As July is nearly upon us, I wanted to update you on a few things that are happening at Kamloops United Church.
First, for July and August, there will continue to be Sunday morning worship services. A link will be sent to you Sunday morning which you can click on to watch the YouTube Video. Should you not receive the link, just google YouTube Kamloops United Church and you will see all of the KUC videos.
We are taking a break from the daily meditations as I will be on vacation and some study leave for the month of July and the first part of August. For study leave, I will be doing some work around improving the live streaming of worship services and video editing. While I am away, Florence Ballard, Church Administrator and Joanna Brown, Office Coordinator will be glad to help you if you need anything.
The last weeks of August will be spent looking at how KUC will minister in the fall. Council Circle will be meeting by zoom as will a number of other committees. We will take stock of where we are at at that point.
The sanctuary improvements will start during the summer. As we are still tweaking what will be changed, I won’t go into the details here, but to say that our concerns have been for visibility, sound, lighting, accessibility and a desire to make the sanctuary feel more like a holy/spiritual space, while maintaining the original flexibility, Those of you who have been around for a while will recall that the funds for sanctuary improvements were set aside by the congregation when the condo tower next door was developed. We are thankful for wise stewardship then and while the church is closed, it seemed like an appropriate time to undertake this work. (We haven’t lost sight of the repair/replacement of the elevator. It is taking longer than expected to get the necessary quotes for this work as the elevator companies have been working at reduced service due to COVID.)
I am extremely pleased that KUC made the decision to keep all staff employed during this time. The custodial staff have been busy painting the lower level, waxing floors, doing all kinds of repairs and small improvements that we never had time to do. A big thank you to them. The church office is busy with the daily running of the congregation and Joanna and Florence hope to use some of the summer time to catch up on some projects on the “to do” list.
PIT Stop (People in Transition) continues with the Sunday meal program with appropriate distancing. Currently, it is providing approximately 200 meals each day, 100 of which are take-away, served outside in the carport area and 100 are delivered. Thank you to Rick Windjack, the staff person co-ordinating this program and the many volunteers required to make it happen.
Thank you to Patty for keeping the Kamloops United Preschool open throughout all of this, looking after children of care workers at the Royal Inland Hospital. We are so fortunate that the design of the building with a separate entrance for the preschool has made it possible for the preschool to stay open safely.
Finances continue to be sound thanks to everyone continuing their contributions through pre-authorized remittance (PAR), online donations and cheques dropped off at the church. Like all congregations, we are making use of the government financial aid programs. Thank you to Florence and Gail, our treasurer for working the way through the maze of government paperwork. However, we greatly miss two important revenue streams, facility rentals and income from the Thrift Shop. (I also want to stress that we miss the vital ministry that that Thrift Shop undertakes to the many people who not only find necessities of life in the shop, but who are also supported, encouraged and helped by the wonderful Thrift Shop staff. On a personal note, I miss the cheery smiles and hellos from the Thrift Shop staff and the lunchroom seems a very quiet and lonely place at the moment.) This is to underline how important our financial stewardship will be as we go into the coming months and I want to thank everyone for their dedication to this.
In August, we will be filling two staff positions. First, we will be looking for a new director of our music programs. The second position is a Spiritual Coordinator position. This is a one year position receiving funds from the ProVision program of the BC region of the United Church, As you can well imagine, these will be evolving positions as we seek to shape KUC ministry to meet the changing needs of the congregation over the months ahead.
What will the coming months at Kamloops United Church look like? None of us can know for certain, but there are a couple of things we do know: we are open to and are being led by God’s Spirit into a new future and we are a community of faith which is committed to following the Spirit into that future.
Thanks be to God,