About Us

A Centering Place

St. Columba by-the-Lake Presbyterian Church is a dynamic community of people seeking to live and explore faith in the midst of the challenges of today, where everyone has the opportunity to discover their spiritual centre.
The people of St. Columba come from many different faith and cultural backgrounds. We are a congregation committed to growing in faith through a contemporary and relevant interpretation of Christian tradition and scripture. We understand that while each of our faith journeys is unique, we all travel a common road.
Our worship is a celebration of faith and community that is as inclusive for kids as it is to adults. We appreciate a contemporary view of scripture, heart lifting music, and stimulating preaching.
We value being active in issues both locally and globally, partnering with a variety of organizations and faith groups.
Located in Pointe-Claire, our building is a centre for many different groups including music teachers, dancers, a preschool, the West Island Women’s Centre, a work place for intellectually challenged adults and much more. We are committed to opening our doors to serve our community and beyond.
Join us for worship on Sundays at 10h00.
For directions to St Columba click here.

Congregational Purpose

Our Congregational Purpose is taken from Isaiah 61, used by Jesus as his own call to Ministry. We continue to be challenged by its implications for our own life:
God’s spirit has anointed us.
We have been sent to proclaim good news to the poor,
to release the prisoners, to restore sight to the blind, to free the oppressed,
to announce the year of Jubilee.

Who We Are

St. Columba by-the-Lake is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Canada and was established in Pointe-Claire in 1953. We are the third largest Presbyterian congregation on the island of Montreal with about 160 active members. We are diverse in background, belief, age and interest.
We are focused on serving the needs of our local and global community. Our building is a centre for community groups, providing affordable meeting space and rehearsal space for musicians. Some groups such as Extra Hands, a program for intellectually challenged adults, make use of our space every day to provide stimulating group activities.
We also look beyond our borders, supporting initiatives in the Developing World through Presbyterian World Service and Development (PWS&D). We are committed to raising funds and awareness to help support communities in crisis around the world.

Our Values

Over the years, we have come to realize certain core values of the congregation.
St. Columbans tend to value highly:

  • the search to understand the meaning of faith in our present context;
  • openness and the encouragement to ask questions;
  • inclusiveness and acceptance of the reality of diversity;
  • social action & outreach;
  • co-operation with others, including other congregations and faiths;
  • the creativity and productivity that can result from team ministry, in many forms;
  • worship that is meaningful for everyone, and innovative in style;
  • preaching that challenges us to think hard about faith and life;
  • variety and high quality in music;
  • experimentation and risk taking;
  • undertaking specific well defined projects;
  • asking for focused short-term commitments of people’s time;
  • questioning the status quo;
  • operating with a minimal amount of hierarchy or formal structure.

Characteristics of our Ministry

Two qualities that best characterize ministry at St. Columba are creativity and the pursuit of excellence.

Imagine a congregation that:

  • organizes worship on the theme “Uploading to the jPod” based on people’s suggestions of what they think Jesus should listen to in order to understand the human condition today
  • holds a blues concert at a local nightclub in support of those battling the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa
  • uses seasonal themes borrowed from titles of popular movies, songs and books
  • develops a retail fair trade store as a way of being present in our community and helping the disadvantaged in the world
  • pioneers using food as a vehicle for ministry in our community

St. Columba strives to be innovative in our programming and worship, recognizing the value of what works, while also embracing ideas that create meaningful connections and help us see the world in a fresh new way.
Pursuing Excellence
Visitors to St. Columba are often struck by the superb quality of:

  • inspirational, eclectic, cool and thought-provoking preaching;
  • engaging, relevant, challenging and uplifting kids’ programming;
  • fun, creative, active and contemporary outreach projects;
  • ambitious and courageous local and global mission projects.

We believe that God deserves our best. We pursue excellence in everything that we do.

Our Staff

Rev. Lara Scholey grew up in Brampton, ON and has served Presbyterian churches in Rockwood/Eden Mills (near Guelph, ON), Purcellville, VA (PCUSA), and in Scotsburn/West Branch, NS for 16 years. She is married to Carl Adams, a physicist, and they have 3 children (triplets): Matthew, Isaac and Charlotte. Lara is excited to live in Pointe Claire and is glad to be working with others to lead creative worship, offer teaching and pastoral support, reach out to the community, and share God’s love. Lara has a BSc in Psychology from Queen’s University and an MDiv from Knox College, University of Toronto.
Laura Downey is a gracious and generous member of St. Columba, who manages many of the small details that help keep us connected and operating smoothly. Michael McAuley grew up in the congregation and has been Music Director since 1990. Nadia Prevost is the creative and innovative coordinator of our many Food Ministry programs.
Our kid’s program, the Absolutely Awesome Adventure Centre, is also in transition. If you are interested in helping us grow this program, please contact us.
Come and experience the St. Columba difference!