Trinity uc newsletter 7/2020
Phone: 345-5621 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Well here we are three months into the COVID-19 Pandemic and while some businesses and organizations have partially opened their establishments, the TB United Churches continue to broadcast Sunday services on line. For this we owe a great deal of thanks to the leaders and organizers. They have diligently laboured to bring forth meaningful services with varied musical contributions. Special thanks must be directed to Trinity’s tech team who do an outstanding job streaming and putting everything together. While it is hoped that regular church attendance will begin in September, this is not a for-sure. Several people, including Church Secretary Joan Bailey, continue to monitor the situation daily and respond to requests as required.
As directed by the Health Authorities, there are many restrictions and procedures that need to be implemented before our churches can open. For this reason, Trinity Council has named Les Mayes, Jean Murray and Carol Forneri to sit on the Procedures Committee to study the requirements and begin the work of implementing procedures over the summer. Joan Bailey and Jim Jackson also provide input.
CHURCH KEY CONTROL
Just as hairdressers, restaurants and other establishments are doing, Trinity needs to have a record of people entering and leaving the church in the event of a positive virus diagnosis originating from the church. For this reason, all the locks in Trinity will be changed on July 9, 2020 and a new key control roster maintained. If you currently are in possession of a Trinity key, please drop it off in the Algoma Street mail box as soon as possible. Be sure to note your name on the envelope. If more convenient, the key can be dropped off at 75 Manion Place.
Treasurer, Les Mayes and Joan Bailey spend much time managing the church finances and wherever possible have applied for financial assistance that is available to churches. Some support is currently being realized through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), and the Temporary Emergency Wage Subsidy (TEWS). Trinity recently received a $10,000 UCC Pandemic Response Bridging loan which is to be repaid by September 2021.
Application for a $40,000 loan will be made (after Council and Regional approval – soon) to CEBA (Canada Emergency Business Account) through the Bank of Montreal. Research is continuing with VOX in obtaining some rent relief through CECRA (Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance).
Much of the financial planning and tracking is being done through a cash-flow worksheet, that is maintained and discussed bi-weekly. This planning tool shows how we will fare in light of the missing one-third of our revenue for 2020. The good news, is Trinity will survive. The bad news is that our savings (Memorial) account is at risk of disappearing. Trinity will have to continue to re-invent itself going forward.
As you can see, everything possible is being researched for financial assistance during these difficult times. In the mean time, every effort is being made to curtail expenses. Loan payments, M&S donations and regional assessments are being withheld while other accounts payables are paid periodically.
The Finance Committee is very appreciative of the contributions that continue to be received from the congregation and look forward to your continued support, if you are able, with the Christmas in July envelope.
MULTI-SITE (Shane Judge) Pause for a moment to think where we’d be if it wasn’t for the vision of Rev. Randy Boyd to put our Sunday services on the internet. When the pandemic first hit, most churches in Canada went dark and silent. Literally, nothing was happening. They have slowly started to wobble back to life with primitive on-line presences. Meanwhile, Trinity United, never missed a beat.
The video-conferencing technology we employ has allowed us to have multiple participants in our services while respecting physical distancing rules. It would be safe to say that today Trinity and the six other United Churches in Thunder Bay are producing the most sophisticated mix of live and pre-recorded services anywhere. All this has happened even as Randy was winding down his career. But thanks to his commitment to not leave Trinity in the lurch in these difficult times, Randy has mentored the remaining ministers and lay preachers in our congregations in the process of preparing and assembling a multi-site service.
The Ministers of Music at our churches have done an amazing job of using Zoom technology to share the big job of providing hymns and anthems for us to enjoy as we watch from our homes and now, summer camps. On a weekly basis, 350 people are clicking on Trinity Livestream or our Facebook page to watch what we can’t see in person.
The plan is to carry on with the current arrangement throughout the summer and early autumn. Given our aging church populations, there is a concern about returning to the pews too quickly even though there is likely plenty of space to accommodate members in the sanctuary right now. The re-opening discussions are being held at meetings of representatives of all the churches in the city.
The compounding factor, of course, is that Trinity is still in the search for a replacement for Randy and with the current arrangement we have the benefit of the sermons of Louise Hart, the Minister at First-Wesley as well as Rob Smith, who is moving on to a nonminister role within the United Church, but like Randy, continues to volunteer his services.
We would all like to get back into our sanctuary, but that’s going to take time and a new set of physical distancing rules we’ll have to develop and adopt. So,
pause now for another moment to give thanks for the leadership of Randy, Bob Angell and Ross McCubbin who’ve assembled this marvellous system for letting us connect with one another until that longed-for day when we can greet each other in person.
VOX POPULAR (Shane Judge)
Our multi-site technology also came to the rescue of Finnish Canadians everywhere who were stymied in their celebrations of June 21st, a national holiday in Finland.
Kelly Saxberg of Vox Popular, our tenant in Trinity Hall, organized a virtual celebration that included local talent who spoke from a studio put together with birch tree props (!) in Trinity Hall as well as a series of Zoom recordings from artists, politicians and the Finnish Consul-General in Ottawa. It was topped off with a rousing rendition of the Finnish national anthem live from Finland.
It was a proof-of-concept production that it’s hoped will lead to many more on-line offerings from the Thunder Bay arts community over Trinity TV, a website we’ve set up for just such programming. Vox is considering using our technology to virtually hold their annual Film Festival this September to get around the issues created by COVID-19, i.e. no in-house audience!
JULY & AUG. SERVICES (Pat Jackson)
These are the worship leaders for the July and August on-line services:
July 5 Rev Louise Hart
July 12 Rev. Rob Smith
July 19 Rev. Joyce Fergus-Moore
July 26 Christina Stricker
August 2 & 9 Rev. Randy Boyd
August 16 Rev. Rob Smith
August 23 Anne MacDonald
August 30 Robert Cosbey
Overheard in the Pews - belated birthday wishes to Rob Smith who had a June 28 birthday
- get well wishes to Joan Brooker after her brief stay in hospital
- thanks to the people who have increased their PAR contributions
- our bakeless bake sale netted a profit of $2800.
Thanks to all who contributed.