THURSDAY, JULY 28th, 2022 - “ It is possible to fill the mind with millions of facts and still be entirely uneducated.”
SUNDAY, JULY 31st, 2022 - Join us for morning worship at 10:00 – in person please – Rev. Katherine McCloskey leading.
SUNDAY, JULY 31st, 2022 - Jim and Arvilla are welcoming people from Beaches to an “open back yard” from 2:00 – 4:00 this afternoon. This is to celebrate Jim’s new book – they are 204 Ashdale Avenue, just south of Gerrard & the public library on the north west corner. …. East of Coxwell.
MISSION CAPSULE: God has done amazing things at Montreal West Presbyterian Church in Quebec! Over the past few years, with support from Presbyterians Sharing … the church has transitioned into a thriving multicultural ministry filled with energy and hope. Though the congregation has already done much good work in bringing a new vision and vitality to the church, they aren’t stopping there. They have their sights set to the future, wholeheartedly embracing youth ministry and seeing and treating their youth as the leaders of tomorrow. This new focus on youth ministry has youth participating in all levels of governance and worship leadership and the transformation continues.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR CLERK OF SESSION
Session Position and Plans for Hybrid Worship at Beaches.
Over the past couple of months we have received communications from members of the congregation expressing some dissatisfaction with the experience of the Sunday morning worship both from the standpoint of those attending remotely and those attending in person. Session has spent a lot of time discussing and grappling with the various issues involved and it seemed right to share our current position and plans with the congregation along with some of the thinking behind it.
When the pandemic hit we took the position that we would offer Sunday worship in a way that was accessible to as many of the congregation as possible as lockdown restricted not only our ability to gather, but also to travel outside our homes. For this reason we started simply using a conference call facility. As other remote meeting options became more familiar and available we moved to a Zoom service, with music prepared and recorded beforehand for the services, but with readings and the sermon in real time so as to emphasise the ability of all to participate, rather than to just view proceedings. We even instituted virtual breakout rooms so as to maintain contact among those who joined in with worship. As time went on the slide show presentation evolved so that the virtual experience was enhanced. Many people contributed to this effort and it proved very successful.
We now find ourselves in a very different situation. While the pandemic is not done, most of the restrictions to travelling and meeting have been removed. The focus of official public health guidance is on individuals taking actions to reduce their risk of serious symptoms by maintaining an up-to-date vaccination status and their risk of infection by masking or avoiding crowded spaces, especially if indoors. Many in the congregation miss the fellowship associated with worshipping and meeting in-person. The hybrid services endeavour to provide meaningful, in-person worship for those wishing to return to the Sanctuary while providing the option to continue remote participation for those who deem in-person worship too risky or difficult attend. The recent concerns have highlighted some of the shortcomings in our current approach necessitated by the compromise between the two options.
At the current stage of the pandemic, Session is determined to remain consistent with all public health guidelines as well as to maintain the principal of reaching as many members as possible. Our aim is to move forward now to emphasise in-person worship on a Sunday while still maintaining the option for remote participation. We want to demonstrate the activity and vitality of the congregation to our neighbouring community as well as to ourselves. Our approach is necessarily constrained by our ability as a small congregation to resource all that we would like to do; a small number of individuals have kept our virtual and hybrid services going for over 2 years and requests for others to help out have yielded only limited response.
Given the nature of the pandemic, Session has chosen to take a phased approach to in-person Sunday Worship and to assess the results of each phase prior to moving to the next. As well, while we are planning for the future, in the event of a significant change in the public health situation we will pivot to a “Plan B”.
For this next phase Session is not making any changes to our policy concerning vaccination or masking (both strongly encouraged), as well, the Sanctuary will continue to be marked off for social distancing and ventilation maximised by the use of open doors and windows. What we will do is:
- Use the screen in the Sanctuary to broadcast the faces of the Zoom participants to those present in-person
- Encourage all elders and most especially the Duty Elder for that month, to be present in the Sanctuary
- Encourage all those reading in the service to be present in the Sanctuary (this is not intended to exclude any who make the decision to attend via Zoom). If reading remotely we request that the individual’s camera be turned on so that all can fully participate in the shared experience.
- Sing hymns live in the Sanctuary
- Have coffee available before the start of the Sunday service and refreshments afterwards for enjoying during fellowship inside or outside the church
- Plan for the choir to return to in-person performing after Labour Day
- Plan for a post-worship brunch for the first Sunday after Labour Day
- Plan for a possible blessing of the pets service
- Plan for a Thanksgiving pot-luck in association with donations for our little pantry
As always, Session welcomes your feedback. Michael Brett, Clerk of Session
MONDAY, AUGUST 8st, 2022 - Monday at 7.00,
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST, 3rd, 2022 - Beaches Prayer Group will gather in the prayer room at 9:30
NOTE: please keep in mind our Community Pantry at our front steps. There is lots of activity so far.
MORE FROM WORDS:
MOSQUITO - An insect that makes you like flies better
RAISIN - A grape with a sunburn
SECRET - Something you tell to one person at a time
SKELETON - A bunch of bones with the person scraped o
Have a good week - come to church - MB