COVID-19 Response

The Building is Closed, but the Church is Still Open

Everything that usually happens in our Elora and Bethany church buildings has stopped.

The church is still open, however. You are the church. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you are the church in that place. Remember . . . wherever we go, God will already be there. God is busy at work, all around you and within you. Whatever you are doing to show love for others, you are being Jesus’ church.

Our focus is on helping you to be the church wherever you are. That means gathering us together for worship, encouragement, prayer, learning, and care.

Worship

Worship Online

Sunday mornings at 10:30am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download this week’s worship booklet here

Click here to see previous reflections (sermons).


Children
Youth
Parents

 

 

Barb Smith-Young is our Minister for Children & Youth.
Here are activities she is leading this fall season.You can also connect with Barb anytime for support.
barbsmithyoung@gmail.com
226-384-9085 (cell)


Children
Sunday Mornings 9:30 – 10:00 on Zoom.
A time to share with each other, to worship God
and learn together about following Jesus.
(contact Barb for the Zoom information)

Weekly Email sent to families with helpful resources you can use at home.

Fall Package delivered to your door, containing a Spark Magazine and other fall resources.

Special Projects that connect us to each other and our community.


Youth
(in partnership with Melville United Church)

Grade 3 – 10 will meet about 2 x month on Sunday evening either outside or on Zoom.

Grade 10 – Young Adult will meet about 2 x month either outside or on Zoom.


Families
Watch for Family Outdoor Events in the fall.


Parents
This has been a stressful time for parents!

I am here to listen and to pray with you.

We will continue to meet in person or on Zoom
to chat, encourage each other and pray.
Thursday evenings at 9 pm (connect with me for details).


Caring for
Those in Need 

 

 

 

 

 

Need to talk?
Want to pray with someone?
Are you facing a particular need?Please connect with our Minister,
Greg Smith-Youngministerelorauc@wightman.ca
cell: 226-384-9084
Here are some reliable sources for information and help:

Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health

The Ontario Government

The Canadian Mental Health Association (and our local office)

The Government of Canada

The World Health Organization


Learning the
Way of Jesus

Click on any of these to see them full-sized..

 


Witnessing to
God’s Peace and Love

As followers of Jesus, we experience all of this much the same as everyone else. We are not immune to COVID-19. Our lives are being disrupted in the various ways others are experiencing. We have the same worries, pressures, and things to learn.

Jesus shows us how we can respond to this.

Jesus shows us we can respond HONESTLY. We can be honest about the realities we’re facing. Saying things like “Everything’s going to be okay,” or even “You’ll be fine” is, of course, well-meaning. Even on the most normal days, though, these are promises we cannot keep. People are suffering. Many are sick. Some are dying. Many are experiencing depression and anxiety. Jobs are being lost. Businesses are suffering. And cherished plans and dreams are being radically altered. This will likely go on for quite a while.

This epidemic will pass. In the meantime, there will be trouble. This never surprised Jesus. He knew what lay ahead for him and his first disciples, and he warned them about it. At his Last Supper with them, he said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16.33)

Because we trust in Jesus, we don’t have to pretend the troubles we face are not happening. This ability to be honest stands us in a much better position to help people who are experiencing them. And, when we experience troubles, we will not be so surprised, and better able to face whatever happens with wisdom and hope.

Jesus shows us we can respond TRUTHFULLY. I’ve been spending a lot of time on social media these days. It’s a great way to connect with colleagues, friends, and some of you too. It’s also a good source of up-to-date information and wisdom. (For example, much of what I’m writing here is from the learning I’ve been doing from much wiser people!)

However, there is a lot of “information” out there that is not true.

Jesus is the Truth. He is the Light, shining into the darkness of falsehood. As people of the light, then, we should have nothing to do with spreading rumours, gossip and things that are false. Of course, we all get it wrong sometimes. We pass on something we think is true, only to find out later that it is not. When that happens, we apologize and try to set things right.

I’m making sure I’m getting my information from reliable sources. I’m trying not to share information unless I’ve checked where it came from.

Jesus shows us we can respond WITHOUT FEAR. I just learned a wonderful definition of anxiety (from Andy Crouch). It is “imagining the future without Jesus in it.” Jesus is present with us today, and he will be with us tomorrow. Whatever is happening, and whatever will happen to us in the future, nothing can take us away from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord (see Romans 8.31-39).

Living without fear is not the same as being unconcerned. We must be careful. We must follow the best wisdom available to protect others and ourselves. And we’re going to be worried. Still, among the most common things said in the Gospels is this: Fear Not!

Finally, Jesus shows us we can respond WITH LOVE. I’ve changed my behaviour a lot. I’m not doing this because I’m afraid. I’m not doing this to protect myself. (Sure, I don’t want to get sick. I know that, while I’m not at high-risk, the disease can still be serious, even fatal.)

I am changing my behaviours for this reason: love. This is a tangible, practical, and very helpful way I can act with love toward my neighbours, especially those who are more vulnerable than I am.

We need to be cautious. We need to prepare. We need to make hard decisions sometimes. All of this, because of love. All of this, because we follow Jesus.

Grace and Peace,
Greg