Thursday, February 4, 2021

Care Packages 2021 and and update on Calvin's ministries during COVID

 Greetings all, 

It's been a while since I've blogged an event.  COVID has put a damper on many of our ministry events, as is the case with most other churches.  BUT, that doesn't mean that ministry stops.  It just means that we needed to pivot and reimagine how to accomplish the same mission of our church to: 

...become more passionate followers of Jesus Christ, 

used by God to transform lives through 

confident outreach, inspiring worship, enfolding fellowship and lifelong discipleship.

How have we tried to accomplish this? 

confident outreach

Well, we have continued to engage with our neighbours via the Carlington  Community Chaplaincy.   We have held a couple of outdoor lunch BBQs on-site to bless those in the community, seeing as food security is a big issue there. We have also done a brown bag lunch there as the weather was not conducive to a BBQ any longer. 

inspiring worship

We went from in-service services to taping Sunday services each Saturday, editing them, and putting them up on YouTube for Sunday mornings.   They took a lot of work to put together but came out pretty well polished due to a great team effort.   HOWEVER, just so you know that videotaping doesn't always go as planned, here's a short blooper that made me chuckle.  Others will be compiled soon just so we can have a good chuckle and realize that worship isn't always perfect : ) 

We eventually began live streaming and even opened up the church building for a while at 30 % capacity.  We have been forced to close again, but continue to live stream.  Pastor Craig and the worship committee have done a wonderful job of keeping our services consistent, relevant, and nourishing to our souls. 

lifelong discipleship

It has always been our desire to make disciples both within and outside of our church community.  Discipleship takes many forms, and at Calvin, we use small groups to accomplish that when possible.  COVID required us to pivot to using zoom for our gatherings, and so far that has gone well.  

We have five small groups meeting regularly at the moment over zoom.  We also have coffee break gathering at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays as well as our Wednesday morning prayer group at 9:00 a.m.  Pastor Craig's men's group continues to meet every Thursday morning and our grade 7 & 8's meet every other Tuesday from 7 - 8 p.m. for Catechism instruction.  Our youth group meets on Sundays now from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. as well as our young adults gather for Bible Study every other week.  We are moving that to Sunday evenings from 7 - 8:30 p.m. in the hopes that more will join us.  

Pastor Ron just finished an eight-week small group on parenting using the book "Growing With."   It was challenging and enjoyable for the 10 parents that participated. Pastor Craig has just begun an 8-week apologetics course with 50 ish persons signed up.   We also hope to hold a small group on issues of mental health and the church soon. 

enfolding fellowship

We have not been able to meet in person in the church building, but that has not stopped us from fellowshipping together. Soon after COVID closed down meeting in person for us, it was decided that a virtual coffee time would be a great way to supplement our after church coffee time in our fellowship hall.   So, since April, ish, we have faithfully met at 11:30 a.m. for virtual coffee.  Our screens fluctuate in number, but there is always a core group that desires to get together. 

We have also tried to meet in person outside, socially distanced so we could get together and see each other, for those who wished to do that.  We did one even on a Sunday, and one on a Saturday, combining it with a Gilbey Park clean up.   

We also just finished off blessing the residents of Starwood Extendicare by delivering 157 cards of blessings and cheer.   Thanks to all those who made them and to Thea and Jim R for organizing this.  

Just recently we also blessed our youth and young adults with care packages.  At this time of year our youth group is actually making said packages for students at Ottawa U and Carleton, as well as our out young adults, but this year COVID prevented that.  So, instead, 96 care packages were made by my family and delivered to youth in grades 7 and up and our young adults in college/university.  Thank you to all of you who were asked, and then donated, to this cause.  Below are some pics and comments.  

First I decided what would go in this year's care packages.  

Above is what I decide upon. 

All the contents purchased.  

All the boxes waiting for their contents.  

I tested one out to make sure it would all fit : ) 

  Complete with card.  

Due to COVID, I couldn't have others help in the packing, so Sarah, Chris and Joycegina helped me out.. 

And let the packing begin : ) !

Yup, at times it was hard to tell if we'd placed what we wanted in the right box : ) 

Filled and ready for the cards. 

We cleaned up our mess : ) 

Time to seal them.  Thanks to my family for helping make these.  

And then the fun task of delivering them.  If a youth in grade 7 or up had younger siblings, I also provided a box for them : ).  Here are two very happy recipients.  

Hopefully next February we will be able to once again make care packages for others, but this year it was nice to bless those from our church in these difficult and often isolating times. 

So there you have it.  

Ways in which we as a church are quietly fulfilling our mission.  

Blessings to all of you