Church Updates COVID-19

Posted on Mar 18, 2020

WORSHIP SERVICES ONLINE

As you know our country and our world are working together to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In consultation with the United Churches of our area and following the lead of public health officials, the Council Executive of First United Church have decided to temporarily suspend “in person” worship. Sunday Service is now being held online, if you would like to attend and haven’t received the link please contact the church. CKSW will also continue to carry the regular 1/2 hour service on Sunday afternoons at 1:30 pm.

Church Office open from
9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

The church office is now open to the public. Please see office hours above.

We will also be welcoming small groups (30 people or less) into the building. These groups will include church committees, study groups, rental groups, small funerals and weddings. For the safety of all concerned, we ask that you limit your visits to the building to essential activities only.

You can continue to contact the church at 306-773-9353 and firstunitedchurch@sasktel.net

GIVING DURING the COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to social distancing requirements in the face of the COVID-19 emergency, First United has moved to an online format for services. One drawback is that there is no way to receive your offerings. The vast majority of our operating funds are from congregational offerings, augmented by rentals, fundraisers and funeral income. With the cancellation of all gatherings we would like to remind everyone of the increased importance of supporting First United Church with your offerings.

There are many ways you can still contribute without having to physically attend service and still maintain social distancing. Be assured that all electronic gifts will be recorded and receipted exactly the same as if you placed them in the basket at a service.

Electronic Payments:
·         Pre-Authorized Remittance, or PAR, allows you to support your church through an automatic monthly withdrawal from your bank account. The United Church administers the program following the giver’s wishes – for example, you might give X amount for local church expenses and Y amount for Mission & Service. To set up PAR please call the office and leave a message, or email the office at firstunitedchurch@sasktel.net. Patti or Rhonda will be in touch to walk you through the set up process.
·         Interac e-Transfer is a fast, easy and secure way to send money directly to the church. If you use an online banking app from your computer, tablet or phone you can easily send your offering. From your banking app look for the ‘Send an Interac e-Transfer’ link. You then select the account you want to give from, the amount to give, and use give.firstunited@sasktel.net as the recipient. You can also add a note to the transfer to indicate if you want to split your gift between the general account and M&S.
·         CanadaHelps.org is a not for profit organization that helps thousands of Canadian charities receive donations. Using your computer, tablet or PC go to www.canadahelps.org and enter first united swift current in the search box. You can then select the link for First United and the amount to donate. You can only use a credit card or PayPal to donate. Also, unlike PAR or Interac e-Transfer there is a 1.8%-4% processing fee on your donation. This fee is used to maintain the service.

Cash or Cheque
If none of the electronic methods is suitable you can still contribute. Unfortunately these are the least desirable due to the high risk of transferring the virus and the extra handling required to secure, count and transport physical donations to the bank for deposit. If you regularly give by cheque we suggest you make a number of postdated cheques and mail them to the office. They can then be safely quarantined and processed as they come due. We do not advise sending cash through the mail, or dropping it off at the church itself. Instead, maybe put away your cash donation each week until a time when it is safer to bring it to the church.

CANCELLATIONS and ONLINE OFFERINGS

In loving response to keeping our community well, all group gatherings held at First United Church have been moved to an online format or have been postponed or cancelled.

Offered online are:


-Sunday worship services are now online, if you haven’t yet received information on how to attend, please contact the church
-Lectionary Bible Study continues every Wednesday morning online from 9:30-11:00 am
-Mindful Mondays have moved to an online format, contact Staci for the link

Cancelled or postponed events include:

-Thursday morning coffee time in the Cypress Lounge
-Friday Lenten movies in the Burnham room
-3rd Avenue Boutique & Garage Sales. No donations will be accepted at this time
-Loose Change Supper for March
-Creation Station

LETTER FROM CHURCH COUNCIL