OUR IN-PERSON WORSHIP SERVICES ARE SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
WE WILL HAVE OUR SERVICE STREAMING ON SUNDAY MORNING AT 10AM ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
ALL OTHER CHURCH FELLOWSHIP ACTIVITIES ARE ALSO SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
See our Services Live and recorded on our YouTube page here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_U3hp7Aqns_YteoqK06-Ag
I hope you are safe and well. I was just speaking with my grandchildren on the telephone and asking how they were doing. All three of them were animated and describing some very constructive activities. I was pleased to hear that. That said - they are definitely looking forward to resuming normal life. This is a difficult time for people of all ages. Prayer is a gift for us to communicate with our loving God who gives comfort, strength and peace in difficult times such as this.
We are blessed to have the technology to provide worship services online. I want to thank all of you for your encouraging responses on the worship services. We are thankful for the work done by our staff and the technical support by Lliam Buckley to make this happen. As children of God, the worship service is an important way for us to stay connected as a body of Christ. The OPC staff is also diligently working in providing ministry and connection with the congregation in other creative ways.
If you know of anyone who does not have access online and would like a copy of the sermons sent to them by mail, please be in touch with Kathy MacDonald our office administrator at: (519) 471-2290 Ext. 221. Or email Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wilma Boyce, our pastoral care coordinator has coordinated with our pastoral care connectors and other volunteers from the congregation in calling you and asking if there is anything anyone needs. Please feel free to call the church (we pick up our message remotely) if you need anything or you know of anyone else in need, or you wish to chat. We are here to help and support one another. This pandemic is a problem and our potential for connection is limited, but we are richly blessed with the resource of the telephone, email and social media to communicate. Thanks be to God!
This Sunday is Palm Sunday. This is a Sunday when the children, teachers, and others from the congregation, wave around Palm branches. Next week is Holy week, as we make our way to the cross. The day when Jesus died, Good Friday, will also be a time of worship of which we can participate online as well (www.oakridgechurch.ca). Then on Easter Sunday, April 12th, the high point of the church year, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and what that means. We will also celebrate communion in this Easter service. If you like, you can prepare the elements of bread and wine (grape juice) and when I lead you in the celebration of communion in the online service we can eat and drink the elements together! In preparation, I will also announce the communion in the online service this Sunday.
In terms of financial giving to OPC during the church closure, the giving portal was not working early in the week, but it is working well now (on the home page please see the ‘Donate’ button). We are in the process of setting up an additional mechanism on the website for giving. More details to follow. In-person services are suspended until further notice.
Here are notes from the session meeting held last Monday, March 30, 2020.
1. Session met on Monday, March 30, using Zoom video-conferencing software for the first time. It worked remarkably well, with most of us being able to overcome the technical hurdles. We will be meeting in this fashion for the foreseeable future.
2. The Session – Staff visioning retreat planned for late May will almost certainly be postponed, possibly to sometime next fall.
3. The Annual Meeting scheduled for Sunday afternoon April 5 is officially postponed until sometime in May. If, as now seems likely, we are unable to safely hold it then or in the very near future afterwards, we will cancel the meeting for this year and hold it by e-mail. Fuller details will follow.
4. Sunday donations, while noticeably less than normal, are increasing each week, and for this we give thanks. Please continue your efforts in this regard.
5. The Finance and Technology Team are working hard to deal with our current financial difficulties. In addition to the financial concerns around Covid-19, the YMCA ESL (English Second Language) program will discontinue at OPC after June 30, 2020. The YMCA has provided our largest rental income and we are thankful for that. However, the implications are that OPC will lose ½ of expected income from the YMCA in the second half of this year. The Session and Finance team have been working diligently on this. Further details will appear in a special edition of the Oak Leaf which will be sent out to you by April 9.
6. Dave Buckley’s last Sunday with us as Music Director will be June 28.
7. Staff is working hard to continue their duties, mostly working from home and using the internet.
8. Currently, we have 366 Total Families, 411 Total members, and 164 Total Adherents.
With faith in Christ,
(519) 471-2290 Ext. 222