First Dawn Eastern Edge Regional Council
May 5, 2020
Weekly Prayer from Rev. Kathy Brett, Gander Pastoral Charge
O God, you are shepherd, and a forever friend who is always close by. Thank you for not abandoning us even when we find it easy to abandon you. We acknowledge that we live in a time when our privilege has allowed us to receive immediate answers to our questions and satisfaction for all our wants. Times have changed; therefore, we pray that your patient and understanding heart may be placed within us as we try to make sense of a world that we do not understand anymore. Be our humility as we grasp the challenge of trying to understand the difference between what we want and of what we truly need. O God, Creator of the Universe, we thank you for having created for our needs in this fabulous world that you have fashioned. In this greening of the spring may we be called to remember the promise and hope of new life that is abundant with nourishment for our spirits as well as our bodies.
O God, our great healer, we pray for the healing of your children everywhere. Those who are suffering from COVID-19 virus infection. Those whose illnesses have been more long term. Remembering those who have had diagnoses and/or treatments on hold. May they know your compassion and grace. May all those who work in our health care system know your strength and wisdom as they tend to those in their care. We pray for all who are suffering the burden of grief, which is made even more complicated by a lack of physical support. We remember the families and comrades of HMCS Fredericton, and we continue to pray for all who grieve the horror of the mass killings in Nova Scotia. We pray that they may feel your arms around them. We pray for all who continue to struggle with pre-existing issues of poverty, addiction, homelessness, violence and war. May they know your peace and assurance. We pray for the people of Fort McMurray as many are striving to rebuild yet again after a time of surprise disaster. May they know your love, care and support. We give thanks for our government officials on all levels who are working long hours with extra stress and responsibility for all our health and safety. We give thanks for our church leaders who likewise are navigating unfamiliar territory and leading us with grace, and love and care. May your spirit of life revive them all.
O God, of justice and right relationships, we realize that many in our society have been taken for granted, but now our eyes are opening to the true value of the service they provide for our safety, security and life. May we continue to be open to see the world as a place of value for all your children everywhere. In these strange times of isolation and fear, help us to truly trust in your goodness, love and mercy. Again, thank you for being our forever friend and source of life and hope. Amen.
Rev. Catherine Stuart, UCC East Minister of Children, Youth and Young Adults, is extending “thanks to everyone who helped to make this happen, and to all of you for your patience! Feel free to use it as much or as little as you like. I am also open to more suggestions on how to regularly use this platform, so send any suggestions or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The Moderator’s Online Worship services are ending (at least for now). General Council are looking to share online worship services from across the regions. There is an interactive worship map accessible from the United Church website (it currently lists 334 online worship services). Please let us know if your Community of Faith is providing online worship so they too can be included on the General Council Sunday Worship in Online Spaces website page. Send information to Leona Laundry.
Making Hope Visible Podcast – LIFT: Children and Seniors Lifting Spirits
In this episode Laura Hunter, visits a lunch and activity program in Chipman, New Brunswick called “LIFT”. She hears how children, teens and seniors are building relationships and lifting spirits in their rural village. A small congregation supports an important outreach project with the help from the United Church of Canada’s Mission and Service Fund. It is a beautiful example of partnership and care in community. Find this and past episodes here.
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.
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.
Closing Prayer from Rev. Kathy Brett, Gander Pastoral Charge
O God, you are our shepherd, you lead us to two o’clock news briefings, green screens and fancy backdrops as we head out to stream worship on Zoom, Facebook live and YouTube. And strangely, in this bizarre new land, our souls are revived and we follow, even if the way seems weary, odd, and lonely. Even though the path is scary, we will not fear awkward camera angles nor embarrassing bloopers. For in the end, we know that it is pleasing to the least expected, and to you. Therefore, we take comfort with telephone prayers and virtual meetings. For we do it for you and for all your sheep. Because we love. As we wipe our tables down with javex and wear gloves to protect us from the microscopic foe lurking in the streets, on shopping carts, everywhere, we wear masks to protect each other. Even if our Timmies’ cups are empty, our hearts continue to overflow with double bubbles and strange new hugs; with chalk rainbow sidewalks and painted hearts in windows. For we are blessed when we least expect it. Help us to live in the promise of life rather than the shadows of fears. For you reach out your hand to us even when we cannot hold each others. We live with you in your world. We are not alone. Amen.