The United Church of Canada E-ssentials - May 5, 2020
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May 5, 2020

Thank You for Giving!

Because you give…

over 120 organizations our Mission & Service donations support are making a difference in the lives of people in Canada and around the world in these challenging times. Read stories about how your gifts are hard at work right now helping those who need it most.

Because you asked for ways to give globally…

the United Church has responded. We are now accepting gifts to respond to those who are most vulnerable around the world.

Because your gifts mean the world to the people we reach out to…

we have adapted our processes so that we can receive your gifts no matter how you give—whether by cheque in the mail, online or any other way—and ensure your donation is put to good use.

Because you give…

Lives are transformed and saved every day.

Thank you for giving.

[Photo: Your Mission & Service gifts support people living in Asia and all around the world. Credit: Kaitlin Bardswich]


Asian Heritage Month

May is Asian Heritage month in Canada, a time to celebrate and prayerfully reflect on the contributions of Asian Canadians to Canadian society. The United Church of Canada has a long history of ministry in Asia; Chinese and Japanese congregations took part in church union, and strong Korean and Filipino communities have taken shape since. The intercultural vitality of the church continues to expand today, through mutual recognition of ministries with The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea and The United Church of Christ in the Philippines.

In this special blog post, the first in a month-long series focusing on Asian Heritage in Canada, the Rev. Dr. Alan Lai reflects on his journey as a Minister in Canada. For Asian Heritage Month worship and study resources, see the worship section of the United Church website.

[Photo by Galen Crout on Unsplash]

How to Find a Worship Service

Image of an online church meeting.

Online worship, live-streaming, and Zoom meetings have become commonplace phrases for most of us over the last two months. We are thankful that so many of you have adapted to this new way of doing things! See our interactive worship map to find a live-streaming Sunday worship service in your local area, or join one in another part of Canada. Moderator Richard Bott is also encouraging communities of faith that are willing to allow other communities of faith to use their worship services to share that information on his Facebook page.

Broadview Magazine (formerly The United Church Observer) also offers a list of United Church communities of faith with online worship services.

[Image: An online meeting of St. Matthew’s United Church, Toronto. Credit: Lauren Hodgson]

Webinars This Week

As of Tuesday, May 5, we haven't seen any new policy announcements that have a direct bearing on congregational finances, so we're mildly optimistic that the pace of change may be slowing a bit. If that changes before Wednesday night's webinar, of course we'll address it. But if it doesn't, we will be focusing on the most common misunderstandings, and plan for more Q&A. Please bring your questions and concerns as we all try to live into the new circumstances.

The next Congregational Finances webinar is tomorrow, Wednesday, May 5 at 7:00 p.m. EDT / 4:00 p.m. PDT. Erik and Clyde will kick thinks off with a summary of what we've learned, and offer some advice about how to catch up if you have missed first wave. Find out more at United in Learning.

In this week's webinar we're taking a step back from the flurry of activity we experienced back in March, when we were all scrambling for ways to hold our worshiping communities together under the new conditions, to reflect on what we've been learning, and on the "best practices" that are beginning to emerge. We'd like to reflect together about what we think we're accomplishing; what we think worship is for; how we are creating practices that will truly equip the saints and strengthen the body of Christ; how we can avoid "tech-envy" when someone else seems to be doing something exciting that we can't manage. We've invited Susan Lukey, the Editor of Gathering Magazine, to help us reflect on what it means to be a worshiping community.

Rev. Stephen Fetter of United-in-Learning will also be showing us some of the Zoom settings he uses to keep participants safe and prevent potential Zoom-bombers from disrupting online gatherings. Find out more and register.

All of these webinars are available on United in Learning in the recordings section.

Pension Plan News

Image of an oil rig at sunset

Good news! A shareholder resolution filed by the Pension Plan of The United Church of Canada, supported by the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE), with Ovintiv (formerly the Encana Corporation) was approved by 56% of their shareholders. The shareholder proposal sought specific climate-related targets from the oil and gas producer aligned with the Paris Agreement. This is only one of many ways the Pension fund is actively engaged in working for responsible investment.

[Image by Photo by WORKSITE Ltd. on Unsplash]

United Church Bookstore

Image of the cover of 'Prayers for Anxiety'

This week's featured book from the United Church Bookstore is Fay Sampson's Prayers for Anxiety. Offering practical advice such as support and counsel for those who live with anxiety, as well as for their family, friends and the larger community, each passage concludes with a suggested prayer.

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