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

 

 

We are using something called Zoom.

It’s a service that allows people to connect over the internet.

Just click on this link:
https://zoom.us/j/3037707221

If you are using the Zoom app,
the Meeting ID is  303 770 7221.

You can also join by phone. You won’t be able to see what we’re doing, but you’ll be able to hear everything.

Just call this number  (647) 558-0588.
It’s in Toronto, so it is long-distance.

When asked, put in this meeting number: 303 770 7221, then press #.

You can download this week’s worship booklet here.


Children
Youth
Parents

 

 

Barb Smith-Young is our Minister for Children & Youth.

She is setting up weekly Zoom times for:

Children’s Worship
Grades 3-9 Youth
High School Youth
Parents

Also there will be a weekly email with helpful resources for families.

Please connect with Barb to find out Zoom times and links.

Also, connect with Barb anytime for support.
barbsmithyoung@gmail.com
226-384-9085 (cell)


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-Young

ministerelorauc@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

Check back soon for online spiritual growth opportunities we’re preparing.

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 will get sick. Some will die. Many more will experience depression and anxiety. Jobs will be lost. Businesses will suffer. And cherished plans and dreams will be 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 past few days. It’s been a great way to connect with colleagues, friends, and some of you too. It’s also been 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 this week. Rarely am I meeting with people, and even then we’re keeping a safe distance. I’m working from home more, or in the office where I’m the only person around. It seems I’m washing my hands until they are raw. I’m not doing all 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