Elgin United Church
With the province having reopened this week, thoughts turn to when we might reassemble for in-person worship. The safety and well-being of worshippers is our primary concern and responsibility.
At a meeting on March 9, 2021, your EUC Council considered several options for reconvening and unanimously agreed to the following plan, subject to provincial and local COVID recommendations and regulations:
- In-person worship will be held on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month (this is the same as PUCs plan);
- In-person worship at Elgin will begin on March 21, 2021;
- We will NOT have services in the building on other Sundays;
- Kathleen Walton has tentatively agreed to lead worship.
A council meeting is planned for March 9, 2021, at which time we will review this plan and make any appropriate changes. We will inform you of council’s decision and recommendations as soon as possible following the meeting.
We also discussed the need for volunteers to assist with several aspects necessary to facilitate our Sunday reopening. These are not onerous, and I ask you to consider helping out. Please contact me or any council member for information.
Thank you, blessings and be well
EPPC News for PUC
Under the latest Provincial guidelines, Church Services in the United Counties of Leeds, Lanark & Grenville can allow 30% of their total capacity for worship. Portland United Church can accommodate about 150 people if we include the choir stalls, so according to the rules, we could allow up to 45 people in the church. That limit stays in place if the United Counties remain Green or Yellow status. With appropriate social distancing and the number of families vs. individuals, we will allow a maximum of 35 people in the church for Sunday morning worship and that is well within Provincial Guidelines. Your PUC Council will meet again on March 2 to review plans for reopening. Western Leeds Grenville has two active cases this week, so keep up the good work everyone. We may be able to have a video service in the church on March 14 and a live service with Rev. Kathy Walton on March 21, so keep your fingers crossed.
In the interim, we would recommend the following four options for viewing a service in the safety of your home:
- Wesley United Church in Newfoundland – service should start at 9:30 a.m. our time. Scroll down for live service link box in the middle of the page
- A later service – 11 a.m. at Bethel UC Rideau Ferry
- Bracebridge United Church, Bracebridge, ON
- St. John’s United Church, Kemptville, ON
Devotional Thought – February 20, 2021
This week, for some of us, our spirits were rejoicing when we heard the isolation ban was being lifted. We might be able to get out a bit more, we may travel a bit to see our families, extend our ‘bubble’, join in a coffee group, see a few friends – all with social distancing protocol still in place, of course! Finally, I don’t have to talk to the four walls.
As I give thought to this, I become aware that I have never really been alone. Did you know that the Book of Psalms was written to be read aloud – as a petition, as an anthem of praise, as a prayer, to God?
Psalm 5:3 reminds us “Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I direct my prayer to You, and will look up.”
For some, talking aloud to God may be a new experience, a bit awkward. You may feel that your words won’t sound good. But I want to tell you that the Psalms were written with the emotion that was felt in that moment – joyous, complaining, confused, faltering, repetitious and uncertain. They were spoken directly to God in the knowledge that He hears us and welcomes us to talk with Him. Whether we want to talk to Him about a heart-wrenching experience that is happening, a family event, a job loss, about the love of your life and the gift he/she is to you. God is available, listening, caring for us.
Try it this week. Discover a Psalm and read it out loud. Again and again. And soon the words of the Psalmist will permeate your being and your prayers to God will be a reality. No more fear in His presence. No worrying about whether your words are adequate, or good enough. This is your prayer to God. Speak freely to Him. He is listening and rejoices in the sound of your voice. You are not alone.
And before you know it, you are talking with a freedom you never experienced before, you are singing your praises to the One who listens and sustains you, you are praying to the God who understands. And you are praying your own words to the God who loves you.
Blessings to each of you.
Portland United Church Women
UCW meeting for Tuesday, February 23rd at 1:30 p.m.
Please enter into the church at the Main entrance.
There will be no refreshments served.
Please wear a mask.