From the Leadership Team Fall 2020
Maybe it’s the times we’re in, but a lot goes on between Sundays in this church, and a whole lot goes on between Leadership Team meetings. As Chair, I spend a good amount of time on ZOOM these days, in ad hoc meetings about such things as the new key system for our doors, in meetings about updating our website, in meetings with PATH, and having conversations with a variety of folks, including a lot of conversations with Marc and Sandi. As we face ever changing circumstances re Covid, as our plans are upended one more time, as we ZOOM together once again to figure out what we do now, I have to admit Marc, Sandi and I sometimes get a bit punchy and begin to compare our situation to movies or stories and songs featuring storms and shipwrecks.
- Are we in the Poseidon Adventure?
- It’s November, is this going to be The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald?
We’re on an old but venerable ship. Generations before us built this ship – and I refer not only to the physical entity but to the service to others it has provided for over 100 years. We’re just the current crew. We hold this ship in trust and have a duty to future generations to preserve it.
Currently, as Leadership Team Chair, I happen to stand at the helm of this ship, which since 2016 has been on a journey to becoming a self-sustaining hub of activity and service in this community, as we’re being buffeted by the winds and waves of Covid. I’m holding fast to the wheel to maintain forward motion, because it’s too dangerous to turn back in stormy seas. If I let go of the wheel, the next wind gust or wave could send us into the rocks or topple us over and we head downward like the Titanic instead of forward. And I’m not going to let that happen – not on my watch.
That’s because we’re blessed with a talented and committed Leadership Team, who make decisions with wisdom and compassion, who carry out their duties responsibly and with an overriding faith in the future of this church.
That’s because we’re blessed with people in this congregation who keep figuring out how to keep on keeping on, how to do things that we committed to, that take us closer to our destination, but who figure out how do them differently.
- Like the October pop-up outdoor Fall Market on the lawn and the December Drive-by Bake Sale.
- Like the socially distanced Art Show on the theme of Peace re-imagined.
- Like safe, socially distanced in-person worship that is also live-streamed and connected via ZOOM.
- Like doing our Seniors Yoga out on the lawn and other sessions online to stay connected.
- Like resuming Art City with the children but in the gym so they can socially distance.
- Like re-imagining our indoor space as more than potential rental revenue, but as refuge for groups who’ve lost their own studio and rehearsal spaces, for groups who can no longer meet where they have in the past because there is not enough room to socially distance, for artists and performers who have had all their gigs cancelled. And we’ve adjusted some of our rental rates accordingly. Not just because some rental income is better than no rental income, but because it’s the right thing to do when people need help.
So in the drama about the iceberg that is Covid, we reject the role of the Titanic, and instead choose to be The Carpathia, the ship that responded to the call, that came to those in distress. And took people back to a safe harbour.
We’re not giving up. We stay the course. We keep calm and carry on.
– Linda Thorlakson
Help Us Financially
Our church is funded by the generous support of members and friends. Your donation of any size helps support the life and community ministries of Crescent Fort Rouge United Church.
There are four areas you can choose to direct your donation to:
- The General Fund — support the day-to-day costs of running the church, including operational costs and maintenance.
- The Mission and Service Fund — sport ministries and programs in Canada and around the world.
- The Accessibility Fund — Help us improve the safety, comfort and accessibility of our church by supporting out multi-year, three-phase project to make Crescent Fort Rouge fully accessible.
- The Endowment Fund — provide an ongoing stream of support for our congregation and its ministries today, tomorrow and well into the future.
From Reverend Marc Whitehead, 15 March 2020:
20 March 2020
At Crescent Fort Rouge United, we are taking every step we can to be safe to to maintain everyone’s well-being. Please read our Continuity Plan for the foreseeable future.
“The church is not a building. The church is not a steeple. The church is not a dwelling place. The church is a people.” While we may not be able to gather in our building during the Covid-19 outbreak, we are always able to be the Church–the body of Christ in the world. These are challenging times, but with Christ to guide us we can meet every challenge with compassion, creativity, and courage.”
A Prayer Of Gratitude And Intercession In A Time Of Pandemic
We are living in an uncertain and anxious time.
Calm us with your reassuring presence.
Remind us that your Spirit surrounds us always.
When information overwhelms us, correct or not,
Help us to be discerning.
When fear makes it difficult to catch our breath
And worry is all around us, slow us down.
We are so grateful for all who are working hard through this time,
Especially for nurses and physicians,
For technicians and janitors, aides and researchers,
Caregivers and chaplains.
We pray for all who are sick with COVID19, or other illness,
And for those who sit at their bedsides, and those who grieve.
For all who are effected in every place.
We are so aware of the common closeness of the human family.
We pray for health, and safety.
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have few risk factors remember those who are vulnerable.
May we who can work from home, remember those who must choose between risking their health and paying their bills.
May we who have to cancel out trips remember those with no safe place to go.
May we who are isolated at home, remember those who have no home.
May we who are able to care for children at home while schools are closed, remember those who have no option.
As fear grips our community, our country, our globe,
Let us choose love, and compassion, as you show to us.
During this time when we cannot embrace each other physically
Let us find ways to be the reassuring embrace of you, our God, for our neighbours near and far.
To you, our loving Creator, our compassionate Companion, our hope-giving Spirit, we pray.
— Earl Reaburn, Northern Spirit Pastoral Relations Minister—used with permission