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.
Here is the You Tube link for worship. It will be live after 8:00 pm this evening.
Here is the Zoom link for Worship on Sunday morning.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 896 7986 5133
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+1 647 558 0588 Canada
Meeting ID: 896 7986 5133
Hope to see you tomorrow,
Here is today’s spiritual Practice.
Wednesday, June 23rd
Scripture: Mark 6:45-52
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat
and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida,
while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them,
he went up on the mountain to pray.
When evening came, the boat was out on the lake,
and he was alone on the land.
When he saw that they were straining at the oars
against an adverse wind, he came towards them
early in the morning, walking on the lake.
He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him
walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost
and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified.
But immediately he spoke to them and said,
‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’
Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased.
And they were utterly astounded,
for they did not understand about the loaves,
but their hearts were hardened.
Hymn to Accompany Scripture
VU 659 Eternal Father, Strong to Save
When has my heart been hardened, O Christ,
to the wonders you have done
and are doing in my life?
Show me these things and help me understand.
(Reflection on scripture and life)
Fill me with wonder, O Christ,
as I take heart and rest unafraid in your love.
(Resting in Jesus)
I thank you, Loving Saviour,
that you are always speaking peace to my fear…
Help me to hear your voice.
I pray that my church will hear your voice
and not be afraid of envisioning a new future
in these stormy times…
I pray that those in my family may face
the storms of life with courage, faith, and hope…
Speak peace, O Christ, to the troubled places of the world…
to those who are sick or living with chronic pain…
to the dying…
All these prayers I ask in your strong and holy name
and I pray in the words you taught:
Peace in the storm,
light in the darkness,
bread for the journey,
today and every day
through Christ, with Christ and in Christ.
Be safe, Keep well. Stay connected. Give thanks we’ll be together soon.
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.