Dynamic Dunsford United Church Newsletter – November 18, 2020
Message from the Chair of the Mission Board
As you have now heard, Rev. Sharon has submitted her resignation and we wish her well in finding a position that she feels called into. We keep her in our prayers.
As we prepare to say goodbye to Sharon, a rather daunting task lays before us. I ask you to think about where you would like to see Dunsford United Church a year from now. Can we summon the energy and determination to find ourselves a new leader for our ministry here or are we ready to let this little country church join the list of those that have closed their doors for good? We will be assigned a liaison person from the East Central Ontario Regional Council of the United Church of Canada who will help us work through the times ahead. I expect that we may have a temporary minister appointed to us so that we will have spiritual support during this time. I apologize for the somber tone of my message this week, but we seem to be entering a turning point in our history. We need a strong Mission Board to carry on and our board seems to be falling apart. Families with young children have left and our Junior Church numbers have gone into another slump. Energy seems to be waning for our big fundraising events which we need to boost our bank account. You, the people whose names are on the roll of this church, need to make the decision for its future.
I wanted to get this unpleasant business out of the way before we move into the Advent Season. This is a time for celebration and joy and it will be difficult enough during a pandemic. The worship team is working hard to put together both in-person and online music and worship throughout Advent that we hope you will enjoy. May you experience hope, peace, joy and love as we move towards Christmas. Together, we will find our way through this.
Chair, Mission Board
Greetings from Sharon
Thank-you friends for your kind caring and compassion with regard to my leaving, about Wilson and in general through these tumultuous times of COVID-19. Our greatest gift will be to hear of Dunsford aspiring to being dynamic Dunsford, resilient working together in compassion and love to care for each other, to stay connected and outreach into our neighbourhoods and beyond. In a time of fiscal concerns, we celebrate generosity and opportunities for gaining financial stability through these unprecedented times. We try to keep the need to limit in-person connecting in perspective and be cognizant that more pivoting may be required with numbers continuing to grow and concern rising across our country. We need to keep safe and appreciate saved costs for heat, electricity, soon snow removal, soon clergy costs and to be committed to creativity in connecting and living faithfully, celebrating as we will this Sunday, the reign of Christ.
While COVID has forced most of us to be away from our community of faith building, staying connected, being community, caring and sharing are vital to the well-being of all of us. There were many factors that led the Executive team to recommend a change to once per month in-person gathering for everyone’s safety and well-being. Staying safe and staying healthy is not only our prayer for people but also for the health and well-being of sustaining and considering the future of our community of faith. Together, the community of faith can be the village of hope, resilience, the light to shine in all of our dark places! As we meet the challenges of each day, it is our faith that is our anchor. The heart of Dunsford United Church is its people, building on the history of the people who lived in the areas for generations before the Thurston brothers arrived, and the learning and tenacity of the Thurston’s as the little settlement grew! We are lifted up on the shoulders of all that history. Taking action together as members of the community of faith is a choice, a commitment of all the people as you move into change and transition.
In the meanwhile we keep getting through this strange time of pandemic, knowing our holiday season may be very different from what we are accustomed to, but praying Christ will be the centre wherever we are and whatever our situation.
A reminder that your help is needed for the December 6 food drive.
Upcoming Worship Dates:
Christena-Lynn is posting links in the newsletters for the Dunsford United YouTube links for worship services.
Nov. 15 Children’s Sunday, worship service was pre-recorded and in case you missed it, here again is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP5OHAJLMcI
November 22 Reign of Christ Sunday Worship has been pre-recorded and is being posted on Dunsford YouTube channel thanks to Carol. https://youtu.be/rMax2gtYSYc
Special thanks to Brenda for solos and musical accompaniment. Carol has attached Brenda’s special gift of music “In the Quiet” that concludes the service.
Nov. 29 Advent 1 Hope has been pre-recorded again with thanks to Carol for getting these services on to the Dunsford United Church YouTube channel. This worship service includes our “Tinsel and Tears” service focus and Holy Communion. Please have food and drink of your choosing available to participate in virtually. Sylvia’s special ministry of music “He Is Here”. Carol has included for the closing of this worship. Brenda provides additional solos and accompaniment.
Sharon’s amateur recordings (minus the special concluding ministries of music) off cell phone for the same services are public and available on Sharon’s personal YouTube channel.
Advent Special Family Time… watch for some special postings in Advent of story and prayer times and some other Advent offerings on Sharon’s YouTube channel.
Dec. 6 Advent 3 Peace White Gift – no worship service. Carol will be emailing special readings and our focus is community outreach of our “white gifts.” Community Food Bank Food Drive.
** Dec. 13 Advent 3 Joy In-service worship in the sanctuary
Dec. 20 Advent 4 Love will be a pre-recorded service on YouTube.
December 24 Christmas Eve
Option 1: pre-recorded worship service on YouTube
** Option 2: In-person gathering 4:00 P.M. Outside in the manger at the stable beside the church building.
Dec. 27 Comfy Cozy Sunday pre-recorded for YouTube
** Please continue to monitor for updates for our in-person events. We cannot predict if restrictions might occur through public health because of the pandemic that will change our ability to gather in-person.
Stay safe and stay well. Please be in touch and don’t feel alone. We all benefit from a listening ear.
Reminder: Everyone must wear a mask, at all times, when indoors attending a place of worship. For more information, visit https://www.hkpr.on.ca
FROM THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA
On Thursday, November 26, please join us for A Cross-Canada Conversation on the International Decade for People of African Descent. The Canadian Council of Churches is sponsoring this event and the United Church is actively involved.
The evening will feature a keynote presentation by Dr. Afua Cooper on the realities of current systemic anti-Black racism in the Canadian context and challenges to the Canadian church. It will also feature a multifaceted panel discussion from diverse Christian voices across Canada, small group discussion in breakout sessions, and a time of prayer.
United Church General Secretary Michael Blair will be one of the speakers at this event.
Sign up today, and help spread the word among your networks by sharing this Facebook post.
Fill Our “Bank”
Drive-thru Food Drive Sunday, December 6 from 2 – 4 p.m.
We are accepting canned food and non-perishable items along with personal hygiene products. We thank you for your generosity!
Drop off your donations to attendants at the Dunsford United Church parking lot.
Main subdivisions will receive door to door collection, so please have your donations on your front step by 2 to ensure social distancing. If someone does knock on your door, they will step back to talk to you.
If you are in a rural area and would like a pickup, please call 705-793-2511 and leave a message at the church office and someone will return your call.
All donations collected through this drive will be received by the Dunsford Food Bank for local distribution – Thank You!
The Dunsford Community Food Bank: Fay Carslake is the Coordinator and may be reached at email@example.com or 705-341-3699
Bits from Brenda