A few reminders for this week Apr. 13 – Apr. 19, 2020

FROM THE MINISTER’S DESK
Did the celebration of Easter last Sunday seem muted to you? We miss the excitement of a church sanctuary full of people and large family gathering around the table; connecting via technology just isn’t the same thing. In a way the subdued Easter of 2020 was more in keeping with what it was like for the disciples on the first Easter—the excitement comes bit by bit as one after another meets the risen Jesus. Thankfully, Easter is an entire season in the church calendar lasting the next six weeks until we get to Pentecost Sunday. The gospel stories for Sunday worship focus on the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus; we are encouraged to take joy in the presence of the risen Jesus in our lives. The cry, “He is risen”, is an everyday blessing. I would invite you to continue Easter celebration taking some time to enjoy the “World’s Largest Virtual Hallelujah Chorus”.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS…
ONLINE SUNDAY WORSHIP, April 19th
The Sunday services will be available to watch via live streaming at 10:00 am through the church website. We suggest that you tune in early. To watch live or view a recording later, go to the Church website, scroll down and click on Central United’s Live Stream Page or click here. A copy of the bulletin for this Sunday’s Service is attached here. You are encouraged to have your bible handy and please note that the text of this Sunday’s Sermon will be available on our Church website prior to Service time. This Sunday’s Scripture readings are Acts 2:14a, 22-32, 1 Peter 1:3-9 and John 20:19-31. You can also find a daily scripture message at the top of our website.
In these challenging times, the importance of maintaining spiritual well-being within our Central United community and through regular worship is magnified.
 
While we can’t gather physically, Central United is unique among many churches in the area with the ability to live stream Sunday services. Our “virtual congregation” continues to grow – this past week’s Good Friday and Easter Sunday Services drew 250 unique views each!
 
Please join us each week. And spread this good word. Share our streaming information with family and friends, and via your extended social network – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.  
 
Hopefully, more and more people will hear about our live-stream services and join in each week.
Following the guidelines of the Ontario Government, there are no onsite services until further notice.
ONLINE DONATIONS
A new function has been added to the home page of the Central United Church Website. It is now possible to donate using the new “DONATE NOW” function on the website or follow the points below:
  • You can donate to Central United by clicking here:
  • You can continue to specify how you want your donation to be allocated by either selecting the appropriate category on the website or by typing in your choice in the MESSAGE box.
  • Donation receipts will be issued directly by Canada Helps, so there is no need to include your envelope number.
  • If you have any questions, email [email protected].
In addition to the online donation option, your church offerings can also be mailed to the church.
FINANCE UPDATE
Thank you for your continued support of Central United. Given the uncertain times, we feel that it is important to share the current financial position for the church, and we are happy to say that our results as of March 31st were approximately $500 ahead of budget – with a deficit of $4,243. We do realize that the closure of the church for the foreseeable future will impact our cash flow – with both our givings and our rental income expected to be lower than our budget estimates. Thankfully the church is in a very strong cash position at this time, so we will be able use some of our accumulated surplus to fund any cash shortfalls that may arise. We are also monitoring the various government programs being offered (which include wage subsidy programs and an interest free loan program), and we will determine, in consultation with the church council, which of the programs we should apply for. We will keep you posted on our progress each month. Don’t forget that you can still drop off your offerings at the church (mailbox only, as the church remains closed), or better yet – you can sign up for the preauthorized giving program (“PAR”) – please contact Sharlene for the proper form. Alternatively, you can donate directly to the church using this link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/130828254RR0001-central-united-church/.  If you have any questions, please email [email protected]
THE UPPER ROOM
The Upper Room hard copies are now available. If you would like to receive a copy please let Linda Patterson know via email: [email protected] and she will attempt to have it delivered to your home. Please include your address and choice of regular or large print. Limited quantities are available. Alternatively, use the link below to get your copy online.
LENTEN OUTREACH PROJECT 2020
This year’s Lenten Outreach Project is “The Yellow Brick House”. The Yellow Brick House provides a safe and secure place for women and children escaping domestic violence in York Region. Financial donations are being accepted until the end of April. If you wish to donate you can mail your donations to the church. Cheques should be payable to the Central United Church. 
As we think of needs outside our Church family, please consider the Salvation Army which includes support for Markham & York Region https://www.agincourtcommunitychurch.com, the Markham Foodbank http://markhamfoodbank.ca/donate or the United Church of Canada Mission & Services Fund https://www.united-church.ca/donate.

SCRIPTURE READINGS….
If you are interested in reading ahead a little, below are the readings for next week…..
April 26th 2020
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
Luke 24:13-35