“You are loved” was the message that echoed again and again throughout Markus Lise’s life of ministry. As a pastor, he is remembered for challenging and inspiring congregations to think “outside the box.” Friends, family, and the community of Bond Head on the shores of Lake Ontario, where Lise lived for the last 27 years, will remember his passion for nature, which he shared through hobbies such as astronomy, bird watching, cycling, cross country skiing, and walking. Lise’s love for God and his creation often gave rise to him singing whole-heartedly around the dinner table, in the car, and on his sailboat. Lise died peacefully on March 26.
Born in Groningen, the Netherlands, Lise immigrated with his family to Canada in 1952. After graduation from Calvin College and Seminary, he was ordained in 1970 and pastored the following Canadian churches: Burdett (Alta.) CRC; Holland Marsh CRC, Newmarket, Ont.; Hope Community CRC, Mount Brydges, Ont. After a year of clinical training, he served for 20 years as a chaplain at Whitby (Ont.) Mental Health Centre.
Two years after Lise retired in 2007, he cycled 7,000 kilometers across North America with Sea to Sea, raising money to help eradicate poverty. He continued to engage with his local community, writing a column called “Birds of a Feather” for the Orono Weekly Times and was a member of the Durham Region Field Naturalist Society.
Lise is survived by Jeanne, his wife of almost 55 years; five children and spouses; 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.