Weekly Announcements March 31 2020

First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council
Weekly Announcements
March 31, 2020

First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council Webpage Emergency Response Link
For current news, information and links regarding COVID-19, please go to the Emergency Response link on the First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council webpage.

New Podcast Series
Open Out, a new podcast series on helping faith communities develop the practical skills to welcome greater diversity – folks who are culturally or racially different than the majority – is now live at http://www.openout.ca. This research project was funded by the United Church Foundation. The first series called ‘Curious’ is now downloadable – and new episodes published each Monday.

First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council is now on Facebook!
We are happy to announce that our Regional Council is now on Facebook. Please follow or like the page to keep current on what is happening in our Regional Council.

Gathering for Conversation: Communities of Faith
The next Gathering for Conversation hosted by Rev. Heather Sandford (Regional Minister), Rev. Peggy Johnson (President), Rev. Paul Vardy (Chair, Division of Human Resources) and Dr. Roy West (Chair, Division of Finance & Administrative Resources) is happening April 8, 2020, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm (Nfld Time). Here is the link to join this meeting: https://united-church.zoom.us/j/386716207

Funerals and Weddings
As per Dr. Janice Fitzgerald’s directive on March 30, 2020 until further notice:
Funeral Services: There are to be no funeral services, wakes or visitation.
Burials: Burials may happen with no more than 5 (five) people including the Minister.
Weddings: Weddings may only happen with 5 (five) people including the Minister. That means the clergy, the couple and two witnesses.
We are asking all of our Ministry Personnel and Communities of Faith to adhere to these rules.

2019 Annual Reports
First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council Office is continuing to gather Annual Reports from all Communities of Faith in our Region. Thank you for the time and consideration it takes to prepare your Annual Reports. These reports provide valuable information for the work of the Financial Accountability and Consultation Team and the Pastoral Consultation and Accountability Team in our Region. We encourage you to email the Annual Reports to info4RC16@united-church.ca. If preferred, one hardcopy can be mailed to 320 Elizabeth Avenue, St. John’s, NL, A1B 1T9.

As we know, this is not a regular year for us. Some Communities of Faith have had their annual meetings and therefore can send in their reports. Those who have not yet had the opportunity to have their annual meeting, you still have time. We are pleased to let you know that CRA has extended the date that your Annual Charitable returns (T3010) have to be submitted from June 30 to now December 31, 2020. There is time to have your annual meeting when we do not have to observe social distancing and limiting the gathering size. Thank you for your continued efforts in these uncertain times.

A Message from Canadian Council of Churches
Dear Church Leaders, Governing Board members, and Observers. We are pleased to announce that the message “Hope, Gratitude and Solidarity: A Message to Canadians from Religious Leaders in Canada in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” has now been released. Along with achieving forum consensus within the Council, the letter has received over 80 signatories from ecumenical and interfaith communities across Canada. This is certainly an achievement worth celebrating! The statements and write-up can be found on the CCC’s news page: Canadian Council of Churches

O God,
We gather together separated by life-saving distancing, but united more than ever in spirit;
We know we are in a war against COVID – 19 together, and the more together we are, the better and stronger we will emerge:
We know the challenges are enormous, yet so are the opportunities;
That whether we are in isolation with loved ones, or alone, we will have abundance of time;
We commit to using that time to the max, to help those in greater need in whatever way we can; We know we all have the opportunity, and time, to be life savers and life enhancers;
We give thanks for those who are on the front line taking care of those who are not well;
We give thanks for the researchers who are working at breakneck speed to find cure and vaccine; We give thanks for our leaders, federal, provincial and local, for their dedication to all of us;
We give thanks for the providers of our daily needs who go to work in spite of the risk;
We give thanks for those who have ramped up their ability to produce life-saving supplies.
We pray for the well-being of all our life savers; For those who are not well, that they recover fully; For those enduring difficulty, that they may overcome their challenges.
We pray that a cure and vaccine will soon be available,
And that we all – family, friends, all Canadians, the entire world may be healed in body and spirit. We ask you, O God, to bless our leaders, our front line care givers, our life savers and life enhancers. We ask you, O God, to bless Canada, to bless the world, to bless everyone. Amen