Portland United Church
Under the latest Government regulations effective June 30, we can now hold church services at 25% of capacity. Our capacity including the choir stalls is 150, so we can accommodate 37 under those guidelines. We will stick with our previous guidance of 30-35 depending on the mix of families and individuals.
Most PUC Council members have agreed to re-open on Sunday, July 11 at 9:15 AM with our normal COVID Protocols in place, including social distancing, masks, and no singing.
That will be confirmed at a Portland United Church Council meeting on July 7. Rev. Kathy Walton has confirmed that she will lead an in-person service on July 11. We may have Rev. Kathy on July 18 as well should Elgin plan to reopen on that Sunday. Subsequently, Rev. Kathy will be with us on the first and third Sundays of each month. We will continue with YouTube videos for the foreseeable future rather than a choir and everyone singing. Singing has been shown to be one of the most effective ways the virus spreads.
In the United Counties of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville, active cases are 5 and active cases in ULGC West (our region) are 1. The virus clearly has not gone away, and the Delta variant is genuinely concerning. Please be diligent wearing masks and social distancing and get your second 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
- 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.
Portland United Church, Chair
Message from Elgin United Church
Although Canada Day 2021 has passed, amid our celebrations of the great accomplishments of our nation, we must not forget much of what we have today was fostered by inhumanities and atrocities forced upon others. We are a privileged people, proud and strong; however, we must never lose sight of, or forget for even a moment, that much of our privilege evolved from the suppression, attempted assimilation and even extinction of other proud, strong peoples. The discovery of, to date, over1,000 unmarked graves of, for the most part, Indigenous children at former Residential School sites, serves to underscore and magnify our heinous crimes. Yes, the United Church of Canada, several other faiths, with the exception of the largest Christian Faith Group in the world, and our governments have formally apologized, and are working, albeit at snail’s pace, to try and make amends. Regrettably this can truly never erase our wrongs: too little, too late; however, we do acknowledge and with God’s guidance must not shun our responsibility to keep trying. Using a technology reference, we are viewing a split screen: what Canada was, what Canada (we) are, and what we aspire for our nation. May we learn from our mistakes, capitalize on our successes and build a nation that demonstrates kindness, tolerance and love for all of God’s creation.
Devotional Thought – July 3, 2021
I am a very fortunate person. I live in a beautiful part of the world. I look out my window each morning and there before me is a calm lake, where hours earlier I was awoken by the mournful sounds of loons and the incessant sound of bullfrogs.
As I contemplate this, I am reminded of my earlier life. I was brought up a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean. There, I could stand in the water, and listen to the waves rush in, engulfing me with ocean spray. I would feel the sand wash over my feet, gently and soothingly.
And as I stood there, before long, I realized I was no longer in ankle deep water. As the sands swirled, my feet were buried, and the shifting sand was causing me to sink deeper and deeper. I had to move or be forced to take a plunge into the oncoming surf.
This is somewhat how our Christian life can be. You don’t have to do anything to sink deeper and deeper into what the world has to offer. If you are beautiful, the doors are open to you. If you are a good athlete, you can earn tons of money. Openly represented to us in advertising, movies, media are such things as dishonesty, greed, violence. It is often depicted as humor or sarcasm. The waves of the world wash over us, and we are unaware that we are sinking into the mire or mud.
It is easy to be sucked into the current, to follow the path of least resistance. Our daily living rages against the Christ who lives in us. I want to give each of you, my friends, a simple but difficult solution – move! If you stand still, the tides will overpower. Get moving! If we remain still, the world will steadily press in, and sweep over you.
MOVE – 2 Corinthians 3:18 says it best – from the New Living Translation: “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord, who is the Spirit, makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.’ When we come, in faith, to our God, the nature of Christ begins to transform us into God’s image. And over time, we will become more and more like Him.
My prayer for you this week is that you take heart and sing for all your worth: ‘Make me more like You, Jesus, make me more like You.
Peace and love to each of you,
Pastoral Care Coordinator