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



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04
May 4, 2020

Was that a distraction from the ever-present/never-ending talk of COVID? As I said last week, you’d think there was nothing else going on in the world. While the first 25 pages of our national newspapers are no longer dedicated to the disease and what it is causing to people and to the economy, it is still our major focus. With reason. We continue to wait . . . for freedom to get out and to get together with people again. It will come (but not soon enough for many).

Yesterday we held our Annual Meeting; rather, we talked about what would have happened if we could have held one. We would have heard reports from our ministry leaders, and a financial review and budget would have been presented (e-mail Pierre, he has them ready). We would have asked if anyone could be delegates at the District Assembly (also cancelled). And we would have met a new and expanded church board. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

I did, though, share from Exodus 14 and likened our situation to that of the Israelites in their escape from Egypt and their uncertain future as they readied to cross the Red Sea. Again this year we wonder where we are headed as a people of God (both the present and the future are challenging as we continue in these difficult days). As we wait we have time to think, time to reflect, time to ponder . . . time to answer some important questions: how do we fulfill our calling as a church to bring people to Christ (I used the term “into a kingdom relationship”) and what can we do to be what God wants us to be?

I asked the questions to get us thinking, and our discussion led us to even more questions:

  • What does God expect of us?
  • How do we break the barriers that have been put up, that “the church” isn’t important to people?
  • How do webreak down the barriers that we have set up (without realizing that we have)?
  • How can we/what must we do to begin interacting with others outside the church community?
  • How do we develop relationships with those around us?

These are all good questions – important questions. Can we find new ways, new processes, new ideas so that we can tell the old old story of Jesus and His love to people who are desperately seeking for that love but have the mindset that Jesus is not only not important to them but is almost irrelevant? That is our challenge!

How do we find the mind of God? How do we discover what God wants for us? By listening for and to Him, of course! You already pray. You already wait on God for direction for your lives. Now join us as we continue to get together each Wednesday evening for a time of congregational prayer in our "virtual prayer room". Please join us this week – Wednesday from 7:00-7:30pm – as we gather through ZOOM to pray for one another and for others. 

Meanwhile, Sunday coming is Mother’s Day. I expect the florists to do a booming business and the restaurants to be empty (and the bar-b-ques and the smoke detectors to be active). We’ll gather again at 11:00 for our service by ZOOM. The link and information to log in to our Sunday gathering is the same each last week: meeting ID is 725-542-198; password is 956130.

Great news: David has finished setting up a YouTube account for the church. Previous Thursday Thoughts and some of our Sunday Services have been uploaded for those who wish to view them but have not signed up for Facebook (or even if you have!). All I can say is  . . . wow! Thanks, David, for putting this together for us (click here to view it).

Again I thank you for your faithfulness in sending your tithes and offerings even though we are not meeting together at the church building. Some are mailing their envelopes to the church while others are using the two electronic options available. These are difficult days for many financially as the employment situation is in flux, and difficult days may be ahead . . . so thank you for your commitment to Trinity Church.

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 directly; the church e-mail address is ottawatrinity@rogers.com . We are now set up for auto-deposit. And for those who mail their tithe envelopes to the church, deposits will be made to the bank every second Friday.

Please indicate how you would like your gift designated: Tithes and Offerings, WEF/Easter Offering, Cuba, Child Sponsorship, etc. The drop-down menus on the Canada Helps web site only allow for one designation; you can leave a note if you would like to give to more than one need.  

Both Matt and Johania have been recommended for local ministers licenses again this year as they continue their search for God’s direction in their lives. We have involved – and will continue to involve – them in the “ministerial team” (which includes Pastor Al). Both Johania and Matt will share devotional thoughts in our Sunday times together: Johania in May, and Matt in June. There will be a youth-led time at the end of May as well. 

The end of one church year and the beginning of the next means that I will be busily involved in fulfilling my work as district secretary for the next month and a bit. Of course this year things will be a bit different, but even though there will not be a district assembly the statistics still need to be compiled and a district information booklet and Journal need to be published. I am working with an app developer and we are creating a district reporting portal and app.

A booklet will not be printed but will be available for download through the district web site and will be found on the CCDNAZ app (which will be available soon from the app store and from Google Play.

Our District Assembly would have been held June 5-6 were it not for the current “situation”. Even though we can’t get together in person, District Superintendent Steve Ottley has invited all of the district churches to an on-line celebration service. This will take the place of our local June 7 gathering. We’ll receive a link to the service soon.

It’s interesting: church clean-up is not allowed, but opening the community garden is. Actually, I should write it like this: even though church clean-up is not allowed, opening the community garden is! We are excited that the province has opened/allowed this important and vital service to run. There are strict guidelines in place should gardens run and we will follow them, of course; we are just glad for the opportunity.