First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council
April 28, 2020
Weekly Prayer from Rev. Grant Stuckless, Pouch Cove-Bauline Pastoral Charge
Gracious and Loving God, giver of all life, we give you thanks for this season of resurrection, and for making us Easter people. We thank you that your church continues to be a place that welcomes one another and calls us to share the hope that comes from knowing your love.
You made a covenant with Abraham, called Sarah to bear the future of the faith, and granted them home and descendants. In being a parent to Ishmael and Isaac, you remind us that as faith comes from our families, we also bear the responsibility to respect, be kind and love one another knowing that our understanding of connection and relationship is wide. Help us to be mindful that your love comes from us to care for all. May peace be with our relations in the Islamic Community. In this season of Ramadan, when Allah called Mohammed, may our Muslim cousins know your peace and guidance in faithful service.
Bless our relations with our neighbours of First Nations, Northern Inuit Nations, Mi’kmaq and Metis communities. Help us, O Creator God, to listen to the wisdom that our first ancestors have to teach us. We need our ancestors’ teachings. God of life, remind us of your everlasting love in this season of Easter. We need to know it so clearly and tenderly at this time. We are mindful of the mourning taking place in the communities of Portapique and Colchester County, and the province of Nova Scotia. May we know how to bear some of the grief of our neighbours in these peaceful, Maritime communities. We know that as family and friends, we are not far removed from these relationships. Indeed, we are very close. Help us to demonstrate a willingness to share their grief. Where inexplicable violence leaves us bewildered in a whirlwind of emotions, Holy One, help us to know that you are our centre. Help us to go to you with the weight of heavy feelings we carry. Deliver us to a time and place of meaning and inner peace in the future. Help us to relate with care and love and to never find ourselves in such a place of horror again. Help us to be present to our neighbour and show such an expression of your love that reflects health for our minds, bodies, hearts and spirits.
Gracious God, we pray for the public health of our planet. Where COVID-19 is now taking so much of people’s energy as well as people’s lives, give us what we need to be free of this virus, to stop it in its tracks. Bless our public health officials who supply us with awareness, direction and consciousness every day during this pandemic. Bless our governments who are working hard to re-shape public policy daily as it is needed. Bless researchers in the human health sciences that they may come to discover ways for us to keep the harm of the Coronavirus at a distance, through the breakthrough or discovery of a vaccine and treatments. Bless families who mourn the loss of loved ones of all ages, but especially, O God, bless our most vulnerable, our family members who are seniors, in long-term care homes who are unable to receive a visit from loved ones at this time, in order to respond to the call for physical distancing. Bless the ways we make connections through the sound of a voice over the phone or through visual media where we can spend some time seeing each other’s faces, expressing our love. Bless any with pre-existing conditions and any who fight COVID-19 as children, youth, young adults or workers, or unemployed. Give our physicians and nurses, recreational staff and health care professionals all that they need to safely provide care. Fill them with your energy to keep on caring and the time they need to care for themselves.
Bless our children and youth who are currently students on their own time. Bless our educators who long to be with them and teach them once again, hopefully soon. Bless our high school students who want to keep learning and transition into adult life with adult goals. May they continue to dream and may we see a time in the near future where they are making their dreams come true. Bless us as we seek a way back to public gathering spaces, O God; church sanctuaries and community centres that we may meet together again, celebrate, comfort, laugh and share common space again.
Gracious and Loving God, hear all of the prayers we give to you, including the silent prayers within our hearts. Guide us always in your everlasting way. In the unity of the Holy Spirit, we give you our prayers, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Gathering for Conversation – Details will Follow for Both Calls
The bi-weekly Zoom video meeting with Ministry Personnel will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 1 pm.
The bi-weekly Zoom video meeting with Communities of Faith will take place on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 11 am.
Congregational Finances during the Pandemic – Wednesday, April 29 at 8:30 pm (NDT)
Every Wednesday evening, our Chief Financial Officer Erik Mathiesen will provide an update on financial tools and government assistance information that will be useful to church treasurers. The General Council Office will continue to do this for as long as the information continues to change! Clyde Harris, a regular facilitator in the Webinars for Church Treasurers series, who has extensive experience supporting and training congregational treasurers, will join Erik. https://united-in-learning.com/index.php/webinars/316-congregational-finances-during-the-pandemic
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 this week. 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
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP): The latest news on the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program
This edition’s highlights include:
- Information on whether sponsored newcomers in their sponsorship period can apply for income support through the CERB program (if they meet the eligibility requirements of the program);
- When sponsors may make deductions from the monthly financial support, they provide on the basis of newcomers receiving income support through the CERB program; and,
- For details of upcoming RSTP webinars, please visit http://www.rstp.ca/en/.
First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council Webpage Emergency Response Link
Stay updated with Emergency Response Updates on COVID-19 on the First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council webpage.
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.