COVID-19 Update Five

Wednesday April 15 2020

The early morning sunlight and the longer evenings do give us a sense of springtime and rejuvenation. Perhaps before long the snow too will disappear!
Together as the community of Mill Woods United Church we celebrated a very special Easter last Sunday. Even though we were spread out physically, I felt a tremendous sense of oneness and unity as we participated in worship through our television screen. Ian’s message, Bryan’s music and the symbolism of placing beautiful spring flowers on the barren cross all gave a sense of hope and community.
Following the service, we had 20 people join us for a virtual coffee time using Zoom. Mostly the conversations were held in small “breakout rooms” of three or four people. The conversation was lively and fun as people shared their attempts to get a haircut, acts of kindness shown to them, and their preference for white, milk, or dark chocolate.  It was fun to get together and we will try it again in two weeks-time – Sunday April 26,2020. Watch for your Zoom invitation!
On Tuesday April 14, your Church Council met for the first time since our Annual Meeting in March, using Zoom.  It was great to gather with Council members again and to welcome for a first time two new Council members – Amber Petch and John Mair. The following are a few highlights of our meeting.

  • Everyone took a minute or two to share how they were experiencing this time of uncertainty, and the changes it has brought to the lives of them and their families.
  • We reviewed our financial position as of the end of March 2020. While our revenue from rentals and fundraising are down, we are very grateful for the ongoing financial support of members of our church community. Thank you.
  • We reviewed three Federal government relief programs for which Mill Woods United Church is likely eligible. Motions are now in place for to enable us to pursue three government relief programs:
    • The 10 percent temporary wage subsidy
    • Canada emergency wage subsidy
    • Canada emergency business account

As we receive further information we will keep you informed.

  • Each of our committee chairs provided brief updates on actions they have been involved in over the past six to eight weeks. A few highlights included:
    • Congregational Care’s leadership in establishing our congregational phone-out whereby regular contacts are being made by a group of 14 phoners
    • Worship’s leadership in ensuring meaningful and ongoing services of worship each Sunday through Facebook and later on our church website.
    • Ian Kellogg’s leadership in both worship and ongoing contacts to members of our church community
    • Ministry and Personnel’s plan for individual Zoom meetings with each of our staff in the next week
    • Building Use’s leadership in the updating of an emergency evacuation plan for our building
    • Property’s ongoing work to ensure regular monitoring and needed maintenance of the building
    • The appreciation we have for the ongoing connections with families of young children done by Georgia Englot
  • Dates were confirmed for Council meetings over the next year. Generally, these meetings will occur on the fourth Tuesday of each month starting at 7:00 pm. Our next meeting is planned for Tuesday May 26, 2020.
  • The following dates were established for Congregational Meetings:
    • Annual Financial Meeting: Sunday November 29, 2020 at 12:00 noon
    • Annual General Meeting: Sunday March 7, 2021 at 12:00 noon

As a congregation we are doing many things to create community and support each other. At the same time, we appreciate any ideas you might have to enhance these efforts.  If you have things you would like us to consider, please let me know ( or 780-974-4167).
Keep healthy, connected, and happy.
Rob McPhee