SPECIAL NEWS FLASH – April 3, 2020
As we continue to collectively respond to the COVID-19 situation, please see below information on new and ongoing initiatives on SPUC’s response and a new GIVING THANKS section to share news amongst our church family:
- The next SPUC Bible Study has been posted to the website. You can participate by clicking HERE.
- Please join us online for the Palm Sunday worship service this Sunday, April 5th at 10:30 a.m!
- Once again it will be offered on a software platform called ZOOM which a number of Canadian churches are using as their communities of faith come together to worship using their computers or their phones.
- To join on Sunday via your computer, simply Join Zoom Meeting just before 10:30 a.m. by clicking on https://zoom.us/j/213251299 and follow the directions. For best results, please load Zoom via a CHROME browser.
- If you don’t have a computer but you want to hear what is being presented, you can listen in by dialing 647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588 and enter Meeting ID: 213 251 299.
- Please remember to mute your audio once we start recording the service.
- If you aren’t able to join in on Sunday, the service will be recorded and a link will be posted later in the week on the Worship page.
- A bulletin to support your participation has also been posted to the Worship page on the SPUC website along with a template for a palm leaf that you can download and cut out to wave at the appropriate point in the service.
- The SPUC Book Club held their meeting via Zoom this week. Other church groups are invited to contact the office if they would also like to use the Zoom platform to stay connected.
- A reminder that the church building is CLOSED.
- If you need to enter the building, please call the church office 24 hours in advance and arrange a time so that we can ensure everyone’s safety by confirming that the building has been sanitized before you enter and after you leave.
- We are closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. The health and safety of everyone at St. Paul’s United Church Ajax is our highest priority and primary concern.
- A Task Force comprised of the Minister, Past Chair of Council, M and P Co-Chair, the Director of Music and the Office Administrator are meeting to implement our local response following recommendations from the United Church of Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and local public health to monitor the risk and take protective actions as needed.
- Signage has been posted at all entrances to the church building asking people to not enter if they have any COVID-19 symptoms and/or a recent travel history to an affected country.
- The United Church of Canada has updated their website with resources on how communities of faith can meet online – see https://www.united-church.ca/covid-19.
- UCC Moderator Richard Bott is offering an online worship service each Sunday for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a video-recorded service you can join via the UCC website or Facebook page.
- We are using the church website – stpaulsajax.org – and SPUC social media pages – Facebook/Twitter – to provide updates and more information on the status of church events.
- Cordelia is always available to offer pastoral support and guidance via the church office or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have any feedback on the best online platform to use for staying connected, please drop us an email at email@example.com.
- Even though the church building is closed, our shared responsibility to support the church through regular donations is still very important.
- If you are not on PAR you can drop off you donations in a sealed envelope through the church mailbox on the south door. The mailbox is emptied on a daily basis.
- Or you can click on the Support St. Paul’s box on the home page and donate via our PayPal account.
- We have suspended production and distribution of The Epistle for the present time and will continue to use these SPECIAL NewsFlashes, the website, the phone tree and our social media accounts to share information.
- You can always reach SPUC via the office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving a message at 905-683-4740.
- The phone tree volunteers – Linda Westendorp, Helen Dowse, Colleen McLaren, Bernie Rosebush, Janette Scott and Diane Fleming – are making weekly calls to share information and check in on people to see what support they need to stay healthy in their own homes.
- A number of other groups are reaching out to support people with grocery shopping etc. One group that has been endorsed by the Town of Ajax is called Caremonger Pickering-Ajax. If you are isolated or homebound you can call 1-888-573-0982. By following the directions, callers will be connected with a volunteer who can coordinate with other people to provide help.
- Kudos to our phone tree volunteers for checking in on our SPUC church family each week. We received a nice note from a member of the congregation saying how much she appreciated the weekly call and to know that all was well.
- Following and obtaining direction from accredited, factual and reliable sources is key to our shared response to this evolving situation. The following links are provided for your information:
- Public Health Agency of Canada – federal
- Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – provincial
- includes a link to a self-assessment tool
- Durham Region Health Department – local
Please do your part to help flatten the COVID-19 curve. Stay home. Stay safe. Only go out once a week for essential items such as groceries or medications or have someone bring them to you. When you do out, stay at least 6’ away from people that you don’t live with. Listen to the direction from our health care professionals. Together we will get through this. Take care everyone.