Tag Archives: coronavirus

On the Anniversary of the Pandemic

Pixaby

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:1 NRSV)

On March 12 2020, the World Health Organization officially declared the Coronavirus to be a pandemic.

On March 16, 2020 the province of Ontario recommended the closure of all recreation programs, libraries, private schools, daycares, and churches and other faith settings.

This week we commemorate the one year anniversary of the Coronavirus pandemic, an event that has changed lives worldwide. It simply repeats the obvious to try and recount how different the world is today from a year ago and how uncertain the future remains, even with a vaccine. This truly is a once in a century event.

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New Updates on Curriculum Resources for Hybrid Sunday Schools this Fall

A few weeks ago I wrote an article that outlined how Sunday school curriculum publishers were striving to support our churches through the production of resources to help us shift to hybrid models for teaching Sunday school this fall. Each have been busy writing new curricula and/or providing supplements to their existing offerings to assist us in making the transition to teaching outside of a classroom setting smoother and better for our teachers, participants and parents.

You can find that original article here: https://www.cnob.org/?p=1719#more-1719.

Please revisit it for an overview of the materials each will be providing this fall, especially if the curriculum your church uses is not mentioned in the following article. Your church’s curriculum may only be highlighted in the previous article because nothing has changed since July 22, 2020.

This article has been written to provide new or additional information that has been released since I last wrote on the topic.

So, let’s see what’s new.

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“Put On Your Oxygen Mask First”: Self-Care During a Pandemic

“Put on your own oxygen mask first.”

If you have ever travelled on an airplane you know the root of this phrase. On an airplane it means that in an emergency you can’t physically care for others if you don’t care for yourself first.

In March I first addressed the issue of self-care, assuming we would be at this COVID thing for two or three weeks; Easter at the latest. Here we are, week twelve, having celebrated Maundy Thursday,  Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost and now Trinity Sunday all under social distancing. Tori’s and my supervisory committee have told us that we aren’t to travel until at least the end of September and I am mentally preparing for the fact that many of us will not be back into our churches until 2021 at the earliest and even then, worship will be dramatically different than it was.

So what does this all mean?

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Session Resource on Re-Opening Church Buildings

We have been physically apart from our church families for two-and-a-half months now and we are excited that our government and health officials are beginning to consider how and when our communities might re-open down the road. In light of this, many of our sessions are beginning to wonder what re-opening their church building might look like. How will worship need to be changed to ensure that compassionate concern for the health of all of our members is ensured? Should nurseries and Sunday schools start back up right away? Can smaller groups meet in the meantime before our whole community of faith is allowed to gather together in our church building? These are all great questions.

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A Good News Story to Share

Sewing machines and knitting needles have been working overtime in Elmvale, Ontario. The members of the church’s Women’s Missionary Society and the Elmvale Craft Group have been working faithfully during this pandemic to create hundreds of much-needed items for their local hospital, for those experiencing homelessness, and for many others whose lives have been affected dramatically in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Honduras these last few months.

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Leadership in a Time of Great Change: A Call To Lead

Over the past fourteen years as Regional Minister for Congregational Health, the workshop I have most often been asked to present is entitled, ‘Eldership as Spiritual Leadership’. In this workshop I encourage elders (ruling and teaching) to embrace their calling as spiritual and physical leaders of their communities of faith. This challenge is not always easily received.

In order for the call to leadership to make sense, we need to understand what leadership is. An easy way to understand leadership is to contrast it with management. Management guru, Peter Drucker, famously said,

Management is doing things right; Leadership is doing the right thing.”

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Some Thoughts on the Inclusion of Children and Youth in Online Worship

As our churches have made the transition to new ways of doing worship through online platforms, I wondered how our families with children were doing. Knowing that all of our churches are working hard to keep everyone engaged in worship and the life of the congregation, I thought I would ask some parents how it was going and what they would say are the best practices they have experienced that assist their children and teens in feeling connected in worship, and what they might recommend to their worship leaders to consider as they plan for worship services that are more inclusive of all ages.

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Pinwheels for Pentecost

As we move through Eastertide, we begin to anticipate Pentecost as the amazing conclusion to this season. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit was breathed into the disciples and they launched themselves out of the room they were closed up in and into the streets of Jerusalem, filled with energy and a story to tell. On fire (not literally), they spoke to those crowded in the marketplaces of Jerusalem in every language of the world, and all the people understood them. And what they heard from the disciples was the story of Jesus; his life, his death and his resurrection. And the Spirit didn’t stop with the disciples, the breath of God blew through all of those who listened and believed that day, just as the Holy Spirit has continued to blow through the church in every age and in every place since then. Pentecost is a great day in the church: it’s our birthday – so let’s celebrate!

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When Someone Dies in a Time of Social Distancing

Friends,

Greetings in the name of our Risen Lord! This week we are hearing news that the COVID-19 virus seems to have peaked in Ontario and other provinces. We fear that we are still far from a return to our usual routines but remain hopeful. We are especially encouraged that so far there are fewer deaths than many models had been predicting.

That said we are profoundly aware that friends and colleagues still have to face the reality of socially distanced deaths and funerals in their congregations. We are also aware of those who have family members, particularly in care facilities, who they are unable to visit or care for in person. For all of us, the big question is this, “What if my loved one dies and I can’t be there?”

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