First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council
April 21, 2020
Easter Prayer from Rev. Jocelyn Cook, Humber and Pasadena-Howley United Churches
Holy One, we give you thanks for this and every day – those days when we can swing our feet out over the bed and stretch and absorb your presence with us. Thank you, God, for your love and your presence.
These times in which we are living now also feel unbelievable. How could the whole world be affected and infected with this virus? But, here again, you are no respecter of disease or locked doors or people staying in their bubble – you come alongside us, with no fear of social distancing or quarantining, you are right there with us. Reassurance is one of the gifts you bring to us, but you also surround us with your love and peace. For that, we say thank you.
We seek your blessings this day on our government leaders as they try their very best to do as they are being advised and offer that advice to us. May they be aware of your wisdom and guidance. For the frontline workers, in whatever capacity, we offer our thanks. For the grace, which they offer in their caring, for the tenderness they show in their interaction, for your love, which is brought by them, we offer deep gratitude.
Bless us this day in your continued service as we attempt to worship in different ways, as we attempt to show and share your love in ways that are not at all as we normally do. May it all be to your glory, O God. This day and every day as we walk with you, we remember your promise that you will never leave us or forsake us, and so we trust and believe in your grace and mercy.
We pray this in and through Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord. Amen.
Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR)
Many of us were taught to bring an offering envelope when we went to Church on Sunday. Our gifts, contained in those envelopes, fund important ministry and make a difference in many people’s lives, near and far. But what happens when we don’t get to church every Sunday, or when, like now, we can’t get to church at all? That is when a program like PAR (Pre-Authorized Remittance) can make a huge difference.
The truth is, important ministries still need our support. For those of us who are in a position to give, PAR is a very easy and convenient way to do so. Here is some important information you might want to share with your members at this time
Those already on PAR can easily update the amount of their gift by contacting your congregation’s PAR coordinator or the national PAR administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just remember to include the name, city and province of your congregation or your PAR number. You can get your PAR number from your local PAR coordinator.
New PAR donors are asked to fill out the PAR authorization form indicating how much they want to give to their community of faith and how much they would like to donate to people in need and programs that matter through Mission & Service. Normally, they would hand it, along with a voided cheque, or credit card information, to the local PAR coordinator who would then mail the information to the PAR administrator at the General Council Office.
However, with General Council Office staff working from home, please DO NOT mail the forms to the address on the PAR form. Instead, mail them to the PAR administrator using this special address:
The United Church of Canada
8 Switzer Street
New Lowell, ON L0M 1N0
There is also an option available to forward the forms and void cheque by fax. Please send them to the General Council Office fax number 416-232-6003. Staff have remote access so forms can be processed promptly.
Please take all necessary security precautions with personal banking information. Please DO NOT send scanned or photographed images.
For any questions on PAR, or on any other methods of Giving during the COVID-19 Pandemic, please email Roger Janes, our Stewardship & Gifts Officer at email@example.com or call 709-486-3239.
Request to Retain Sacraments Elders Licence
To all Sacraments Elders. The time has come to renew your licence for another year. There is a new online form for the 2020-21 renewal of your licence that is located on the Regional Council website. The deadline for requesting to retain your license is April 30, 2020. Do not forget to include supporting documentation from the governing body of your Pastoral Charge/Community of Faith.
Completing the Annual Declaration of Criminal Charges
From April 1 to June 30, ministry personnel (including candidates in Supervised Ministry Education appointments or other appointments), will be able to submit their Annual Declaration on Criminal Charges form on ChurchHub. This form needs to be filled out no later than June 30, 2020 to remain compliant, including being eligible for calls or appointments and for licences for sacraments and marriages.
To fill out the Annual Declaration, log in to ChurchHub and “My Ministry Page.” Look to the right for the “My Professional Requirements” box and then select the “Annual Declaration 2020” link.
If you completed your Annual Declaration anytime from January-March 2020, then you actually were completing your 2019 Annual Declaration. Therefore, you will need to log into ChurchHub and complete your Annual Declaration for 2020. If you have any issues or questions, please contact the Office of Vocation Minister, Andrew Richardson, at ARichardson@united-church.ca.
Appointments – First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council
For Appointments ending June 30, 2020, please do not wait until the last minute to submit your request for renewal to the Region for approval. General Council is now requiring new Appointments and Calls to be processed through ChurchHub, so it will be wise to set some time aside to become oriented to this new approach. Ministry Personnel seeking to be appointed or to have their Appointment renewed will need to verify their eligibility through their personal account on ChurchHub. For more information, please contact Regional Minister Heather Sandford. For assistance with ChurchHub; please contact Deb Kigar.
Camping Sunday 2020
Camping Sunday 2020 is quickly approaching. Traditionally it is celebrated on the final Sunday of April. However, given the circumstances in Nova Scotia that many of our communities of faith will want or need to address on Sunday, it is suggested that Camping Sunday be moved to the first Sunday in May. As a way to celebrate Camping Sunday, I, along with folks from a variety of our camps, have prepared a service for online use for communities of faith as they wish to use it. It will be found on YouTube. The link will be distributed in next week’s announcements. If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. ~ Rev. Catherine Stuart, Regional Minister for Children, Youth and Young Adults
Making Hope Visible Podcast – Justice and Mission Network of the Atlantic Regions of The United Church of Canada
In this Earth Day episode, host Laura Hunter, has a lively conversation about the connection between churches, climate change, and COVID-19 with Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, author of Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change, Jim looks at lessons we are learning from the current pandemic and how they might help us in our journey to seeking a healthier planet. Find this and past episodes here.
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP): The latest news on the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program
Providing a financial and settlement support to sponsored newcomers while maintaining a physical distance. Where possible, sponsors are advised and encouraged to maintain physical distancing and observe the measures outlined above in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 when providing financial and settlement support to newcomers sponsored under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) and the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) programs that are still within their sponsorship period.
If sponsors are currently providing financial support to the newcomers via other means (e.g. cheques), sponsors should inform the newcomers of the change in how they will be receiving financial support before switching to bank or e-transfers. Sponsors are strongly recommended to contact their nearest settlement agency to see what services and supports are still being provided to newcomers, as staff at some settlement agencies are still able to offer their services remotely using various online platforms.
RSTP Trainers and staff are working remotely and are still able to assist refugee sponsors via email, over the phone and through virtual meetings. We are also able to host and deliver online training sessions and online workshops. For more information, please visit http://www.rstp.ca/en/.
United Church Bookstore
Our bookstore remains open during this trying time. If you need any supplies from the bookstore, please contact Leona at 1-800-268-3781, Ext. 6141 or email@example.com and arrangements can be made for you to get your package in a safe manner or by mail.
If you have news to share relating to First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council, please share it with us and we will include it in our weekly announcements.
Send any information to: firstname.lastname@example.org.