Elgin United Church
Dear friends, given the large increase in active COVID cases, including the more virulent variants, in the Leeds Grenville Lanark and the Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington Health Unit Areas over this past weekend, we have, reluctantly, cancelled Easter Sunday in-person worship services. Although in-person worship gathering will not take place, our Faith is undaunted.
Rev. Kathleen Walton aptly stated “Easter is in our hearts not our rituals, and though we miss our celebrations, it is our actions towards the most vulnerable that God sees.” So this Easter Sunday stay in, tune to one or more of your favourite online services and worship with others doing exactly the same. Whether or not you connect with an online worship service, I urge you to set aside a quiet time, prepare the Elements and celebrate Easter Communion in the safety of your home.
Thank you for your understanding. Until such time as we can safely reassemble rest firmly in your Faith and I pray you stay well.
Portland United Church
Although the active cases in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville Counties have dropped from 174 last week to 67 this week, the cases in ULGC West have jumped from 7 to 9. The entire region remains in the RED classification and COVID variants are becoming a very significant concern.
Unfortunately, Portland United Church will remain closed for worship on Easter Sunday, April 4. While that is extremely disappointing to everyone, we have worked together to weather the COVID storm successfully in our Church Congregation and we don’t want to jeopardize that success with the light at the end of the tunnel clearly visible. For those eligible to receive a vaccine, please try to schedule your vaccine as soon as possible.
At this point, we would rather be safe than sorry, and the church will remain closed on April 11 as well. Your Portland United Church Council will review the path forward at the Council meeting on April 13.
We would recommend the following four options for viewing a service in the safety of your home:
- The Rideau Pastoral Charge Service
- 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
We would like to offer you and your family our deepest and most sincere condolences and may the soul of your sister Barbara rest in peace. May our friendship and prayers ease you through this difficult time.
May God Bless You
Elgin Portland United Church
ELGIN: It is time to renew our subscriptions to the Broadview magazine. If you wish to renew please let me know as soon as possible by email or phone. Price is the same, $25.00.
In order to keep the price the same the number of issues has been reduced from 10 to 8 issues. For us to be eligible for the group rate, which is 55% less than the newsstand price, we must have more than 5 subscribers. Please contact me as soon as possible.
Sandra Smith, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-359-5713.
Devotional Thought – April 3, 2021
I love to read. And although I do not have an extensive library, the books I have held on to over the years have mostly been given to me – from close friends, people who have crossed my path for a variety of reasons, from family. And of course, I have that collection of books that I just could not stop myself from buying – you know the ones – recipe books (with that one good recipe in it), health books (with that one good diet tip in it), Spiritual books (because he/she is my favourite author). And on the list goes, and my reasons for hanging on to them.
One such book that I have is titled ‘A Gift So Rare’. It contains inspirational poetic verses that give encouragement and comfort to me every time I read them.
And this week, I took the book out again. I needed comfort. My sister, Barb, passed away tragically this week. She choked on some food. The medical staff could not revive her. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.
As I watched her funeral service via YouTube I was moved by the depth of influence her life had on those around her. She was an avid reader, crossword puzzler, jigsaw puzzler, and a Habs fan, through and through. She had five children who were the joy of her life. No matter the circumstances, my sister, Barb, overcame the many loses in her life with a faith that could move mountains. She experienced tragedy in the loss of a child, she had extensive medical and mental health issues. Never once in her 77 years here on earth did I hear her complain. Her eyes twinkled when you walked into her room, she loved unconditionally and she exuded joy at all times. It was like her part of this earth that she was granted, was the best place and only place that she desired.
The minister at her funeral service referred to her as a child of grace – not only in the fact that she is now with Jesus, but that she gave of herself to all those who were fortunate enough to meet her.
In her memory and as encouragement for each of us I will leave you words from my little book ‘A Gift So Rare’ by Helen Lowrey Marshall.
The Privilege of Living
Thank God for the privilege of living, the privilege of breathing the air,
The privilege of being alive in the midst of such beauty everywhere!
Thank the good Lord for His mercy in giving me eyes to see,
A mind to learn, and a voice to speak and a faith in Eternity.
Thank God for the privilege of living – for sharing His earth and sky-
That a gift so rare as a gift of life is given to such as I.
As you experience this Easter season, I remind you that we each have the privilege of life, given to us through Christ. Keep up the good work, share your faith and live in the certain hope of eternity.
In Christian love,
Liz Church (Pastoral Care Coordinator)