SPECIAL NewsFlash – Friday, April 24, 2020
As we continue to collectively respond to the COVID-19 situation, please see below new and ongoing information on SPUC’s response:
- Please join us online for our April 26th Sunday Service. The service starts at 10:30 a.m. but the room will be “opened” at 10:15 a.m. for a time of fellowship and connection.
- Please hold the date:
- CONGREGATION MEETING – Sunday May 10th, immediately following the Sunday Worship Service, using the same Zoom connection.
- We will be hosting a very important congregation meeting immediately following our Worship Service on Sunday May 10th, using the same Zoom connection as the one used for Sunday worship. So we’re hoping everyone will be able to just stay on the line after the Worship Service and we’ll try to keep the Congregation Meeting as short as possible. But we do have some important updates to share, and we need to get your approval on an urgent matter. So hopefully everyone is able to attend.
- Blessings, Stuart McLean, Chair of Congregation
- SPUC continues to live out its mission statement by donating to the Town of Ajax’s Hygiene Hub. “A first for Ajax, the hub will serve unsheltered residents at the Ajax Community Centre (75 Centennial Rd.)” providing them with food, a place to shower, access to COVID-19 screening and connecting them to other social services agencies.
- Given that we haven’t been able to run our Open Cupboard program, the decision was made to support this initiative. On Thursday Karen S, who represents SPUC on the Town’s Homelessness Task Force, dropped off socks, gloves, shampoo, toothbrushes, tooth paste, shower gel, razors, tampons, pads and bandages at the Ajax Community Centre.
- For more information on this program and to find out what other donations are needed, please visit the Town of Ajax website at https://www.ajax.ca/en/ajax-council-supports-unsheltered-residents.aspx
- Starting May 1st join Rev. Cordelia for a weekly drop in social time via Zoom every Friday between 1:30 and 2:30 pm. All welcome.
- SPUC’s Book Club is also using Zoom to meet each month.
- Please visit the Calendar page on the church website for information on all of these events.
- Once again our Sunday worship service 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.
- For links to the Zoom room and the bulletin, please visit the Worship page on the SPUC website or see the info below.
- ZOOM has added a number of security features to their software platform to ensure your privacy. To learn more, please click HERE.
- To join on Sunday via your computer, simply Join Zoom Meeting by clicking on https://zoom.us/j/213251299 and follow the directions. For best results, please load Zoom via a CHROME browser.
- Please note that, again for security reasons, you will be placed in a Waiting Room when you first log on and brought into the call as your identity is verified. The chat feature on the call has been disabled and the meeting locked after 10 minutes after the service starts. Latecomers will not be admitted.
- 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, the services will be recorded and a link will be posted later in the week on the Worship page.
- SPUC Bible Studies are posted to the website. You can participate by clicking HERE.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com.
- Cordelia has written a pastoral letter on coping with the isolation we may be feeling as we collectively follow the direction of public health leadership. To view the letter please head to the website and click on the Blog button.
- 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 mail in a cheque or 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.
- Do you have a facebook account? Have you joined the St. Paul’s United Church private facebook group yet? Look for https://www.facebook.com/groups/2355189071/ and send us a membership request. We’d be happy to have you join us in that space to share news and updates.
- 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 W, Helen D, Colleen M, Bernie R, Janette S and Diane F, Jeff and Katie W, Heather O, Dorothy W, Brad S and Grace S – are continuing to make 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.
- 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
- If you are in crisis there are places you can call for help:
- Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600
- Durham Mental Health Services 1-800-742-1890
- Ontario Shores Crisis Line 1-800-263-2679
- Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
- Distress Centre Durham 1-800-452-0688
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.