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Coughlan United Church

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COVID 19

From: First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council <Info4RC16@united-church.ca>
Date: March 31, 2020 at 9:29:09 AM NDT
Subject: Gathering for Conversation: Communities of Faith - April 8, 2020

Please share with your church governing representatives.

Community of Faith Representatives,

Thank you for our gathering last Wednesday.  It was great to hear how your community of faith is doing and to hear your questions that you have at this point as we journey together through this time.  It was great to hear how you have been working to keep your community of faith connected at this time.  At our last gathering you said that another one in two weeks would be helpful. 

 

Peggy (President), Paul (Chair of Human Resources), Roy West (Chair of Finance and Administrative Services) and I would like to  invite you to another gathering April 8 at 11:00 -12:30

The zoom information is below.   

FDEE RCO is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Gathering for Conversation: Communities of Faith

Time: Apr 8, 2020 11:00 AM Newfoundland and Labrador

For both audio and video from your computer/tablet, please use the following link to join:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://united-church.zoom.us/j/386716207

What is Zoom? Zoom is a popular and easy way to have a video
conference. A Zoom account is not required to join a meeting, but the
first time you join, your device connects and downloads an application
to run Zoom. The meeting host will e-mail you a link that you click to
join. Here's a Zoom support video that explains getting started.
https://youtu.be/vFhAEoCF7jg 

 

Meeting ID: 386 716 207

 

For users without computer/tablet, access by phone:  855 703 8985 (Canada Toll-free)

 

Regards,

 

Jennifer Taylor

Assistant to the Executive Minister

Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council

Regional Council 15

First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council

THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA

320 Elizabeth Avenue, St. John's, NL  A1B 1T9

1-800-268-3781 Ext. 6140

jtaylor@united-church.ca

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To Coughlan United Church Family and friends
Re: Memo from Rev. Faith March-MacCuish, Executive Secretary, FEE Regional Council Re: Extension of Church closure, Funerals and other concerns.

 

The United Church of Canada
L’Eglise Unie du Canada
First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council
Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council
Regional Council 15
MEMO
To: Communities of Faith, Ministry Personnel, Board/Council Chairs and Regional Members
From: Rev. Faith March-MacCuish, Regional Executive Minister, First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council,
Fundy St. Lawrence Dawning Waters Regional Council and Regional Council 15
Date: March 27, 2020
Re: COVID-19 Regional Update (March 27, 2020)
It seems like such a long time ago that I wrote the letter acknowledging that it was time to shut down our buildings
and have our staff work from home, and yet that was only ten days ago.
Since that time many things have shifted. The messages from our health and government authorities have gotten
stronger and we have all been asked to do our part to help plank the curve, to keep each other safe and to model
good citizenship for our communities, our provinces, our country and our world.
I have such a deep sense of gratitude for our Ministry Personnel, our Communities of Faith’s governing bodies and
our many staff both in local congregations and at the regional level. We have been and continue to be affected by
this Pandemic.
Thank you to all the Ministry Personnel. I know how hard you are working to be present to your Communities of
Faith in this very difficult time. I am aware of your tenacity, your resolve to find new ways of providing worship and
connection, through social media and through a simple phone call, which means so much. I know that you are
struggling when you have to say to a beloved family that the funeral of their loved one needs to be postponed, that
you are sorry you are not permitted to visit them at home or in the hospital, or when you speak with a couple who
are planning their marriage and ask them to consider changing the date. The feeling of helplessness in these
situations is causing you so much extra stress and anxiety. I know your call to ministry is to be present for and with
all God’s children and that has not waivered. I believe it has only been made stronger as you work hard to be the
presence of Christ in ways you never knew possible.
Thank you to our Communities of Faith, your governing bodies, and volunteers for providing for your staff by
allowing them to work from the safety of their home. You are also doing your part to be an example for the wider
community. I have been hearing stories of Board members setting up phone trees and prayer chains. Communities
of Faith checking in with the vulnerable and making sure they know they are not alone. I believe your call to support
your staff and your congregants has also become your strength. Congregational members are also very concerned
about the financial well-being of the Pastoral Charge and have found new ways to give. Thank you to everyone for
doing your part in these most difficult times. Thank you to our Regional Staff who are now working many overtime hours from their homes to make sure our
congregations, committees, ministries and clergy have the information and the tools they need in these difficult
times. Thank you as well to our General Council Staff, Moderator and General Secretary who, at the helm of our
church, strive to keep us connected and informed.
We are truly blessed and upheld by each other and by a good, loving and ever-present God.
As we are fast approaching the first two weeks of closure and our March 30 date, we know we are not in a place to
be able to open our churches or our offices. As this continues to go on, I know it is becoming more difficult. At this
point, we will continue to be closed until the end of April and we will reassess at that time.
Thank you all for supporting this tough decision, adhering to the health and government authorities and keeping
congregations and your staff safe.
Some things to keep in mind:
 Please avoid going into the church buildings at this time.
 Please have one person designated to go in on a weekly basis and check on the building, the pipes and boilers
etc.
 When you do so, make sure you sanitize the door handles and the things you touch.
 If you need to check the mailboxes at the church, please make sure you are safe in doing so.
 If clergy wish to go into the building to record or livestream worship, it is permissible as long as it is a small
group of 1-3 people. Again, make sure you sanitize anything you touch and make sure you are keeping the
required distance apart.
 If you are able to record your services from the safety of your home, all the better.
If your Community of Faith is having financial difficulty, please call your Regional or Executive Minister to discuss
the options available for you. If you are considering temporary layoffs of any staff, it is important that you follow
employment law as well as United Church policies and therefore it is imperative that you are in touch with your
Regional Minister. Our General Council staff are working with employment specialists to guide us at this time and
our Regional Ministers are being equipped with this information and hope to have it by early next week. It is our
hope that it will not have to come to this. As we are hoping that, with government aids as well as help from Regional
Councils and General Council, temporary layoffs will not be needed.
This has been a very different Lenten journey and it will be a very different Holy Week, Good Friday and Easter
Sunday. I know you will all do your best to honour our Easter traditions in new, creative and safe ways. Despite
everything that is happening in our world, we know God is our strength, and we live with the promise of resurrection
hope.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Faith March-MacCuish 

 

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