Birchcliff Bluffs Buzz
March 20, 2020
Open Hands, Reach Out, Make a Difference
If you, or someone you know, would like spiritual care support,  please contact Rev. Greg by email at or by phone at 416-694-4081, Ext 2.
In the Christian year, the season of Lent is a time for reflection and preparation for Easter.  Lent’s 40 days represent Jesus’ time of fasting in the desert as he prepared for his ministry.  Traditionally, Lent has been marked by fasting from foods, habits, and festivities.
This year Lent, and especially its tradition of giving things up for 40 days, is taking on a special meaning as we learn to live in social isolation and suspend most of our daily activities.  All of our Church activities that involve gathering together have been suspended, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to connect with each other and be in community.
We want to assure you that our Church life is continuing and adapting to our new circumstances.
The Church has opened a Zoom account.  This program, which Shining Waters Regional Council uses extensively for meetings, allows small-to-medium-size groups to interact.  Participants can join by computer/webcam or phone.  Everyone can hear each other, and those with webcams can see each other.  I didn’t even know my computer had a webcam until I started using it for Regional Council meetings!  Zoom is easy to use and works well.
Dorothy’s Place is planning to continue its programs using Zoom, with the necessary adaptations, and Toby’s Place is considering doing the same.  Greg will be experimenting with small-group discussion opportunities next week.  The Church Board is planning to hold its April meeting using Zoom as well.  If you have an idea for a small group get-together, contact Greg to learn how to set it up.  This is a time for creativity and inventiveness.  Remember – necessity is the mother of invention!
It is really important that we stay connected with each other.  Worship will be offered in new, exciting forms, and our Pastoral Care team is continuing to connect with congregation members, who may be feeling more isolated than ever, to let them know they are being kept in our thoughts and prayers.  Take the time to call someone you haven’t spoken to for a while.  They may be feeling lonely and needing to hear a friendly voice.
We know that many will suffer financial hardship in the coming days, but please continue your financial support of the Church as you are able.  Our dedicated staff are continuing to work, with social distancing adjustments, to sustain our congregational life and our affirming ministry programs that are so important to our participants.  Our building expenses don’t stop when the building is empty.  If you don’t use PAR for your offerings, please consider switching to it.  You can arrange that by contacting Cathy Williamson at  You can also donate online through Canada Helps.  Your receipt will be available and the funds will be deposited to the Church bank account immediately.
Easter is, most of all, a time of hope.  It is in the darkest of times that we need to hold onto our faith that God’s spirit is in the world, working through us.  As a congregation we have faced many challenges over the years.  By caring for each other and finding new ways to stay connected and have some fun together, we can overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 virus.
As we look forward to the coming of spring, let us all embrace the Easter message of hope and new life.
Beth Moore, on behalf of the Church Board
In order to combat the spread of COVID-19, Bluffs Food Bank and the Income Tax Clinic will be closed for the next two weeks starting the week of March 16.  At the end of this two-week period, we will evaluate the situation and provide you with an update.

​Clients who would like to find alternative sources of food should contact 211 Toronto by calling 2-1-1 or by checking the 211 Toronto website at

​If you are in touch with any of our clients, please pass on this information to them.  We are updating our website and Facebook page and changing our voicemail greeting to reflect our closure.

​We regret the difficulty that this causes for our clients, but we believe that it is the responsible thing to do.

In the meantime, all deliveries are suspended, and you are invited to collect donations until we re-open.  Suggested donations for the coming weeks are cleaning supplies, bar soap, laundry detergent, wipes, and disinfectant.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Gail Barkic (Volunteer CEO)

Dorothy's Place Virtual Meeting Instructions

Here are the instructions to connect to our virtual meeting.  Please note, you can use a computer, a phone with a camera, or call in from a regular landline.  
Time:  Monday Mar 23, 2020, 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time


Computer or smartphone (video and audio settings)
For call-in audio only from your phone
  • Dial 647-374-4685 or 647-558-0588 
  • When prompted, use Meeting ID 892 807 890 followed by #
Test Run:

We are going to do a test run this Friday, March 20, at 2 p.m., for people to get familiar with the system.  Let us know if you have any questions and if you will be able to attend.
It is time to collect information in preparation for staff performance appraisals.  You can help with this process.  Send me your feedback on each staff member and especially if you have direct contact with a particular person.  Your feedback will be kept completely anonymous and will definitely help with Goal Setting and Feedback.  Please email Tricia at or leave a message at 416 459 7724. Thank you! 

Vesey's Spring Bulb Fundraising flyer has arrived.  The flyer is on the Welcome Desk.  It is time to start planning your summer garden.  I will take your orders until April 19.
Betty McCulloch -, 416-694-1228
Please forward your announcements to the church office ( or 416-694-4081) by Wednesday at noon to have them included in Friday's Buzz.
Birchcliff Bluffs United Church
33 East Road, Scarborough, ON  M1N 1Z9
Tel:  416-694-4081

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Birchcliff Bluffs United Church · 33 East Rd · Scarborough, ON M1N 1Z9 · Canada

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