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 a spiritual practice for today.
Sunday, August 9th
You are here.
I take heart.
Scripture: Matthew 14:22-33
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat
and go on ahead to the other side,
while he dismissed the crowds.
And after he had dismissed the crowds,
he went up the mountain by himself to pray.
When evening came, he was there alone,
but by this time the boat, battered by the waves,
was far from the land, for the wind was against them.
And early in the morning he came walking
towards them on the lake.
But when the disciples saw him walking on the lake,
they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’
And they cried out in fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said,
‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’
Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you,
command me to come to you on the water.’
He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat,
started walking on the water, and came towards Jesus.
But when he noticed the strong wind,
he became frightened, and beginning to sink,
he cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
Jesus immediately reached out his hand
and caught him, saying to him,
‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’
When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
And those in the boat worshipped him, saying,
‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
Hymn to Accompany Scripture
MV 138 My Love Colours Outside the Lines
In the storms of my life, Lord Jesus,
you come walking to me,
and I take heart.
Be with me now as I rest in your presence.
(Resting in Jesus)
With all the evidence of your power and love,
why should I doubt you?
Yet at times, I have.
Strengthen my faith;
deepen my trust;
enable me to live with courage and hope.
be with all who are sailing through storms –
those living with chronic pain…
those dealing with cancer and its treatment…
those struggling to feed their families…
all who suffer systemic racism…
places of violence and strife…
the people of Lebanon…
the victims of the tornado in Manitoba…
Enable all whom I love
to see you walking toward them,
and to take heart.
Lord Jesus, hear the concerns
that I bring to you today…
(Prayers of the heart)
Enable me, O Christ, in some way
to be the answer to these prayers
for I ask it in your strong and holy name,
and I pray your prayer:
In the calm of prayer – Christ,
in the storms of life – Christ,
in the winds of change – Christ,
to hold me fast and give me faith –
today and always.
Be safe. Keep well. Stay connected.
Blessings 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.