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To All Grace Family Members:

Greetings to all of you as we arrive at Pentecost Sunday. Did you know that the Season after Pentecost covers nearly half the church year? That means a lot of Sundays are part of this church season whose focus is the Holy Spirit.

Perhaps, right now, we need to be reminded of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in our lives and the life of our world. The symbols of Pentecost—wind and flame and breath—are all signs of life. It is wonderful imagery, for it gives us an earthy reminder that God is not in a box somewhere, but can be found in the living, breathing creation all around us.

This Sunday, we celebrate Pentecost, which is acknowledged as the birth of the Christian church. Although our building remains closed, we are still the “gathered community” called to live out our ministry and mission in God’s world.

May 14, 2020

To All Grace Family Members:

Greetings to all of you. It never fails to amaze me that there is such good spirit and resilience in the life of the Grace family. Last night, the Official Board met online to discuss church programs and worship. Although activities and fundraisers have been cancelled, there are still creative responses happening.

Some weekly programs are meeting on-line (see attached activity and contact sheet) and there is brainstorming happening about how we might salvage some part of our fundraisers. Our loss with fundraisers is not only the financial support but also the camaraderie and sense of community we create when we gather to do a project together.

If you have some creative and fun ideas to suggest—that still allow for physical distancing and safety—please let us know!

To All Grace Family Members:

Greetings to all of you. In spite of the return of the cold weather, we are seeing longer days and watching gardens start to bloom with spring flowers. The birds and other creatures have made it clear that they are not deterred by cold weather, but anxious to be about their business of getting ready for summer.

There seems to be an almost palpable yearning for us to get back outside and to create some normalcy in our lives. This may be the year when backyards may get more attention than ever before. Though ours (Susan and Joe) is still languishing, we may find some time to catch up with the gardeners in the congregation, though not their ability to create works of beauty and abundance.

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, we are conscious of how often it is an annual weekend for family gatherings. Like Easter, it will be very constrained in its celebration this year.

How wonderful, then, that we can still find creative ways to reach out to those we love. And perhaps, this year, those messages will be even more heart-felt as we recognize how, with ease of communication, we became more casual about staying in touch.

In fact, perhaps this is the year to make that extra effort to contact someone who has “mothered” you in some way and say thanks.

Pastoral Update:

To All Grace Family Members:

Greetings as we prepare to greet a new month and another few weeks of “doing things differently”! It seems the pandemic that has kept us home and/or social distancing is still with us, and while there are signs that the tide is turning, we will have a longer wait than we initially expected.

Shout Outs!

A Big THANK YOU to those who sent “Shout Outs!” recognizing people you know who are doing something special to help us deal with the pandemic. We used some of those short videos last Sunday for the worship service and will use more this Sunday.

We can still receive more Shout Outs! and will use them in future services. Record yourself in a head-and-shoulders shot (a cell phone will do), and send a 45–60-second message to Joe Matyas: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you aren’t very “techy” and would like to recognize someone, let us know and we can help you put your tribute together.

News from the Outreach Team:

To All Grace Family Members:

Greetings to you as Easter people! We continue to be God’s people unlocked from tombs of fear and isolation. That, after all, is the message of Easter.

Last week we walked through the shadow of the valley and out into the sunshine of an Easter that calls us to live with hope and purpose. For that reason, we will celebrate this Sunday with Holy Humour.

Send us a Picture

There is a part for you in all of this—even if you have to stay home.

If you have a funny hat picture or can take one immediately or by noon Friday for sharing, your help would be greatly appreciated. For Holy Humour Sunday, we'd like to share as many funny hat photos with the Grace community as we can. Please email your funny hat pictures to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by noon Friday. We're looking for head-and-shoulders pictures (JPG format) you already have or can take. Selfies will do. Send one, take one; it will be fun to share these photos.

As well, we invite you to wear a hat while we share worship on Sunday. Just so we can remind ourselves that post-Easter we are called to rejoice. Even in the face of a pandemic, we can find ways—in fact, we must find ways—to defy the fear and celebrate life!

Virtual Sunday School

Jeffrey Dale, our Youth Ministries Coordinator, will begin this Sunday morning (from 9:30 am – 10:00 am) to offer a Virtual Sunday School through Zoom technology. The curriculum includes stories and games. For more information, see the attached poster. Please forward this information to any children and parents who are part of your life.

Our Ministry Together

We have heard from many of you that you appreciate the continuing contact we are trying to share through the Grace ministry. There are many people using phone and email to stay in touch. There are volunteers offering to help with deliveries. And we continue to remember those named in our Prayer List (attached).

Our meat pies are continuing to make their way out into the community, thanks to the efforts of Mary Hirons and Jean Cote. Last week an anonymous donor purchased more than $400 of Grace meat pies and delivered them to the Barrie Women and Children’s Shelter where, we hear, they were very much appreciated.

Financially, we are still afloat with thanks to those of you who are finding ways to eTransfer, mail cheques, or make use of PayPal. We thank you for your support.

A Message About Strawberries

Due to the recent provincial government’s decision to extend the lockdown, the Strawberry Shortcake Sale has been extended (again). We’re aiming for September 16 but will keep you updated.

Information about what is happening is posted on our website: https://www.graceucc.ca and Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/wah7g57, and will be available by the morning of Sunday, April 12. It will also be posted to YouTube https://tinyurl.com/v4qfc7v., as well as links for the worship service for each Sunday.

Rev. Susan 705.792.9267 home • 705.817.3402 cell • 705.734.0760 church office

 

Grace News Now

Solidarity with Nova Scotia

This is a reminder that Grace is still collecting messages for the grieving communities in Nova Scotia. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or wendybrown This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information.

Shoutouts wanted

If you want to pay tribute to Grace members or anyone in Barrie who've impressed you during this time of crisis, we're still taking cellphone shoutouts. Please submit them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Glimpse of Grace

We’re a friendly, welcoming, inclusive church. We don't tell you what to think or believe. We don't do guilt. We live the questions with open minds and open hearts. We invite you to join us if you’re on a spiritual journey — or looking for community.