“O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” (Psalm 107:1)
Greetings, all! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
We have had to endure a lot over the past year; there’s no doubt about that. But luckily, God endures with us, loving us into wholeness and guiding us during these unstable times. We have endured to see the early signs of spring once again: the rivers swelling up as the snow melts; the bulbs being prepared to be planted and enjoyed, the songbirds filling the air with their praises once again.
Yet we also recognise that so many others are enduring alongside us, and we are called to help them where we can. This leads us into our joint Lent mission for the congregations. Our friends at the Huron Women’s Shelter has expressed a need for bathroom and hygiene items, particularly soaps, shampoos/shower items, deodorant, etc.; there is also a need for towels, facecloths, and twin sheet bedding. Monetary donations will also be accepted at this time.
In this pandemic time, the need for the services of groups like the Huron Women’s Shelter has increased. Our congregations have been supporters of this organization in the past, and we are honoured and committed to offer our support once again.
Donations of these items, as well as monetary donations, can be dropped off at either church or picked up. Donations will be taken at Brussels United on Monday and Saturday mornings. Donations will be taken at Blyth United on Thursday afternoons. There will also be opportunities to drop them off with potential in-person events for Holy Week. You can also leave a message at either church office to arrange an alternate time to pick up or drop off.
We have also been patient and enduring with the pandemic and our plans to re-enter our sanctuaries. I am pleased to say that we now have a plan for Holy Week and the Easter season, assuming there is not a big change in local cases or variants in the area. Many thanks go to the Spiritual Growth Team, the Re-opening Committees, and all others who have shared their insights. Those details can be found below.
- Our Zoom Fellowship Times continue on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:30. Folks can join in electronically or by phone. If you do not have the links or codes, be sure to reach out to Alex.
- Previous lesson and craft packages of our Youth Ministry from the past several weeks are still available for families to pick up or get delivered to them. Reach out to Alex for more details. Weekly Youth Ministry online lessons are starting up again.
- Many thanks to our Lay Pastoral teams who are checking in with congregants and friends, and making sure that they are connected to the happenings of our congregations. If you know of someone who might enjoy a call, or who may need pastoral care from Alex, be sure to reach out!
- Subscriptions for Broadview magazine (formerly The United Church Observer) are due by April. If you would like to order your subscription through the church, please contact Emily Phillips, or leave a message at the Blyth church office.
- The congregations of Trinity (Listowel) and Atwood United Churches are selling lawn signs that support diversity in our communities. They are selling them for $15, with proceeds going to local social justice issues. If you would like to order a sign through the church, contact Alex or leave a message at either church. To see a picture of the signs, check out Brussels and Blyth’s Facebook page, or Trinity (Listowel)’s page.
Sunday, March 14th, 2021 – Fourth Sunday of Lent service available on Youtube.
Sunday, March 14th, 2021 – Online Youth Sunday School session from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Packages can be picked up outside of either church building. Contact Alex for more information.
Tuesday, March 16th, 2021 – Zoom Fellowship session from 10:30-11:30. Please check your email for the Zoom link or phone passcode, or email Alex for details.
Wednesday, March 17th, 2021 – Zoom Fellowship session from 10:30-11:30. Please check your email for the Zoom link or phone passcode, or email Alex for details.
Saturday, March 20th OR Sunday, March 21st – In-person youth ministry session at Brussels United Church. Details will be sent to families shortly.
Sunday, March 21st, 2021 – Fifth Sunday of Lent service available on Youtube.
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER PLANS
Please note that these plans are subject to change, depending on local case numbers. The re-opening committees and the Spiritual Growth Team will be evaluating before, during, and after Holy Week to determine if plans need to alter. We hope that the variety
Palm Sunday (March 28th) – Outdoor Palm Sunday short service. Each congregation will have a short Palm Sunday service outside of the churches (Brussels at 9:30, Blyth at 11). These will be recorded and posted online for those not able/desiring to attend. Joint Mission donations could also be collected at that time.
Maundy Thursday (April 1st) – Zoom Communion and Tenebrae Service. Folks are invited to join in at 7 p.m. to share in communion and prepare for Good Friday. Please have your own elements prepared at home.
Good Friday (April 2nd) – Pre-Recorded Good Friday Service. This will be posted on our Facebook page and website.
Easter Sunday (April 4th) – Drive-In Easter Service. We will be having a joint Easter “sunrise” service at 10 a.m. at the Brussels, Morris, and Grey Community Centre (Arena). This will be a drive-in service; households can drive to and park at the arena, remaining in their vehicles for the service. This way, we can invite others in the community and have everyone at the service. More details about this service will be announced soon.
Easter Monday (April 5th) – Spiritual Growth Team meeting at Brussels United (1 p.m.)
Sunday, April 11th – The earliest possible opportunity for in-sanctuary worship. This will depend on local case numbers, variants in the area, and broader trends with case numbers and vaccinations. If re-entering is to be delayed, it will be communicated in plenty of time.
Blessings and Christ’s Peace be with you all!
Student Minister – Blyth and Brussels United Churches
Blyth Office Number: 519-523-4224
Brussels Office Number: 519-887-6259
Emergency Pastoral Number: call/text 705-344-3385
Feature Photo by Jan Březina on Unsplash