Services at the Church will resume June 21st – A letter from Rev. Ena van Zoeren (click here)

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Salmon Arm, BC


June 9, 2020

Dear People of St. Andrew’s

As promised, I am writing to update you on the decisions made regarding the opening of our building to worship.

We will officially begin worship together on Sunday June 21 at 11:00 am. 

First of all, we want you to know that if you are in anyway uncomfortable, or not feeling ready to come and be physically present in worship we understand.  For that reason, we will continue to post worship on the website so that you are free to attend virtually.  There will be a slight change in the on-line format.  The printed version of the full worship service will be posted for first thing Sunday morning; the video of the sermon will not be posted until after the worship service, so you can look for that to appear early on Sunday afternoon.

For those of you who will be coming to the Sanctuary for worship, the process will be a little different than it has been in the past.  Our “new normal” will be as follows.

You will enter by the door on the ramp side of the building.
You will be greeted by an usher who will invite you to sanitize your hands.
You will sign in with name and phone number.

These steps will be outlined by a poster as you enter.  The poster will also include a reminder that if you desire to participate in singing, that a mask will be mandatory.  (You can take off the mask between hymns, this step has been taken to address the extra droplet spread that singing produces.)

The greeter/usher will then show you to your seat.  We will be filling the sanctuary (with distancing) from the front.  First come first seated.  Seating will begin about 15 minutes prior to the service.  (This will allow adequate time for Living Waters to sanitize the sanctuary and all other touch points before we enter.)

There will be a plate for your offering on a table in the Narthex just before you enter the Sanctuary.  Please deposit it at that time, there will be no collection of the offering during worship.  On the first Sunday of the month the basket for the loonie offering will also be provided on that table, prior to worship.

One thing you will notice is that in the center of every pew there will be a box of Kleenex and an ice-cream pail.  These are provided for your convenience.  However, we do remind you that if you think you may have a cold or other illness to stay home.

Following worship, you will be invited to leave one row at a time, beginning from the back.

If you want to socialize you are encouraged to gather in physically distanced groups in the parking lot, following worship.

We hope this will not be forever, but the plans we have laid out, follow the guidelines of the BC government and the guidelines of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.  As government restrictions loosen the Session will take a careful look at our practices and discern when, if and how to include other things, like coffee hours, and hopefully one day social events like potlucks.  But for now, we recognize that they are not yet available for us and may indeed be realized only in the distant future.

I look forward to continuing to connect with you all, via phone or in person.

Peace and Blessings to all as we navigate this “new normal”.


The Salvation Army Food Bank is in need of some volunteers. Click here for more info

Dear Ministerial Members,

I was wondering if you could circulate this e-mail to the ministerial on behalf of The Salvation Army.

Right now, at the food bank, we need some more people. We have had a skeleton crew who have been faithful, but after 10 weeks, they are tired. The three main things we need help with are: 

 – support driving and picking up donations from grocery stores and restaurants in the morning. It starts between 7 and 8. 

– receiving those donations, weighing them and beginning the sorting process. This starts around 7:30

– helping with the donations table. This role has the most exposure as it is handing out food that is just past due or close to it to people that walk up to the door. The table person(s) usually begins at around 8.

 The Lighthouse (food bank) is “open” to the public 9:00-12:00 on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 9:00-2:00 on Tuesday and Thursday.

We also have a daily time of prayer at 8:30.

 Thank you so much for your ongoing support!

 Joel Torrens

June’s Loonie Offering will go to PWS&D Covid 19 Support and Relief (click here for more info)

If you wish to help PWS&D you may send your donations to: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 1981 9th Ave. NE, Salmon Arm BC, V1E 2L2 or e-transfer to or donate directly using the links in the article below. 

Each day we read new information about the spread of COVID-19 around the globe.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has many of us feeling uncertain about the future. What began as a global health crisis has only worsened the inequalities that exist for so many around the world.

Many are already seeing their livelihoods and employment either severely limited or completely lost. Families are worried about meeting their most pressing needs, especially for food. The United Nations is warning of the potential for famine and estimates that the number of people suffering from acute hunger might double in 2020, potentially reaching a quarter of a billion people. As a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, PWS&D will respond to hunger needs as much as we are able.

Through this all, we take comfort in the words of the psalmist, “Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you” (Psalm 30:22). PWS&D is working with our partners to share this love and hope with those we serve.

PWS&D is responding through the ACT Alliance where rapid response projects have started in 14 countriesProjects are initially helping affected people with access to food, sanitation and hygiene, protective equipment and psycho-social support, with a focus on gender justice and the protection of highly vulnerable populations. PWS&D partners in three countries (Afghanistan, Malawi and Ghana) are implementing COVID-19 relief projects through the ACT Alliance.

Adjustments have been made to programs in every country where PWS&D works, repurposing funds for planned activities which are not currently possible. In Malawi, personal protective equipment has been purchased to enable health programs. Food security projects have been modified to ensure people don’t go hungry. Take home packages for students will allow education programs to continue in Afghanistan. Radio messages in Guatemala are raising awareness about the spread of COVID-19. 

Please support this essential work by making a donation today.

A gift of $20 or $50 can provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers or help families put food on their tables when livelihoods are threatened.

Join with us in praying for those who are already so vulnerable, that they won’t experience the worst effects of the pandemic. 

With hope,

Guy Smagghe


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Loonie Offerings Year-to-Date update (click here)

Thank you to all who continue to support our Loonie Offerings even while in isolation. To the end of April there has been $650 donated to the different Loonie offerings. Some of you have been giving directly to the different causes and that is great. In fact $300, of the $650 given to date, was given directly. If you wish what you give directly, to be included in the year-to-date total; you may email me at and I will see that your donation amount is added in. Other than the total givings no other information will be shared. God bless you all for your continued support of the Loonie Offerings.

May’s Loonie Offering – Pregnancy Support (click here)

Traditionally because Mother’s Day comes in May our Loonie Offering has been designated to Pregnancy Support. When the local pregnancy support group ceased operation we shifted our support to the Vernon Live Well Clinic. If you know of anyone needing help or support with their pregnancy please put them in touch with the Vernon Live Well Clinic. To learn more about them I have provided the following link to their website:

The Session would encourage you all to help them out, throughout the month of May even though we do not have the “baby bottles” this year. You can give a number of ways; By cheque or e-transfer to the church (label your gift “Pregnancy Support”). Send your donations to: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 1981 9th Ave. NE, Salmon Arm BC, V1E 2L2 or e-transfer to

Or you can give directly at the following links from the Vernon Live Well Clinic’s web page.

  • DONATE ONLINE through Canada Helps

    Click the button below to make one-time or monthly donations, or memorial gifts online.

    Donate Now Through!


    Call 778 475 6016  If you reach us voice mail, please leave a message with your name and phone number and we will return your call as soon as able.


    Send your donation to: Vernon Live Well Clinic:  3504 30 St Street, Vernon BC V1T 5E8.

  • E-transfer

  • If you’d like to consider becoming a regular monthly Donor, we would be happy to set you up on a pre-authorized debit with your bank. Just give us a call at 778-475-6016 or send an email to


Second Harvest Food Drive, needs help Apr. 28th – May 2nd. (click Here)

NeighbourLink via Second Harvest are conducting a Food Drive this coming week for FIVE days commencing the 28th and running until May 2nd. This “Drop Off” food drive will take place at the following locations:

WalMart 28th, Save-On 29th, No Frills 30th, UPtown Askew’s 1st and DOWNtown Askew’s on the 2nd.

We are looking for volunteers to bring a lawnchair and sit at a social distance next to the Salvation Army (Lighthouse) van in participation of the drop-off. It has been suggested that TWO people be present for 3 hour shifts (10am-1pm and 1pm to 4pm). At the time of this writing, we have ONE person to cover the mornings of the 28th, 29th & 30th……We need one more person for each of these shifts. We also have one person for the afternoon shift on the 1st, so will need one more person for that day.

If you can help please let Don Cann know at 250 832-8220

A congregational letter from Rev. Ena (click here)

Congregational Letter

It has now been a little over a month since we all went into our homes and self-isolated.

A little more than a month, the time has both seemed to speed by and felt like an eternity.

I have been gratified to know from the phone calls that you are all doing well.  You are weathering isolation with grace, and humour and sometimes creativity.  I have heard of a luncheon where the guests were invited to bring their own food, and then asked to sit at one end of a six foot picnic table while the hosts sat at the other end.  I live in a building where we never see each other, so it was nice one day in the grocery store to talk with one of the other residents. 

Then there are all the stories that I am hearing, of the creative ways that you are working together to make worship meaningful to you.  I am grateful to John Hanna who figured out how to put links in so that we could sing the hymns along with music and sometimes even other voices to help us feel connected in worship.  I am also grateful to Don Cann who found out all the information we needed to make sure that we are continuing to give to our community needs.  And to Gloria and Diane and Janet who figured out a couple of ways in which we can give our regular offerings.  It truly takes a community to be a Church and you are proving that we don’t need a building to be that community.

This has been a time for learning for me.  Part of that has come as I have tried to work on being spiritually strong.  I am watching videos of lectures from the Worship Symposium at Calvin College.  I am zooming in every Monday for a discussion time with the Centre for Missional Leadership where we worship, pray and break into small groups.  Then we have a lecture on a pastorally significant topic for being the scattered church and then again into small breakout rooms to talk about how that is working for us in our congregations.   I have so much to share about how you are working as a congregation, from sending letters, to phoning each other, to continuing to plant the garden.  God’s work continues and every time I tell a story about you, I am grateful to be your minister at this time.  So grateful.

As for me, I am learning other things as well.  I have been the Chaplain coordinator at the Hospital since I moved here.  It’s not a big job, just assign the ministers who are signed up to the weeks they are on call and then giving the list to the volunteer coordinator.  Since the hospital has closed those lists have stopped, but I have been asked to work with them on a way of doing Pastoral Care and Death and Dying ministry from a distance.  So I have downloaded and learned how to administer Zoom conversations.  I have learned how to record the meetings, which I can have alone with only me, so that I am playing with how to record the Sermon and John thinks he can post it or embed it in the printed service on the website.  We will see how it goes. I had thought we could use it for meetings but not enough people have the tools or the skills so we will continue as we are.

But if you have a need, or a desire for face to face conversations I am always willing.  Email me at and I will be glad to set up a zoom talk with you.  No need to get your own zoom account you can be a guest on my account.

The scheduled Bible study is finished but I asked the group if they wanted to continue.  I got three votes yes, no votes no and everyone else abstained.  In Presbyterian Polity if you abstain you vote with the majority.  So we will continue starting in mid May.  Between now and then I will come up with an outline.  Then I have a week’s vacation and a week’s study leave booked.  I am no longer going to Ontario, but have cleared with the Presbytery a reading course on Mission.  So that’s what I will do—all  by myself in my shrinking apartment. 

Personally I am well.  Craving human company, but study, work, lectures, blogging and going to zoom meetings are certainly helping. 

I like all of you have been affected by this virus.  My cousin in Penticton had the virus and is now well.  I have another cousin in Abbotsford who is waiting for a kidney transplant and very nervous about going in for dialysis 3 times a week.  Sadly a son of one of my Mom’s second cousin has died of the virus.  We know about this because Tabitha started a face book group for family photos, which has become a way of sharing, but also to get to know relatives in Europe and across Canada.

What am I doing with the time on my hands?  I have tried my hand at oven drying fruit, if I am at home with no where to give the 5-6 hours it takes is really nothing.  The other day I learned about ginger pickled carrots for which I will get the ingredients the next time I leave my bubble and go to the grocery store.

In the meantime you are all in my prayers.  I will continue to reach out to you from time to time, and I am grateful to hear how you use the worship services, and what they mean to you.  We continue to be the church triumphant.  Thanks be to God.  Blessings to you all.   Ena

More ways to Help (click here)

How Can We Help in these uncertain Times?

At St. Andrew’s, the answer to this question has been crafted to fit the circumstances.  Session has stated that the Loonie Offering for APRIL is to go to Second Harvest Food Bank.  With no “collection” possible at the present time, we are encouraging everyone to support this Ministry by simply making a Cash donation through the mail.  Cheques can be mailed to:

Neighbourlink Shuswap

Box 741

Salmon Arm, B.C. V1E 4N8

Please make your cheque payable to Second Harvest Food Bank

Our Church has a long history in Salmon Arm supporting the work of Neighbourlink who, in turn, operate the Second Harvest Food Bank.  Recently, we placed a box in the Narthex for donations of personal hygiene items. Non-perishable food items have also been collected during Communion services as well.  With the current isolation situation, these methods of donation are not possible.  Please consider your support in monetary terms as you feel the Lord’s leading.

Second Harvest continues to operate, and we see the needs increasing as the pandemic progresses.  At this time, with “Social Distancing” measures, the volunteers are preparing hampers in the facility and simply handing them out during their operating hours.  If you are looking for a way to serve this ministry, please call Don Cann to discuss the options.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Neighbourlink Shuswap and the community of Salmon Arm, I will take this opportunity to Thank You for your support.

Options for Church Offerings (click here)

St Andrew’s now has the ability to receive donations by e-transfer. The email address for e-transfers is:

The simplest way to donate to the work of the church on an ongoing basis is to join our PAR (pre-authorized remittance) program; you can do so by talking to Diane Bylsma or Janet Hanna. For more info on PAR (click here)

You may also mail cheques to the Church’s address: 1981 9th Ave. NE, Salmon Arm BC, V1E 2L2 Thank you to our church family for all your support. God bless you as you do what is necessary to stay healthy through this time.