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
Here we are over the six month mark since closing the doors of our church and like many other church families we are all wondering just when things might get back to normal.
Over the summer months Rev. Anne continued to provide her Daily Spiritual Practices and also hosted the Thursday morning virtual coffee hour and beginning in September Rev. Anne will be back with us. I would like to thank Rev. Heather McLean for handling pastoral requests while Rev Anne was away, we are truly blessed having people to step forward when needed. Rev Anne also asked for and received feedback from the congregation as to their willingness to return to some type of physical Sunday Worship. After reviewing the information she received and with consultation with our Worship Team the decision has been made to continue to provided a virtual worship service starting in September. We will continue to monitor the overall situation and only move forward to in person services when all are comfortable in proceeding. This decision was not done lightly and we know that social interaction is lacking in many of our lives. However given all of the factors the safety of all of us has to be paramount.
We also need to thank all of you for continuing to support the church financially over this period. Many of you have gone over and above in your support and it is a testament to how many of you are devoted and connected to White Oaks. Below is an excerpt from an email sent to the church from one of our members.
What I did with my $300.00 from the government
Many charities are suffering in the pandemic. Don Ferguson of CBC Air Farce fame is encouraging seniors who are financially able, to donate their $300 from the government to charity. This $300 one time tax free amount is to cover added expenses we have incurred because of the pandemic. I am financially able to give my $300 to charity. I have personally decided to split the amount with half going to White Oaks United and the other half to the London Community Chaplaincy. Some of my friends have decided to give part of their $300.
You may already know about this. If not, or if you want to know more, go online to seniorsgivingback.org and you will find the information. Please pass on the web site to anyone you know who may be interested in participating. You can also Google Don Ferguson seniors giving back and get additional information.
(And to all those Air Farce fans out there- May the Farce live on!)
In closing I would ask all of you to connect with other members of our church family during this time of being separated. It is amazing the difference a phone call or email can make to others during this time of being apart.
Let us all pray that we can remain well both in body and mind and hopefully we can be together soon.
Yours in Christ,
Dave Thompson, Chair of Council and John Schulze, Vice Chair of Council
DAILY SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
Here is today’s spiritual Practice.
Friday, September 18th
I breathe in peace
I breathe out stress.
Scripture: Romans 14:13-15:2
Let us therefore no longer pass judgement
on one another, but resolve instead never
to put a stumbling-block or hindrance
in the way of another. I know and am persuaded
in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself;
but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.
If your brother or sister is being injured
by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love.
Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one
for whom Christ died. So do not let your good
be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God
is not food and drink but righteousness
and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God
and has human approval. Let us then pursue
what makes for peace and for mutual edification.
Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.
Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you
to make others fall by what you eat;
it is good not to eat meat or drink wine
or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble.
The faith that you have, have as your own conviction
before God. Blessed are those who have no reason
to condemn themselves because of what they approve.
But those who have doubts are condemned
if they eat, because they do not act from faith;
for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
We who are strong ought to put up
with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Each of us must please our neighbour
for the good purpose of building up the neighbour.
Hymn to Accompany Scripture
VU 600 When I Needed a Neighbour
I long, O God,
to pursue what makes for peace,
to walk in love,
to build up my neighbour,
to accept the failings of others, and my own.
Pour out your Spirit upon me
that I may grow in faith and love.
(Resting in God’s transforming love)
I pray for a transformation in our country
in the way people treat one another…
I pray for the people of the United States…
I pray for countries where there is religious
or ethnic conflict…
I pray all nations as we deal with Covid19…
I pray for frontline workers…
I pray for children and teachers back in school…
I pray for people close to my heart…
for issues that I care about…
God of compassion,
use me as you will in the answering of these prayers,
for I pray in the strong and holy name of Jesus
and in his words:
Today and every day,
may I walk in love,
pursue what makes for peace,
build up my neighbour,
accept my own and others’ failings,
and so become a blessing
in Christ, with Christ, and through Christ.
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.