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 May 8, 2020. We missed updating you last week. It seemed there weren’t a whole lot to updates for the congregation. Is that a good thing? Maybe it indicates that we’ve become more adjusted to our pandemic lifestyle.
VIRTUAL WORSHIP / GO-TEAM: We’d like to welcome Kevin Wong to the Go-Team as our Videographer. Kevin is partnering with Rev. Richard and Debra on the tech production aspects of virtual worship (you may have noticed new camera angles and production techniques over the last couple of Sundays). We also welcome back Family Ministry and the Organ to worship. It’s a big job to prepare virtual worship each week (with appropriate physical distancing, too) and we’re grateful to all our worship leaders for their time, talent and dedication. One of the challenges the Board and Go-Team have been discussing is how to grow virtual worship attendance. It’s important for worship to make an emotional connection and to feel interactive. We welcome your feedback and ideas. We’re looking ahead to introducing live virtual worship services down the road, but first we need to do some tech upgrades in the sanctuary. In the meantime, if you’re enjoying Sunday morning worship, we encourage you to invite your friends, neighbours and family to join us. Worship services are available on Sunday morning at 10:30. They’re also available on demand, 24/7, on the Knox YouTube page (where you can like and comment on our videos and subscribe to our channel). The more our YouTube page grows in activity, the more people will be able to find us. Connect to us on YouTube through Google or via Knox’s website. On a YouTube-related note: Rev. Sharon – thank you for your video prayers. Your calm, comforting presence on the YouTube page is deeply appreciated, and your prayers are most relevant and timely.
KNOX PHONE TREE: A big THANK YOU to our Knox Phone Tree and Pastoral Care team members, who have been placing regular calls to congregation members near and far. This work is appreciated by so many. As needs pop up, our dedicated callers are there with help and comfort. This is the fundamental work of the church carrying on, even when we can’t be in each others’ physical presence.
VISION & MISSION: Until recently, we had an MPS team working to analyze Knox’s time, talent, treasure & terrain — to better align our resources to support our vision and mission. This work has been made difficult by the pandemic. It’s impossible to predict what our “new normal” will look like until it finally arrives. For now, our Go-Team is developing initiatives that serve the vision and mission in our current situation. We continue to welcome your ideas, feedback and recommendations. Here are a few concepts we’re talking about or actively working on (let’s see what takes flight):
Refining the virtual worship experience (ongoing)
A Bible study program
A virtual concert series with UBC and Early Music Vancouver (under early discussion)
“What we’re listening to” articles for the Knox website by UBC music students (some students have already committed to this one!)
Something virtual with organ and maybe trumpet (who might those performers be?)
Something (TBA) we can partner on with Beyond the Conversation
Web articles – spiritual and secular conversation starters for families and friends
Art on the web (a virtual extension of Art at Knox)
Expanded content for News & Notes (activities, jokes, news, resources – got some for us? Please connect with Josie.)
Reaching out to congregants for “Hello Knox” website articles
A pen pal program (an extension to the Knox Phone Tree program)
If any of this grabs your attention, please drop us a line through the Contact Us button on the website. We’d love to hear your ideas, and we’ll welcome you to join in on any initiative if you’re keen. Pandemic or not, God calls Knox to live out its vision and mission.
$ MONEY $: Do I have your attention? I thought if I called this section “Finances”, folks just might skim over it! Anyway, the somewhat happy news from our Finance Team is that, while givings and income remain lower, our expenses also continue to trend lower for the first quarter of 2020. For now, we appear to be “holding our own”. Having said that, we don’t know what lies ahead, and our investments have lost value due to negative economic conditions. So, we consider this state a bit tenuous. Our treasuer has explored various subsidy and funding options, and he and others are working on applications for Federal Wage Subsidies (CEWS). We encourage you to maintain your givings and support Knox’s work if you’re able to do so.
BC’S RE-OPENING: New golden rules? The BC government shared the images you see with this post on social media yesterday. It’s reassuring (and a bit nerve-wracking!) to hear BC’s plan for re-opening the economy and our social circles in the coming weeks. Take some small comfort that we’ve made it over the first hurdle. This is encouragement that we can handle a potentially higher, longer one in the fall and winter. For now, let’s make the most we can of Summer 2020.
For the safety of our staff and worship leaders, and to minimize contact tracing if it’s ever needed, we ask everyone to continue avoiding Knox’s buildings. If you need something, or need to check on something, please consult with Josie first. On a related note, the government asks us to travel for essential reasons only. If you’ve travelled outside of Metro Vancouver or even overnighted somewhere that isn’t your primary household, please follow travel guidelines, and please check in with M&P, Rev. Richard or the Board Chair before returning to volunteer / paid work.
Thank you for your patience and conscientiousness in these exceptional times. We exist to love God and our neighbours. Please set a good example for others and ensure their safety by practicing diligent sanitary behaviours and social distancing / self isolation. Be understanding and make conservative choices to protect others as well as yourself.
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