TMUC Ministry Update — Summer 2020
A letter from Audrey Lumsden, Chair of TMUC Council
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 at tmuc.ca 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.