Isolating isn't uncommon in the senior population. Yes, many who are isolating now did have the freedom to come, go and socialize but they are still often forgotten and lonely living in forced isolation. I am a hugging pastor for those who want hugs. Seniors and particularly those who live alone crave healthy touch and they are the majority on a Sunday morning with their arms reaching out for that Pastor-Hug. Those who live alone and are practicing social distancing through isolation are at low risk for contracting the covid-19 virus but they are at higher risk of experiencing emotional trauma due to lack of social interaction. Let's be pro-active at preventing an epidemic of mental health issues for those who are isolating alone. Under 60's crowd at Pine Grove, this is a chance for you to step-up-to-the-plate. I have created a program I am calling -- "Hugs from a Distance". I challenge children, youth and young adults to adopt someone who is isolating and care for them during this pandemic.
How will you do this? Once you signup on our website www.pgcc.ca/hugs, you will be assigned someone who is alone and isolating. It will be your responsibility to connect with them via letters, phone calls, emails or facetime depending on their level of technical confidence and your preferences. You will be provided all the information that you need. Children can draw pictures, colour pictures or write notes. You can be as creative as you wish without going inside their homes. Let's not let one vulnerable isolated senior be forgotten.
Romans 12:13 "Share with God's people who are in need"
This is the first time that I have blogged. I'm not certain of the etiquette but as we say often at Pine Grove - "no rules". I was in the grocery store on my way home from the church. By habit, I took a cart and then realized that I only needed milk. I put the cart back and took a basket to which a person standing nearby said, "You won't even need that. There is nothing left". I said, "I see lots of food". I looked around the grocery store and saw an abundant supply of food. Ok, some of the shelves were empty. There was not much fresh meat but there were lots of hotdogs and ham. I needed ketchup but there was no Heinz so I bought the store brand. There was no 1% milk; I bought 2%. I have everything I need and more.
Selfishness and greed can be the order of the day. Let's not make it the order of our day. Let's be thankful for everything that we receive or don't receive. Let's shine into the dark places. I get the feeling that this pandemic may bring out the worst in many whose goal is to survive in comfort. My goal is to survive. It is a time for saying "thank you" to places like stores that are remaining open and to their employees who are putting themselves at risk. Thank everyone you can to promote and encourage generosity. Pine Grove, let your light shine before all people that they will see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16)
I am receiving calls from more & more people who every day are choosing to self-isolate. Everyone in the church will be receiving an information package via Canada Post. Unfortunately it will not arrive in your mailbox until next week.
There will be a brief video posted on the church website each and every Sunday Morning during this period of shutdown.
An interactive blog is being created on our website where we can all share happy stories or encouragement with each other. We must encourage each other and keep our spirits high. It should be up soon.
The Board is meeting later this week to brainstorm opportunities to extend the love of Jesus to Pine Grove and its many communities represented at the church. If you have an idea, email it to Pastor Dan.
If you are looking for a way to give your weekly offering there are three options. 1) Send a cheque through Canada Post. 2) An online option had been previously scheduled to launch this week -- that's timely. You will see a button on the HOME page (top right) called GIVE. This is an app called tithe-ly. It is secure and can be installed as an app on your phone as well. There is more than one Pine Grove Church so be sure to verify the address is "Seeley's Bay". 3) Set your offering aside and bring it when public worship services resume.
PG Brochure (there could be some typos!)
A directive has been received from Rev. Dr. Cliff Fletcher, Bishop of the Free Methodist Church in Canada to suspend services for three Sundays beginning this coming Sunday. Read the Bishop's Letter.
There will be no lunch tomorrow after church. We have a team of health care professionals evaluating the situation. Until they have given us their assessment and recommendations it is otherwise business as usual. Please wash your hands when you arrive at the church (either soap and warm water or sanitizer). If you prefer not to shake hands, wave and smile -- no one will be offended. It is important to take this seriously.
If for any reason you are self isolating, please let me know. I just want to know that you are safe. If you need anything from the outside world, I am happy to pick up and deliver.
In regard to this posting, please no opinions. We want to deal in facts with information that is current and accurate so that everyone can make informed decisions.
Ann and I love you all,
Here we can post all sorts of updates, photos, stories.