These lovely irises are showing off in the beds outside the church at the moment, along with tulips and some other early blooms. If you look carefully, there are dandelions almost ready to open mixed in with the irises. Nature’s irrepressible urge to grow and multiply!
We also briefly had a table full of geraniums in the church building this week as Paul Sumka (through the auspices of Margaret Scheffer) once again generously donated plants for Harrow to distribute to shut-ins and those who are in particular seasons of grief or hardship. AS the accompanying note says: “we hope these plants will be a sign of hope, and a reminder that you are in our thoughts and prayers”. Special thanks to the couriers who delivered the plants. We have already received calls of appreciation!
In other news
The Harrow Church Council met this week – it was a fabulous demonstration of how challenging it can be to follow health guidelines and still be able to conduct a ‘normal’ activity. Some were present (and physically distanced) in the church building; others connected online. The experience showed us it’s actually much easier to see and hear one another if we are all online! So next time, the meeting will be conducted by zoom. News from the meeting: a task group was struck to coordinate information and protocols regarding when and we will be reopening the building and what measures will need to be in place – both for Harrow activities and for user groups and renters. Several things are clear: it won’t be happening any time soon. Also, there will be no food or drink; also no singing (droplets travel greater distances when we sing and when we play wind instruments, so there is a strict ban on that for now.
Which means that, for the foreseeable future, worship, yoga, book groups, UCW, Rhyme and Storytime, and meetings will continue to be online experiences.
Our finances – As you might imagine, our financial picture is not fabulous, though as you can tell, we have been able to carry on for the time being. In part, this is because a grant for which we had applied to help with renovations last year came through in 2020. Also, Karen, our Treasurer, has been working hard staying up to date on programs for which we are eligible from the federal government. We have already received the 10% wage subsidy. Karen has also set up our banking so that people can make donations or payments through e-transfer. COVID-19 is moving us to do things we might have gotten around to someday, but that day got moved up the calendar!
Many thanks to Karen for her continuing hard work on our behalf, both as treasurer and as office administrator. For those in a position to continue financial support to Harrow, or for those wanting to make a one-time or recurring donation, please check the options through Canada Helps, e-transfer, PAR (pre-authorized remittance) or by cheque. If you contact the office, Karen will be happy to help you or answer questions.
Yoga – continues as online classes, and we are hearing that some students are really enjoying this format. It will likely be continuing over the summer. As the fee hadn’t changed for nearly ten years, we felt that it was time for an increase. Beginning with the new sessions in mid-June, the fee will be $10/class. Watch our website and FaceBook page for more information about the summer sessions.
Book Club – Faithful Readers book group met by zoom this week, with a wealth of suggestions for book choices in 2020-2021. Final selections for each month will take place as people send in their votes over the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in the list of possible choices, please be in touch and we’ll forward the list to you.
Sunday Coffee has been continuing every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. for 30-45 minutes. If you don’t already have the link to that zoom meeting and would like to be able to join in (either occasionally or regularly), please be in touch by email or phone, and we will send you the zoom link. If you aren’t sure how to use zoom, we are also getting pretty good at coaching people through that! As long as you have a tablet, smart phone, or computer, you can connect. You can also connect by phone, though of course you don’t get the video feed that way, but you can still participate in all the discussion.
Congratulations to Will who will be graduating on Monday from Red River Community College!
Thank you to the mystery person who cut our lawn last Saturday!
AND HUGE THANKS TO SHERRY RASMUSSEN for keeping us connected through Facebook, Instagram and our website, as well as to CHUCK HASSELFIELD for all his editing of our worship. Special thanks this week to John P and to Rob L for extra effort in providing music for us!
Hope you are well, and that you have found unknown reserves of patience, creativity, compassion and curiosity in these changing times.
The link for this Sunday’s worship is: https://youtu.be/HvndEB6MRWY
Watch from the comfort of your own home and at your own convenience.
Perhaps we’ll meet at Sunday coffee.
Blessings to one and all.
Yours in Christ,