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.
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.
Wednesday, October 27th
Come to my heart,
Scripture: Mark 8:22-26
They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man
to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man
by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had
put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked
him, ‘Can you see anything?’ And the man looked up and said,
‘I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.’
Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again;
and he looked intently and his sight was restored,
and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home,
saying, ‘Do not even go into the village.’
Hymn to Accompany Scripture
VU 326 O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Loving Saviour, I am struck in this passage by the words:
“He looked intently.”
Your hand laid on him, did something inside him
that enabled him to look in a different way.
Then his sight was restored and he saw clearly.
I think, O Saviour, that sometimes
I don’t look intently enough – at people or situations,
and so I don’t see clearly.
Guide me as I think about this in the context of my life.
(Reflection on scripture and life)
Lay your hand on me, O Jesus, on my eyes and on my heart
so that I may look intently and see clearly.
(Time with Jesus)
Holy One, I offer you thanks and praise
for your love and healing power in Jesus,
and for all he has done for me.
(Prayers of thanks and praise)
I pray, O Love, that there will be healing
for all who are blind to the truth…
for all who are blind to the goodness in others…
for all who are blind to the oneness of all people…
for all who are blind to the destruction of creation…
I pray for my family…
for my friends…
for my church family…
for the needs of the world…
for my needs…
Use me, O Christ, to bring healing and hope,
for I ask in your strong and holy name,
and I pray using the words you taught your disciples:
and the lens of love,
that I may see
as I am seen,
as I am loved,
In, with and through Christ.
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.