I write this on the weekend of our congregation’s 60th anniversary; a time when celebration and joy should prevail. Instead our life routines have been upended and our movements restricted, our ability to be with friends and relatives prevented. It is hard to find an anchor to cling to in these uncertain circumstances.
And yet… Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church continues to be a rock in our lives. True, we cannot worship and gather together as we normally do, but the grace of God and the efforts of many, many people have helped to ensure that our church continues to provide hope, companionship, community, and the message of Jesus Christ.
In accordance with directions from public health authorities, we cancelled all in-person church gatherings including Sunday worship as of March 18. A very dedicated and talented team has stepped forward in the interim to help continue the work of our church. Our gratitude is owed to:
- Our interim moderators — Reverends Helen and Bob Smith — who certainly were not expecting to help us navigate a pandemic, and who have stepped forward with great dedication to provide us with weekly worship materials — messages, prayers, sermons and inspirational theological meditations.
- Our digital team — Robert Quickert our webmaster (and choral amen vocalist), and Carolyn Glasgow, our Tidbits editor — have led the rapid evolution of our online presence and digital worship resources, with everything from weekly inspirational messages to navigating the minutiæ of web-based music rights licensing.
- Our Music Director — Rachelle Risling — who continues to provide wonderfully talented musical selections for worship recorded both from her home studio as well as in a physically-distanced situation with our church organ and piano.
- Our Christian Education Coordinator — Laura Alary — whose online stories bring comfort to both children and adults during these difficult times.
- Our Office Administrator — Lisa Milroy — who visits the church every day to collect the mail, answer voicemail messages, and has coordinated (solo) a serious clean-up of the office and other areas of the church.
- Our Caretaker — Wayne McDowell — who provides regular checks on our building and continues to keep it clean and ready to welcome us in person once again.
- The Care Team — which has made it a priority to reach out to everyone in our church family to stay connected and who continue to provide pastoral care to those in need.
- Our Minister Search Committee — which has been meeting diligently via Zoom to evaluate a strong list of potential candidates for our vacancy. I look forward to updating you on their efforts to find our next minister.
- Many, many others — such as volunteers who have organized a clean up at the church, who deliver hard-copies of weekly worship materials to those without digital access, the Prayer Chain for its ongoing devotion to the prayers and concerns of our congregation, the Finance & Maintenance team which continues to ensure that our financial affairs are in order and our bills are being paid.
The physical distancing and social restrictions that we are experiencing are extremely difficult, and I am sensitive to those who have been negatively affected by the pandemic in terms of lost jobs, illness, inability to connect with family, and general disruption to life’s routines. My prayer is that you will be comforted and be given hope.
Please do not forget that even with our building quiet, we continue to have obligations to pay. I encourage you, as you are able, to make an offering to the church, which you can do online at on our website — www.guildwoodchurch.ca — or by envelope. Envelopes can be left at the church (please, don’t leave cash), or call the church office 416-261-4037 and someone will pick up your offering.
I look forward to being able to see all of you at church as soon as circumstances permit us to gather safely. Our website and the Tidbits e-newsletter will be updated to provide any information regarding the resumption of in-person worship.
May you, your families and loved ones be blessed by the deep peace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the ongoing community of the Holy Spirit.
In His Service,
Bruce Morrison – Clerk of Session