Pastor Cliff and Marian Rummenie

After almost 19 years of faithful service as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Midland, Ontario, Cliff Rummenie has retired. He and his wife Marian have been beloved servant-leaders who have invested in relationships and helped people to grow in their knowledge of Scripture, as well as their understanding of Jesus’s love for them.

In Cliff, our church has been blessed to have a pastor who was not only dedicated to teaching and motivating us, but also sharing how the Bible applies to our everyday lives.

When the Covid pandemic in 2020 led public health officials to prohibit gatherings inside church buildings, Cliff continued to minister to the congregation by offering Sunday services via Zoom and also producing online videos that shared Spiritual truths. Often the setting for these videos was a favourite outdoor location in which Cliff might be seated at a park bench or even in a canoe. The videos are still available on YouTube.

In warmer weather, Cliff, Marian, and the worship team led Sunday services outside on the lawn behind our church. And as was normal for our church, anyone from the wider community was welcome to join in.

“Building relationships has been very meaningful for us, so that’s something we will really miss about this church,” said Cliff, who first entered the pastorate in 1986 and moved his family to Midland in 2003 to begin serving at our church. When he and Marian arrived from Meaford, Ontario, their three children were 19, 18, and 16 years old. Today Cliff and Marian have six grandchildren.

On Sunday, December 19, 2021, it was heart-warming for the congregation to see their children and grandchildren gather at the front of the sanctuary to light our Fourth Advent candle and later that afternoon join in a small celebration held to thank them for their years of service.

Throughout her years at Calvary, Marian, who has loved singing since childhood, has blessed us with her beautiful, clear soprano voice as a soloist and member of the worship trio and choir.

“One thing I’m so thankful for about this church is that people were always so accepting of me just as I am, and I never felt pressure to be something I’m not,” Marian shared. “People never minded if I got up and sang a song and made a mistake, and typically I make one every time I sing. Mostly, though, I liked to serve in the background as much as possible.”

In recent years, Marian learned to play the violin, flute, and pan flute, and was always grateful for the loving instruction she could receive from experienced musicians in our congregation. We all loved how her flute playing enhanced our choir’s Christmas and Easter cantatas.

We are thankful to Marian for serving our church in many different capacities over the years: from Christian education, to mission and outreach, youth groups, women’s ministry, Alpha, Vacation Bible School, and even building maintenance and garden upkeep. With her help, the congregation partnered in ministry with such local organizations as the Huronia Pregnancy Resource Centre, the Guesthouse Shelter, the Salvation Army food drive, and Samaritan’s Purse Christmas shoeboxes.

And even as Cliff winds down his ministry at Calvary, he plans to continue serving as a spiritual services provider at the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in nearby Penetanguishene and also as the Chaplain/Padre of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 80.

In 2022, Cliff is looking forward to participating in a short-term mission overseas. He and Marian also hope to be able to vacation with a trailer within Canada once public health restrictions are lifted. Cliff would like to spend more time hiking, kayaking, and birding, while Marian likes the idea of having time to visit the different churches where old friends and family worship.

Enjoy your retirement, Cliff and Marian! And thank you from all of us at Calvary Baptist Church.