Responding to the COVID-19 virus, worship service and all programs, activities and rentals with the exception of the Food Bank are suspended at TMUC. As our office is temporarily closed, emails and phone messages will be monitored periodically. If this is of an urgent matter, we encourage you to reach out directly to our Ministerial staff. We keep you and this hurting world in our prayers.
A letter from Audrey Lumsden, Chair of TMUC Council
TMUC Ministry update, Summer 2020 – Part 2
I am writing to provide our TMUC congregation with another brief update from our TMUC Council meeting that was held on Wednesday, August 26th regarding building re – opening and the mandated use of masks in the church building. We hope this is helpful information.
BUILDING RE – OPENING PLAN:
An extensive part of the meeting was spent discussing our eventual building re – opening (considering current Canada and Manitoba regulations as of August 14th and relating to faith-based gatherings). We are mindful that these are ever changing and may require modifications. We considered possible regulations and recommendations pertaining to TMUC, and specific processes for TMUC services including worship, funerals and baptisms, the TMUC office and Administration, tenants and users of the building.
We are grateful to the individuals that have spent a great deal of time and effort on gathering and preparing information to help provide guidance, and for the input of our Ministers and Council members in providing leadership during this challenging time in dealing with this pandemic.
Primary consideration has and will continue to be given to safety, including safety of staff, church members, volunteers, tenants of our building and accessing the property. A given is that COVID-19 will continue to affect what we do and how we can act until at least the summer of 2021. This continues to be ongoing and unpredictable. Importantly, faith-based gatherings in places of worship are high risk groups for COVID-19, based on numbers earlier in the pandemic and on demographics.
As a result of the review, two items of importance have arisen, including the first one which will affect anyone visiting our church. These include:
- Masks are now mandatory for everyone in the TMUC building with the exception of children up to and including grade three.
- The Council is considering a small group gathering for 30 minutes of worship on Thanksgiving Sunday at 10 and possibly at 11am. Registration by phone will be required and physical distancing must be maintained. If you are interested in knowing more about this, please call Carol or Jeff at home – 204-224-2979. No decision has been made on worship in person past that date, and everything is dependent on Public Health Orders which will determine if this is possible at that time.
CAUGHT IN THE ACT DINNER THEATRE COMPANY:
The TMUC Council was in receipt of correspondence advising that this year’s production that we had hoped for with October dates has been cancelled. This is disappointing but in light of the COVID19 restrictions was the right decision. Contact will soon be made by the committee members regarding possible refunds including donating the cost of the ticket to TMUC with a tax receipt or refunds. A huge thank you to those associated with the production and an acknowledgement of their extraordinary efforts. We are grateful and hopefully the show can go on in months to come.
Please enjoy the fleeting days of summer as fall is beginning to peak around the corner. We will continue to update you via email as well as sending a letter update to those who are not accessing email.
Chair, TMUC Council
A letter from Audrey Lumsden, Chair of TMUC Council
TMUC Ministry update, Summer 2020 – Part 1
COVID-19 was not even in our vocabulary a year ago. Now it is August 2020, and how things have changed with this pandemic. Through this ongoing time, we have continued to keep being the church. We offer support and care for our most vulnerable by providing worship services by using technology, continuing our prayer list and offering weekly get-togethers via ZOOM. We continue to support the food bank and the Transcona Council for Seniors in their restricted activities.
Carol and Jeff have continued to reach out to our congregation through calls, email, texting and simply taking care of people. They have conducted small funerals, both graveside and (in very restricted conditions) in the sanctuary.
Our church staff, joined by many volunteers has continued offering their services in creative ways, in music and in reading stories. Many in our congregation are reaching out to others by delivering meals, copies of the service, and other tasks to support those in our congregation and beyond. UCW has provided updates to UCW members during times of illness and bereavement.
That is our strength, as a community of faith we continue to reach out in different ways and to glorify God. We continue to keep being the church.
The TMUC Council has continued to meet monthly with the use of ZOOM to ensure that the operation of the church has and will continue. We have streamlined any and all expenses that we can to keep us going. We have been without an office administrator since March 2020 and have made an interim arrangement, but we will need to review this soon.
Although the building is closed, a task group is developing protocols and recommendations should access be possible or required in the future. We need to follow health guidelines, and most importantly we need to ensure we are all as safe as we can be. Many on Council are working hard behind the scenes to support our congregation now and in days to come.
The TMUC Executive and Council have continued to work closely with the Trustees, the Ministry and Personnel Team, the Administration and Sharing Team and other volunteers regarding our financial stewardship. We thank you very much for your continued donations via PAR, CanadaHelps, and offerings that continue to be dropped off in the church mailbox or mailed to the church.
We have been fortunate to model justice in employment by continuing to pay our staff and to honour our contracts. Some staff have been on furlough, and our cleaning contract was renegotiated to a lower amount. We applied for and received financial subsidies from federal programs, which have helped our financial situation. We are thankful for the wisdom, efforts and diligence of our Admin and Sharing team who have studied the possibilities and applied for these programs. Each month they must make new calculations to verify our eligibility (these programs may not be available indefinitely).
The United Church of Canada has granted a temporary suspension of our monthly regional assessment payments (but these will need to be paid by the end of 2020). We continue to make payments to the United Church Building Fund loan which has a very low interest rate. Other loans have been discussed for planning purposes should this become a future reality.
With all this care and wisdom from Admin and Sharing, with the federal subsidies, and with your help, we are currently operating without a deficit as of the end of July.
COVID-19 meant that we could not hold the Time & Talent Auction or Dinner Theatre. Thankfully we were able to have the plant sale fundraiser! As we move into the fall we prayerfully ask you to continue supporting TMUC financially.
Wherever possible, please give through the following options:
- PAR (pre-authorized remittance): If you are already making contributions through PAR, there is no need to change.
- CanadaHelps: CanadaHelps is a trusted, secure way of donating online. TMUC is one of more than 20,000 charities that receive direct, secure online donations. You can access the TMUC page through our own website on the “DONATE” link on our home page or at CanadaHelps: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/14890
- Cheques: If you are accustomed to contributing through the weekly offering, you can use the mail, or the church mailbox which is picked up daily. (Please do not send cash).
Your offerings, support and prayers are much needed and appreciated.
Keep being the church.