March 20, 2020…
Dear McIvor Church Community,
Even in the midst of crisis, we want to come together as a community – created anew in Jesus, and called forward in his purposes. Together, we are the church – called to carry one another’s burdens, and give witness to the hope of Jesus in our world. Here are some of the latest ways McIvor Church is responding to the unfolding realities around us.
Join us for our online video worship service this Sunday. Find our McIvor Church channel on YouTube, or click here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLhij4hVl6L0NCVcduYQl1A. Who will you invite to join in?
We plan to begin using a live streaming format soon to allow for an even greater experience of community worship.
In this season of social distancing, we will obviously see an increase and expansion of digital communication.
- We encourage you to check our website (mcivorchurch.com/update/), YouTube channel, and Facebook and Instagram pages for ongoing updates and interaction.
- If you do not currently receive our regular e-mail updates via Realm, please contact our Office Administrator to sign up – firstname.lastname@example.org
- We have purchased a plan on Zoom that will allow our church to use video conference calls (kind of like Skype or FaceTime, but for larger groups). We see this as a helpful tool to allow us to continue meetings (of staff, Council, committees, and even congregational meetings up to 100 logins), and small groups (more on this below). We encourage you to download Zoom (in App Store or www.zoom.com) , and make your own personal profile, so we can continue to connect in this way.
At the same time, there are some within our community who do not engage in these forms of digital communication. If you know of someone like this, we encourage you to act as a liaison, channeling important information to this person via print or phone calls.
If you are feeling anxious or afraid we want to encourage you to reach out and let us know. We all process things differently and we want to walk alongside you. We have a prayer team that is willing to pray with you and for you. We have a visitation team that can call you and “visit” with you on the phone.
Are you isolated and in need of some groceries? We have some volunteers who are willing to pick some things up for you and leave them at your door. Let us know about your need and we’ll do our best to help.
If you have care needs or would like to help with care needs, please fill out the form on our website: https://www.mcivorchurch.com/news/caregiving/. All information will be forwarded to the Community Care Pastor.
Even while we engage in the practices of social distancing, there are opportunities for us to express the importance of relationship. For years, we have emphasized Wind Groups (groups of 3 or 4 people) as a great format to experience God’s work in our lives. This is especially true in this season! For the coming weeks, we encourage each person to find two or three other people who they will reach out to daily – checking in on each other’s holistic needs, and caring for one another.
We are launching McIvor Zoom Groups beginning this next week. We will have multiple groups meeting throughout the week in 1 hour video conference calls. These groups will include devotionals, sharing, and prayer. Go to https://www.mcivorchurch.com/news/zoom-groups/ each week to find new links for these groups.
One important expression of our church’s mission has become especially crucial in this season: our Winnipeg Harvest food bank. For years, many elderly volunteers have served faithfully in this ministry and prepared it to be passed on. Now is the season for a passing of the baton! The next scheduled date is March 26, 9:00-Noon, and future dates can be found at: https://www.mcivorchurch.com/events/. If you are interested in volunteering to serve in this ministry, please contact Pastor Denver: email@example.com.
We will continue to recommend resources that can be helpful for nurturing Christian faith in this season. For now, you might want to check out an Anabaptist prayer app called Take Our Moments and Our Days.
May we receive courage as we consider the eternal hope that comes through Jesus!
2 Corinthians 4:8-10 – “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.”
March 14, 2020…
Dear McIvor Church family,
As you are surely aware, concerns surrounding the COVID-19 (Corona) virus have risen dramatically over the past weeks. We want to have a thoughtful and faithful response as a church family. At this point in time, we are convinced that it is necessary to cancel our Sunday worship gatherings. Instead, we encourage you to engage in our worship services by listening online at https://www.mcivorchurch.com/category/service-audio/. Services will be posted by 10:00 each Sunday and resemble our usual format. We will continue to pay close attention and make any further decisions based on updates from the Government of Manitoba. Those can be found here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/coronavirus/index.html
As we continue to listen to government health recommendations, may we also listen to the words of our Lord Jesus: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Mark 6:50). When the ground seems to be moving under our feet, we are steadied as we remember that, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.” (Psalm 46:1,2). Instead of panic, followers of Jesus invite God’s perfect love to drive out all fear (1 John 4:18). In this season, may our lives be directed in this way.
In light of recommendations from our provincial government and Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, we as McIvor Church leadership wanted to update you with the following decisions and invitations:
1. Until further notice, we are cancelling McIvor Church gatherings. This includes our worship service and the Exchange on Sunday mornings, and all aspects of our Finder’s Feast program on Wednesday evenings. All other open programs under the ministry of McIvor Church are also on hold for the time being. Instead, we encourage you to engage in our worship services by listening online at https://www.mcivorchurch.com/category/service-audio/. Services will be posted by 10:00 each Sunday and resemble our usual format.
2. We recognize that this season will bring a heightened experience of isolation for some. We are discerning how we can provide practical and spiritual caregiving responses for those who are in especially vulnerable states. Please contact the church to request-response to a specific need.
3. We invite you to dedicate 7:00 PM as a time to pray in your own location. Even while we are apart, we are united in a special way through prayer.
4. We encourage you to use online financial giving in this season. Click here for McIvor’s online giving: https://onrealm.org/mcivor/SignIn?ReturnUrl=%2Fmcivor%2FGive
Our lives are far more connected than we realize. As we participate in social distancing, may we find creative ways to care for our neighbours – especially those in heightened states of vulnerability. In this season, may our church resemble Jesus, spreading hope and peace to the world that God loves.
Denver Wilson, Pastor
Ron Dyck, Moderator
On behalf of McIvor Church Pastors and Council