Won’t You be My Neighbour?

Thank you to Paul Hanaoka and unsplash.com for this image

Happy Mr. Roger’s Day!

It is not only a beautiful day in the neighbourhood, it is a beautiful day to go out and meet our neighbours.

Mr. Rogers was above all else a good neighbour; more important than being a teacher and entertainer of children (and even their parents), Fred Rogers sought to show us how to be the very best kind of neighbour we can be in the communities in which we live, work and worship. 

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Closing Is Easy – Opening is Hard: An Update

Thank you to Headway and unsplash.com for this photo

Wouldn’t you know it?

As soon as I uploaded the blog post on Saturday about the challenges churches are facing in deciding when and how they will reopen their church buildings I came across a great resource coming out of the Presbyterian Church USA. It is a document entitled Seeking to be Faithful Together: Guidelines for Presbyterians in Times of Disagreement and comes from their Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

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Closing Is Easy – Opening Is Hard

Thank you to Tavi White and unsplash.com for this photo

Two years ago today, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a global pandemic. I remember those first days and weeks; not sure what to touch or not to touch, getting used to wearing a mask, and most of all assuming that we would all be back in church by Easter at the latest.

How unprepared we were.

This week, the Ontario government has announced that most mask mandates will end on March 21, 2022 with the remaining pandemic rules lifted by the end of April. It seems as though we are moving from a pandemic to Covid being endemic in our world.

What a long strange trip it has been.

As I have talked with friends and colleagues over the past few days and weeks, I have heard and noticed a couple of important themes.

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You’re Invited to a Zoom Gathering of the Barrie Presbyterial

Please join

Barrie Presbyterial Women’s Missionary Society

by Zoom on

Saturday, March 5th, 2022

at

10:30 a.m. (ET)

The Presbyterian Church in Canada

and Mission

including Taiwan and India

with

Rev. Dr. Glynis Williams, Associate Secretary 

for International Ministries

of the Life and Mission Agency

and

Lily Ko, Program Coordinator

International Ministries

Presentation will be followed by a Q & A

To register please email

janiceterry322@yahoo.com

705-322-3038

Our Journey Through Lent: A Devotional Booklet and Interactive Slide for Download

Are you looking for a simple Lent devotional resource to share with your families at home? Here’s one that’s free for download that leads participants of all ages through a complete reading of the Gospel of Mark.

The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the gospels and is considered to be the first of the four to be written. There is a sense of urgency in Mark’s gospel to get it all out there as fast as possible so people can quickly hear and know “the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” (Mark 1:1) With little commentary along the way, Mark leaps immediately into revealing Christ as the Messiah, through a wealth of parables, miracles, conversations and encounters with Jesus. If you have never read a gospel through from start to finish, Mark is a good one to begin with.

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Rest for the Weary

Thank you to Eduardo Flores and unsplash.com for this photograph

I just canceled the Zoom check-ins on Christian education planned for this week. Unfortunately only three people signed up and they were divided between two meetings. This low level of participation where once there was an enthusiastic number for Zoom check-ins seems to be symptomatic of what I’ve been seeing across the board with people’s participation in bible studies, Sunday school and leadership development.

I have found over these last couple of months that our church leaders and our people are more than exhausted from the ongoing stress of just keeping up during this pandemic. With the first year of the pandemic and its church building closures and protocols, leaders had a surge of energy and imagination for thinking about educational ministry in new ways and even began to focus on some things we’d been overlooking in the last number of decades. During the second year we established new ways of doing educational ministry and even began tweaking what we were doing as we got better and better at Zoom Sunday schools, porch meet ups and virtual worship. Moving into this third year I’m beginning to hear from many of our leaders that they just feel flat, without imagination, and are simply doing their very best to stay above water. 

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How Is Educational Ministry Going At Your Church?

Thank you to unsplash.com for this picture

Happy New Year!

And, how is it going?

Thank you for all you’ve been doing to continue providing faith formation practices and Christian education programming for your church over the past couple of years. Providing educational ministry for all ages during Covid has been an incredible challenge and you have pivoted, adapted and changed focus each step of the way.

We’ve learned a lot too. We’ve highlighted families and the significant role parents play in the passing on of faith to their children, we’ve learned far more about technology than we ever imagined, we’ve embraced the word ‘hybrid’ and are beginning to understand that multiple points of access will be the new normal going forward, and we’ve come to see our church as not a building but a gathering no matter how that happens.

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Good Stuff!

Do you remember all the good stuff that happened in your family last year?

I don’t, but my friends Claire and Kirk do.

As I checked out facebook on New Year’s Eve, in the midst of all the Happy New Year’s messages, I found Claire and Kirk’s post that they were ready to begin their family’s Annual General Meeting.

Are you kidding me? An AGM on New Year’s Eve?

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The Omicron Variant and Our Congregations

Thank you to Michael Marais at unsplash.com for this image

This morning, the province of Ontario returns to Step 2 of our roadmap to reopen. This decision was made in light of the staggering increase of Covid infection rates due to the Omicron variant. To give you an idea of how quickly this variant is moving, consider that the rolling average of cases in the province is now 14,598 compared to 10,327 a week ago and 926 a month ago.

The good news is that it appears that for the fully vaccinated this version of the virus is less serious than the Delta variant, but, it is still very serious.

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