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
Dear White Oaks Church Family
We thought it prudent to provide you with some information and reasoning on why the decision was made to keep our church closed until September. To be honest many of us were quite surprised at the recent government announcement to allow church services to take place and it seems that many other churches and denominations were as well. This decision was made by our Church Council in consultation with the Worship Committee and our minister, Rev. Anne.
We all yearn to be back together worshipping. However, after looking at all of the factors that could impact a quick reopening of the church, it was decided that a prudent and planned approach would be best for our congregation given our demographics and potential risk. It also looks like this type of approach is being taken by many of the churches and denominations in our area.
We had just recently started to put together guidelines that would allow the church to open at some point and it became quite obvious that this will not be easy no matter when it occurs. The first and most important priority is that when we do open, we ensure that we provide the safest environment possible for all of us. To do this will mean a different worship experience and we will continue to work on the guidelines to ensure we are as prepared as possible. We will also watch how things unfold as other places of worship start to open and, of course, follow the advice of the central church and government.
For the remainder of June Rev. Anne and the Worship Team will continue to provide our weekly services as they have while we have been closed. In July and August when Rev. Anne is away the Worship Team will provide information and links to other church services and worship events that you can join or watch. Pastoral support, if it is required, will also be available and Rev. Anne will continue to provide the “Spiritual Practice” each day. The church will also continue be open on Thursdays from 10 AM to Noon during the summer for offering donations.
We know that it has been difficult for so many of you as we navigate all of the changes in our lives and that many had hoped that Sunday worship could have started sooner. However, it is better for all of us that when we do reopen it is done in the best way possible. More information will follow as things get put in place and the reopening date gets closer. In the meantime, our prayers are with you all and we hope you all stay strong physically, mentally and spiritually as we move forward together in Christ.
Dave Thompson, Chair of Council and John Schulze, Vice Chair of Council
Date June 17, 2020
Here is the link to this week’s story.
Here is the spiritual practice for today.
Monday, July 6th
Scripture: Jeremiah 27:1-11, 16-22
In the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah
son of Josiah of Judah, this word came to
Jeremiah from the Lord. Thus the Lord said to me:
Make yourself a yoke of straps and bars,
and put them on your neck.
Send word to the king of Edom, the king of Moab,
the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre,
and the king of Sidon by the hand of the envoys
who have come to Jerusalem to King Zedekiah of Judah.
Give them this charge for their masters:
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:
This is what you shall say to your masters:
It is I who by my great power
and my outstretched arm have made the earth,
with the people and animals that are on the earth,
and I give it to whomsoever I please.
Now I have given all these lands
into the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon,
my servant, and I have given him
even the wild animals of the field to serve him.
All the nations shall serve him and his son
and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes;
then many nations and great kings
shall make him their slave.
But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this king,
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon,
and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon,
then I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine,
and with pestilence, says the Lord,
until I have completed its destruction by his hand.
You, therefore, must not listen to your prophets,
your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers,
or your sorcerers, who are saying to you,
‘You shall not serve the king of Babylon.’
For they are prophesying a lie to you,
with the result that you will be removed far from your land;
I will drive you out, and you will perish.
But any nation that will bring its neck
under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him,
I will leave on its own land, says the Lord, to till it
and live there.
Then I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying,
Thus says the Lord: Do not listen to the words
of your prophets who are prophesying to you, saying,
‘The vessels of the Lord’s house will soon be brought
back from Babylon’, for they are prophesying a lie to you.
Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon and live.
Why should this city become a desolation?
If indeed they are prophets,
and if the word of the Lord is with them,
then let them intercede with the Lord of hosts,
that the vessels left in the house of the Lord,
in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem
may not go to Babylon.
For thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars,
the sea, the stands, and the rest of the vessels
that are left in this city, which King Nebuchadnezzar
of Babylon did not take away when he took into exile
from Jerusalem to Babylon King Jeconiah
son of Jehoiakim of Judah,
and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem—
thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel,
concerning the vessels left in the house of the Lord,
in the house of the king of Judah, and in Jerusalem:
They shall be carried to Babylon,
and there they shall stay, until the day
when I give attention to them, says the Lord.
Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.
Hymn to Accompany Scripture
VU 688 O Day of God Draw Nigh
God of justice,
it is very hard for me to see defeat in war,
destruction of cities, and exile of peoples
as your judgment upon humanity.
Rather, it is what we bring upon ourselves
when we do not follow your way
of peace and righteousness.
When we go astray, God of restoration,
you send your prophets to call us back
and then you help us to rebuild.
As I reflect on scripture,
help me to apply it to my own life and times.
(Reflection on scripture and life)
Show me, God of love,
how to be part of building a community
and country where there is justice for all.
Show me how to care for those in need,
to comfort the grieving,
to be a companion for the lonely.
God of compassion,
hear my prayers for other concerns
and people who are in my heart today.
I ask all this in the strong name of Jesus
and continue my prayer in the words he taught
On my journey, guidance,
in my life, purpose,
in my relationships, love,
in my heart, peace
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
Be safe. Keep well. Stay connected.
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.