Updates for the Week of August 9, 2020 Greetings Grace United Church!
Quotes for the Week:
“Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.” -John Lewis in “Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change”
Grace United Church Youtube Channel: Available anytime https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTt8mmMWmxccUEqh6CDoOxQ?
Sunday August 9 Worship at 10 am, Rev. Helen Prior leading
Each Wednesday, Grace Notes mid-week Worship, hosted by Marilyn Stairs
Zoom Get-togethers: see your weekly email for links to these sessions
Sunday After Church Coffee Time August 9, at 11 am
Wednesday Morning Coffee Time August 12, 10 am
If you need help on how to get connected, please contact Larry Hatt at email@example.com or phone 905-331-6054
If you have a prayer request to be included in the Prayers of the People, please forward them to the church office at: firstname.lastname@example.org before Thursday each week.
Message from the Board
It is hard to believe that Rev. Helen has been with us for a full year now.
It certainly has been a year of firsts for all of us. We came together as one church. We officially changed our name. We were starting to embark on a process to examine our future but fate slowed us down. We have had to adjust to virtual church services and zoom meetings. Helen & Barb very quickly adapted to our new reality and led the way for our services that just keep getting better.
We are grateful to have had Helen with us over this last year and know that she will be up for whatever challenge the next year brings.
Happy Anniversary Helen!
Re-entry Committee Survey
Thanks to everyone who completed the Re-entry Committee survey. This will help to inform us on our future decisions. We will be sharing the highlights with the congregation soon.
Challenge to the Congregation
We have all experienced the reality of how church has changed for us and the new ‘normal’ is not something that we ever expected. Changes have been made to how we provide our services and how we conduct our meetings, but it is still a challenge for us all to stay connected. We fully expect that if we can ever return to how things were in the past that it will not be for some time. In the meantime, we need to find new ways to stay connected and keep our church life vibrant. We have challenged the committee chairs to look for new ways to fulfil the mandate of their committees while serving our congregation and the community. Likewise, we would like to challenge all of you to think creatively about how we can continue to stay connected.
Are you interested in starting a current events discussion group? Would you be interested in ‘meeting’ with other folks to exchange recipes or share gardening tips? Would you like to share your interest in photography with others? Would you like to start a virtual bridge group or games group? Feel free to use your imagination and if you have an idea that you would like to explore or if you would like to start an online group, please speak to one of the members of the Board and we will provide whatever support we can to assist you in getting started.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
Grace United Church is blessed to have a Prayer Shawl Ministry. During this pandemic some of you may be feeling in need of comfort and love.
While knit or crocheted, the creator weaves prayers into each and every shawl to give comfort, support and love to those who wear it.
These shawls are free of charge. They are blessed by the Prayer Shawl creators and blessed by the congregation. Please feel free to Contact Marilyn Stairs at email@example.com if you would like a prayer shawl
The People’s Corner (News about members of Grace United Church may be emailed or phoned into the church office.)
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Ross McDonald this week. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Myrna-Gail and family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Please keep Myrna-Gail and family in your thoughts and prayers.
Rev. Helen has returned from vacation. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to contact her.
Summer Office Hours:
The church office will continue to operate remotely and will be open Wednesday and Thursday 9 am to 3 pm until September 7th.
Emails and voice mail will be monitored Monday to Friday for urgent messages. All other messages will be answered during summer office hours.
Please feel free to contact the church office by email or leave us a phone message, especially if you or someone from the church community is struggling or ill.
The September meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday September 23rd at 7 pm. For further information contact Donna Lelievre at email@example.com
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. If anyone has any suggestions on how we could serve our community in response to COVID-19, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whale Cove Community ***NEW INITIATIVE***
We are continuing to collect food items to deliver to St Raphael Catholic Church who has been supporting an Indigenous Peoples Community, Whale Cove for a number of years by shipping containers of supplies to them. We are collecting 3 food items – small or medium sized bags of regular long-grained rice, small blueberry or strawberry jam and small or medium sized canola oil. They need our donations by the end of August. Every Friday during Food for Life (830am-1030am) your donations can be dropped off at Grace United Church. The labeled bin will be available at the top of the ramp by the windows. Just place the donation inside and it will be stored in the church.
This is what is happening locally….
Please let us know if you need a mask by sending an email to email@example.com.
Supporting Building Community…..
Youth Backpacks – School Supplies **LET’S PIVOT!**
We are pivoting from our usual process for our annual backpack program. We will be providing school supplies only (unless a new backpack is needed). We have 91 children currently registered. We are in the process of purchasing school supplies. This year we will be including hand sanitizer in the kits.
Our next session is on Thursday August 6th at 4:00 pm with the theme of sharing a new food/recipe that you have recently made. If anyone would like to participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is always room at the table!
We continue to monitor, stay in contact with and support families in the community who are facing challenges. This includes our single moms, seniors and other vulnerable groups. If anyone is aware of a family in need in our community, please email email@example.com.
Supporting Food Security….
Food for Life
We provide food bags for around 70 families on Friday morning at Grace. We supplement their bags each week with additional pantry items, personal care products or fresh items such as milk, liquid eggs etc.
We continue to offer masks and craft kits to children for whoever needs them as well.
Thanks to community neighbours who buy the Food Share bags at Freshco!
We have donated 300 disposable masks to Wesley Centre. We previously donated 100 cloth non-medical masks.
We applied for and received funding to support our Outreach programming during COVID-19 from the Horseshoe Falls Regional Council Supplementary Grant.
We were also approached to apply for funding from the federal New Horizons Seniors Grant which we have done as well and we are awaiting their decision.
We are also looking at submitting a request for funding from the Ontario Seniors Community Grant Program.
This year the focus is on programming that can be delivered remotely or virtually. Here is the link:
The Outreach Committee would like to hear any ideas from you for programming that could be delivered to seniors (50+) in the community and congregation, especially those who are isolated. Depending upon the ideas, we will also need volunteers to help them.