World-wide Communion 2020
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It has been a weird year, to put it mildly. We have been holed up in our homes, required to wear masks when we go out and church has been ‘streamed’ to our cellphones and computers. We are bombarded by news about Covid19, the US election, racial injustice, forest fires and hurricanes. The new word for obsessing on these newsfeeds is ‘doomscrolling’.
In the midst of this, we are reminded by Scripture to “give thanks in all circumstances.” Really? Yes, really. Note, first, that we are not called to be thankful ‘for’ everything, but ‘in’ everything. This is actually one of the disciplines of the mature (or maturing, hopefully) Christian. We may indeed feel lonely or anxious or stressed, but this practice is how we express our trust in our sovereign and loving God. We can thank him for his beautiful creation, his provision for our needs, family, friends, music, babies, dogs, health, sleep, entertainment and much more.
Especially we give thanks for his love in Christ, for forgiveness and freedom, eternal life and new mercies every day.
We are planning to express our gratitude by sharing in the Lord’s Supper on Thanksgiving Sunday, October 11th. Many of you will be at home but some will actually be in church buildings. More about that on the other side of this letter. I hope you will join us, even during difficult days, as we give thanks together … ‘for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’.
In Christ’s love,
Return to Church
Greetings in Jesus’ name!
We will have been 28 Sundays without regular church services as of September 27th. At first the provincial government mandated this, but since June we’ve been allowed to gather with certain restrictions. The Official Board decided to exercise an abundance of caution and delay opening until October. In-church services will start on October 4th in Lochlin and Haliburton at the usual times. Ingoldsby is holding off for now.
Some of us have been awaiting this day eagerly and will happily attend even with all the restrictions. Others feel more vulnerable and will stay home for now. Only you know what is best for you. We have developed some guidelines in keeping with the local health directives and Ontario law and these will accompany this letter. There will be hand sanitizer provided at the churches but we ask everyone to bring and wear a mask. Signs will indicate other procedures, such as social distancing and safe seating. It will all take a bit of getting used to but we will adapt. Of course, things may change from week to week and if there are new outbreaks we may need to close again. We plan to post pertinent information on the church website, or you can call the office if you have questions.
As you probably know, we have streamed a service through the internet all these weeks. Many of you have accessed this and found it encouraging. I’ve been encouraged by your response. The streaming will continue. Not only are many not comfortable coming in the building as yet, but also there are people tuning in from faraway places (like B.C., Wales and Peterborough). We want to continue to support you in your walk with Christ. The stream will be live from the Haliburton church, and therefore the time will change from 10:30 to 11:15 on Sunday.
As mentioned on the flip side, we will share in communion on October 11th. If you are at home please provide your own elements and join in. Those who come to the churches will be provided with a disposable pre-packaged communion ‘kit’ which we’ll ask you to take home for disposal.
We’ll see some of you soon, but in any case let’s stay connected but stay safe.
Grace and peace in Jesus, our Lord,