Joan Vinall-Cox

Longtime member of Maple Grove United Church. Retired from teaching communication skills at Sheridan College and at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Ph.D on transitioning into teaching using the computer and the internet - Following the Thread: A New Technology on Scribd. Check it out: https://www.scribd.com/book/2063617

COVID-19 Info – Oakville – April 20

April 19, 2021 UpdateLetter from your Councillors:We include in this short email update information on the new eligibility for the  Astra Zeneca vaccine at one of 24 local pharmacies, Halton Regional Police response to Shut down regulations, and a link to the details on the regulations. Our apologies; the link to the Frequently Asked Questions was broken on our April 13 newsletter and we include it for you today.

The weekend saw changes in the shutdown orders and we are advised playground equipment will remain accessible to allow for play but courts ( Basketball, tennis, pickleball ) remain closed. 

Can I walk with my friends?
If you live alone you need to choose one household you will treat as your household. Otherwise, a household can enjoy the park or walk as a single household. Groups of different households choosing to interact and walk together are not allowed in this shutdown.
Who do I call if I am concerned that there are violations of the shutdown regulations? 
To report a violation of the COVID-19 restrictions that are in place in Halton, please call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 hotline at 905-825-4722.Or contact Service Oakville at 905 845 6601 24/7. If it is after 4:30, press 4 and you will reach the after-hour service. 
No one is immune to the stress the virus and restrictions cause. If you need assistance in coping we include mental health support information below and your employer’s employee assistance plan will also provide confidential services for you.

We are just a phone call or email away.

Please continue to stay safe to stay well!
Janet and DaveTop
Vaccine Eligibility Continues to Expands to include  40 + Starting April 20, 2021,
24 pharmacies across the province are booking appointments for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for eligible people ages 40 or older in 2021.
You must have an appointment to get vaccinated at a participating pharmacy. Contact a participating pharmacy near you to book an appointment.
Before you book
You must:be 40 years old or older in 2021
have a valid Ontario health (OHIP) card or another form of valid government-issued identificationhttps://covid-19.ontario.ca/vaccine-locations
 HRPS Response to New Provincial COVID-19 Regulations
“We would like to reassure our community that our officers will not be conducting random stops of vehicles or individuals.
On April 16, 2021, the Government of Ontario announced new restrictions, including a two-week extension of the current province-wide shutdown, in order to curb the concerning transmission rates of COVID-19. The Stay-at-Home order requires everyone to remain home except for essential travel such as grocery and pharmacy needs, health care services, outdoor exercise, and work.
The Government of Ontario also announced enhanced enforcement measures for provincial offences officers, including police officers, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).
The Halton Regional Police Service is reviewing the new regulations. At this time, our current enforcement response will remain the same, with a focus on the 4 Es:EngageExplainEducateEnforce We will continue to work with our Municipal By-law partners and Public Health officials to respond to complaints and support proactive efforts to raise awareness. Our focus will remain on education and using enforcement only as a last resort.
With the healthcare system at critical capacity, the Halton Regional Police Service continues to urge residents to take personal responsibility to follow all restrictions to limit the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Let’s do this, Halton. Continue to be kind to one another. Many people are struggling with the duration of these restrictions and are very isolated. Ask people how they are doing. Then, ask them how they are really doing. A list of mental health supports and resources is available here.
As a final note, on behalf of every member of our Service, we extend our thanks to all essential workers and the frontline healthcare heroes of Ontario who are risking their lives every day to protect us all.” 
Statement from Chief Tanner: 
We will always be committed to the safety, protection, and security of the entire community.
It is my hope and expectation that our officers will not be put in the position of having to use enforcement as a mechanism to achieve what should occur through voluntary compliance. That is why we are committed to engage, explain and educate our public and we will resort to enforcement only as a last resort. 
We will not be stopping vehicles or individuals randomly but will respond as required and when necessary. It is my hope that our citizens will continue to work cooperatively with us and with all levels of government throughout the weeks and months ahead.”

Easter Saturday April 3rd – 5 Oakville Churches

JOURNEY WITH US TO THE CROSS

Munn’s, Trinity, Maple Grove, St. John’s, St. Paul’s United Churches
SATURDAY, APRIL 2, 2021
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

MUNN’S UC (5 Dundas Street East) – Jesus is betrayed and arrested
Drive into the parking lot where you will be directed to look at a display depicting the arrest of Jesus. If you wish you will be offered a scripture reading and a prayer to accompany you on your journey.
We will finish at noon.

TRINITY UC (1250 McCraney Street East) – Jesus is tried and condemned to death
Please enter the parking lot off of Sewell Drive, on the south side of the church. Signage indicating the display will be visible. You are welcome to exit your vehicle to observe, as well as take information sheets provided.

MAPLE GROVE UC (346 Maple Grove Drive) – Jesus is mocked by the soldiers/Others help carry the cross
Drive in and slowly go around the front circle or park if you would like. Witness those that help Jesus carry the cross or you may carry the cross for a moment (if you have parked).  A description of this part of the pilgrimage will be provided, along with a prayer.  
Donations of unused socks or used/unused shoes will be collected at Maple Grove for local missions assisting street people.   

ST. JOHN’S UC (262 RANDALL STREET)  – Jesus on the cross and his death
Please come north on Dunn Street as the cross will be on the east lawn just south of the Church.  You may only be able to pause on the street but if you wish to receive a wooden cross made from please roll down your window and a volunteer will hand one to you.

ST. PAUL’S UC (454 Rebecca Street)  – Jesus taken down from the cross and laid in a tomb
St. Paul’s has two entrances into its parking lot.  Enter the east entrance, closest to the YMCA.  You will drive to the right and drive in front of the church along Rebecca Street.  People will be handing out flyers and saying hello.  You are invited to bring items for Food4Kids Halton.  They need the following items: Canned Soup, Canned ham/chicken/turkey, baked beans in tomato sauce, Annie’s or Kraft Mac & Cheese, canned chickpeas or beans, canned pasta, Uncle Bens Bistro Express Basmati Rice, and grocery store gift cards in any amount.

Were You There
(African-American Spiritual)

The lockdown is not an attack on religious freedom in Ontario

Michael Coren is an author, columnist, radio and TV broadcaster, and Anglican clergyman. This is his opinion piece and is linked here for your information.

https://www.tvo.org/article/the-lockdown-is-not-an-attack-on-religious-freedom-in-ontario?amp

OPINION: Churches defying public-health measures aren’t examples of courage in the face of tyranny. Religious leaders may be about saving souls — but they should also be about saving lives – By Michael Coren – Published on Jan 04, 2021

It’s not the first time it’s happened, and I fear it won’t be the last. But the punishment of six members of Trinity Bible Chapel in Waterloo for breaching Ontario’s lockdown restrictions is causing quite the reaction. Regional police monitored a church gathering on December 27, saw a congregation that was larger than the 10 indoors/10 outdoors allowed, and brought charges under the Reopening Ontario Act.

“For years, we have taught our children to respect police, and now our children and grandchildren are witness to their fathers and grandfathers receiving charges from police for worshipping Christ with our church,” responded the church in a press release. “It is a dark day for Waterloo Region and Ontario.” It added that the lockdown was “an unconstitutional and unlawful restriction of religious freedom.”

Predictably, this conservative church has been championed by a number of right-wing websites and blogs and held up as an example of courage in the face of tyranny. Which would be amusing if it were not so dangerous and tragic. Because as flawed and difficult as the lockdown is, it’s a central tool in the fight against the COVID-19 plague and will remain essential until vaccinations become readily available.

And this in no way constitutes an attack on religious freedom: it’s a science-based defence of the general population, especially the most vulnerable. Freedom of worship has not been limited: restrictions have been placed on the right to assemble in churches and thereby increase the likelihood of the spread of infection. Such a spread doesn’t endanger only the person who decides to attend church, but also the innocent other parties whom the worshipper then meets. Remember the central teaching of Jesus: “This is the first and the great commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Canadian churches have, in fact, been overwhelmingly supportive of these painful but necessary measures, and most have never demanded regular attendance, though it’s advised and appreciated. The largest one that does insist — Roman Catholicism — has been highly responsive regarding the pandemic, even though, in theory, Rome demands that adherents receive the Eucharist at least every Sunday, and believers are in a state of sin if they miss without valid reason. The Catholic Church in Canada has given a general dispensation during the crisis and also airs services online.

It’s safe to say that the more fundamentalist the church, whatever its denomination, the more likely it is to embrace conspiracy theories about the virus, to see the evil hand of secular government behind the lockdown, and to regard resistance as some form of Christian duty. It’s worse south of the border, where a number of churches have exposed their members to potentially fatal infection. Difficult to forget the CNN coverage of a woman leaving such a church in Ohio and explaining that she wasn’t worried because, she said, “I’m covered in Jesus’s blood.”

On a personal level, I’m the pastoral associate, an ordained cleric, at a large Anglican church in Burlington. We hold Zoom services each Sunday morning and regular weekly morning prayer. I lead or participate in church men’s group, mental-health groups, prayer shawl groups, and groups that don’t even have a name. I give my phone number to congregants, they call me whenever they need to, and we chat, laugh, cry, pray. We help one another and share our faith. I spend time with people who have lost parents and loved ones, with those who grieve and weep. I listen because people need to be listened to. It’s what I signed up for, and it’s a privilege and an honour.

And I am one of many, all across the province, the country, the world. Of course we would sometimes like to be physically present with people, but, in truth, there are times when the imposed distance is liberating and helpful for the situation. But the point is that we are living in a plague year, and business is simply not as usual. We are about saving souls but also about saving lives — and certainly not putting them in greater danger.

It’s difficult not to conclude that there is an element of soft martyrdom at play in the “resisting” churches, a certain self-righteousness and paranoia. Those who organize and lead prohibited services are given a relatively small fine or penalty and then parade themselves as if they were part of a genuinely persecuted church. As someone who has seen the persecuted church, stood with people in regions of the Middle East whose loved ones have been slaughtered because of their faith, the comparison is downright insulting.

Like all people of conscience and a sense of communal solidarity, Christians have a duty right now to listen to informed wisdom, keep people safe, and not be selfish. It’s ethical and vital, and it’s what Jesus would have done.

Grace Moment – Poem

Screenshot of a poem on Twitter

This poem touched me deeply, and so did the poet’s response – an unexpected human connection. There are moments of grace, depending on who you follow, even on Twitter. I like being reminded that something that made me very sorrowful has turned out to be a true gift, that what gives me redemption can also be fearful, and that truth can cause difficult emotional eruptions. This poem reminds me that not all the steps in our life’s journey and on our spiritual path are easy – but that they are enriching and enlivening.

Centering Prayer Meeting on Zoom

Centering Prayer icon

During the pandemic, Maple Grove’s Centering Prayer Group has continued meeting Tuesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:15 on Zoom. We welcome any who want to join us in meditating, Bible reading, and learning more about the effect of, and how to do, Centering Prayer.

Our usual meeting:
– Our opening prayer
– 20 minutes of silent centering prayer (a form of meditation)
– Reciting the Lord’s Prayer
– A form of meditative Scripture reading called Lectio Divina
– Social chatting, catching up with everybody’s week
– Reading books or watching videos about centering prayer

Some of us also meet on Zoom Friday evenings from 7:00 to about 8:00 for a briefer, less formal centering prayer, led by Susan Garofolo.

If you would like to see what this is like, and maybe join our group, email joan.vinallcox@gmail.com

Virtual Worship – November 8

In the “comment” space below the video of the church service for November 8, you can say hello to Rev. Kerry, speak to the musicians and/or readers, thank the technicians or simply greet everybody. Sometimes it takes a little while before the comment is “live” and appears; please be patient.

There will be a Zoom Coffee Time at 11:00 am.

Sad News – Barbara Potter

Barbara was Maple Grove’s Choir Director and organist many years ago. Here is Mike Ware’s comment and the Facebook information.

Not sure how many of us are old enough to remember having Barb Potter as our choir director, An amazing woman that was very instrumental in Michelle’s development and love of singing. Perhaps you could forward to choir members. Mike
https://www.facebook.com/barbara.york1/posts/10225367149464875

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