2024-2-3 Weekly E-News

Elgin Portland United Church

Our prayer list is still growing.  Please keep the Pastoral Care Director, Liz Church, or Clint Halladay updated.


Council ACM’s and Official Board AGM.

 Sunday, February 18th is the date for all 3 meetings.

 The Plan is that Portland will have their meeting right after their service. Elgin will have their meeting right after their service.

That leaves the Official Board.  Elgin figures no more than 30 minutes for their meeting.  Then we will take a break for lunch which the Portland members of the O.B. have been invited to and then we will have a short O.B. AGM. The only business at that meeting will be approving the reports and the budget which is in the reports.

Ted A/Chair Official Board.

Elgin United Church

Prayer List:

June Smith is settling in and enjoying the social interaction at Van Horne Manor in Smiths Falls.

Marian Cooper is in Smiths Falls Hospital recovering from an angina episode. As of this writing, she was scheduled to go to Kingston on Thursday for tests and treatment if required. We will share any news when received.

Joanne McLean underwent open heart valve replacement and bypass surgery in Kingston on Wednesday. The surgery went well, and she was resting comfortably in the ICU Wednesday evening.

Bradley Edwards – Please keep  Bradley and his family in your prayers. Sonny and Becky are staying at a hotel near CHEO, which, with both being self-employed, is a significant financial impact.  Please  consider a donation to help offset their costs. You can donate directly, through the church or through GoFundMe at https://gofund.me/ff20a414.

Elgin United Church Council

Portland United Church

Go Green Project

Portland United Church’s (PUC) has recently completed its Go Green project.

This project was inspired by the United Church of Canada’s stated objective of reducing the church’s carbon footprint by 80% before 2050, first by conserving energy and second by displacing carbon-based fuels. Portland United Church also wanted to reduce its cost base and do its ‘bit’ while inspiring others to protect the environment in this tourist-based region.

After completing an energy audit, we agreed on four priorities

  • Weatherstrip all external doors and recall doors and windows
  • Convert all fluorescent tubes to LED
  • Remove a Propane Space heater in our Friendship room and replace it with a ductless heat pump
  • Install a solar array to reduce our cost per kwh of electricity which will eventually allow a complete conversion to electric heat from our current propane-based system

Portland is a tourist town which relies on its natural beauty and the environment for its economic success. We are excited to start receiving the financial benefits of completing the GO Green project. It also proud of leading the way in showing how we can all help reduce our negative impact on the environment so vital to the region appeal.

We thank The United Church of Canada, through the Faithful Footprint program, and The Eastern Ontario Outaouais Region through the Church Extension program for helping United Church congregations in general and Portland United Church in particular on our journey to help protect the lands on which we live while expanding Christ’s influence.

Prayer List:

Sheila Campbell,  Kay Seward, and Bradley Edwards is still in the hospital.

Monday Bible Reading Group at Portland UC (6:30)

This week’s discussions will be on our daily Bible readings covering Romans chapters 7-16 and Mark 1. The complete reading schedules are available on the tables just inside the doors of the Elgin and Portland churches. It can be done in as little as ten minutes per day. In just six months we will read the entire New Testament. All are encouraged to join in the discussion and fellowship. It’s fun, educational, encouraging, and spiritually uplifting.


Happy 90th Birthday to a very special Lady.

Don’t forget to join us Saturday, February 3rd between 12:00 noon and 3:00 p.m for an Open House in the Gathering Place at Portland United Church to celebrate Kathleen Seward’s 90th birthday.  Drop by, say hello to her family, wish her well and enjoy some delicious food catered by the UCW.

As always, you are invited to drop in weekly to Chit Chat, downstairs between 10:30 and 12:00 noon.

Recently, we have heard from Iurii, and he sends his greetings to all of the wonderful people he has met. He wants everyone to know that he has made it to Poland, and is currently working. Unfortunately the risks were too great for his family to travel to see him at Christmas, but he remains hopeful they will be able to connect in the spring. Let’s continue to pray for peace and reconciliation.  Pauline French

Portland United Church Council

Devotional Reflection

February 4, 2024

I am often moved when I read quotes from a book, a T-shirt, a post on social media, and many other places as I travel around.

This week was no exception. And the quote went something like this: ‘Encouragement is giving HOPE to those who think they are alone in this World.’

How sad! Do I really need a reminder to give encouragement? And I also ask, what does encouragement look like to me? To you?

I decided to look it up in ‘Doctor Google’. In .34 seconds, the doctor came up with, wait for it – 146,000,000 things to say to show encouragement. Imagine, almost 1.5 million sayings to encourage yourself and others.

Here are a few that stood out for me:

  • The next chapter in your life is going to be amazing!
  • You’re doing awesome!
  • This is what you’re going through, not who you are!
  • Sometimes when you are in a dark place, you think you have been buried, but you have actually been planted (Christine Caine)

From there, I began to search for verses that we are given throughout Scripture. Here are a few:

  • Proverbs 3: 5,6 – Trust in the Lordwith all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
  • Romans 15:13 -I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Psalm 94: 18-19 – I cried out, “I am slipping!” But your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

Every day, we will have opportunity to offer to another a word of hope, or encouragement. Will you take this challenge? Inspire others, motivate yourself and be amazed at how your day is enriched with joy!

Be blessed and refreshed this day.


Liz Church, Director of Pastoral Care

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge