SPECIAL NewsFlash – Friday, March 20, 2020
Across Canada and here locally, church leaders are working together to support their congregations as we collectively respond to the COVID-19 situation. This includes developing new and creative ways of delivering worship services and staying connected:
- Please know that the SPUC Bible Study group has now moved online. You can participate by clicking HERE.
- Beginning Sunday, March 22, 2020, UCC Moderator Richard Bott will be offering an online worship service each Sunday for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. This will be a video-recorded service you can join on the UCC website or Facebook page.
- SPUC will begin offering an online worship service starting March 29th. The goal is to offer it via a platform called ZOOM so that people are not required to have a Facebook account. Please watch for updates on how you can view this upcoming service.
- 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 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.
- Please know that Sharon C is still taking Vandermeer orders until March 27th. Orders can be dropped in the church mail box on the south side of church. At the present time the goal is to invite you to pick up any plants at the church on Saturday, April 4th at 9:00 a.m.
- Those people who submit orders will be contacted directly if the pick up instructions need to change.
- 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 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.
- Sunshine is following the public school directive and will be shutting down for a further two weeks after the March break.
- 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.
- We have triaged the congregational phone list and developed a phone tree to ensure timely communication. Thank you to Linda Westendorp, Helen Dowse, Colleen McLaren, Bernie Rosebush, Janette Scott and Diane Fleming for volunteering to make calls, if necessary, to advise people of any changes to the worship schedule and to check on the well-being of our church family.
- We 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.
Please know that as the situation continues to develop, we will continue to update you with pertinent information.
We are being encouraged by the United Church of Canada to respond to this situation with Compassion, Prevention and Prayer. As a community of faith we know that God is always with us as we strive to be faithful disciples in these challenging times.