Updates for the Week of April 5, 2020
Greetings New Church! “The church is not empty, the church has been deployed!” Thank you to all those who are leading, helping and supporting. You folks continue to be awesome!
Here are some updates:
Church Closure: The building is closed and our Administrator, Rhonda Robertson is working from home. Rhonda will be retrieving emails remotely.
Phone Tree A team have been phoning the church family this week to check in. If you did not receive a call it may mean we have the wrong phone number for you. Please fill out the Family Information Update (below)
Family Information Update: We are gathering information, direction as to how your information can be used by the church, and an emergency contact (that is not your spouse). Please have one person from your family complete the survey at the link https://www.research.net/r/QVBJDSD
YouTube Channel: To worship, stay connected, and informed. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTt8mmMWmxccUEqh6CDoOxQ?
Zoom: If you haven’t yet figured out how to connect with your friends, committees or to join in a community chat, please contact Larry Hatt and he will help you get connected. Larry’s email is email@example.com and phone is 905-331-6054
Zoom Chats Everyone is invited!
Wednesday morning from 10-11:30 am https://zoom.us/j/897431754 or call in using phone 1 647 374 4685 or 1 647 558 0588 and when prompted use Meeting ID: 897 431 754#
Sunday Church Coffee Time Sunday from 11am – 12:30 https://zoom.us/j/910829350
or call in using phone 1 647 374 4685 or 1 647 558 0588 and when prompted use Meeting ID: 910 829 350#
Grace Notes: Midweek mini reflections on a Psalm posted on our YouTube channel by Thursday just to help keep folks centered.
- Prayer requests– please email prayer requests to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday pm
- Palm Sunday(Apr 5) – Virtual Communion. Flour based food and a fluid of your choosing – variety in elements but united in intent and validity.
- Maunday Thursday(Apr.9) – Virtual Communion & Hand Washing
- Good Friday (Apr 10) – Joint Service with Appleby United Church
- Easter Sunday(Apr 12) – different, but joy-filled and meaningful (we hope)
Please feel free to update Rev Helen with an email or phone call (519-362-0469), especially if you or someone from the church community is struggling or ill.
The People’s Corner
(News about members of Nelson, St. Stephen and Tansley may be emailed or phoned into the church office.)
A number of us prefer to donate by envelope but it does present challenges, to say the least, in these trying times. An option which you might like to consider is to switch to PAR for the duration of the crisis…and then switch back to envelopes once the crisis is over. Switching to PAR is easy, and will involve no personal contact, so social distancing is maintained…and no personal financial information will be sent over the internet. Withdrawals from your account are once a month and normally occur on the 18th. With the loss of our rental income, your continued support is really needed. If interested in this option, please contact John Allchin at email@example.com or at 905-664-5687.
Many thanks to those who have responded in the past week. It is so helpful to our church. PAR donors can also make any changes by contacting John. Thank you.
Many of us have been thinking about our future as Grace United Church and have also be thinking of our past of our church of origin.
But do you know about the history of all of the churches that have come together to form Grace United Church? Take some time to learn about each other’s history by visiting the Church website pages that have been created for each church. Thank you to those who have put these histories together.
Nelson United Church https://tansleychurch.com/nelson-united-church-history/
St. Stephen United Church https://tansleychurch.com/st-stephen-united-church-history/
Tansley United Church https://tansleychurch.com/who-we-are/tansley-history/
We can now start to write the story of Grace United Church.
Supporting Building Community…..
Although our ability to run all of our Outreach programmes for our local community are temporarily suspended, the need of social connections and food still exists. Our work in the community is still needed.
This is what is happening….
We have sent an email out to our Single Moms to connect with them and see how they are doing, provide them some information about accessing food and how to apply for EI benefits. We are also encouraging them to stay in touch with each other as well for support and community. Thanks Rhonda!
Although our cooking sessions for seniors are suspended, we are maintaining contact with them through emails and phone calls. Some are in self-isolation as they had gone to Florida but most are staying at home to minimize external contacts as they are a vulnerable population.
We are currently investigating a digital way to keep connected with this group potentially via a Zoom cooking session. We have conducted a survey and over 50% would like to participate and either have or feel confident they could use Zoom.
Supporting Food Security….
Food for Life
Food for Life has changed the process for food distribution to mitigate risk of viral transmission. Currently they are pre-packaging bags of food at Food for Life and delivering them to the church for distribution. The food is distributed outside of the church building, one at a time. Families are not able to wait inside the church. Approximately 45 families continue to come to our church each Friday morning to get food. Thanks to all the volunteers who have manned this initiative especially in the last few weeks.
We continue to be in close contact with Food for Life so that they can give us a heads up if it looks like the weekly food allocation will not be very robust.
We are the recipients of a donation from Freshco. This week we were able to buy eggs and milk for all our Food for Life families. With their donation, we will be able to supplement them again next week. Thanks to Freshco and Cam Jackson for facilitating.
We will be receiving generous funds from Food Share (United Way donation) to help us support families in the community. We will continue to supplement the FFL bags and also look for families in the community who need some help.
Halton Fresh Food Box
Halton Public Heath has shut down the Halton Fresh Food Box program since assembly of the food boxes put people in too close of a proximity to each other.
Dinner Night Out
The North BurLINKton Dinner Night Out team is continuing to cook casserole type meals to contribute to the Wellington Square led initiative of a take out meal program to help feed our most vulnerable. Right now meals can be picked up on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon-4pm. They also have some capability to do home deliveries. To register to have access to food this way, please send Lisa an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 905-634-1849
Please be aware that Wellington Square is in need of ALL food (perishable and non-perishable), hygiene items, toilet paper, take out containers, ziplock bags and baby products. If you can contribute, food can be dropped off at the back door of Wellington Square United Church, 2121 Caroline St Burlington. You do not need to go inside the church.
Thanks to Kathy Munn who sorted and organized the food pantry as well as to Juan who gave it a deep clean. We will be distributing food from the pantry to supplement the Food for Life bags. We also continue to receive groceries from Food Share which has helped boost our inventory as we may need to rely on this depending on the length of the processes being disrupted due to COVID 19. Thanks to folks in the community who purchased these bags at Freshco!
Requests for household items
As you are self-isolating and physical distancing and perhaps getting to items on your TO DO list including cleaning, please remember that families in our community often are in need of household items – frying pans, linens etc. If you have any items that you no longer need that are in good condition., please put them aside for now and then contact the office when we are able to.