Bloordale UC members and friends –

Having returned to work at Bloordale from a brief two-week “staycation” earlier this week, I write to share our weekly information note and give you an update on a few things.  I certainly hope that you are all feeling well or at least recovering well if you’ve been ill in the recent past.  I do offer my thanks to the Rev. Nelsona Dundas for covering pastoral emergencies in my absence these past two weeks, even though she’s newly retired from her role as our Pastoral Visitation Minister.

Worship continues in your online options format as we outlined late last month for this third Sunday in July, and next week I return to our distribution of a written weekly resource for the next three weeks, sharing with our St. James’ and Richview United Church partners as well.  I’ll then turn the reins over to St. James United for the last three weeks in August, though we’ll ensure you receive what they wish to distribute by way of a worship service then.  I’ll be taking the first two weeks of that three-week period off as another staycation, given that my remaining holidays were deferred due to COVID-19, so we’ll have pastoral coverage for my absence Aug. 10 to 24 also, and will inform you closer to that time about the arrangement for all of you.

Much has continued to happen at Bloordale over the last month, as the new roof over the sanctuary and half the CD building has been completed, much needed air conditioning units have been installed in the gym, a fresh coat of paint has been put in a number of rooms, a new computer has been installed in my office (thanks John!), and our intrepid custodian Victor has thoroughly cleaned almost all the floors in the entire building!  Numerous lay leaders such as Pat Conway-Willis, John Pauksen and Paul Rose have served long and hard to undertake the work or at least its oversight, and for this we’re all grateful!  And this is all timely work, as Terry Tan daycare is set to reopen in a few weeks, on the first Tuesday of August, and other renters desire to return to using our building for their programs soon also.  We’re preparing for the reception of a couple of new renters as well this fall, so the place will soon be hopping again – all in the context of maintaining the safety protocols of each stage that the provincial government declares as we go forward, both for ourselves and others.

And if you haven’t checked out the food trucks near the back of our parking lot on a Wednesday evening yet, you might consider doing so soon!

Having had a couple of zoom calls prior to my holiday, we’ll soon be setting up another one for our congregational check-in and connections, likely in late July or early August.  So keep your eyes peeled to our weekly note to get the details for this wonderful chance to see and hear from your Bloordale friends!

And Halyna was off both last week and this week, and returns to the office next Monday, so don’t hesitate to call us if you’re in need of something or have a question.

Lastly, our financial situation is a fairly good one, considering the income we lost over the past four months, due in no small part to your continuing generosity with donations and offerings.  We thank you and ask you to give as you’re able and called by God to do moving forward.  And a new United Church national appeal has been launched, to respond to the national and global devastation the pandemic has brought in its wake, thus providing another opportunity to share what you can to enable lives to be bettered if not saved.  See the details below if you’d like to know more.

Ontario has done very well in containing the spread of the virus, as we’ve flattened the curve in a large collective effort to keep all of us safe and well.  Let’s continue to do what we can to stay focused on the path of the right direction we’ve already traveled, and do what we can for our neighbours in need, both here and beyond our circle.

Blessings ‘til I write again next week.

Brian