White Oaks United Church Update – COVID-19
ALL ACTIVITIES AT OUR CHURCH WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
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
We thought it important to connect with you all again prior to the summer break. Back when previous communication was prepared we were hopeful that we might be able to meet in person sooner. However, it looks like we are going to have to wait a while longer. We have just a few more virtual Sunday services with Rev. Anne before she takes a well-deserved break. The Worship Team has arranged 4 outdoor services over the summer and more information is provided below.
We have been really blessed that Rev. Anne and the Worship Team has provided us with such excellent services over the last 15 months. Carol and Laurie will be involved in the summer services, but hopefully everyone can find time to relax and recharge. We hope to have some form of indoor services in the fall while also possibly providing the services virtually too. The actual timing will of course depend on how things transpire over the next few months
Currently the Search Committee is working diligently on finding a new minister and it will be a difficult task to fill the position given numerous circumstances. We ask that you all keep the committee members and the work they are doing in your prayers as they work through the process.
On May 30th after Sunday service the Future Planning Group provided an update on the work they have done to date with regards to the development of our church property. It was reassuring to see so many people connect in and show interest in this important time in our church life. It is exciting and also a bit concerning too, but without a daring approach it would be very difficult for our congregation to continue in its present form for much longer. The remaining 5 members of the Future Planning Group have offered to take on the role of members of the Development Committee and will liaise with the United Property Resource Corporation as we move through the next phase of the work. Your prayers for the committee and the work they are doing will be most helpful.
Most of you have been shocked and saddened by the events surrounding the residential schools and the intentional attack on the Muslim family. We are showing our support in a number of ways. We are using our sign at the church and have sent a letter of support to the Muslim community and there are opportunities to take part by placing chalk hearts, attending organized events, vigils etc. and of course pray for all involved.
Finally, it really has been a testament to the strength and loyalty of our congregation that we have stayed in touch with one another and also supported the church financially through this rather rough period in all of our lives and for that we are most grateful. Hopefully as we move through the summer and more vaccines roll out and we remain diligent in our efforts to stay safe, brighter times will be ahead and we will all get back at least close to normal.
Yours in Christ,
Dave Thompson, Chair of Council and John Schulze, Vice Chair of Council
Planning is underway for four OUTDOOR services to be held this summer. The dates will be July 11 (guest speaker Pam Cullen from London Community Chaplaincy), July 25 (guest speaker Helen Keenliside), August 15 and 29th (guest speaker Chris Mortlock). We will worship socially distanced and MASKED, on the west lawn and parking lot. Singing will be allowed. There is one shade tree and we are encouraging folks with shade shelters to perhaps lend them to us for these services. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs (or chairs can be provided by church) and dress according to weather conditions. The church will be open and available for washroom access.
The song I chose to do this week is another old favourite that takes me back to camp days . . . and I feel like I have been singing this song forever!
Praying for all those who are battling raging fires right now, of any kind . . . we are under hazy skies tonight from fires burning in Northern Ontario – the sun and moon were both orange!
Enjoy and be safe and blessed, always!
Here is the spiritual practice for today.
Thursday, July 29th
Scripture: Isaiah 25:6-10
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him,
so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.
The Moabites shall be trodden down in their place
as straw is trodden down in a dung-pit.
Hymn to Accompany Scripture
VU 704 God Give Us Life
Holy One, destroy once and for all
the shroud which Covid has cast over the world.
May all be vaccinated as rich nations share with the poor…
May health care workers be relieved of stress…
May the fatigue pressing us down be lifted…
Holy One, I rejoice in the abundance of your love..
the grace of your presence…
the feast which you set for all people…
I long for the day when you will wipe away all tears
and I rejoice in your promise…
I pray for all who are weeping today:
those who grieve…
those who are feeling hopeless…
the families of children who died at residential schools…
all indigenous people who grieve their great losses…
I pray for all who are fighting wildfires…
for Olympic athletes and officials…
for farmers and migrant workers…
make a feast of love for my family…
within my church family…
May the love you have poured out upon us
overflow into the lives of others.
In Jesus’ name and in his words, I pray:
Feasting or fasting,
in joy or in sorrow,
in peace or in pain
the love of God,
Creator, Christ, and Spirit,
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.