I wanted to take some time to fill you in on some important updates surrounding the ministry at Hanover Missionary Church.
When will we be back?
This is a good question that I am sure many of you are asking.
First, thank you for engaging with us online these past couple weeks. It has been encouraging to see so many joining into our Facebook page, watching live on our website, or being involved in Zoom calls. Thanks for being flexible and being a part of the church community in this new way.
Initially, we had set April 5th as being the target for being back in the building. With the recent spread and growth of COVID-19 in Ontario, that is no longer reasonable. We are prepared to be out as long as needed, and our new ministry structure supports that. For the immediate future, we are planning to be out for all of April, with us evaluating our situation before the May 3rd Sunday AM worship gathering.
What does that mean for Good Friday, Easter, and other ministries?
Good Friday and Easter Sunday gatherings will still happen; however it will be online this year. We will still have a time where we will gather for worship, reflection, and celebration online, but watch for details in the coming week.
As for other ministries, we will continue to operate online as we have been, with the option of introducing more opportunities as the need and ability to do so arises. We are constantly evaluating the status of future ministry events as time passes. As things change, we will continue to be in communication with you.
While I know that some of what follows will be review to many of you, please continue to read this letter as there are some important details in here for everyone.
What is the best way to participate in the online gatherings?
We are online for all our gatherings. You can find us on our Facebook page where we will be broadcasting our events live. You can also watch our broadcast events through our website. Our Zoom rooms are done through a video chat program called Zoom. You can find out more information on our website.
As we have gone online, we have discovered some of our technical limitations. One of those limitations is that our physical website (www.hanovermissionary.com) can only handle a certain amount of online traffic at once. When it hits its limit for traffic, the technology parking lot becomes full, and no one else can come in and park for our service. Just as we would want to create physical space in our parking lot for people, we need to create virtual space for people on our website. Otherwise people can not watch and participate. If you, or your spouse, or your children have a Facebook account, please watch our service through our dedicated Facebook page. We want to leave our website open to those who have no other option. If you do not have a Facebook account, but are able to sign up for a free account, please do. If you need help, please contact one of us, and we would be happy to help you in the sign-up process. (You can find a tutorial here on our website.)
What about giving to the weekly offering?
With our weekly physical meetings stopping, the opportunity to participate in the weekly offering looks different.
Even though the physical, in person ministries have temporarily stopped here at HMC, ministry is still active and happening. There are still ongoing expenses and financial needs to be met so that we can continue to be on mission for Jesus in our community.
I am sensitive to the reality that there are many reading this notice who would normally want to give to help support the ministry of HMC, but your income situation has changed, and you are now unable to give. Please do not hear me pressuring you to give. We (as HMC) need to be sensitive to the situation that some of us may not have a steady income at this time of economic uncertainty.
I am also aware that there are some of us who are able to count on a steady income in this time, and may have the ability and resources to give a bit extra during this time to help us continue to pay our bills. As the Lord leads, would you please consider what you may be able to give in this time?
If you can give online by credit card, please consider doing so. On your web browser, go to tithe.ly or download the tithe.ly app for your smart phone. Through that website/app, you can give directly to HMC. If you need any assistance, contact the office.
If you still wish to give by physical cheque, please call the office to set that up. Marie has requested that you call on Monday or Wednesday.
How can we love our community?
There are some amazing new opportunities we have to be a blessing to our community.
1) Benevolence Fund: Community Aid – During this pandemic, a number of people inside and outside our church family are going to be in need. If God has given you the ability and desire to share with others, you can donate to HMC and designate your gift to “Benevolence Fund: Community Aid”. You will receive a donation receipt, and the funds will be distributed according to HMC policies. Please consider these gifts to be above your regular offerings. If donating through Tithe.ly or the church website, this designation is now an option.
2) Grocery drop off – We have been approached by the medical community in Hanover about if some of our people would be willing to provide assistance to those who are in isolation and can not leave their homes by delivering pre-paid groceries from the grocery store to their front steps. We do have people within our congregation willing to do this, and we have willingly taken on this new way to bless our community. However, if you are willing to volunteer to help with this, please contact myself at the office (519-364-1823 Ext 30 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
3) White Ribbon Campaign – We have been asked to be a part of a community initiative to show our support and love to the healthcare workers who are on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis. As a sign of support, people are being asked to tie white ribbons to a tree, bush, porch railing, etc… at your home. We think this is a great idea as a church, and we already have one up at the church building. Our challenge for this week is “how many white ribbons can the HMC community place outside this week?”
I know that there has been a lot of information for you to read today. Thanks for taking the time to read through all of this. As always, if you have any comments, questions, or feedback, do not hesitate to contact myself, the office, or one of the other pastors.
Know that we are praying for you and are happy to serve you in this time.
Glad to be part of this family!