Suspension of in-person gatherings

IMPORTANT UPDATE — March 17, 2020, updated March 19

Friends,

Mill Woods United Church has suspended activities at the church facility indefinitely and taken the following actions effective immediately, as part of our overall efforts to respect government and health directives related to COVID-19 and social distancing.
 
We see social distancing as both a way of minimizing the likelihood of exposure to ourselves and as an act of generosity and compassion towards others.
 
We realize that this is a volatile and ever-changing situation which is likely to evolve over time. Our goal is to find ways to support one another and keep members of our church community informed and up-to-date. Information will be shared on our church website, through What’s the Buzz, and by telephone.

The following directives are now in place until further notice:

  • Sunday morning worship and other programming has been cancelled.
    • Ian Kellogg, Bryan LeGrow and our Worship committee will be looking at ways to share spiritual messages of hope through electronic means including our website and What’s the Buzz.
    • Georgia Englot will be sending families with young children a weekly do-at-home plan of activities using email.
  • All our Outreach programs, including Food Bank pick-up, Bread Run, Clothing Bank, assistance with Forms, and Collective kitchen have been cancelled.
    • All leaders of these groups have been informed of this decision.
    • The one exception is that we will give out Food Bank hampers today only, March 17, under a modified process. We will then look at the possibility of restarting this again in a few weeks if we feel the health and social distance needs of volunteers and attendees can be adequately addressed.
  • There will be no church based activities or meetings planned until further notice. This includes Council meetings, choir practice, committee meetings, study groups, social events, and non-essential maintenance.
    • We do not question the importance of these activities but feel individual and group health must be the priority.
    • Groups wishing to communicate and carry-on business electronically or by telephone are welcome to do so.
  • All rental and outside groups using our facility have either cancelled their activities or have been informed the building is not available to them until further notice.
    • We realize this, and other actions, will have financial implications but once again health must be our first consideration.
  • Everyone is asked to refrain from going into the church building except for essential needs and services. This is for the health of both you and our staff. At present our staff will be there during regular hours but this may change over time. In all cases, please contact the church at 780-463-2202 prior to arriving

Caring For and Supporting Each Other

This is a time when we each are experiencing feelings unknown to us and wondering what tomorrow might bring. It is also a time for abundant generosity and kindness. If you are feeling isolated, likely others are too. Give them a call, have a chat, send an email, ask how you can help.

We have received offers of generosity and service by members of our church community. So we ask – if you are in need of something (shopping, child-care, food delivery, etc) please either call 780-463-2202 or email mwuc1@telus.net. If you are willing to help others in similar ways, please also let us know at the above contacts. We will work to match up needs and offers.

Finally, our working group has just begun to look at all the ramifications of this situation and have a number of unanswered questions. If you have questions or comments, once again please let us know by either calling 780-463-2202 or emailing mwuc1@telus.net. We will endeavour to find the answers and share them through further updates.

Our working group was designed to cover a cross-section of our congregation and included Liliana Angel, Ian Kellogg, Cathy Bayly, Carol Hickmann, Laverne Boswell, Gary Boswell, Nancy Erhman and Rob McPhee. We will be meeting again on Monday March 23, 2020 after which a new update will be shared.

Thank you and remember – love is something when you give it away you end up having more!

Rob McPhee, Council Chairperson