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our weekly e-newsletter . . . with random thoughts from the Pastor.


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March 16, 2020

Frustrating. That’s the word I’d use about what happened in our service yesterday: frustrating. Not by the much-lower-than-normal attendance – that was not only expected, but appreciated. With the continued spread of COVID-19 we need to be aware of “best practises” and take care not to gather.

But we did not cancel our service. We thought “we’ll meet” (those who were comfortable enough doing so) “and we’ll stream”. We finally found the one missing cable we needed to make sure the camera would work. And we overcame the second problem we discovered when we went to set everything up (the camera stand was broken). And we actually started the camera and “went live” with the service. For about two minutes. And that is what was frustrating. We did everything that we could do so that our service could be seen by everyone not in attendance, and then discovered that it could not be seen.

We don’t know what happened. I didn’t even realize that things were not working until the service was over. Some people sent messages asking what the problem was when they logged on to Facebook but could not see the service, but those who monitor the site were also involved in the service itself and did not see the messages until just before our message time, and unfortunately could not remedy the situation. Frustrating for all involved! All I can say is that we’ll try again and that next Sunday’s service should be live-streamed.

As to our service itself, we had decided to move ahead with our regular service – after all, Jesus said where two or three are gathered together in [His] name, [He] am there in the midst of them. So even though some of the songs chosen were more “enthusiastic” we who gathered sang with gusto and with passion . . . in His presence. Those in attendance took time to pray before our message. I would say that we did not have a church service – but that we did indeed worship together.

We continued our mini-series on Who Are We? Who We Are by looking at Romans 3. We may have begun as Train Wrecks but we’ve moved past that, in Jesus. We have found hope! We are Forgiven Sinners, and we move along through life, not trapped as we were but moving forward. Click here to download the message to read.

Sunday coming (I’m being optimistic) our service will (a) go on and (b) stream live. Those from the worship team that feel comfortable doing so will join me as we lead in song (call it a “mini-concert”). We’ll conclude our mini-series as we remember that we are Saints in the Making.

However, everything else in the next two week period / until the end of the month will be cancelled. We’ll let you know if anything changes (thanks, Marg for keeping us informed!).

For those who wondered . . . if you are not able to join us in our services so cannot share your tithes and offerings, you can click here to go directly to our on-line giving site (there is a drop-down menu so that you can direct your giving to our different ministries). You will be able to immediately print a receipt. You can also e-transfer to the church; is the church e-mail address.

March 28-29 (that’s near the end of the two week isolation period) District Superintendent Rev. Steve Ottley may be in Ottawa to visit with the pastors on our zone and join us for our morning service and share our message. Everything is up in the air right now . . . nto immediately after our service as he has an evening obligation, but we will have time to talk with him before he goes.

Although it may seem that we are constantly bombarded with news and updates regarding COVID-19 it is good to be reminded about “best practises” regarding what is now considered a pandemic. It is better to err on the side of caution. With that in mind, these reminders . . .

Ottawa Public Health advises people to take the following measures to reduce the risk:

  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay at home if you are sick, which includes not visiting others in hospital or a care home.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.
  • If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.
  • Consider social distancing, or staying two metres or more away from other people. This is the reason behind many cancellations.
  • Self-isolate for 14 days if you're returning home from another country or spend extensive time with someone who has.

CBC News and 1310 News Radio update their sites often regarding the effects of the virus in Ottawa.

Remember to pray for those who have been affected by this health issue:

  • Those infected
  • Those working with the infected (health care providers)
  • Those who have been laid off or who cannot work

                        (Especially those who will lose earnings)

  • Children not in school (and parents who need child care)

It’s that time of the year again: the nursery school is fundraising, again through Purdy's chocolates. Order your Easter chocolates by signing in to your [or starting an] account at Purdy's [click here] – use customer number 37568. There is a nice selection of chocolate available. Order by March 26; pick-up is April 8 [the Wednesday before Easter] at the church. Enjoy!

Don’t forget that JCL – our “other” worship team – is readying an evening of praise and worship for us. There will be a bit of sharing and a lot of singing . . . a time of togetherness in Christ. We will meet at 7:00pm on April 26 to glorify God together, with congregational singing and special music. Plan to join us.

And speaking of singing . . . and music . . . and celebration . . . our next day of music and celebration will be May 24 as we speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ [Ephesians 5:19-20] Be thinking ahead even now of what – and how – you will share: with voice or instrument or spoken word!

We're going to do it again: we're inviting the Misfits – and others – to join us May 29 for our second annual (if you do it twice that makes it annual, right?) "Motorcycle Rally". We'll provide breakfast for those who ride to the church; we'll have a great service together (it's Pentecost Sunday so our sermon – titled Invasion – will focus on what some people worry about may happen when a motorcycle club comes into a town and on what we know happens when the Spirit of God comes into a life). We'll end our time together with a blessing of the bikes.

Our Spring Clean Up Day has been scheduled for May 2 . . . join us for a few hours of work as we look after the building at the end of the winter (it's March and we’re already planning for spring!).