“Profile Committee Update: Your comments and opinions are important for our report!
If you have not already filled out the survey & returned it to the church, please do so as soon as possible.
If you did not receive a survey this past week, please contact the church office at 272-2002. Your support is greatly appreciated.”
Elgin United Church
Elgin Council had its Council Meeting on Tuesday the 9th of March. Discussion was held about dates of reopening and the rules around it.
It was decided that Elgin would reopen beginning on March 21. We will hold services on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, with Rev. Kathy Walton in the pulpit. The decision was made not to have a service on Palm Sunday, March 28. Restrictions will be in place for physical distancing and masking, and if you plan to attend, please register by the Friday before the service. To register contact Sandra Smith by phone at 613- 359- 5713, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are only a limited number of places available because we are still under the 30% capacity rule.
One of the main reasons we are only going with 2 Sundays a month for now is we need volunteers to look after sign-in, ushering, and the sound system and power point. If you would like to take a try at any of those positions, please let Sandra know when you call her, and she will direct your interest to the appropriate person- the training is free!
Ted (For Clint who is away)
Portland United Church
Your PUC Council confirmed that Portland United Church will be open for a video service on Sunday, March 14 at 9:15 AM with all the standard COVID Protocols that we used prior to the most recent lockdown. Subsequently, Rev. Kathy Walton will be joining us for weekly services on the first and third Sunday of each month. On the Sundays when Rev. Kathy is not present, we will have video services. Starting March 21, Rev. Kathy will be leading our services on March 21, March 28 (Palm Sunday) and April 4 (Easter). Church capacity remains 30-35 people depending on the mix of families and individuals. Depending on interest, we may require reservations in advance for Easter.
Our region has been classified as Green by the Province of Ontario and in the green and yellow zones, church capacity is limited to 30% of total capacity. The total capacity of Portland United Church is 150, so we can have up to 45 people based on provincial guidelines. However, to ensure adequate social distancing, we will retain our guideline of 30-35 people. If the active cases in Leeds and Grenville West is 15 or higher as reported on the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit Web Site (https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/local-cases-and-statistics/dashboard/), then services for that week will be cancelled. If the Province Classifies our Health Unit Region as Orange, we will need to review the impact on church services.
When we return to church, please review the link below to determine if you show any symptoms that would preclude your attendance.
For this weekend, 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
- John’s United Church, Kemptville, ON
Devotional Thought – March 13, 2021
I recently read the following quote by George Bernard Shaw: “ This is the true joy of life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a true force of Nature instead of a feverish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy….I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It’s sort of a splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. “
I had to read these words a few times, take some initiative and look up about Shaw’s life and then decide what truth was revealed in these words. They seem simple, something I could adopt, live by.
But as I examined them, I realized the flaw. The concept of doing good, and burning bright is an admirable quality for each of us to have. BUT, where does my strength come from? Not from myself, but from an innate desire to do good cultivated through my salvation. God has made us in His/ Her image and we are blessed to do the will of our Creator. We humbly accept the challenge to do good in our world, love one another and reach out so that our world will be a better place for us and future generations.
The Book of Ephesians talks about just this thought. While the Scripture is referring to our salvation, it reminds us that our good works are a result of our salvation. They do not provide it. Our live are enhanced through our service. Salvation comes from God, a result of His/ Her grace to us.
Ephesians 2: 8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
May you this week, as you continue reaching out, be blessed and rejoice that Our God is using you to do the work of the Kingdom.
Liz Church (Pastoral Care Coordinator)