***Along with many other organizations First United is now closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This includes Sunday services as well as all midweek events. We are monitoring the situation closely and will respond appropriately to new developments and will post them here or on our Facebook page. If you have a pastoral emergency please call 632-7129.
*** Please see below for a new message from our Minister
Online Worship with the Moderator
The Moderator of the United Church of Canada posts weekly worship online.
We encourage everyone to tune in – Sunday morning if possible, although the video remains available all week.
Go to the Blogs section on the main page of the United Church of Canada website to watch this worship.
Regular Sunday Givings during Covid-19
At this difficult time it’s generally good advice to take things day by day, keep safe and return to church when the crisis is over. Unfortunately, many of your church’s expenses continue on a weekly basis. For those who are on Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR) – thank you. For those who aren’t – and are able to do so – please consider sending your weekly offerings through the post, or drop it off in the church drop box outside the Lower Hall entrance. Thank you.
A Message From Our Minister
A few things to consider as we pass through a dark place…
We’re all living in a challenging and stressful time right now – and the stressors are coming at us from several directions at once. Here are three areas of concern – along with ways to minimize their impact.
Everyone is concerned about physical safety – especially our elderly. There is little we can add to this issue except to reiterate what others have said before:
1) Limit your contact with others by staying home
2) If you must go out for food or prescriptions be sure to keep a 6 foot space
3) Wash your hands after every possible contact
(As of March 26) the worst of it hasn’t arrived yet – so we’re looking at many more weeks of this. But if we follow these simple steps as rigorously as possible we will help our health care system immensely, and also shorten the time that we’ll all be under restrictions. Social isolation is very difficult for some, but again, the more we do to curtail the spread of the virus the sooner the wave will pass.
Beyond medical concerns, many folks are worried about their jobs. Some have already lost their livelihood, and many others worry about how long their work will continue. If you know someone with a need please call them. If you have a need don’t be shy to reach out to family and friends for help. Many people are rightfully proud of their independence, but before this is over we may all need to lean on others to help pull us through.
Finally, I’d like to talk about how we’re all feeling. Anxiety and fear seems omnipresent, but perversely, at the exact time we’d normally be gathering to reassure one another, we are now explicitly being asked to avoid social groups. So how do we lower our stress levels?
To avoid anxiety overload try to limit the amount of time you spend watch TV news or listening to radio. It’s important to stay informed, so check the news morning and evening. But don’t drown yourself in coverage because it starts to have a negative emotional affect.
Stop getting your news from social media. It’s OK for staying in contact with friends, but it’s not a credible source of information. Listen to trusted news sources that are in contact with government officials and science-based health care providers. Not everyone is thrilled with government officials, but they really do have a better understanding of what’s going on than those who are mouthing off on Facebook; and I hope it goes without saying that our doctors and nurses know more about actual medical conditions than #twizzlestick37.
Be especially cautious of those who traffic in negativity. Yes, there may be specific concerns that could be brought to the public’s attention, but avoid listening to those who offer up a stream of bad news and no solutions. It’ll leave you at an emotional and spiritual dead end, drained of the exact strength, patience and courage that you will need during this time.
Call family and friends on phone. It’s good to hear a friendly voice. But by all means don’t use the occasion as an opportunity to complain. No one needs to hear that (, but especially) right now. Instead, use it as an opportunity to build one another up. To share positive stories, and give encouragement. Remember that some of life’s worst times provide an opening for unexpected blessings.
We’re not the first people to face crisis. Across centuries and continents everyone has faced hard times at some point. So share words of encouragement, like those from Psalm 23. We’ve probably heard these words so often that we’ve stopped considering its context or the profundity of its main message. Traditionally ascribed to David, it was written with a feeling of gratitude after looking back to a former time when things had been particularly bleak. But having come through that dark valley, a look back showed that God’s presence had been there all along.
Call for Confirmation or transfer of membership: It's that time of year again when First United begins preparing to receive new members. The exact date hasn't been finalized, but some time in May or June we hope to celebrate confirmation and reaffirmation and welcome those who are transferring their membership from other churches. If you are considering this or want more info, please talk to me personally or contact me at .
Please remember that First United strives to be a scent free facility.
Church business (general inquiries, committee info,
bulletin announcements, etc.) should be directed to the Office Administrator.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
9 am – 12 pm. Closed Mondays
We are able to receive bulletin announcements until noon on Thursdays.
Rev. van Vliet is usually in the church offices
Monday through Thursday afternoons.
He tries to take Fridays off.
If you have a pastoral need call 634-5301 or
feel free to email, or drop in to the office.