a pulse doesn’t mean you’re alive
I’m a disciple-in-progress, husband to Laura, dad-of-three, pastor at Westminster Church in Barrie (Canada), author of Turbulence and The Up Daily Devotional, host of The Pulse Podcast, occasional songwriter, campfire lover, aspiring rowboat owner, and servant of the Word.
I was born and raised in Bracebridge, Muskoka. When I was young it was all about hockey. By high school it became all music—and girls.
If you meet me at Tim Horton’s I’ll be the one with the coffee (2 milks) trying to resist the honey cruller. My pet peeves are TVs in restaurants, wet socks, and mosquitoes. I also like Ketchup Chips and cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs. 2021 is the year!
By myself I can’t help myself. Without God I would literally be a sunk wreck. Fortunately, King Jesus has rescued me. Forever. He has given me peace with God and purpose for God.
The Up Devotional
I write The Up Devotional five days a week (Monday-Friday). Think of it as your 1-minute shot of daily soul espresso—biblical and down-to-earth. Can you can learn more or read back issues here, or sign-up with your email address below. You can also find it on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It’s coming soon to wherever you enjoy podcasts.
The devotional is also on the radio across Central Ontario as a part of the Life Radio Network. You can read more about that and listen to a sample here.
In February 2021 I launched The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan. It’s about living abundantly wholeheartedly and includes feature topics, interviews, and biblical studies. Click here to learn more and to find links to wherever you listen to podcasts.
In 2018 I released “Up! – 313 Devotionals To Help You Start Your Day in a Biblical, Relevant Way.” 100% of the profits are being given to Fight4Freedom, an organization devoted to fighting human trafficking in the sex trade. Trafficking is the nightmare that isn’t a dream and is something I’ve been learning more about.
In June 2020 my second book was published: Turbulence: Devotionals To Steady You Through The Storms of Life. Assembled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this book brings together 150 daily devotionals meant to steady you through the storms of this short flight called life.
I like to write. Over the past few years I’ve had a variety of articles published by Faith Today Magazine, The Toronto Star, The Gospel Coalition Canada, These Days Magazine, The Hamilton Spectator, The Presbyterian Record, The Stream, and The Christian Courier. You can link to some here.
Work & Vocation
I’ve worked as a rock musician and released a CD in 2002 with the band Meraudio. During that time I worked for a temporary employment agency doing all sorts of things. I spent time delivering securities certificates in Toronto’s underground pathway, stuffing envelopes, and office managing for a few different PCL construction sites.
I also worked as a political aide at Queen’s Park, Ontario’s provincial legislature.
As mentioned above, I’m called by God to be the pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church. I serve in the Reformed Protestant tradition which has an emphasis on Jesus as Lord, God’s grace, being made right with God through faith alone (not by earning it), the authority of the Bible, simplicity in lifestyle, ethics, the value of learning, shared leadership in the local church, two sacraments (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and doing all things for the glory of God.
Westminster’s vision statement is this: “Alive with the Holy Spirit, Westminster is a Christ-centred, family-friendly church.” It’s great to be a part of this healthy, growing community. There is a great leadership team, and a true desire to know and serve God. Click here to get a weekly Sunday morning email reminder directing you to our live-stream on YouTube.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to help with the community in a variety of ways. I’ve assisted with Out of the Cold Programs and been on visitation teams to some Boarding Homes.
More recently I’ve helped coach little league baseball and house-league hockey, and have been supporting the work of (and raising funds for) the anti-trafficking organization Fight4Freedom.
I did my high school at Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School (1995, honour roll; 1996, Ontario Academic Scholar).
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University (1999, summa cum laude).
I obtained my Master of Divinity degree from Knox College, Toronto, which is a part of the University of Toronto (2008, Gold Medal).
Role in the Wider Church
In addition to pastoring, I’ve served several different roles in the denomination that Westminster is a part of, The Presbyterian Church in Canada. I’ve been a part of the Stewards by Design planning team; I’ve moderated the Presbytery of Barrie two times; I currently chair the Christian Education and Leadership Development Team of the presbytery; I served a six-year term on the national Committee on Church Doctrine; and I’ve created some resources that have been used by the denomination.
In addition to writing articles and content, I’ve also been happy to speak at a variety of workshops and events about modern faith, change in the church, technology and discipleship.
Recently, I’ve created a Church Resources page for pastors and churches with free help and resources, especially for teaching, faith development and online ministry. I also started Belieder (believer + leaders = belieder), a regular email with free content and ideas for leaders in ministry.
- I appeared as an extra in a Nicolas Cage movie when I was about ten (picture below)
- I hold a hockey record for 5 goals in a single game while playing for the Jr ‘C’ Hunstville Huskies. Fun, right?
- I appeared as the guitar player in Deric Ruttan’s hit video “When You Come Around” (he’s my big bro!)
- I performed at the Canadian Music Week festival and two Mariposa Folk Festivals
- I did a 3-song publishing deal with Sony / ATV Tree Music Publishing
- I was awarded “best blog” by the Canadian Church Press in 2015. So encouraging.
- In the winter my skin gets really dry, and I try to work out three times a week — but you should know that I almost never want to.
- in King Jesus and how he is making all things new;
- in prayer and that humans do have wings–they’re called knees;
- that human trafficking is one of the biggest, most urgent problems in our world;
- that the castle of your character is built one brick at a time;
- and that if you have a life-changing faith your faith should be changing your life.
My heroes are Jesus (from Nazareth), my wife (from my life), several of the English puritans, and all the people whose genuine faith is a hope-radiating sign of kingdom come. There was a time when I would have included hockey superstar Wayne Gretzky and delta bluesman Son House on this list.
Favourite Bible Verse
If you want to contact me feel free to:
- Comment on one of these posts
- Email me at matthew [at] matthewruttan [dot] com
- Follow me on Twitter: @MatthewRuttan
- Search for me on Facebook or Instagram
I’ve left a lot of little things out. And a lot of big things too. But there you go.
Matthew Ruttan, VDM