We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation and will be posting frequent updates here.
Covid-19 update (March 31, 2020)
Here’s the latest from the authorities:
- The Prime Minister has announced funding of $2B for made in Canada protective medical equipment and testing
- Prime Minister Ford has announced that Ontario public schools closed until at least May 4th, introduced online learning opportunities and has extended the state of emergency in Ontario for another 2 weeks
- The City of Brampton has closed all offices and facilities including the libraries.
Well, it has been a full day! While the staff were having discussions on Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, recording of services coming up and timing of all of it, there were lots of announcements and cancellations in our world.
Psalm 34:4 says, “God met me more than halfway, He freed me from my anxious fears.”
Anyone feeling anxious? Fearful? Wondering what is happening in the world? What will happen to me?
I love the book of Psalms! It was written I believe to show us that there have been people that have gone through the ups and downs, just like we have and we are! You will feel the anxiousness of the writer, the fear that they held in the moment as they cried out to God…then there is a moment – a decision to change the way they looked at whatever situation they were in to hand over everything to God and choose to allow Him to help them. They chose to worship, to honour, to love God!
In the last week, I have talked to dozens of people that have started out being anxious and fearful but after some reflection, some reading of the Bible, and prayer, things changed! The circumstances didn’t change but they partnered with God to change their perspective! In this same week, we have held two online prayer meetings, small groups happened, staff meetings happened, ministry happened, and we had our best online service ever!
God is with us! God is encouraging us! God is meeting us more than halfway – God is calling to us all!
If you are asking any of the questions listed above, I would encourage you to read some passages in the book of Psalms, spend just a couple of minutes being honest with God in how you are feeling – preferably out loud. I know you will be amazed at how your heart and mind will change!
Reach out to others and be the blessing to those that you are connected with and share the blessing that you received from Christ with them.
We are blessed!
Covid-19 update (March 23, 2020)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pleading with Canadians to follow public health guidelines on COVID-19, warning that stiff enforcement measures could be imposed if people don’t stop engaging in behaviour that puts lives at risk.
In an announcement just a little bit ago, our Premier order the closure of all non-essential business in Ontario.
At the same time, he also said that students across the province will not be returning to school on April 6, as the province first hoped.
Where is God in this?
Announcements like this bring a series of emotions – panic, sadness, anxiety. One of the questions you may have is what is posted above…where is God in all of this?
I find it amazing that just today – before any announcements happened – Jamie and Katrina spoke to this question!
Basically – like was stated in the Facebook live video, God doesn’t cause this, doesn’t want things like this to happen but most importantly, God is with us to walk alongside us as these events occur! God is with us…sounds like a message we hear a lot about at Christmas.
In the middle of all of this, there are some thoughts for today – we can:
- Only control our actions and reactions – we have the choice to honour our leaders, thank them for doing what they feel is best for us as a province and country and assist our essential workers by staying home!
- Honour our emergency services workers, grocery and pharmacy workers and others with unsung hero cards
- Continue to connect with our friends and neighbours with phone calls, emails, texts, etc.
- Check in with seniors you know of to see if they need anything – and help them get it!
- Not fear! I have been using the 2 Timothy 1:7 but there are 355 more options – do some digging and find one that speaks to you!
As a church, we continue to respond to this challenge. Today, we discussed ways to connect better with people that have prayer requests, are struggling in the middle of this with practical needs, a different way to present our Sunday morning services just to name a few. We will be getting this information out as quickly as we can in the coming days.
I will end this note with a prayer for us all:
Lord, in this time of uncertainty, thank you for being with us every moment of every day, for giving us the strength to get through!
I pray for your peace to be with us, your joy to abound, your love to conquer all fear. I pray that each person will continue to work with our leaders and look out for one another as well and I pray that out of all the blessings you have given us, we can and will bless others.
Help us most of all to leave tomorrow’s challenges until they are known to us. In your precious name, Amen.
Covid-19 update (March 16, 2020)
What a couple of days it has been!
Never thought we would be putting images like these together but here we are. Jamie said in a note last week around Sunday service being moved to online-only that we are in unprecedented times…man is he ever right!
First off, I want to say thank you to an entire team of people that did whatever it took to ensure online services at 9 and 11 yesterday! Worship was great, camera work was great and Jamie and Katrina did a wonderful job…it was a blessing. Besides that, we actually had hundreds more than normal connect to our services than normal!
In some ways, today is a continuation of what we celebrated yesterday. We now are in a position where we have to come up with extraordinary measures to meet the needs of our people and extend our reach out to others as well – in a different way.
As of today, our facility is shut down as encouraged by our government leaders… but Christ’s work will continue!
Small groups will connect with each other via phone, online access, text – whatever it takes.
Pastoral/Congregational care will still take place – while staff are at home and we will grow our communication to everyone.
Ministry and Sunday mornings will still happen and people will still be blessed.
Reaching out beyond our walls will still happen with online marketing, daily FB live, tools to help you grow in faith
People will still have access to food when they need it.
The resourcing of God’s work through NBUC is taking a hit right now but we know that people will step up to the challenge and give on return and electronically.
We are in this together!
Acts 4:31-33 While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence. The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.
Covid-19 update (March 13, 2020)
Announcement about this Sunday!
We recognize that we are in unprecedented times and have been prayerfully considering how best to handle Sunday.
This is not about panic in any way but it is about being responsible and honouring what is happening and following recommendations from our government leaders and public health
We are requesting that everyone worship online from home this Sunday in order to honour the recommendations and do our part to keep people healthy and safe. If you know someone who isn’t able to get this message through email please contact them directly or let us know and we will do that.
This may be an opportunity for people to open up to God like never before and for us to reach more people online. Please share the video on Facebook from Jamie and Instagram as a way of inviting people to join us this Sunday! We WILL be talking about the coronavirus and how we can find God’s hope in the midst of all of this and that is a message that many are needing right now.
We will continue to send updates as well as helpful prayers and scripture through email and social media every couple of days.
Please be praying for all impacted and let’s be peace bearers in the midst of all this as do our best to live as Jesus’ followers today!
I can’t wait to share a story of how this happened (opportunity to be a peace bearer) at the grocery store this morning!
Hope to see you online!!
YOUTH EVENTS Update (March 13, 2020)
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, we have made the decision to cancel the Junior High Youth program tonight (March 13th). We know many people are feeling uncertain about public gatherings during this time and we at NBUC care deeply about our youth and their families. We are already thinking about how to creatively change our programming to meet the needs of our community during this time and will continue to communicate our decisions about future events as we gather more information and the situation changes.
As we look to the future there are a few important things we want to keep in mind:
- 2 Timothy 1:7 – we do not need to live a life of fear. God is with us during this time and His Love for us is certain ever during times of uncertainty.
- All levels of government are taking this outbreak seriously and with proper precautions, we have a level of certainty we will get through this as a community.
- Stay connected – use technology to connect with others.
- Be light to those around you…it isn’t enough to be positive yourself, encourage others to do the same
- If you haven’t heard from someone in the last few days, check in to see if they are ok
- We will be back in touch Monday about March break activities
- For more information on NBUC’s response to the Coronavirus please check our website.
NBUC COVID-19 Update (March 12, 2020)
In times of crisis, we know that our faith community is often the first place people turn to for support, particularly if the emergency has widespread health implications. Yet the very nature of being a community adds an increased level of risk if the emergency involves the spread of a respiratory (droplet) infection. This is a quickly changing environment and we need to look out for one another.
We have been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and, following advice from Health Canada and the United Church of Canada, we are taking appropriate steps to ensure we keep our congregations, staff team, and event attendees as safe as possible.
General precautions now in place
These are some of the steps we are now taking more widely to help prevent the spread of infection:
Services and Events
- If you are anxious about coming to church, please remember you can still attend via our online service offering.
You can Watch a Live Stream Sundays at 9am & 11am here
- A change in the way we take up offering. We will begin this Sunday a system where ushers will be at the back of the sanctuary at the end of the service and if you wish to donate you can drop your offering in the basket on your way out. This will limit the amount of handling of the baskets.
- We are closely monitoring updates from Health Canada and Peel Public Health in relation to our services and events and will be regularly updating a new web page which will be up before Sunday with the latest around NBUC
- We are doing all we can to provide handwashing facilities and hand sanitization across all our sites, services and events.
- We are being hyper-vigilant in the preparation and handling of food.
- We are asking all team and volunteers, who are feeling unwell, to stay away from serving until fully recovered.
- If you feel unwell and develop a fever, please stay away from the church and get in touch with your doctor, or if you choose to go to the hospital, please call in advance and ask for guidance.
- When you arrive at church, please thoroughly wash or sanitize your hands.
- We would ask that greeting when you are on the property be a bump of elbows or just a friendly hi rather than hugs or handshakes
- To help prevent the spread of infection, please follow general best practice as outlined by Health Canada.
- If you have recently returned from abroad including the United States, or are planning travel, please ensure that you are following all Health Canada advice.
- Please DO NOT ATTEND CHURCH if you are sick or in a period of self, or mandated isolation.
Please note, we will continue to inform you via email blast, and Facebook as the situation changes.
In the meantime, we will continue as usual and look forward to seeing you on Sunday!