COVID-19 March 29, 2020 ~ Update

Susan McAlpine

Susan McAlpine
March 27,2020

cherry trees in bloom on street in front of knox

Listen to this update on AUDIO here: March 29th Go Team Updates


If you prefer print or just like to follow along, here is the script:

March 20, 2020

     Keeping Knox and our neighbours safe and connected during the COVID-19 pandemic is a key priority for all of us. Here are some key updates from the Knox Go-Team and Board for March 27, 2020:

     Please continue to use Knox Website — so you won’t miss updates, and to participate in virtual faith practices. The site is updated daily (sometimes hourly!) with inspiring content. We’re grateful for Anne M. who is developing regular Children’s Ministry content, and for Rev. Sharon, who is contributing regular prayers and devotions. Debra is working hard to keep the site engaging and, in the case of worship last week, functional! And that leads to…

     Last Sunday at 10:30 AM we had so many worship guests that the site momentarily crashed. Our speedy and capable Debra reacted quickly, moving the link over to YouTube so that no one would miss out. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and the video has been watched over 130 times. This week you’ll experience worship in a similar format, but with a few more “guests” involved.
     Worshiping online is easy, even if you’re not a techy.

Virtual worship will always be on our home page.

     Worshiping online is easy, even if you’re not a techy. Virtual worship will always be on our home page

     Today the Board decided to redirect Knox’s portion of the Lent & Easter Appeal to First United. This is an especially difficult time for the people who work and live in the DTES. Our vision calls us to care for our neighbours, and this is one way we can help. The other half of your Special Appeal gifts remains directed to the United Nations Refugee Fund. Like First United, the UN is fighting to reduce the impact of COVID-19, with refugees and displaced people around the world. Please give generously! And on that note…

     Knox’s expenses are down a bit, but so is our income. If you’re a pledged giver, please keep up your givings by:

  • mailing regular cheques to Knox
  • using your credit card to give through the Donate button on the Knox website
  • contacting Josie to move onto the United Church’s PAR program (automatic monthly payments from your bank account).

     If you’re not a regular giver, but are moved by the work we’re doing, please consider donating too. You can mail a cheque or use the Donate button, too.
Please call Josie about ways to give if you have questios: 604-261-3747 .

     It may seem obvious, but our buildings are closed. A few key people are permitted to access the building for urgent / important matters (those folks already know who they are). If you haven’t been tagged for access, even if you have a key, please do not enter the buildings until further notice. You can reach us any number of other ways, including by phone (leaving voice messages), email, and the Contact Us button on the website.

     The Board met March 26 to review Knox’s COVID-19 response and financial situation. We understand that many churches are struggling at this time and will continue to monitor updates from Pacific Mountain Region in the event we can do anything to help. We also spent some time trying to discern the near and further future (not so easy these days). We will meet again on April 9th. That’s Maundy Thursday, which leads me to…

     Please stand by for updates on Holy Week / Easter virtual worship.

     Knox’s Phone Tree is up and running, and first calls have been placed to everyone on the call list. Folks indicated whether they wished to receive weekly or just regular calls.      Some no longer felt they had an affiliation with Knox. Regardless of the situation, all were grateful for receiving a call. Josie is updating the Directory, which is available electronically if you’d like to reach out to other congregants on your own.
     The purpose of the phone tree calls is Pastoral: to ask how you’re feeling and check whether you have any needs. Just let your caller know, and we’ll do our best to support you.

News and resources and info you may find useful this week (send us your ideas, too!):

  • All grocery & drug stores are required to have opening times for seniors and others at risk. Google or call your local shops for special opening times. Or get in touch with your phone tree branch leader.
  • The federal tax deadline has been deferred to June 1, 2020.
  • The federal government has reduced required minimum withdrawals from Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIFs) by 25% for 2020, in recognition of volatile market conditions and their impact on many seniors’ retirement savings.
  • Ever thought about meditating? There’s no time like the present to learn. Studies show that regular meditation can have a positive impact on brain health, stress levels, depression & anxiety, blood pressure, chronic disease, auto-immune disorders and quality of sleep. Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra have partnered to offer a free 21-day meditation class here:

     Physical distancing and self isolation remain the most effective ways to limit the transmission of disease in our community. Our governments, first responders, care workers and immunocompromised neighbours are counting you to stay home except on truly urgent matters.
     If you must go out, maintain 6-feet of space between yourself and others. Continue to wash your hands frequently, with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Refrain from touching your face.
     Thank you for your patience and conscientiousness in these exceptional times. Be understanding and make conservative choices to protect others as well as yourself. We exist to love God and our neighbours.

Download for reprint of this update here.