Your presence is a blessing to us; allow our church family to be a blessing to you. During this time when we cannot meet to worship together, we invite you to play this YouTube video provided by our minister, Rev. Michelle Down, for the week of March 29th based on the poem, “Blessing for your Work” by John O’Donohue featuring Music: I Give You A New Commandment and Words: John 13:34-35. It is our hope that this time of worship will comfort and sustain you during these difficult days.
Covid-19 Updates: - April 2
I write this on April Fool's day, when global life right now is no laughing matter with the continued invasion of Covid-19. As we have watched in fear while the virus has taken hold in other parts of the world, we now see that the impact is hitting harder much closer to home. So as a faith family, we urge you, please listen to the directives of the government and health officials. Please stay in your homes. Please practice physical distancing. Please take extraordinary measures for safety in these extraordinary times.
Your church staff continue to be here for you and support you in every way possible. These times are difficult times, but we all want you to know that we are continuing to serve you to the best of our ability. You remain our number one priority.
Your volunteer Council Executive are meeting every week with the core staff in order to report events and make collaborative decisions. We are committed to the transparency of our work, and so we will continue to offer you these weekly updates. You can continue to reach all of us through our phone numbers and emails printed in the FSA directory. We will receive them in our homes and return them as quickly as possible.
The updates for this week are:
Worship will continue to happen electronically including Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The services are sent right to your in-box, as well as being accessible via the FSA website. If you need assistance to access them, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kathryn Skelly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastoral Care continues to be my primary focus. Caring for you and your families through this pandemic will never diminish. Although we are not permitted to offer funerals, memorial services or graveside burials at this time, I will continue to serve you and your loved ones in all of the safe and healthy ways that we can. Know that I am continuing to hold you all in prayer, and if you need additional personal support, please call me on my cell phone at 519-709-9554.
Your Council Chair, Steve Elson, attended with me the Antler River Watershed Regional Council on-line meeting. Please share your prayerful gratitude with him, for his continued excellent leadership through email or phone.
Your Treasurer, Kerry Hill, attended the United Church Webinar for Treasurers that was produced to assist folks through this Covid-19 pandemic. Please pray for him also, and send a note of thanks for all of the continued work that he is doing on FSA’s behalf to ensure a healthy financial future.
You have more information from our treasurer, Kerry Hill, below regarding the Easter Appeal. Please utilize the multiple safe donation options that are available, including the on-line donations (see button at the top of this page) to share your Special Easter Givings. We are so grateful for your help as this time.
A reminder of last weeks announcement that a full Council Meeting will take place on its regular scheduled date and time of April 21, at 4pm.This will be an electronic meeting using Zoom technology.If you are not familiar with the Zoom video conference call program, please find the download information here All Council members are invited to a training session of Monday April 20th at 4pm hosted by Michelle to familiarize yourselves prior to the meeting the following day.
As we enter into Holy Week, may you be surrounded by the Spirit of calm, comfort and care. You are not alone, even in isolation. We are forever linked with the Divine Love, that created and is creating, through every breath that we take.
As we enter into Holy Week, may you lift up, and encircle all who are impacted by Covid-19. Let us focus on our breath, knowing that this virus attempts to take away our breath. Let’s breathe together Peace. Let’s breathe together Compassion. Let’s breathe together Healing.
As we enter into Holy Week, I invite you to journey with Jesus. From the parade on Palm Sunday; to the denial of friends and colleagues; to the darkest hour of humanity; to the glorious resurrection of hope.May together we be united in a journey of faith that results in the unification of hope and healing for a planet of people.
In God’s deepest love.
Treasurer's Report for Week of April 2nd
The impact of the Covid-19 virus is unprecedented. Even during the World Wars and the Great Depression, faith communities were able to meet in person to support each other and find solace. The current impact on our economy – with hundreds of thousands of Canadians temporarily losing their jobs – is staggering. Many small businesses may never recover. Please know, then, that we continue to put your personal needs ahead of the financial affairs of First-St. Andrew's.
In spite of the current crisis, many of you have continued to honour your financial pledges and kept up your donations. It looks like FSA will not be eligible for any salary support from government programs, so your generosity is very important. The Executive and staff of First-St. Andrew's are so very grateful for your contributions through PAR and other means. Please link here for rest of this week's report from the Treasurer.
Link to the United Church of Canada Covid-19 support centre.
Looking for online worship services? Here are some suggestions from the United Church of Canada.
In these difficult times, don't forget our Pastoral Care Team is always available to sustain and comfort. You can find Jo Ann Silcox and David McKane's contact information on our Contacts page.
For the small fry, here is our at-home Sunday School Lesson for the week of March 29th (Thanks to teacher, Ann MacPhail)
Make it a habit to check our website frequently for updates.
Worship Service Calendar
During this time of Covid-19 shutdown, worship services will continue electronically, including Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. If we already have you on our weekly "email blast" list, the services will be sent to your email in-box. They will also be accessible right here on our FSA website. If you need assistance to access them, contact the church office. (Note that video services from past weeks can be viewed by clicking on our YouTube Icon at the bottom of this page.)