be Hebrews 2:5-18.
   Looking forward to Sunday. We will be doing communion. We have individualized communion cups with a wafer so that we can participate within the government guidelines.
If you are joining us online, you can stop by the office to pick the communion cups up for yourself and your family. 
Grace and peace,
May 6, 2021

The Tri

   What do you do when you run into hard times or they run into you? Basically, there are two options
with variations within the options. One is some form of retreating, the other is advancing. Retreating
can range from renouncing, giving up, giving in, backing off. Advancing is facing the situation by
pressing in, pursuing, pressing on, pressing ahead. Retreating in the short run is easier while
advancing is harder.
   What do we need, what can help us, when we run into or are hit by the storms of life? I believe
and have found to be helpful, three things: encouragement, a companion to walk with me, and perspective to see beyond the current circumstances.
   We are in week two of looking at a sermon addressed to first century Jewish followers of Messiah.
They are facing troubling times and the preacher is concerned because some, maybe many, are in
some stage of retreat or are thinking about it. The preacher wants them to advance and does so by encouraging them by showing them there is hope, reminding them Jesus is a companion with them,
so they are not alone, and that their current circumstances are not the whole story.
   This first century sermon is as relevant and timely for our day as it was for the believers in the first century. I hope you can join us on Sunday in person or online. Please remember to register if you
desire to join us in person. Also, remember there are two in-person meeting options. See the
description below.
Grace and peace,
April 29, 2021

The Tri

   The aisle in the grocery store that provides the most choice is the cereal aisle.
This is not backed by science, only my observation. There are dozens of choices
from sickeningly sweet to stuff that tastes like tree bark. This Sunday we are
expanding your choices for connecting. With the limitations for worship being
imposed by the provincial government to gatherings of 30 maximum we are
adding a second meeting time. Here is where the choice comes. You will have
three choices:
   1)  Attending the Sunday morning gathering in person at 10:30 am which will
follow our current format.  A children’s program will be offered at this service. It is
important that you advise the office if your child will be attending Children’s Church;
   2)  Watching the 10:30 am service either live-stream or later when it has been
uploaded; or
   3)  Attending the Sunday afternoon service at 5:00 pm.
   The afternoon service, Sunday@5, will be “unplugged, informal, and experimental”! There will be Word and Worship, but we will be engaging them in a variety of ways.
For example, we may draw on contemplative practices, participatory engagement of Scripture, or the use of various liturgies. It will be a communal work in progress. This
will be an opportunity to explore new ways of doing church together in the time of
   This Sunday we launch a sermon series that looks at “Who is Jesus and why does
it matter?” Our source will be a first century sermon that addressed this question. We
know it as the book of Hebrews.
Grace & peace,
April 22, 2021

The Tri

Better Together.
Being the body of Christ
in our church and community
   There are numerous examples and teachings in the New Testament of the fact that
we need each other. We see the imagery in Paul’s description of the “body of Christ.”
All parts are needed, each has a unique role, and each part needs to contribute for the
body’s healthy functioning. We do all this because we are in a real sense “members of
one another.” For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have
the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another (Romans 12:4-5).
   The Scriptures provide guidance on how we are to live out being the body of Christ.
I have not counted them, but some who have report there are 100 places in the New Testament with instructions on how to be in community. These are how we are to (and
how not to) relate to one another. Of the 100 approximately 59 are specifically “one
another” commands. The point is that we have a responsibility to one another and when
we take this responsibility seriously, and practice it, we are better together.
   Given the disruption from COVID-19, and the fallout that has occurred and will continue,
the elders have been discussing ways that we can care for one another. How can we,
Yorkton Alliance Church, prepare and provide ways to serve one another and our region
in the present and the days ahead? One of the objectives for this year as reported in our annual report is: “Developing and launching a Care Ministry which provides opportunities
to use our gifts, talents, and resources for ministry within the local body as well as in our
wider community.” We received input from those attending the annual meeting.
   Our next step is to identify the skills, services and resources within our faith community
that we would be willing to share. This is where we need your help. Here is our “ask.”
Would you please take some time to consider and identify skills, services, and/or resources that you would be willing to make available to others? Here are some examples to prime our thinking:
  • Skills: mechanical, carpentry, computer, homemaking.
  • Services: driving, providing meals, tutoring, visiting, providing childcare.
  • Resources: tools, equipment, space to work, vehicle.
   It may be helpful to take 5 to 10 minutes in quiet and ask the Holy Spirit to bring to mind things you could contribute.
   This will get us started. Then we will enter these into a central data base and when a
need becomes known we can connect the person with the need to the person who can
assist in meeting that need. This will be done through a person who will facilitate the
process. This is in process and we will learn as we go.
   There are going to be challenging days ahead and we will need one another.
   This Sunday Scott Fitzsimmons will be preaching. As we are limited to 30 people, please
be sure and register.
Grace and peace,
April 15, 2021

The Tri

  Women in Leadership

   The conversation continues. Covid-19 has been disruptive on a number of levels. One
of which has been our moving forward in discussing women in leadership. The topic
was brought up at our Annual Meeting in 2020. The Elders felt that we should engage
the topic with the goal of discussing it in community. The first step we took was to read
and discuss various views on the topic. Next, we invited Bernie Van De Walle, our
district superintendent and past professor of church history at Ambrose University, to
make a presentation on Women in Ministry in the Alliance and the opening of the role of
elder to women in the Alliance. He did this for the elders and wives in August 2020.
He repeated the presentation to our church family in November. His presentation
   Bernie encouraged us to look at the passages in the New Testament touching on this
topic. We felt this was good advice. We discussed possibilities for moving forward
and determined we would seek a New Testament scholar to walk us through the
various passages. Dr. Paul Spilsbury a Professor of New Testament and Academic Dean
at Regent College was contacted and he graciously agreed to engage with us on this
topic. Paul is familiar with the C&MA as he began his career at Canadian
Theological Seminary in Regina and then at Ambrose University in Calgary. One of his
books that may be of interest is on the Book of Revelation, The Throne, the Lamb
and the Dragon: A Reader’s Guide to the Book of Revelation (InterVarsity, 2002).
   Dr. Spilsbury will be making a presentation via Zoom on Sunday, April 25th, 2021 
at 2:00 pm. The purpose at this time is to continue the discussion. Our desire is that
through discussion and discernment we can learn and grow together and in a spirit
of unity come to a decision on this topic for our congregation.
   This Sunday we will be hearing from Jennifer. As many of you know she has been
on a long journey of recovering from the car accident in March 2020.
   You probably heard of the recent decision from the provincial government to limit
church gathering to 30 people. Given these new restrictions we will work to return
to two services. However, for this Sunday and next Sunday we will have only one
service. Since we are limited to 30 people, please be sure and register because
there may not be space for people to arrive who are not registered.
   Thanks for your flexibility and your prayers as we navigate in and through these days.
Grace and peace,
April 8, 2021

The Tri


   For over 125 years, Alliance people have been compelled by the goodness of God
and the command of Jesus given through his Great Commission to “go into all the
earth and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). A.B. Simpson said that The Christian
and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) “aims to reach the most neglected fields, to avoid the
beaten tracks of other laborers, to press on to the regions beyond and instead of
building upon another man’s foundation to preach the Gospel where Christ has
not been named.”  
   C&MA sends people to live on mission as International Workers among the
least-reached people groups overseas. Of the more than 1,100 International Workers
from around the globe, about 220 are Canadians who are supported solely by
Canadian Alliance churches. More than 40 per cent of workers are in countries that
closed their doors to traditional missionaries long ago. Each area of the Four S Regions
(Silk RoadCaribbean SunDesert Sand, and Asian Spice) has a broad range of
both physical and spiritual needs that intertwine in the lives of those who live there.
Caribbean Sun – Is the geographic region of Mexico, South America, and Central America. 
Desert Sand – Is the continent of Africa.
Silk Road – is the geographic region of Europe, Russia, Arabian Peninsula, and Central
Asian Spice – is the geographic region of East Asia and Southeast Asia.
   International Workers live in almost every setting imaginable, from rural communities
to high-energy urban streets, in countries that protect freedom of expression and those
that suppress it. They are respectfully immersed in other cultures living, loving, and doing
life with them. When local people become leaders who will disciple more people to follow
Jesus, our workers step aside and look for other corners of the world where God will
use them again.
   Throughout the year, we receive updates from our international workers in the
form of letters, videos, or personal visits. On Sunday we will have an Alliance
International Worker come to speak to our congregation about her work. She ministers
in our Asian Spice region in a restricted country. You are encouraged to come out to hear about her work.
Grace & peace,
April 1, 2021

The Tri

   This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, the pivotal, decisive event on
which the Christian faith rests. The resurrection delivered the decisive victory over the
powers of sin and death. The resurrection dealt, once and for all, with the monumental problem that has plagued humanity since the disobedient acts of Adam and Eve – sin, rebellion against God.
   The resurrection of Jesus is monumental, and its significance is magnified in proportion
to my appreciation and increasing understanding of the extreme measures Jesus was
willing to accept and endure on my behalf because of the depth of his love toward me 
even with his full knowledge of my sin and brokenness.
   On Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus died to fulfill the mission of adopting us as sons and daughters. This was God’s design before the creation of the
world. Jesus died so that we could be included in relationship with the Father, Son and
Holy Spirit.
   Resulting from the resurrection is the birth of the Church, the anointing of the Holy
Spirit, and the launching of the Kingdom in which we get to participate in the process
of God making all things new. All this and more are part of our being blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. All accomplished in the resurrection. Now that is worth celebrating.
   I look forward to celebrating Easter with you on Sunday!
Grace and peace,
March 25, 2021

The Tri

Fifth Sunday in Lent – Palm Sunday

   Many Bible publishers provide brief descriptive headings throughout the text of Scripture. They can be helpful in finding stories. The heading for what we know as Palm Sunday is “The Triumphal Entry!” The songs we often sing on this day reflect a celebratory, festive air. What was so triumphal about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on that Sunday?

   From the crowds’ perspective it was an exciting time with high expectations that Jesus
is arriving to establish his throne. Finally liberation from living under the boot of Rome; the restoration of the Nation of Israel just like the prophets predicted. Let the good times roll!
   What about from Jesus’ point of view? What is happening in Jesus’ mind as he rides on
a donkey into Jerusalem surrounded by this exuberant crowd? I invite you to use your imagination and enter into the story. Picture Jesus, riding on a donkey, approaching Jerusalem, and consider these two questions: “Why was he willing to go through with what
he knew was ahead of him that week?” and “What sustains Jesus as he faces the abuse, rejection, and pain that is coming?”
   I will share some of my thoughts on Sunday. Hope to see you then.
Grace and peace,
March 11, 2021
Fourth Sunday in Lent   
   This Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent. The gospel reading is John 3:14-21. Verse 16
is one of the most familiar and probably most quoted verses in the Bible. “For God so
loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” The next verse is largely unknown. It states, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” If
you are anything like me one thing that comes easily is to be self-condemning; beat
myself up when I sin. What a comforting thing to know that Jesus does not condemn us.
He is very aware of our sin, those things we have done which are wrong and those things
we know we should have done but chose not to do. His mission and ministry are to provide the means and the way for us to experience healing and forgiveness. So, in verses 19-20,
the light that shines on our darkness is not to condemn but to shed light on, to help us
see the futility of our sin and that it leads only to a dead end. Thus, the light is a healing
light and a guiding light.
   As we open ourselves to Jesus, the Light of the world, he will gently expose sin in our
lives; not to condemn us but to show us where we are out of alignment with God and his desires for us. We are his beloved sons and daughters! His desire is for us to experience
life at its very best. So, welcome the Light of the world to shine in our hearts.
   I hope you will be able to join us for Worship and the Word this Sunday. Please register
for either the 10:30 am or 5:00 pm service. The 10:30 service will be live streamed.
Grace and peace,
March 4, 2021
Third Sunday in Lent   
   It was almost a year ago that our lives changed. Since the lockdown imposed by the government in mid-March 2020, we have held only 17 in-person services. What wa
thought to be a temporary interruption has turned into a long-term nuisance. We have determined we need to move forward in this restrictive environment and cannot “wait it
out” until restrictions are lifted. Thus, we will press ahead as we are permitted. So, next Sunday 14 March we are returning to in-person services. One at 10:30 am which will be
live streamed and another at 5:00 pm. We will add more services if needed. Please sign
up online or phone the church office to register. We can have up to 30 people per service.
   This Sunday at 2:00 pm we will have our annual meeting. You can join in person by
signing up online or phoning the church office on Friday. We can accommodate 30 people
in person. You can also attend through Zoom by connecting through the link below.
   At the annual meeting the Elders would like to get your input on a ministry initiative we
have been discussing. It involves establishing a means by which we can actively care for
one another in our church community and beyond. We value your ideas and feedback.
   I encourage you to attend the annual meeting in person or via Zoom and please pray for wisdom and discernment as we seek God and join him in ministry in our community. Your participation is desired because we are Better Together!
Grace and peace,
February 25, 2021
Second Sunday of Lent   
   Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Lent. The Gospel reading was on Jesus’ baptism
and temptation in the wilderness. I focused on God’s words spoken when Jesus came
out of the water, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). In
Psalm 25 we read, “All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness.” We
looked at these verses in light of Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. If you
weren’t able to be in church on Sunday you may want to listen to the sermon on our
   This Sunday the Gospel lesson is on the transfiguration of Jesus. Here we find God declaring, “This is my beloved Son, listen to him” (Mark 9:8). I believe there is great significance in this pronouncement. It includes the idea of paying attention and obeying,
but I think there is something more going on in God’s declaration. We will explore this as
it relates to “Why should I listen,” and “How do I listen.”
   The Scripture readings for this Sunday are: Genesis 17:1-7,15-16; Psalm 22:23-31;
Romans 4:13-25 and Mark 9:2-9.
Grace and peace,
February18, 2021
First Sunday of Lent   
   Last evening, we launched our Community Lenten Reading. You are invited to join us
when your schedule permits. Don’t feel that you can’t take part if you are not able to make
it every day. You are welcome any time you can participate. The details are included below.
   This Sunday is the first Sunday of Lent. The Scripture readings are Genesis 9:8-17;
Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22; and Mark 1:9-15.
   Through Lent we will be following Jesus on his earthly ministry. The gospel reading this Sunday includes the baptism of Jesus and his time in the wilderness. Mark covers a lot of ground in a few verses. Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts are much fuller. Several questions come to mind: 1) what’s up with Jesus needing to be baptized; 2) why was he immediately
led out into the wilderness; and 3) how does Jesus’ being tested connect to our being tested?
   As we journey through this Lenten Season, reading and reflecting on the designated Scriptures, we have an opportunity to be intentional about our call to be Christ followers.
This can include a time:
  • of reflection and realignment;
  • to examine what I say are my priorities and what are in fact priorities I my life;
  • to grow in personal freedom, based upon a growing sense of God’s love for us, a clearer vision of who I am, and a deepening desire to be more closely aligned with the heart of Jesus.
   May we be open to all that the Lord desires for us as we seek him in this season.
   Grace and peace,
February 11, 2021
    I woke up Wednesday morning at 4:35 am thinking about our annual meeting. The previous
night was our Elder’s meeting in which we were discussing the annual meeting and in particular
how we could live stream it and still be able for members to vote. We are looking into some
possibilities. We anticipate that the provincial government will continue to extend the current
restrictions past February 19th.
    Here is our thinking at this point. We will have the meeting with 30 people being able to attend
in person (that is the government’s number) and live stream. Registration will be necessary for
those attending in person, in order to comply with the government mandates. There are two
critical votes that will be needed: the election of elders and the adoption of the budget. The report
of the Nominations Committee and the budget are included below. Our challenge is how to conduct
the vote of the members who would be attending online.
    A major topic for presentation and discussion is the development of a Care Ministry. We will
share what we are considering and then invite your ideas and suggestions. Our desire is to be
able to serve our church family and wider community by sharing our skills, talents, and resources.
    COVID-19 has forced many adaptations since the original mandates were declared in March of 2020. For us at Yorkton Alliance Church this has resulted in some significant changes, particularly
for Sundays as well as ministry to children and youth. The Annual Report will reflect these changes.
My report will be longer this year as it will incorporate aspects or other ministries. For example, I will include the worship report and the children
and youth report.
    Click here here to view a copy of the Financial Report and click here to view a copy of the Budget.
    One more item to note. We are moving to resume in-person services beginning the 14th of March.
We will start by offering two services. Again, this is in anticipation of continued government restrictions. Each service will have a maximum capacity of 30 people and registration in advance will be required. Times and days of the services still need to be determined.
    I greatly appreciate your patience and partnership as we navigate these new and changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 which is becoming COVID-20, 21 and hopefully not 22.
Grace and peace,
February 4, 2021
    In 2016 Jan and I took a 6-week journey (it was a sabbatical) in which we traveled from Keene,
New Hampshire to the west coast of Vancouver Island, then south to the Northern California
Redwoods, then east to Rocky Mountain National Park and finally back home to New Hampshire.
It was a journey of over 14,000 km where we visited family and friends along the way and camped
and hiked in a number of beautiful national parks. It took a fair amount of planning, but it made for
a smooth and enjoyable trip.
    Prior planning, whether the journey is long or of a shorter duration, provides a path to follow but
also allows for some adjustments and surprises along the way. On Sunday I will be inviting you on
a journey and it is one in which some prior preparation will enhancethe process. It’s a 40-day journey.
Grace and peace,
January 28, 2021
The Journey of Following Jesus 
    Jan and I are reading a book about a woman’s transformation and healing as she hiked parts
of the 2650 mile (4240 km) Pacific Crest Trail. The trail stretches from the Mexican/California
border to the Washington/Canadian border.
    The book touches me in two ways. One is the stirring to hike in the mountains. I love hiking
in the mountains, particularly the Rocky Mountains with the beauty of the surroundings and the
joy of hiking. A lot of hiking in the mountains is hard work, and utterly exhausting after a long day.
But it is so good!
    The other way the book is resonating with me is the transformation that is taking place in the
woman’s life as she hikes. The hike provided an opportunity and space to battle her demons and
process her life: the wounds, brokenness, pain, consequences of poor choices, and just the dumb
stuff she has done with the knowledge it was dumb. She chose to do the hike knowing she
needed to do something to change the direction or course she was traveling. However, she was
largely unaware and unprepared for what she would encounter physically, emotionally, mentally
and spiritually.
    She began the journey with an idea that it would be helpful to her. She was intentional and
followed up on her intent by making a plan. It is not unusual for the journey we imagine not to be
lived out the way we envisioned. But the beauty is that though it may be more difficult or
challenging than we imagined, it can also be more fulfilling. The journey of following Jesus tends
to unfold in this way. As we journey as followers of Jesus there are times we can give particular
attention to our spiritual formation. Lent provides an opportunity for a 40 day “hike.” There are
some steps we can take in preparation. I will be talking about them in a couple weeks.
    This week we will be hearing from Dion and Machelle Walker. They will be sharing and
providing couples with an opportunity to be intentional regarding their relationship.
Thanks for staying connected on the journey.
Grace and peace,
January 21, 2021
Next Step 
    A component which needs to be built into our ministry process of Connect, Grow, Serve are opportunities to “take a next step” in disciple becoming and disciple making. Here is an opportunity.
The Season of Lent is fast approaching. Lent has been observed in the Church in various ways
from the beginning. Lent is an opportunity to devote 40 days to giving intentional and purposeful
time and attention to what it means to be a follower of Christ. My experience is that when I take this season to heart it makes the celebration of Easter more powerful and meaningful.
    A helpful resource Jan and I have used is Reliving the Passion, by Walter Wangerin, Jr. It is
meditations on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus as recorded in the Gospel of Mark.
I believe the book is out of print but there is a Kindle version available on Amazon. Using a
devotional guide can be a meaningful way of reflection during Lent. There are other resources
you can find online that you could use individually, as a couple, family or join with others by Zoom.
I encourage you to take a step of exploring Lent in this manner.
    As you know Jennifer received a serious concussion in an auto accident with a moose last
March. Currently, she is going through some rehab to try and help. Please be praying for her.
One new development is that Sarah Walker has agreed to help fill the gap by co-ordinating and
facilitating opportunities for our youth, grade 7-12, to Connect. 
    I would welcome the opportunity to visit with you online, or in person at the church. Please
email me at or text 306.620.6047 to arrange a time. Hope to Connect online
this Sunday.
Grace and peace,
January 14, 2021
    At our elders meeting on Tuesday I asked, “Are you reading or pondering anything that is
stretching you, pushing you to look beyond the neat categories that you have constructed,
the box in which you have comfortably placed God? Or something that is helping you go
deeper in your relationship or understanding of God?” I would enjoy hearing your responses
to either of these questions.
    Our topic this Sunday is Grow. Grow implies movement, process, development, change,
maturing. Some definitions include:
    o  to increase by natural development, as any living organism or part by assimilation of
nutriment; increase in size or substance.
    o  to arise or issue as a natural development from an original happening, circumstance,
or source.
    o  to increase gradually in size, amount; become greater or larger; expand.
    There are numerous verses that speak to our growing in our relationships with God, others,
and in self-awareness. For example, “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), “grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2), and “he who began a good work
will bring it to completion” (Philippians 1:6).
    Our growing spiritually does not just happen, it is not accomplished by simply taking a
spiritual growth pill or hooking ourselves up to a spiritual exercise machine while we binge
watch a Netflix series.
    In our ministry process Grow the intent is to provide opportunities and structures to help us
on our journeys of disciple becoming and disciple making. We will need to develop ways that
this can be done in-person and on-line.
    As you likely heard, the provincial government has extended the restrictions on gatherings
for two more weeks. May the peace of the Lord be with you!
Grace and peace,
January 7, 2021
   Our world was changing prior to Covid-19. Change has accelerated as a result of Covid-19
and there will be more changes. The consensus is there will no going back to the “good old days”. 
Even when Covid is behind us a number of the shifts that have taken place will not be undone.
We will live in the world and understand the world differently than we did in January 2020.
    Consider the ways your life has changed, the ways you have adapted, the things you have
had to learn because of the virus? Who would have imagined on-line shopping at Superstore?
Visiting with family and friends over Zoom. Zoom was off most people’s radar 12 months ago.
Now it is used regularly by us old fogies.
    Given our new reality a fundamental question is “How are we going to adapt to change?” In
particular how will we move forward in our ministry and mission as the people of Yorkton
Alliance Church. Just to be clear, Jesus’s disciple becoming, and disciple making mission has
not changed since he gave it 2,000 years ago. He was clear. So, how do we move forward in
2021 and beyond in a world that has shifted. This will be our focus for the next three weeks as
we revisit and review our ministry process: Connect, Grow, Serve.
    Including this in our first gathering of the new year provides an opportunity to reflect on our
journeys and verbalize our declaration of intent to persevere in our pursuit of God. There is
power in making declarations of desire, of intent or commitment, of setting a goal.
   In the midst of change may you experience the peace of God which can calm and comfort
troubled hearts. 
Grace and peace,
December 31, 2020
Christ Follower
    Some of you were wondering who the pianist was in our Christmas Eve Service. His name is
Cody Obst, a friend of Laurel Teichroeb. He was looking for a quality piano  on which to practice
and Laurel connected him with us. It is a pleasure to hear him practice while at work in my office.
Here is a link to his website
    Looking ahead to Sunday. As part of the service, we will have an opportunity to renew
and affirm our desire to be Christ followers. Some faith communities do this annually. In particular,
the Methodists. In 1775, John Wesley introduced a covenant service as an important part of
spiritual life in the Methodist Societies.
    This service was done annually by Methodists for self-examination, reflection, and dedication,
wholly giving up themselves and renewing their covenant with God. Repentance through confession
and commitment was a key focus of the service, demanding humility from those willing to submit themselves to being Christ followers. Here is a link that provides a short introduction to the Methodist Covenant Service
    Including this in our first gathering of the new year provides an opportunity to reflect on our
journeys and verbalize our declaration of intent to persevere in our pursuit of God. There is power
in making declarations of desire, of intent or commitment, of setting a goal. It is not magic. But
stating it sets a course, it orients us in a direction, it stirs something within us.
    Since this is something that may be new for many, I have provided a copy of the service. This
way you can become familiar with it and be better prepared to participate if you so choose. You
can access it by following this link. I believe this can be a meaningful experience for us.
    Thanks for being part of Yorkton Alliance Church. Here is a Celtic blessing as we head
into 2021.
I lay my head to rest,
and in doing so,
lay at your feet
the faces I have seen,
the voices I have heard,
the words I have spoken,
the hands I have shaken,
the service I have given,
the joys I have shared,
the sorrows revealed,
I lay them at your feet,
and in doing so
lay my head to rest.
Grace and peace,
December 23, 2020
   Merry Christmas from Pastor Ron and Jan
    It is with thankfulness and gratitude that Jan and I are part of Yorkton Alliance Church family.
In March 2021 it will be four years. I remember well our arrival with temperatures of -30 degrees.
It was cold outside, but we received a warm welcome. We have been and continue to be
encouraged by your ongoing support in a variety of ways.
    In our 40 years of marriage, we have celebrated Christmas in many different places.
Some of those have been large gatherings of family, others with just a few family
members, and other times absent from family. So, in this year of Covid-19 it will be
without family and even without the opportunity to visit with friends. We realize for
many of you this will be your first Christmas isolated from family.
    Jan and my prayer for you is to be filled with great joy as you celebrate God’s gift of
Emmanuel and that you will experience His power, love and presence in greater depths
in the coming New Year.
    We are truly blessed to be in Yorkton, and we consider it a gift from God. We look
forward to ministry and mission together in the year ahead.
Grace and peace,
Ron & Jan
On Christmas Eve, we will be broadcasting a service of Lessons and Carols. You will be able
to light your own candles, turn down the lights and watch the service. The service will be
available on Youtube at 4:00pm on Thursday, December 24th.
December 17, 2020
   4th Sunday of Advent
    As you likely heard, the Provincial Government has extended and increased some
of the restrictions for gatherings until the middle of January, 2021. Therefore, we will
continue to meet online for another four Sundays. This is certainly an inconvenience.
Likely an even bigger frustration for many is what to do about family gatherings over
the holidays. This may be the first time you will not be able to gather with your extended
family or with multiple families. I have heard a variety of responses as to compliance,
non-compliance, or “creative” compliance to the regulations. The decision for Jan and
me was easy, since we can’t cross the border. However, that is not the case for many
who have family closer to home.
    We are certainly inconvenienced as a result of Covid-19 but let’s not lose heart or perspective. In that regard I make two recommendations. First, take some time to
process your feelings, the disappointments you are experiencing. A question I have
used is, “God, why am I feeling so…” (fill in the sentence with what you are feeling)
and then sit in quiet and listen to what the Spirit may say. It is good to write it down.
Second, I suggest three books to read that can give perspective: The Hiding Place, 
Corrie ten Bloom; The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank; and The Girl in the Green
Sweater: A Life in Holocaust’s Shadow, Krystyna Chiger. There are movies made
from these books, but the books are far better.
    The Scripture reading for Sunday is Luke 1:26-38. In reading the passage there
are three questions that came to my mind which I am working on for Sunday. I invite
you to read the passage and reflect on these questions:
    1)    What does this passage reveal about God,
    2)    What does this passage reveal about Mary,
    3)    What does this passage reveal about Jesus.
    I hope you will be able to join us online this Sunday.
Grace and peace,
December 10, 2020
   3rd Sunday of Advent
    A number of years ago when we were living in Edmonton, I took Jan to the Jubilee Auditorium to hear The Messiah performed by the Richard Eaton Singers and the
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The Messiah was not my cup of tea but I knew Jan
would really enjoy the concert. Just as I was hoping things were wrapping up they had
an intermission and then there was another whole round! I found out later that we didn’t
even hear all of the 52 songs as most performances leave out a few!
    Something happened over the next 30 plus years because now I very much enjoy
listening to The Messiah and am moved when the choir sings the final song “Worthy is
the Lamb” and then the “Amen”.  
    So what made the difference going from indifference to great appreciation of The Messiah? The simple answer is that I took the time to read through the words and saw
how brilliantly Handel wove the story of Jesus from Isaiah’s prophecy of salvation, to His coming, His redemption, Passion, Death and Resurrection, the beginnings of Gospel preaching, God’s ultimate victory, the promise of eternal life, the Day of Judgment, the
final conquest of sin, and the acclamation of the Messiah. It concludes with “Worthy is
the Lamb to receive power blessing and honour” and the seven fold “Amen.” Listening
to the story being sung it is fitting for such an ending—declaring over and over “Amen”
“So be it.”
    It was not until I took the time to reflect on the words and the flow of the story that I
gained a deep appreciation for the power of The Messiah. Advent is a time to reflect
on the significance of what Jesus has done, is doing in our lives and the world, and
what He promises to do when He returns. May the magnitude of God’s love become
more amazing, rich, deep, awesome, heart-felt as we reflect on the lengths Jesus
went to in order to come to earth to show us the Father’s love.
    This is the third Sunday of Advent and the theme is Joy. The texts for this Sunday
are Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; and Luke 3:7-18. 
Grace & peace,
December 3, 2020
   2nd Sunday of Advent
This Sunday is the second Sunday of Advent. Due to an adjustment in the schedule we needed to move the last sermon in our series in Ephesians to the first Sunday of Advent.
So, we will do a little catch-up. Advent is often overlooked. We tend to rush straight into Christmas beginning on Black Friday. In doing this we leap over what I believe is a
significant time in the church year. Here is why.
    In Advent we recognize that all is not what it was designed to be, we see brokenness,
we experience brokenness, we are restless and feel dis-ease within us. In the midst of all
this there is a promise of One who will return to renew, restore, redeem, to put things right.
It is that hope, however faint at times, and that God, however distant He sometimes seems, which sustains us on our journey.
    It is in these times that we are very aware of our need for a Redeemer, One who comforts and heals the brokenness in our lives. It is an ongoing process, and this process continues until He returns. As we experience his healing presence and anticipate his return, we can be encouraged by the prophet’s message, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young” (Isaiah 40:11).
The spirit of Advent is expressed well in the parable of the bridesmaids who are anxiously awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom (Matt 25:1-13). There is profound joy at the Bridegroom’s expected coming. And yet a warning of the need for preparation echoes
through the parable. But even then, the prayer of Advent is still:
Come, O Come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel!
    I would encourage you to read and meditate on the Advent scriptures for this Sunday.
The texts are: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8.
Grace and peace,
November 26, 2020
Ephesians 6:10–20
    As you have likely heard the provincial government has announced new guidelines for churches. These begin tomorrow and go to 17 December 2020. As a result, we will NOT
be having in-person services for the next three Sundays. The Sunday services will be available online at 9:00 am each Sunday.
    Here is the rationale for going online only for the next three Sundays. The government
has restricted the attendance for churches to a maximum of 30 people. Currently we are averaging about 50 people per Sunday. Of that number between 40 – 45% do not register
in advance. This was not a problem since we were able to have a maximum attendance
of 75. However, with the new restrictions we would have to turn people away, not allowing them to enter the building. That would be very unfortunate and undesirable. So, we will be online only for three weeks. Thanks for your grace as we navigate these uncertain days.
    If you missed Bernie’s presentation on Sunday, it is available on YouTube. Here is the link
    This Sunday we will be wrapping up our series in Ephesians. Scott Fitzsimmons will be guiding us through Ephesians 6:10–20, putting on the armor of God.
    The road ahead has curves and twists, but the destination is known, and the way is
secure. Thanks again for being part of Yorkton Alliance Church.
Grace and peace,
November 19, 2020
Devisive Culture
There is so much dividing people these days! Front and centre is Covid-19 with all the
loud disagreeing around ancillary issues including its origin, actual health threat, vaccines, mask wearing, restrictions of all kinds, circuit breakers, social and economic responsibility
of the government and what steps are needed to control its spread. People have taken up sides and seem committed to making their point of view known. There is ranting on
Facebook, name calling, talking past or over those holding opposing views, and reducing complexitiesto sound bites and slogans.
    When was the last time you listened to or were engaged in an actual conversation on a controversial topic? That is when two or more people who hold divergent views discuss
those ideas in an environment where one person speaks while the others listen, ask
clarifying questions in order to make sure they understand the speaker’s position and then share their views. A civil, constructive exchange of ideas.
    I believe one of the Accuser’s most effect weapons is to get people to take sides, defend their position at all costs and in whatever means necessary, and continually talk past the other. What would it look like if grace actually broke out and civility broke in? What if we
took a step toward following the advice credited to Philo of Alexandria, “Be kind, for
everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.” What if we lived in a way that we saw
Christ in everyone?
    What is one step you could take to be a channel for grace to break out in your sphere of relationships?
    Looking forward to Sunday. Our District Superintendent will be preaching in the morning and making a presentation in the afternoon on the history of women in the C&MA and the General Assembly’s opening space for women to be elders. We are working to live stream
the presentation.
Grace and peace,
November 12, 2020
Ephesians 5:15-6:9
    When moving to a new country there are “differences” that are encountered. For
example, moving from the United States I noticed an extra “u” in words like neighbor
and honor; the punctuating of spoken sentences with “eh”; the use of both knife and
fork in eating; or wearing something called a toque; and at least in Saskatchewan,
drivers stopping to allow pedestrians to cross at crosswalks. Being flexible I have
been able to adapt.
    The apostle Paul writes about life changes that goes deeper than mere cultural
differences. He describes a different way of knowing, understanding, and living for
those who are Christ followers. This new way of life draws on the wisdom and life of
Christ as opposed to living apart from and in opposition to Christ. This transition and transformation is challenging as it requires much more than adjustments in spelling or
eating habits.
    This Sunday we will consider how our new life in Christ looks as it relates to various relationships: wife and husband, children and parents, and employee and employers.
This new way for relationships is in sharp contrast to the cultural norms practiced in
their “old way” of living. The passage is Ephesians 5:15-6:9.
    Thanks for staying connected either in person or by live stream. As we are
experiencing increases in Covid-19 cases I encourage you to be diligent in our mask
wearing guidelines.
Grace and peace,
November 5, 2020
Ephesians 4:25 – 5:14
    How are you doing? We are entering the ninth month of Covid-19 with all its ebbs
and flows and there is no end in sight. The economy is teetering, the political unrest is mounting. There is a whole lot of shaking going on and it spills over into relationships
and family life. So, how are you doing? Are you weary, fearful, troubled, sad, empty,
anxious, or generally at a loss? We are experiencing some life storms, and these are battering our lives.
    Although the present storms, many linked to Covid-19, may be unique they are not surprising. Storms in life: difficulties, challenges, sufferings, and hardships are to be expected. They are the training ground for faith development. Jesus shared a way for
us to experience stability in life’s storms. It’s at the end of the Sermon on the Mount
(Matthew 7:24-27). The passage implies that life storms will be our reality. Stability
comes from building our lives on Jesus.
    Paul’s letter to followers of Jesus provides some very practical ways we can build
our lives on Jesus. As I ponder this letter four themes are emerging that help me to
see the dynamics of building our lives on Jesus; or another way of expressing it is the process of our spiritual formation. This Sunday the passage is Ephesians 4:25 – 5:14.
I will be sharing the four themes. Here is a summary idea I see from the letter. Drawing
on Christ, our life-giving and empowering source, as we walk in our broken way, is the
path to our being transformed into the likeness of Christ and experiencing life as he
designed and desires for us.
    There is strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
Grace and peace,
October 29th
Ephesians 4:17-24
    I do not have one particular way of preparing a sermon. As I sat with the text for this
week a variety of thoughts and questions came to mind. This was the starting point for
me. I invite you to read the passage, Ephesians 4:17-24, and then wait in silence and
see what comes to your mind. Here are some things that came to me as I pondered this week’s passage in light of all that we have covered in the previous chapters:
    ·        What would happen or change in my life if I actually believed what God says
about me is really true and I acted in a way that affirmed that truth?
    ·        That the truth is not that I am a wretch, but that I am a loved and redeemed child
of God who has blessed me in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.
    ·        The degree to which I embrace the truth of my identity in Christ is the degree to
which I am alive and free.
    ·        Living into God’s design and desire is a process of transformation, an integration
of revealed truth becoming lived truth!
    ·        The challenge is our internal struggle to break free from the Accuser’s lies and attempts to keep our focus on living from the reference point of the futility of our minds
instead of on the truth that is defined in Christ.
    ·        The Accuser takes what is not true, what is not reality, and tries to convince us
it is in fact true!
    ·        It is the voice in our heads that says: you are not good enough, smart enough,
worthy enough, good looking enough…, God could not possibly be that good (see how
he let you down–again).
    ·        Sin is missing the mark of our design, which is to be whole people in and through Christ.
    ·        I am walking in the futility of my mind when I am looking in the wrong places for
my identity, significance, meaning, purpose, worth, security, value, and love.
    ·        We have it all (Ephesians 1) in Christ. Agree with Jesus. Christ in you is the hope
of glory! Let it out, live it out.
    Random thoughts. What came to your mind?
    It is encouraging to see those who are able to attend in person. I also appreciate those
who watch on-line.
Grace and peace,
October 22nd
Ephesians 4:1-16
    At our last annual meeting a request was made to the Elders to consider the role of women in church leadership. In particular women as Elders. This was in response to The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) at a General Assembly voting to open eldership to women. This
was to be a matter for individual congregations to discern. The Elders have been discussing
this topic for a number of months. As part of the process we have read and discussed various theological views. Some of the resources are listed below. More recently we invited our District Superintendent, Bernie Van De Walle, to present on the history of women in the C&MA and the General Assembly’s opening space to invite women to be Elders. The presentation was informational and did not support or recommended a position for or against women as Elders. The discussion by the Elders, wives and Bernie was open and productive.
    The Elders would like to open the conversation to the congregation. Thus, we have invited Bernie to make a presentation to the congregation on Sunday, November 22nd. Bernie will be sharing his testimony during the morning service and then making the presentation at 1:30 pm. There will be a time for questions and discussion. The purpose of this meeting is informational. Our desire is to discuss, explore, and discern this topic together.
    This Sunday we will continue in our series in Ephesians. Madison is finishing her 10-week summer work program and will be preaching on Ephesians 4:1-16.
Grace and peace.
List of resources:
October 15, 2020
Ephesians 3
    We live in a dualistic world. You can slice it in a variety of ways: us vs. them, haves vs.
have nots, insider vs. outsider. It is lived out in our daily experiences. We separate
ourselves by our political affiliations, religious attachments, etc. and it shows up in many workplaces, pitting management against labour. What is implied, and often explicit, in a dualistic world is that your group, side, or team is correct and the other group, side, or
team is to some degree wrong, or misguided, or worse. Unfortunately, the poster child
for this is the presidential race south of the border. It is difficult to unite two groups
once sides are taken and opposing positions established.
    Paul in his letter, intended for churches in Asia Minor, is speaking primarily to
outsiders, or better, to those who were once outsiders. The Jews were the insiders, God’s chosen people. The Gentiles were the outsiders and they knew it and felt it. Now Paul is
saying that there is no longer any division or separation of insiders and outsiders.
    The two have been united into one. This is no easy feat. How can it be possible?
Consider all that would be necessary to accomplish such a task. Have you ever been an “insider” or an “outsider”? As such think about what it would take, not only to bring the
two together but to actually be reconciled with the side to which you were once in
    The text for Sunday is Ephesians chapter 3. I encourage you to review chapter 2 as it provides context for the mystery Paul reveals in chapter 3.
    Don’t forget that you need to register for Sunday. You can call the office, email, or
register on-line. Thanks for your willingness to abide by the provincial government’s guidelines.
Grace and peace,