Well, it appears that “our time and place” includes a pandemic, and a world like nothing we have experienced before! We are pleased to see that you are reaching out to Queenswood United Church, and pray that you and your loved ones are faring well in these strange and difficult times.
Our way of life has undergone so many changes since the pandemic first touched our world and our community over a year ago! For the QUC family, as for many others, it was very difficult to know we could not see each other in person. How do you cope with such a situation? How can you care for people? Within days we set up a phone system, so that everyone in our small church family would at least receive regular calls and know we love them.
In spite of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, we have continued to take care of others, as we are called to do. During the early days of the pandemic, we delivered jigsaw puzzles to some local retirement homes for their isolating residents, and now operate a jigsaw puzzle lending library to help congregation and community members pass the lock down time pleasantly. QUC volunteers worked hard in our community gardens last growing season, delivering fresh produce weekly to the Orleans Cumberland Community Resource Centre’s Food Bank. Among the fellowship opportunities held for our own church family, were a Hymn Sing last June, and a Pizza and Bingo event in August â€“ both of them masked, distanced and sanitized – in our parking lot.
Other outreach efforts focused on several very successful collections of coffee, snack foods, and other necessities for the Centre 507 program in downtown Ottawa. We also continue to serve internationally through Kiva, an organization that encourages economic sustainability through loans to small businesses in developing countries.
On a beautiful fall day in mid-September, we held a “Fall Fling” in the parking lot, where we invited the community to come and browse among baked goods, books, puzzles, DVDs, crafts, and white elephant items, while collecting a carload of toilet paper for Centre 507. It was a lovely time spent in (masked, distanced and sanitized!) fellowship outdoors, and our neighbours responded admirably, adding their contributions to the Centre 507 donation jar.
In the dark winter days leading up to Christmas, volunteers baked shortbread cookies, and delivered them to the doorsteps of every family in our congregation, and, as a kickoff for Lent in February, we cooked and delivered 40 pancake suppers to 21 households, including a special delivery to a congregant in hospital. Although not functioning as before, QUC continues to do our best to be God’s hands and feet in the world, to serve both our own church family and the wider community.
Although the chapel building was closed to rental groups during July and August, we hosted a very successful Pedalheads bicycle skills day camp on our property, thus helping to provide healthy outdoor summer fun to local children, and much-needed respite for their families. We look forward to their return in the summer of 2021. The chapel opened for rental opportunities at the same time as our office moved back into the building, in early fall. Of course, all of these activities are dependent on local health and safety edicts and protocols, and subject to the rise and fall of the pandemic.
With God’s grace, we have learned to accept the unpredictability and lack of “normal” which is so much a part of life these days, and with His strength, we are still able to serve to the best of our abilities, and to look forward to a better tomorrow.
May God Bless you,
Queenswood United Church Council