White Oaks United Church Update – COVID-19
Sept 16, 2021 UPDATE ON IN-PERSON WORSHIP
The worship committee is pleased to announce that Council has agreed to the resumption of LIVE, in-person worship, in our sanctuary, effective Sunday Oct 3, 2021. Communion will be celebrated at this service.
As per current public health requirements for indoor gatherings, screening will be in place on entry, masks will be mandatory and social distancing will be practised. Our Council has also passed a motion requiring anyone entering our church building to be double- vaccinated with an approved Covid vaccine. Attendance lists for contact tracing will be maintained and hand sanitizer will be available in multiple locations. Singing continues to be classified as “high risk” so we will encourage humming.
The offering plates will be located at the sanctuary doors. There will be no collection of the offering.
Washrooms will be clean and available for your use, if necessary, and we ask that you read and follow the instructions posted outside the washroom doors.
If you are feeling unwell, have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid, or have travelled outside of the province in the past 14 days, please do not come.
Sunday school will NOT be resuming at this time, as we continue to monitor the return of children to schools. Our Sunday School teachers have been in contact with our families and continue to search for and offer creative and challenging ways to engage our youngest members.
For those who are unable or do not wish to attend in-person, we will be recording the services LIVE on Sundays beginning Oct 3, and posting them on Sunday afternoon. Initially we will be working with the same static recording equipment we have been using, so please have patience as we experiment and move through yet another learning experience in the hope of maximizing the quality of the recorded product. We are also investigating a more professional and complex(!) system that may give us greater flexibility as the Fall progresses. Council will be presented with the details of this option at the October meeting.
Scouting, VON, and AA groups will be returning to share use of our building at this time. They will also be required to follow our mandated policies and to undertake extra vigilant cleaning after each church use. We will not be doing any private rentals until further notice.
Rev. Anne will resume office hours, at the church, the first week of October.
May the grace and peace of Christ be yours in these anxious times.
We are concerned about the effect that social isolation might have on our members and have and continue to put into place measures to help us stay in touch with one another. This includes communication by telephone to check in with one another, and also some form of Sunday worship made available through the internet and/or phone.
We ask you to continue to practice good hygiene such as hand-washing (saying the Lord’s Prayer while you wash gives you the recommended time), coughing into a tissue or the crook of your elbow, and social distancing (1-2 metres) when you are with others.
We also hope that you will continue to hold one another in your prayers and take the initiative to be in contact with each another – especially those who are in self-quarantine or in lock-down at a long-term care facility.
I am holding you in my prayers and sending virtual hugs.
A Letter to the congregation at White Oaks United Church
Dear White Oaks Church Family.
Given that we are reaching the end of the summer, this is usually the time when we try to gear back up for the beginning of a new school year and a return to worship in the fall. However, like much of our lives things are not quite normal. So with that, we thought it best that we provide an update as to what has gone on over the summer and what we might expect in the fall. This summer has been busy for a number of us and it is only appropriate that all of those who have been working on various tasks be thanked for their dedication to our church. You will see below information from numerous committees, all of whom have put in many hours to ensure positive results as we move forward.
From The Worship Committee
After extensive discussion and review of Government, Health Unit and United Church recommendations, the Worship Committee has recommended to council that we continue with outdoor worship on Sept 12th, 19th and 26th. Masking and social distancing will be required. In the case of inclement weather, we will worship indoors, with all health and safety protocols in place.
As the month progresses, we will carefully monitor the Covid 19 trends and hopefully be in a position to make a decision about LIVE INDOOR worship moving forward in October. As well, we will resume the recording and posting of services in October. We continue to investigate alternate technologies that may allow for a more inclusive experience.
As an additional note, Council has adopted a policy requiring complete, double COVID vaccination to attend indoor worship.
From The Ministry and Personnel Committee
Administrative Assistant Recruitment
White Oaks Church council has approved the recruitment of the Admin. assistant role. This is a part-time position with a minimum of 8 hours a week to start, with a possible increase in hours up to a max of 15 per week. A key part of the role is to prepare the weekly service materials and Sunday screens, supporting the minister and music directors. Experience in office admin. is preferred. If you are interested or know of someone who might be interested email email@example.com and a role description will be sent to them. Deadline for applications is Sept. 15.
From The Development Committee
Over the last few months the Development Committee has bee working with The United Property Resource Corporation of the United Church of Canada in moving forward on phase 2 of the development of the church property. We have signed the Letter of Intent (LOI) with UPRC and have also sent this information to Antler River Watershed our Regional Council for approval. UPRC have been working over the summer and we will be meeting with them in September. As things evolve and progress we will keep the congregation informed.
From The Search Committee
White Oaks United Church is very happy to announce that Rev. Michelle Owens will join our Community of Faith as our new Congregational Minister effective January 1, 2022.
Michelle received a BA Degree from Queen’s University in 2002 and a Diaconal Ministries Diploma from the Centre of Christian Studies in Winnipeg in 2007.
Michelle began her career as the Youth Minster at Kincardine United Church from 2002 to 2007 then became the Minister at Atwood Pastoral Charge from 2007 to 2012. She was the Personnel Minister for London Conference from 2012 to 2017 and she is currently the Principal at the Centre for Christian Studies in Winnipeg since 2017.
We feel blessed that she has chosen to share her gifts, experience, energy and creativity with us. We anticipate her arrival with great excitement.
As you can see even though we are unable to function in our normal way we are still making progress towards getting back to a normal church life. Hopefully this will happen soon, however as we all know things are constantly changing, we just have to be patient and adjust as needed
From Dave Thompson, on behalf of Council
Quite a few years ago, I had the privilege to attend a choral camp at Lambton United Church Centre, and the pleasure of singing and learning under the direction of director Stan Kopac for several years. This was one of the pieces we did one year, and it always stuck with me – I had planned at the time to ask his permission to use it with my church, but I didn’t get around to it . . . and he is no longer with us on this earth. So, I dedicate this song in memory of my friend Stan – and will imagine him smiling his approval.
enjoy, and be blessed, always!
Here is today’s spiritual practice.
Monday, October 18th
rule my heart.
Scripture: 1 Samuel 8:1-18
When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel.
The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name
of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beer-sheba.
Yet his sons did not follow in his ways, but turned aside
after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.
Then all the elders of Israel gathered together
and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him,
‘You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways;
appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.’
But the thing displeased Samuel when they said,
‘Give us a king to govern us.’ Samuel prayed to the Lord,
and the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people
in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you,
but they have rejected me from being king over them.
Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them
up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods,
so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice;
only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them
the ways of the king who shall reign over them.’
So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people
who were asking him for a king. He said,
‘These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you:
he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots
and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots;
and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands
and commanders of fifties, and some to plough his ground
and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war
and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters
to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best
of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them
to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain
and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers.
He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your
cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work.
He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves.
And in that day you will cry out because of your king,
whom you have chosen for yourselves;
but the Lord will not answer you in that day.’
Hymn to Accompany Scripture
VU 240 Praise, My Soul, the God of Heaven
Holy God, you are the One true Sovereign
and we humans go awry when we put
someone or something else in your place.
Your prophet Samuel warned of this,
but still the people wanted a king.
Guide me as I think about this story from long ago
and how it might be relevant to me
and to the world today.
(Reflection on scripture and life)
Holy One, I pray for all who rule
that they may do so with justice…
I pray for nations ruled by dictators…
I pray for the leaders of my country…
O Love, I lift into your light
those who grieve…
those who are ill in body, mind or spirit…
other concerns that I carry in my heart…
Use me, O Love, to be your love to others,
for I ask in the strong and holy name of Jesus
and I pray the words he taught his disciples:
flow into my soul.
make me whole
in with and through Christ,
today and every day.
Be kind. Keep connected. Give thanks.
With love and prayers,
Sunday morning worship is at 10:25 where we seek to connect God’s ways with our lives through scripture, music and prayer. Sometimes with presentations of video, drama, and liturgical dance.
Our active Sunday School grows the children of our younger families and teaches the Way of Jesus.
A well-equipped and professionally staffed nursery is available for children age 3 and younger at any point during the worship service.
Refreshments and Fellowship Time follow the Service.