Welcome to The Next Chapter, CBOQ’s alumni newsletter!

Whether you’re a retired pastor, the spouse of a retired pastor or if you’re beginning a post-retirement second career, this is a special publication designed to keep you in the loop with what is happening at CBOQ and with each other.

You can subscribe to the digital publication by filling out the form at the bottom of this page, or send an email with the following information:

  • Name
  • Mailing address
  • Birthday, if you’d like us to share it (no year, just month and day)
  • Whether you would like your information to be available to other CBOQ retirees


It is a pleasure to be back with you, especially in these days of physical distancing. A lot has happened since we were last together. We are learning to cope with staying at home much more than usual. We do not have visitors, nor can we visit the way we were accustomed to. Isn’t it good to know that through God’s spirit, we are still close to one another? And isn’t good that we still have the telephone and computer to stay connected with one another?

As you will see in this newsletter, your editor has had to use his imagination and storytelling skills a lot. I seriously need content from you to make this your newsletter. Let me be so bold as to make a request.

Now that we are isolating at home, can you please take a few moments to write something? It can be short or long; it is as you wish. Here are some ideas in case you are not sure what to write about. (I have another suggestion for a column further in this edition.)

  • What is a touching moment of your ministry.
  • What it was like living in the parsonage?
  • What was it like ministering and living in a remote region?
  • What are your interests now that you are retired?
  • What are your favourite hymns or songs and why?
  • What do you miss most about your days as a pastor?
  • How has the church changed since your first started ministering?
  • Do you have a poem or devotional to share?
  • Where are you now living? How do you like it?

I look forward hearing from you! In the meantime, happy reading.


The Saga of Toilet Paper

As you well know, people have been buying toilet paper faster than shelves can be restocked. It is as though toilet paper was an endangered item. It is far from reality.

Patrick Duquette of the Sherbrooke newspaper La Tribune did some research. The paper company Kruger, which has a mill in in the city, produces a third of the toilet paper in Canada. Usually, Kruger produces four million rolls of toilet paper a day. You read correctly, 4,000,000 rolls per day. (That is a yearly output of 1.4 billion rolls a year.)

With the panic buying that has occurred, it has ramped up production. In March, Kruger sent its clients 60 million extra rolls of toilet paper, 30% more than it normally supplies. (Remember, Kruger only supplies 30% of Canada’s toilet paper.) That is a lot of wiping, if I dare say!

While it may look like there is a shortage, there isn’t. Some experts think that what is happening is simple. In the frenzy of panic buying of late February and early March, shelves were depleted. Because toilet paper is bulky, trucks can only carry so much of it at a time. This means shelves can never be fully restocked. As buyers see shelves almost empty, they continue to feel panicked, thus buying more toilet paper than they really need. Some estimate that families have a six-month supply in their basement or closet and yet they keep buying!

So, fear not. Next time you go to the store, you don’t need to buy toilet paper (unless you’re actually running out). There is plenty of it in Canada and it is not about to run out. (Patrick Duquette, « 60 millions de rouleaux, » La Tribune.ca, 31 Mars 2020)


Marc and his wife, Janice, at a favourite seaside spot, South Shore of Nova Scotia.

I recently heard from Katherine Hawley Hunt. She has had some health issues such as a diminishing eyesight. However, having celebrated a birthday on February 3rd her heart remains grateful. She has family living nearby her residence and has continued to attend McPhail Baptist Church with her son. As she wrote, “I thank God for his goodness.”

Calling for Your Stories

I was inspired by the editorial of the April edition of Good Times Magazine. (The magazine is labelled as Canada’s Magazine for Successful Retirement. I highly recommend it for its content.) The editor answered a frequently asked question. Why is there a travel section in the magazine, knowing that so few people could ever go to those places? I liked his reply. “We publish travel articles to take you away to somewhere you would like to explore, and perhaps it means more if it’s somewhere you’re not likely to get to.”

I would like to have travel stories – your stories in the newsletter. I know that in your lifetime, you have all been somewhere. The stories don’t have to be long. Just write a few words about where you have been and your impressions. Feel free to send some pictures too.

Contact: Marc Potvin

or mail to:
5 International Bv,
Etobicoke, ON  M9W 6H3


I used to jump out of aircraft. I know it sounds crazy, but as I was a military chaplain, I needed to follow the soldiers under my pastoral care! I learned a set of important words— commands—really, that continue to inspire me when I face the great unknowns of life.

Look this Way

These sets of words are given in the minutes that precede the jump. It all begins with “Look this way!” The seated soldiers turn their eyes and attention to the rear of the aircraft knowing the important pre-jump sequence is starting.  

Isn’t wonderful to know that we can turn our eyes to Jesus? We are not facing this crisis alone. He knows how to guide us through these uncertain and challenging times.

Seat Belts Off!

At this point, as the seatbelts are unbuckled and carefully put aside, the adrenaline begins to flow abundantly. The reality of leaving the safety of the plane sets in.

Many times, God called his people to not fear but to be courageous. Are we confident that he is with us in this pandemic and that we are safe in his care?

Get Ready!

At this point, everyone is on the edge of their seats, ready for what is to come.

Jesus frequently mentioned the importance of living by faith. Is there anything in our lives that could impede our readiness to fully trust Jesus?

Stand Up!

Now everyone is on their feet, swaying with the movements of the plane, anticipating the next command.

As followers of Jesus, we are indeed called to stand with him. Are we willing to go into the unknown, relying on his presence?

Hook Up!

Clicks are heard throughout the plane as soldiers hook their parachute static lines on the cable above them.

Jesus promised all believers that his Spirit would be within them. As people connected to Jesus by his Spirit, are we attuned to his voice and presence?

Check Static Line!

At this point, jumpers tug on the cable and slide their static line to the person behind to verify that the line is indeed hooked as it should be.

Jesus mentioned that we are the branches of the vine and He is the trunk. How often do we check our soul to verify that we are indeed connected to Jesus, listening to His voice and not our own? Do we allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us through others to ensure that what we are listening to is indeed God’s voice?

Check Your Equipment!

Helmets, straps, harnesses, and other equipment are checked to ensure everything is tied and tight. Loose equipment is dangerous!

When Jesus sent the apostles on their journey, he warned them not to be overburdened with luggage. What baggage are we carrying in our hearts, souls, and minds that may affect our faith and relationship with God and others?

Sound Off Equipment Check!

One by one starting at the end of the line, soldiers tap the one in front to say that he or she is ready to go.

The apostle Paul was not ashamed of his faith in Christ. He showed his willingness to go even to the ends of the earth for his Saviour. Is there anything that keeps us from fully going anywhere with him and facing together what may come our way?

Stand By!

The first soldier in line takes position in front of the open door, the ground some 2000 feet or so below. At this point, there is no return. Each jumper is alone with his or her thoughts. It is both a long and a short wait.

Jesus said that he would be with us until the ends of time. As we stand by the unknown of COVID-19, we can trust that Jesus will really guard our hearts and souls.


One by one, in quick succession, soldiers throw themselves out into the void. In a matter of seconds, the aircraft is empty, except for the aircrew. Suddenly, the noise of the whistling wind and engines gives way to the silence of open sky under a fully deployed canopy. It is truly a resurrection feeling!

We all know the feelings associated with being on a mountaintop with God. We feel alive through the power of God. Recalling those moments helps in times like these. Remember, God is the same today as before. He is still in control, and he continues to be present with us. nothing and no one can take away his love for us. His grace is securely attached to us, even as we have stepped out into the unknown.

Now that you have read the full article, go back and re-read the bullet points. Then spend a few moments with God. Talk to him about any concerns the question may have raised. Trust that he will hear and answer you.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:38-39

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