April 30, 2020
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
We are truly living in an unprecedented time. We have all become more familiar with terms like “self-isolation,” “physical distancing” and “flattening the curve.” The spread of COVID-19 has led to anxiety and uncertainty; and has required most of us to significantly change our habits and routines. Many of us are now trying to find effective tools and strategies to adapt to our current circumstances.
How can we stay socially engaged? How can we best support our parents, children and grandchildren during this time? How can we keep our children safe? What should we tell our children about COVID-19? What strategies can we use to overcome any mental health distress that we may be experiencing?
We have recently conducted some thorough research online to find some tools and resources that could help us during these difficult circumstances. We have grouped these websites into two categories. The first is a list of websites with informative articles regarding how to successfully overcome the challenges that we currently face with COVD-19 and how to support one another. The second list of websites provides a number of free resources for parents to help us keep our children engaged in healthy and educational activities while at home. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing these resources with you in bite sized morsels. This first resource may be helpful for parents of young children:
Website – Refinery 29
Resources – Here Are Some Incredible Virtual Tours To Help You Pass The Time
Example – New England Aquarium – Virtual Visits – Shark Feeding
Example – National Parks Service (USA) – Virtual Guided Tours
We also know that many of you have already put into place some measures to help your “kiddos” (had to insert a Caroline reference) and would love to hear from you. Is there something you’ve done that could be helpful for other parents? Plus, please let us know if you have any questions about the websites that we’ve shared. OUC has a long successful history of being a community of faith and there may be no greater time than now for us to continue to support one another.
1 Thessalonians 5: 11 – Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
By now, it is likely that we have all embraced the need to keep a “physical distance” from one another and to practice “self-isolation” in an effort to protect ourselves and those around us from this novel coronavirus and to “flatten the curve.” Unfortunately, this prevents us from having face to face, in person, social visits with one another. Despite this constraint, there are a number of ways for us to stay connected with each other during this unprecedented time.
At this time, we would like to introduce regular virtual social hangouts for those of you who may be interested. Depending on whether you have a computer with internet access, telephone conference calls or virtual video chatting could be set up for this purpose.
We have scheduled our first virtual coffee/tea/wine break for parents with young children.
It will be held on Thursday, May 5th at 8h30 pm via Zoom. I, Luc Lamadeleine, will be hosting this social time together. My wife, Arlene, and I have a 9 year-old daughter, Zoe. She is currently in 3rd grade at l’école
Des Pionniers and is currently receiving her class instructions virtually. She is an only child although we also have Pearl, a Bichon Frisé puppy, at home to keep Zoe, and all of us, company. There is no agenda for this meeting. It’s just an opportunity to connect/reconnect with others. We hope that many of you will be able to join us.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 931 135 0872 Password: 873643
One tap mobile
Meeting ID: 931 135 0872
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbQwXyvuUn
If these virtual social visits interest you, please let us know and keep in mind that although some of you may already be quite connected virtually, this may be an opportunity to reach out to others who may be desperately seeking to connect with others during this most difficult time.
Should you have any questions, please call or email Luc Lamadeleine at 613-296-3155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Note from the Revs….
April 23, 2020
Dear friends in Christ,
Welcome to something new to do something old: namely, to stay in contact with you on a faith level. Something new, because we’re starting our own pastoral letter to share with you every other week. Something old because turning to our faith in the midst of change is nothing new.
So why are we doing this? Well, dearly as these two type A personalities would like, we have resigned ourselves to the fact that we can’t make the world stop. Our OUC volunteer leaders are busy keeping up with all the things that need keeping up with. And we’re super thankful for that.
We hope that what we are adding to the mix will give everyone an oasis to rest amidst the busyness. It’s ironic that while staying at home, things can seem busier than ever.
So… pause with us… rest with us and be still. And know that God is with you, with us, and that we
are not alone.
This year, we are more sympathetic than ever to the women who go to Jesus’ tomb in the middle of the night. We are more sympathetic than ever to the disciples locked away in the upper room, and to the disciples walking the road to Emmaus. We are wondering together, what just happened? How did we get…here?
This isn’t what we had planned on!
We are a bit dazed and disoriented and we miss you, our dear OUC family.
◻ We miss the kiddos gathered on the steps to the Discovery Garden.
◻ We miss the hugs we get every Sunday morning.
◻ We miss hearing the choir sing an anthem so beautifully.
◻ We miss worshipping with you.
◻ We miss laughing with you.
◻ We even miss crying with you.
Riley will be popping in every so often to offer a little church dog wisdom from time to time. But for now, he wants you to know that working from home is not the same and he looks forward to seeing you all in the office
sooner rather than later.
Riley has also heard that right now, there is a shortage of blood available in our hospitals and he encourages you to contact Canadian Blood Services about safe ways in which you could donate blood at this critical time. Members in our very own congregation depend on blood products to keep well and they sure would appreciate your support. He’d donate if he could!!!
We are also heartbroken for all those touched by
the tragedy of the recent shooting in Portopique,
NS. We know many of you have deep connections
to Nova Scotia, and this senseless loss is affecting
you in profound ways. We mourn the loss of so
many lives and we grieve with all those who are
hurting in the wake of this violence.
We were gratified and moved to see an outpouring of support and love for Nova Scotia in the days that followed. Let’s keep a candle burning this week as we remember the victims, and their families.
There are a myriad of ways that people respond to grief, all of them valid, as this graphic insists:
And at times like these, our practices, the things we do that help us to connect with God and with one another and to feel God’s presence with us, are all the more important.
This coming Sunday, we will consider together how we can recognize and proclaim the risen Christ in our midst, even in this time of isolation. As usual, Molly will offer a children’s story complete with PJ’s and pearls, and this week, we will have a segment especially for youth. Come with your questions!
We are also glad to let you know that the majority of households on our church contact list have been contacted by email or by telephone at this point. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped us to get in touch!! Most of you who have responded to our Pastoral Care Outreach, have reported
that you are doing well! We are delighted to hear it!! And we encourage you to remember that if you need pastoral support, we are only a phone call away!
And finally, Denny Ruddick asked us to once again pass along his thanks for the gifts and cards, the phone calls, the pre-Covid visits, and all the tangible expressions of love that his OUC family has given him. He is home now and is doing better all the time. Thanks be to God!
Until next time, we wish you God’s grace and peace,
Molly & Caroline
March 16, 2020