Weekly Announcements: April 12, 2020
I’m sending this week’s pastoral letter a few days early to ensure you know about our Holy Week activities.
- 5 Minute Coping Tips. On Monday of Holy Week, I posted a brief video with tips on coping psychologically during the pandemic. The video is posted on our Facebook page (see link below).
- Wednesday Bible Study continues on Zoom at 10:30am. You can join by Zoom or telephone. To participate, see the Zoom and phone info below.
- Memorial Flowers can be left on my porch (79 Laura Lane) with a note with the name of your loved one. You can also email memorial names to Patti (firstname.lastname@example.org) without arranging flowers. Deadline is Wednesday night for inclusion in Easter Sunday video.
- Good Friday worship service will be posted on Facebook and Youtube. The format will be contemplative and focus on the Passion story. To view the video recording on Friday morning, see the Facebook link below.
- The Swell is a regional youth worship service that happens annually on Good Friday @ 7pm. I organize this service with my brother, and this year’s service will be online. I’ll post links to the live stream closer to Friday. Please encourage your teens to check it out.
- On Saturday @ 11am I’m interviewing town councillor John Brennan on Facebook Live. To view the live stream and participate in the live chat room, go to our congregation’s Facebook page. We’ll discuss issues facing Strathroy-Caradoc during this pandemic.
- Easter Sunday worship service will be posted on Facebook and Youtube. Easter is the highest holy day in the Christian calendar, and this year’s service will be an unprecedented and extraordinary event. I encourage you to pause to worship on Sunday morning.
- Zoom Coffee Hour continues on Sunday morning from 9:30 – 10:30am. I encourage you to gather online as a congregation. Staying connected is important, even if you can only stay a few minutes to say hi. To participate, see the Zoom and phone info below.
Our ministries continue during the building closure. We established a Call Team to make telephone contact with everyone in the congregation in the coming weeks. Our goal is to remind you that you are not alone–you are a valued member of our church family.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have trouble and suffering, but take courage—I have conquered the world.” — John 16:33
Zoom (Wednesday and Sunday)
- Dial: 1 (647) 558-0588
- Meeting ID: 780-643-9540
Rev. Dr. Brad Morrison
From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2020 11:48 AM
To: ‘email@example.com’ <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: UPDATE – Response to COVID-19 at Strathroy United Church
We are learning new ways to be the church. Our Sunday services have moved from sanctuary to online. Our outreach has moved from hospitality meals to food drives. Our pastoral care has moved from face-to-face to phone calls. We are still Strathroy United Church, and we still serve the community and world.
A few brief updates:
Offering Envelopes: Please use the Maria St. entrance mailbox for your offer envelopes. Patti B will check the mailbox regularly. Please do not leave cash in the mailbox. Please contact Patti B by email to learn about PAR, the United Church’s pre-authorized giving program.
Building Closure: Our church building is closed, and staff are working from home. John will check the building regularly.
Youth Group: Kaeleigh Berdan is exploring online options for Friday evening youth group. Contact her at email@example.com for more information.
Holy Week: In addition to Sunday services, I’ll post a Good Friday worship service. Worship services are available at: https://www.facebook.com/strathroyunitedchurch
Easter Memorial Flowers. To have your loved one’s name included in the Easter Sunday online worship service, please email the name to Patti B (firstname.lastname@example.org). If a few people drop flowers at the front entrance of my house on 79 Laura Lane (please no lilies), I’ll include them in the video.
Remember to join us online Sunday morning for Zoom Coffee Time from 9:30 – 10:30 am. Click here to join: https://westernuniversity.zoom.us/my/bradmorrison
Thank you to the congregation’s newly formed Pandemic Response Team for organizing the food drive and phone check-in, telephoning everyone without an email address to offer care and support. I am proud of our caring lay leadership.
“Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.” — Deut 31:6
Rev. Dr. Brad Morrison
As we approach our third Sunday of cancelled worship services at Strathroy United Church, I want you to know that your congregation continues important ministries in the community.
Worship. The recorded worship service (including children’s time) will be posted online Sunday morning. You can find it on our Facebook page.
Fellowship. Join our Zoom chat room Sunday morning from 9:30 – 10:30 am. You’ll find the link on our Facebook page. Or simply copy this link into your internet browser: https://westernuniversity.zoom.us/my/bradmorrison
Teaching. Our Wednesday morning Bible study continues online, from 10:30 – 11:30 am. All are welcome. Use this Zoom link to join us live: https://westernuniversity.zoom.us/my/bradmorrison
Outreach. The Council Executive approved an ad hoc Pandemic Response Team, which will coordinate the congregation’s outreach activities in the community. Look for information on our Facebook and webpage about the upcoming food drive to support our community partner agencies serving the vulnerable during the pandemic.
I encourage you to participate in the online options above. Even if you only have a limited time to check in, let others know how you are doing. I am encouraged by stories of parishioners phoning one another, leaving meals at doorsteps, and delivering groceries.
As always, I am available if you need to talk by phone (519-330-0074) or Zoom. Let us continue to hold one another in prayer, trusting that we are not alone — We live in God’s world.
Rev. Dr. Brad Morrison
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we respond as a congregation to pandemic developments. Your Council Executive met by email to decide next steps.
- Sunday services are cancelled to April 5th inclusive (this includes children’s worship and fellowship/coffee time)
- Good Friday service is cancelled
- all in-person church programs and team meetings are cancelled but may occur by online or telephone as necessary (e.g., Wednesday morning Bible study will use Zoom)
- Hospitality Meal is cancelled until further notice
- Monday Soup Kitchen will continue with modifications (small prep team and distribution at Maria St. entrance)
- in-person pastoral visitation to hospital, senior residences, and homes by Brad and the Lay Visitation Team is discontinued until further notice; however, Lay Visitors will use telephone visits and Brad remains available for pastoral emergencies
- outside groups that use our space have been notified by the office about restricted access to the building
You are invited and encouraged to join our Sunday morning online mini-service using Facebook Live. Visit our Strathroy United Church Facebook (public) page on Sunday morning after 9:45 am. Scroll down the page until you see the live stream.
We are the church, in sickness and in health. Our ministry continues through the coronavirus pandemic. Reach out to your neighbours. Join us live for the Facebook Live stream for pre-service chat, remembering that we are not alone — We live in God’s world.
Rev. Dr. Brad Morrison
Dear Strathroy United Church,
My apologies for yet another email this week.
Just a quick note to invite you to join us online this Sunday morning at 10am. We can’t meet in person, but I’ll use Facebook Live to broadcast at brief 15 minute online gathering. To access this online gathering, simply go to our Strathroy United Facebook page shortly before 10am at https://www.facebook.com/strathroyunitedchurch/ . Scroll down the page until you see a live video feed (look for me talking).
I’ll start the online service at 10 am, but I’ll activate the broadcast around 9:50am so that you can more easily find us. Perhaps we can use this health crisis to experiment with how to integrate online streaming for folk unable to attend on Sunday mornings.
As indicated in Thursday’s letter, Strathroy United Church’s Executive continues to monitor the events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. The Executive has decided to cancel Sunday’s worship service (Mar 15). This includes Sunday’s M&S soup luncheon.
Given the growing consensus around preventative measures, many local organizations are suspending activities. Similarly, public schools provincially are cancelling classes. Out of a concern for vulnerable people in the community, organizations are using the strategy of social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Executive believes it is important for us to support this public effort.
Because not all our church members and adherents can be contacted by email, please reach out to parishioners you know to help share this closure information prior to tomorrow morning worship service.
Again, we thank you for your patience, and keep one another in your prayers as always.
Rev. Dr. Brad Morrison