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
I know it was not too long ago that you received the last letter to the congregation. However there are some things that we would like to inform you of and during this time it is always good to get something a bit different to read, especially during these colder days when it is a bit harder to get out. We are all missing human contact and that was quite evident on Thursday as folks were spending time talking together outside the church after picking up their Lenten package even though it was quite chilly.
How blessed we are during these long months to have Rev. Anne as our spiritual leader. The effort she and the worship team have put into keeping us connected and involved has been amazing and I know that at times they must all be feeling the weight of it all. So, on behalf of all of us that are not nearly as talented we graciously thank you folks.
Just like everything else we will not be having our usual annual meeting as we normally would however we will attempt to have a brief meeting on Zoom immediately following the Zoom church service on February 28th. You should have already received the annual report and we will review the report, finances and vote on the new budget at that time.
Some other news to inform you of and that is. Rev. Nancy Waterman has informed the United Church of her planned retirement effective April 21st, 2021. She feels that ministering to White Oaks has been a great blessing in her life and she is thankful for the opportunity to know us. Her and Glenn have sold their home and will be downsizing to a townhome condominium in Byron. She wishes us well and we wish her well in the future. She looks forward to visiting with us when circumstances allow. A retirement celebration is planned for the future. If you would like to contribute to a retirement gift please mark your envelope accordingly.
With Nancy’s retirement, we have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to form a Search Committee, usually a group of approximately seven participants that represent the complete spectrum or our congregation. This committee will be tasked with updating our congregational profile and other documents to declare a vacancy. These will be posted so that applicants can view them and determine their interest in our congregation. We are looking for volunteers for this committee. If you are interested please make it known to Dave Thompson and/or John Schulze. We will try to finalize the group at the Annual Meeting.
In closing we wish you all well. Try to stay connected over the next while and hopefully as the days get a little longer and the cold temperatures are replaced with warmer spring days our spirits will be lifted too.
Yours in Christ,
Dave Thompson, Chair of Council and John Schulze, Vice Chair of Council
Here is the link for the service on You Tube.
Hope to see you tomorrow.
Here is Laurie’s musical gift for this week – with thanks to Mike McAndrew for his helping in editing. Enjoy!
Here is today’s spiritual practice.
Thursday, February 25th,
I seek you.
You find me.
Scripture: Proverbs 30:1-9
The words of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle.
Thus says the man: I am weary, O God,
I am weary, O God. How can I prevail?
Surely I am too stupid to be human;
I do not have human understanding.
I have not learned wisdom,
nor have I knowledge of the holy ones.
Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered the wind in the hollow of the hand?
Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is the person’s name?
And what is the name of the person’s child?
Surely you know!
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Do not add to his words,
or else he will rebuke you, and you will be found a liar.
Two things I ask of you;
do not deny them to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that I need,
or I shall be full, and deny you,
and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’
or I shall be poor, and steal,
and profane the name of my God.
Hymn to Accompany Scripture
VU 287 Wellspring of Wisdom
Like the writer, Holy One, I am weary.
The pandemic is grinding me down.
Give me strength…
Let me sleep well…
Holy One, the writer asks two things of you
before she dies –
and I wonder what two things I would ask of you.
(Reflection on scripture and life)
Lover of my Soul, I take refuge in you;
be my shield and my true wisdom…
Hear my prayers of praise and thanksgiving…
Compassionate One, you hear the cries of people;
your heart is tender toward all who suffer.
Strengthen the weary…
comfort the grieving…
give strength to front line workers…
lift up the fallen…
be a light to those who live with depression…
keep safe all whom I love…
give food to the hungry and shelter to the homeless…
Hear the concerns of my heart…
God known in Jesus, I ask these prayers in his name
and I pray the words he taught:
I weave into my life this day:
the Creator’s light,
the Saviour’s compassion,
the Spirit’s joy
I weave into my life this day
the love of God,
Creator, Christ, and Spirit.
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.