August Newsletter 2020
A Reflection from Rev. Karen Life these past months has been a shift for me on a personal level. All my life, I have been a planner. I enjoy setting short-term and long-term goals and working toward them. This has always provided me with a sense of direction and a feeling of security in my daily living. Then the pandemic hit. Daily routines, work and social environments, and goals all changed. Suddenly, life was about just getting through one day to the next. A new normal began to emerge, but the future was and is still very uncertain. I’ve begun to learn how to fully live in this moment and to stop worrying about the future. The pressure of setting goals, and figuring things out, doesn’t seem as important as it used to. Now, I find myself treasuring a slower pace of life whether that is standing in line ups for groceries or the bank or in taking time to pop out to my garden for a half hour each day. After months of being separated from family and friends, I truly value moments spent with these significant people in my life. As Jesus was approaching the time of his death, he knew life would become very uncertain for his followers. He tried to prepare them for what they would experience by giving them a core truth to hold onto: remain in my love. Over and over, Jesus emphasized love was the greatest commandment he wanted them to remember. They would get through whatever came, if they held to Jesus’ love for them and shared love with one another. Love is the greatest gift we can both give and receive. For me, this pandemic has pushed me to shift from a focus on goals, on worries about an uncertain future, to giving a priority to resting in God’s love and on being much clearer about how I am sharing that love with others. We don’t know how the pandemic, or its consequences will unfold tomorrow, or next week, or next month. There is much that is beyond our control. But we can choose to be loving in our actions. We can be gentle and kind and patient with ourselves and with each other. We can take this experience in life and allow it to help us truly see and treasure what is valuable within our lives
On June 25th, 2020, our Unified Board approved an Operational Plan for the care of our people and the use of our building. In August we take our next step forward toward in-person meetings and continue with a few outdoor worship times. A gradual approach provides opportunity for us to evaluate and adapt as we move forward so that we ensure we maintain a low-risk environment.
Re-entering the Building
As of July, the office section of the Building is open to the public. Anyone visiting is asked to remain in the office doorway to maintain the proper physical distancing of 6 ft when visiting the minister or office administrator. If your tasks require closer contact, please wear a mask. Signs will be posted with guidelines for Covid-19 restrictions, handwashing, and sanitizing. August in person meetings will resume with up to 6 people allowed in the Fellowship room and larger meetings in the sanctuary under current regulations. Committees or groups which meet are asked to designate a person to sanitize, after their meeting, whichever spaces they used. All meetings must be booked through the office. 902-658-2863
Sunday August 9th 10:30 am a Memorial Service for Ruth Walsh will be offered for the congregation. Please pre-register with Rev. Karen. Bring lawn chairs if you wish to sit by your car – vehicles will be parked to maintain proper distancing. The building and washrooms will not be open. If heavy rain is called for the service will be moved into the sanctuary. A regular Sunday worship service online will also be provided for that day.
The Community of Faith Profile for South Shore United Church as been completed and approved by the Unified Board. Our Unified Board Chair, Eric Dixon, has been working diligently on your behalf to invite individuals to serve on the Search Committee and we are very grateful for the following individuals who have agreed to carry out this work on behalf of the congregation: Vicki Francis, Fran Albrecht, Bloyce McLellan, Richard Boulter and Darlene MacDonald (Heather Dixon as alternate). Please hold this team in your prayers as they search, interview, and seek for the best fit for a new ministry personnel to share with you in ministry.
Thank you, for your ongoing financial support. There have been donations received every week in June. Rent from Merry Pop Ins, Memorials and Government wage subsidies were also very helpful in seeing us reach the end of the month with our General Fund in a healthy financial situation. This allows our Building Fund to be used this summer to address necessary roof repairs. Present balance in Building Fund: $10,709.
The Unified Board Executive agreed it would be helpful to have your feedback as we look ahead to the fall. Even with physical spacing restrictions and sanitizing procedures in place, some people may not feel comfortable returning to worship in the sanctuary or to meetings in the building. Please respond to the questions on the attached form so that we can care for your needs in the best way possible. Please return your response to the office either by email or dropping a print copy into the mailbox at the office by August 14th, 2020.
South Shore United Church Congregational Survey August 2020 Returning to the Church Building The Unified Board Executive agreed it would be helpful to have your feedback as we look ahead to the fall. Please respond to the following questions and return your response to the office either by email or dropping a print copy into the mailbox at the office by August 14th, 2020. Place a checkmark by the statements numbered 1-6 that apply to you. A written response to the questions numbered 7&8 would be appreciated. 1. I am willing to attend worship in the sanctuary, and follow our operational plan’s guideline’s about proper distancing, sanitizing, and no singing ______ 2. I am not ready to attend worship in the sanctuary at this time ______ 3. I am uncertain about when I will feel comfortable returning to worship in the sanctuary _____ 4. I prefer the experience of online worship and would like it to continue to be offered _______ 5. I am ready to enter the building for meetings or other events with our operational plan in place and followed _______ 6. I am not prepared to enter the building for meetings or other events _________ 7. What concerns or suggestions do you have? ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________ 8. What aspects of our congregation’s ministry are most important to you right now? ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________