View this email in your browser

News for
Week leading up to
January 9, 2022
Help Needed | Worship Online Only | Practicing God's Presence | Caring for Those Who Care | Poem for a New Year
Emergency Help Needed
A woman in our area has been left temporarily homeless, as repairs are done to her house after a break-in and theft. She is currently living in her van, but needs better shelter for her and her dogs. Can you help? A driveway where she can park and plug-in would help. Better, a garage where she can park her vehicle, plug in, and shelter from the elements. Even better, a trailer where she can live for a while. We're hoping she'll be able to return home in about 2 weeks.

If you can help with this, please contact Greg asap (226.384.9084)
Worship Online for Now
We've decided to pause our in-person worship for the time being, until the local pandemic situation improves. This is in response to health care officials' request that we limit group gatherings.

We'll continue to worship online using Zoom. Look for more information in the "This Week in Worship" email, coming soon.
A Spiritual Growth Opportunity . . .
Practicing God's Presence

Becoming more alive to God within our daily routines

A mini-course including daily prayer practices and 6 online learning sessions

February 9 to April 20

Greg is co-teaching this, in partnership with the Vancouver School of Theology's Academy

God is Present! All around us and everywhere. Do you notice? Do you experience God?

Some of us do. Many of us don’t.

But we wonder.

We invite you to wonder with us.

You might imagine this as a sort of retreat. Except, rather than stepping out of regular routines, this retreat happens within them. We are all busy enough (maybe too much). Few of us want to add more. Instead, our approach is to thicken our experience of what we’re already doing within the mundane rhythms of the everyday. It is within these that God meets us, often in ways we do not expect.

This mini-course will span 12 weeks, from February 9 until April 20. As some of this time will be during the Lent season, it will be a good preparation for Holy Week. During this time, we will be . . .

  • Meeting 6 times, every 2 weeks, for learning, conversation, and practicing. Our meetings will be online using Zoom, and will go for about 2 hours each.
  • Individually engaging in simple prayer practices daily, in the morning and evening.
  • Receiving encouragement and food-for-thought through weekly inspirations delivered to you by email.

We will be exploring our awareness of the God who is Present. We’ll learn simple practices that will help us be purposefully available to God. We’ll cultivate a posture of attentiveness to how God is making God’s Presence known. And we’ll do all this within our normal, day-to-day lives.


Larry Doyle is a United Church of Canada minister, serving a congregation in Courtice ON. The Presence Project was the fruit of his DMin work in spirituality. 

Greg Smith-Young is also a UCC minister who serves congregations in and near Elora ON. He coordinates The Presence Project Network.

Cost: $20

This is a continuing education opportunity. It is not for credit.

We'll be meeting online using Zoom. You'll need a device and sufficient internet access to use the Zoom meeting platform.

Registration opening soon!

Caring for Those Who Care

Overflowing Spring:
Empathic Strain and the Faith Community

Are you caring for others? Is it wearing you out?

Navigating life's priorities and participating in a faith community can feel like too much to handle. How do we find the right balance?
Wednesday January 19, 2022 from 7:00 to 8:30PM EST
Online using Zoom

Over these 90 minutes, you will explore:
  • Empathic strain and other risk factors that come with caring for others
  • The signs and symptoms of empathic strain
  • Balancing being just helpful enough
  • Managing transitions throughout your day
  • Tips and tools to thrive in daily life, work, and participating in your faith community
Leader: John Borthwick is an ordained minister who currently serves St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Guelph. Also, he was a long-time chaplain with the Guelph Police Service. Over the years, John has become a certified Community and Workplace Traumatologist and an Empathic Strain (Compassion Fatigue) trainer as an Associate with TEND Academy. His work with First Responders has expanded his understanding and expertise in the area of trauma and resilience. Experiencing his own journey with empathic strain and overwhelm, John is passionate about sharing what he's learned with others who have answered the call to care for others.
Cost: $25

Find out more and register by clicking here (the link is to the event's page on Eventbrite) 

A Poem for a New Year
‘The Darkling Thrush’ by Thomas Hardy
Hardy wrote this on New Year’s Eve at the turn from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. Though it starts with a sense of bleak foreboding, suddenly we see a note of hope!

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.

The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.

The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;

An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,

That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.
Previous Emails
Missed a news email? Want to look at an older one? Accidently deleted them all from your device (it happens)? You can see recent ones on the Elora UC website.
Click to see our Email Archive
Your Offerings Matter
Your offerings are an important way you share in our life and mission together. Here is information about how you can give.

You can give to 
You can give by

Pre-Authorized Giving
Monthly offerings automatically deducted from your account. It’s easy! Please contact Beverly Bond to set this up. (519.846.5597 |

Made out to “Elora United Church.” Please indicate if you want your gift directed to particular funds. You can send your donation here:
Elora United Church
75 Geddes Street
Elora ON  N0B 1S0
Your bank's website will have information about how to do this. When signing up, please use this email address for the payee:

Canada Helps
This online service lets you donate using your credit card. Just go to our Canada Helps page here.
Mailing: 75 Geddes Street, Elora ON, N0B 1S0

Bethany United Church
4th Line East & Sideroad 10 (near Inverhaugh)

Elora United Church
75 Geddes Street

Greg Smith-Young:
Barb Smith-Young:
For both: 519.846.2542
Design of this document and the new EUC logo
generously donated by those clever folks at
Copyright © 2022 Elora & Bethany United Churches, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Elora & Bethany United Churches
75 Geddes Street
Elora, On N0B 1S0

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Elora & Bethany United Churches · 75 Geddes Street · Elora, On N0B 1S0 · Canada

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp