2021-22-05 Weekly E-News

All members of Portland United Church:

This past year has been a very difficult year for everyone around the world due to the COVID pandemic.  While it appears that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we need to remain vigilant with all the necessary precautions until  most of our population have received second doses of their vaccine.  In that light, we will be holding this year’s Annual Congregational Meeting via Zoom which you can also access via your telephone.   Information for accessing the meeting are in the attachment “ACM Overview” and the agenda is in the attachment “ACM Agenda”.   We hope that you will be able to join us for this important meeting.

Even though we are in the midst of one of the worst pandemics in history, we have a great deal to be thankful for.  Our congregation has provided us with the ongoing funds to keep the church operational even though we have not been able to hold regular church services – thank you to everyone.  We did actually have some services in the church and I can attest that the attendees were all very thankful to be meeting during those services.  Attendance ranged from 15 to 28 and we were fortunate to even have a few in person services with Rev. Kathy Walton, including Christmas Eve.  As far as I know, no one in our congregation was infected with COVID-19 and although the cases in our region ramped up at times, they always came back down to acceptable limits relatively quickly.

We all need to thank God for allowing us to live in a country like Canada with our freedom guaranteed by the sacrifices of many in the military over the past 100+ years.  The area in which we live is probably among the friendliest and most beautiful areas of our glorious country.  Most importantly, we need to thank God for all the front line workers who risk their lives and the lives of their families day in and day out caring for those who have been hospitalized with COVID-19.  They are truly the current day Angels of God.

We have several important chair positions to fill on the PUC Council, so I would ask you to prayerfully consider whether you would like to join the PUC Council to help fill these key positions.  We meet every 6-8 weeks for a couple of hours, so the time commitment is not overwhelming and you will be helping to move our church forward into the post COVID world.

  • Treasurer/Finance – after many years of incredible service, Duncan Pickard recently announced his retirement and we will need a new treasurer to fill some very big shoes – thank you to Duncan for your very valuable work keeping the Church financially stable.  Duncan has agreed to remain in his role through year end to help train his replacement – thank you Duncan!
  • Mission & Service
  • Vice Chair
  • Worship Committee
  • Historical
  • Flowers & Decorating

Thanks to everyone for their ongoing support of the church and we hope that we will be able to resume services later in the summer with limited attendance and perhaps be almost back to normal by late this year.

Hansen Downer

PUC Council Chair

Annual Congregational Meeting – Please plan to attend

This week, next week, and the following week all members of the congregation who have access to email will receive an email with the information required to log into the Annual Congregational Meeting on June 6 at 1 PM.   Those who do not have access to email will have the information hand delivered.  You will be able to access the Annual Congregational Meeting via smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac OR BY TELEPHONE.  Please join us for the annual update.

After many years of incredible service as our treasurer, Duncan Pickard has resigned from the PUC Council.  Duncan has kindly agreed to work with us through year end to train a new treasurer.  As our Annual Congregational Meeting approaches please prayerfully consider if you would be willing to serve as the Treasurer of the PUC Council.

In the United Counties of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville, we have seen active cases drop from 40 last week to 21 this week and active cases in ULGC West (our region) decreased from 6 to 2.  Please be diligent wearing masks and social distancing and get your vaccine as soon as possible.

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


  • Join Seeleys Bay United Church online every Sunday at 10:00am!

Our “Worshipping in Stiles” services are broadcast on our Facebook page every Sunday beginning at 10:00am.

Following the service, the services are also available for viewing on our Youtube channel, which has closed captioning available.

Devotional Thought – May 22, 2021

I’m sure you noticed the same thing I have. No two days are the same. No two friends are the same. No two siblings are the same. But have you ever wondered about this phenomenon? And why it is imperative that we recognize this wonderful gift we have?

Now I have to tell you that it doesn’t stress me out. It amazes me. Three children grow up in the same house, with the same parents, with the same teaching, with the same opportunities – but somewhere through the years, they develop different personalities, different likes and dislikes, different tastes in food, in movies and on the list goes. A mosaic of each of their lives stands before us. And sometimes we stand so close, we can only see one stone, or one colour. But as we move away, we begin to take in the beauty of the whole mosaic of each of their lives.

The same can be said of our friends. Some guide us, some take care of us, some console us. The mosaic of their lives surrounds us, in living colour! They provide us gifts of affection, strength, joy, laughter, support. The stones of their mosaic are added to ours and to those around us and we become a magnificent masterpiece.

Henri Nouwen in his book, Bread for the Journey, refers to this mosaic as COMMUNITY! Each of us add to the community, with our various gifts. Alone we are but one stone. Together we are a community – vibrant in our differences and our gifts; unable to tell the story by ourselves.

Ofttimes the mosaic is tarnished, covered over, hidden from view. And then comes along that ray of sunshine and a majestic burst of colour shoots forth and brings life back. We are uplifted and commence afresh to scrape away the debris that has hidden the beauty.

It would be my heartfelt prayer as COVID loses its grip on our world, that we will begin to shine those precious stones and look afresh at the community we have. Be strengthened and encouraged by the mosaic in front of us, behind us, beside us and in us. We are God’s living masterpiece. Thank you for being a part of my mosaic.

Grace and peace to each of you. In Christian love,

Liz Church (Pastoral Care Coordinator)