News from the Grove

Although we have not been congregated at the church for service and other events, behind the scenes there has been busy bees keeping up with our outreach and looking after the needs of the church as they emerge.

Congregational support                  
This YTD       Last YTD

Brian Simpson and Gord Penley are working on the year end. We will try to have information of our offerings in the next few weeks.

The Caring Team
Aki Tanaka put together bouquets of flowers through March and April to cheer up our church family members in residence and living by themselves, who were shut in with no visitors allowed, as well as folks who have no computer.                                                                                                                         
Thank you, Aki, for putting together this beautiful outreach connection with 20 bouquets of flowers. They were also delivered by Aki & Bruce Tanaka along with Bobbi-Jo Walker.

The Caring Team is still looking out for our church families and friends. They are calling, dropping off food, and praying for them in this time of distance and isolation. We hope this brings you comfort knowing that your church family is thinking of you. If you wish to be called, please contact the church and we will place you on our call list.

The Outreach Committee:
Sculpture sale – we were in touch with Chaka Chikodzi, a Zimbabwean-Canadian stone sculptor who proceeded with a sculpture sale on the church property with our approval. We receive a percentage of his sales as a fundraiser for Outreach and his sales support a number of sculptors in Zimbabwe.  No access to the church for the public was required and social distancing, cleaning were in place. Thanks to Katy for her ongoing support on this. There is a posting on the church website that provides a background on Chaka’s work, and his description of the stones and their ties to generations before and after is quite moving.

Neighbour Care Network – continues their good work throughout the pandemic.  An appeal for more volunteers was issued within MGUC and 4 volunteers signed up.  There are six cases underway and the team is open to more cases.  One recent successful case has our client pursuing a Registered Practical Nurse designation and we were able to help out with the purchase of a computer for her to take the online course.

Refugees – no substantial changes here as the federal government program is at a standstill due to the pandemic.  We have several cases in the pipeline and one current case where the monies have not yet come from Saudi Arabia so the application has not been submitted.

Social Injustice – anti-black racism.
(a) Several members of the committee responded quickly to the concerns raised due to the recent very public tragedies and protests that followed.  As a result, several actions have been taken in response. 

  • First there was a item in a special e-news release that raised the question on how we as Christians, and members of MGUC should respond.  The ask was to demonstrate support for the issue by making a poster and displaying it in your window. 
  • This was followed with some suggested readings and the creation of a book club to discuss the writing as a means to better educate oneself on the issue and come up with suggestions on what further response is required.  This topic has created quite a discussion within the Outreach Committee and some members of Council.  
    • UPDATE since our meeting further communication has been sent through e-news and the book club is taking shape with approximately 12 people signed up.  Thanks to Sandra and Katy on the ongoing work

(b)  A further step to demonstrate the openness of the church and support for those affected by racism is to put up a banner with the sign at the road.  The suggested wording is ‘End Racism, all welcome here’.  This has the support of the Outreach Committee and  I will be recommending that we agree to this in today’s meeting.  I will supply cost info, not expected to be much, and Outreach can absorb this in our budget. 

  • UPDATE since our meeting the banner was approved at Council and is proudly on display at the church on the welcoming sign at the driveway.  Thanks to Kim for spearheading this.

Yazidi genocide survivors – another opportunity has presented itself the help return a freed Yazidi woman to her family.  An appeal was placed in the June 11th e-news (and possibly earlier).  We will continue to monitor the situation.

Planning – a general discussion was held on plans for next year however with all of the uncertainty not much could be committed to at this time.  We will continue to focus on the priorities of the congregation, the top ones being poverty reduction, environmental impact.

Rental News:
For the next couple of months, the daycare will be operating with minimal numbers respecting the Covid-19 protocols

We welcome back the Manse tenants who have renewed for another year.

Re-entering Team
There is a new team to help put together protocols to re-entering our church services and daily events when the time comes. Will be following the Province, Municipality and UCC protocols for entering the different stages of COVID 19.

This team consists of Rev. Harry, Judy Bridges, Dorothy Gartshore, Peter Williams, and Bobbi-Jo Walker.

Our priority is your safety. We are establishing ways to enter and exit the building and sanctuary to come together as a church family through safety in distancing.

More information will be sent out as we inch our way back to the COVID “normal”.

Building and Property
While the church was officially closed during the COVID-19 situation, Building & Property has been working on getting some tasks completed, We have completed the downstairs window project by painting the trim, and hanging drapes, thanks to the work of Tom Warden, Neil Gartshore, Judy Lang, Donna Vetter, and JC Berube.

We are preparing to replace the Heating and Ventilation unit that services the gym. The current unit is years old, and is making unpleasant noises, as well as being energy inefficient.

We are investigation installing awnings on the upstairs office windows.

Judy has been busy educating our landscape contractor on our expectations for grass cutting and grass trimming.

The Caring Team
Aki Tanaka put together bouquets of flowers through March and April to cheer up our church family members in residence and living by themselves, who were shut in with no visitors allowed as well as folks who have no computer stimulation. Thank you, Aki for putting together this beautiful outreach connection with 20 bouquets of flowers. They were also delivered by Aki & Bruce Tanaka along with Bobbi-Jo Walker.

The Caring Team is still looking out for our church families and friends. They are calling, dropping of food, and praying for them in this time of distance and isolation. We hope this brings you comfort knowing that your church family is thinking of you. If you wish to be called, please contact the church and we will place you on our call list.

60th Annual Maple Grove United Church Fertilizer Sale!
Due to Covid-19 we had to cancel our annual Fertilizer Sale.  Fortunately, we were able to minimize our expenses in time by cancelling inventory deliveries with some suppliers and winning refunds from others.  But we still had inventory from 2019 in our shed so when we could open again, we held a curbside pickup sale on May 23rd clearing 90% of our inventory.  We still have some product left which we are now offering to MGUC congregation members who were not able to order online.

We have the following:

  • Top Cut 4-4-0 100% Organic Fertilizer:  29 – 10 kg bags at $27.00 per bag.
  • General 10-10-10 Fertilizer:  4 – 10 kg bags at $20.00 per bag.
  • Mapleseed Turfline Sunshine Grass Seed: 8 – 7.5 kg bags at a special price of $35.00 per bag (regular price $65.00).

First come – first served.   Email to:  MGUCFC@hotmail.ca or call: (905) 339-8107 or (905) 484-1838 or (905) 844-5269.  Be sure to leave a message with your full name, address, phone number.  Pick up at Church with appointment or delivery can be arranged for Oakville addresses.  Payment by cheque or cash.

See you in 2021! Maple Grove United Church Fertilizer Committee.

Men's Breakfast image
It has been a while.  We last met March 11th just one week before everything was shut down.  We have been keeping in touch through emails with members detailing the many projects they have taken on while staying home. Not sure when we will be able to resume our monthly breakfast meetings but looking forward to seeing everyone again sometime in the future!  Stay safe.  Stay healthy.

Taking a further step,

  • Wednesday, August 12 at 7:30 pm Katie Joaquim and Sandra Onufryk will be leading book clubs via Zoom on. The book we are reading is the best seller White Fragility by Robin Di Angelo. If you have difficulty procuring the book but would still like to participate in a discussion,
  • Wednesday, August 19 at 7:30 pm Sandra will do a book presentation and lead a discussion about White Fragility on Zoom on . If you would like to participate in either event please email Sandra Onufryk at sandraonufryk@gmail.com.

The Outreach Committee hopes that these discussions will lead to ideas that will help our congregation to try to create more profound change.

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