Thames Road-Elimville United Church

P.O. Box 3, Exeter, Ont. N0M 1S6
Council report Newsletter Accessibility Church fees Calendar Community Park Map Community Resources


Sunday Worship
10 a.m.

Church office

Phone: 519-235-2803

E-mail:
thamesroadelimvilleuc@quadro.net

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM SEPTEMBER 7, 2022

The September 7th Church Council meeting took place in-person at the church. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with a territorial acknowledgement of the land on which we were meeting.

Reverend Louise reported that during the months of June, July, and August, she attended a Council meeting, prepared 7 worship services and led 6 (one being an email-only service); at the 25th anniversary service Reverend Jock Tolmay was guest preacher, attended the 25th anniversary Friday evening event, prepared and led a worship service at the Exeter Villa, prepared and led a wedding ceremony (plus its rehearsal), attended a Ministerial meeting, conducted some Ministerial business, made 3 in-person visits, made a lot of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, took two 2-week vacations, was on-call for emergency pastoral care for a week for Exeter United Church, gathered responses to a survey letter, kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported a Chicken Fundraiser with J.W. Sweid Foods was held in July. The profit was $1,180 with 60 people participating. Participation and profit was very similar to last year. The 'cookbook project' has had a lot of interest with around 450 recipes submitted. The committee has sorted the recipes into categories and typing is underway. We were successful in receiving a $500 grant from the Huron Heritage Fund which will help with publishing costs. A ‘cookbook launch’ fundraising event will be planned for later in the year.

The Worship Committee reported fall worship services will resume at the church on September 11th. A Welcome Back coffee hour will follow the service. On September 18th the worship service will take place at the former site of Elimville United Church, weather permitting. In the event of inclement weather, the service will be at Thames Road Elimville United Church. September 25th is Baptism Sunday when Liam Patrick Kemmere, son of Sjoerd and Lauren Kemmere will be baptised. Worldwide Communion Sunday will be on October 2nd; Thanksgiving will be celebrated on October 9th.

The Outreach Committee reported a worship service was led by Reverend Louise on July 20th at Exeter Villa. Sharon Lynn, Janis Richardson and Judith Parker assisted. It was heartwarming to visit with the residents once again and provide outreach in this way. The next worship service to be led by Thames Road Elimville is scheduled for September 28th at 2 p.m. A 'Letter from the Chair' was emailed/mailed out to the congregation with an update on current financial resources and a request for input and ideas on moving forward as a church in this community.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee led a discussion on hiring a cleaner for the church. It was decided that with our current financial state, cleaning will be undertaken by volunteers from the congregation. A list is being created so people can sign up to take a turn at cleaning. Please consider taking part if you are able. A new Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, and Violence Response Policy prepared by the United Church of Canada was adopted.

The Community Park Committee reported the damaged play structure in the park has been repaired. No reply has been received for the grant request for the toddler swings. The committee was asked to consider the addition of soccer goal posts in the park.

The UCW has not met since May 2022. Judith Parker delivered 21 dozen cookies to Camp Bimini on July 14th. Thank you to the volunteer bakers! The United Church Women celebrate 60 years in 2022. A service to mark this milestone will be held in the fall. The ladies will meet next on Tuesday, September 13th at the church for High Tea beginning at 5:30 p.m. Cost is $25. Optional wear (but not necessary) is a hat or fascinator and your white gloves! Entertainment will follow.

Several emails were received from Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council and the United Church of Canada during the months of June, July, and August, and any pertinent information was passed on to the appropriate people. The Region's Facebook page is a good way to keep up-to-date on regional happenings including upcoming events, workshops, and programs for children and youth. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/WOWUCC/. The Christian Resource Centre is located at 29 Ontario Road in Mitchell. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am - 4 pm. Give them a call at 519-348-9261 or send them an email at hpprc@quadro.net. You can also check out the website, wowresourcecentre.ca, and join their Facebook page "Christian Resource Centre." They have up-to-date, cutting-edge theological, spiritual, and social justice resources, as well as church supplies and children’s books along with plenty of gift ideas and cards. 2023 United Church calendars are now available. Contact the Resource Centre to purchase one. The Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council fall gathering will take place virtually on November 18 and 19, 2022.

General Council 44 met virtually in various sessions from February 13, 2022 to August 7, 2022. On July 23, 2022, the United Church of Canada elected the Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne, Kwisa'lakw, 47, as its 44th Moderator. She will be the church's spiritual leader for the next three years. On September 30, 2022, people all across Canada will wear orange shirts to remember and honour Indigenous children who were taken from their communities and families to residential institutions. This year Indigenous communities across the country continue to share the truth they have always known: that many of the children who never returned home remain on the grounds of those institutions in unmarked burial sites. These communities are now seeking to honour the missing children. On Orange Shirt Day we also observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. For non-Indigenous Christians in particular, this is a time to reflect on their role in colonialism and the ongoing responsibility to make reparations.

Installation of the fibre network to the church is complete and ready for hookup. Hay Communications will be contacted for pricing for telephone and internet services. Wearing a mask at all future church-related gatherings will be a personal choice. Please do what makes you feel the most comfortable. Beginning in September paper bulletins will be available when it is advantageous to have them, and the offering plate will be passed once again.

As previously reported, our church's financial position is a serious concern to Council members. In August a survey requesting input and ideas on moving forward as a church in this community was sent to 212 members of our congregation. Part 2 of the survey is being prepared and will be sent to members of the congregation in the days ahead. Please consider responding to this short survey by October 1st to provide guidance to Council members in future discussions.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:50 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5th at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM JUNE 1, 2022

The June 1st Church Council meeting took place in-person at the church. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with a territorial acknowledgement of the land on which we were meeting.

Reverend Louise reported that during the month of May she attended the Council meeting, prepared 4 worship services and led 3, one being led by the Worship Committee in her absence, made no in-person visits, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, attended the online Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council Spring Meeting, took one week of Study Leave to attend the Festival of Homiletics online, attended a Ministerial meeting, conducted some Ministerial business, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Regional Clergy Gathering by Zoom, and kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported on the 25th Anniversary Cookbook project. The committee has collected almost 400 recipes so far and people are still asking to submit recipes. A section of the cookbook will feature 'morsels of memories' of catering or serving at a wedding, banquet, strawberry supper, etc. The cookbook will probably be published in the fall and be available for Christmas gifts. Contact Anne Kernick, Amy Parsons, Helen Kadey, or Judith Parker by the end of June if you have a memory or a recipe to share.

The Property Committee reported the dehumidifier has been hooked up in the basement of the church. A thank you is extended to the Miller and Govers families for straightening the fence along the west side of the church.

The Worship Committee reported we will be meeting at the Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre on June 5th at 10:00 a.m. for the 25th Anniversary worship service. The June 12th, June 19th, and June 26th worship services will take place in the Community Park, weather permitting. Bring your lawn chair. June 19th will be Confirmation Sunday. If the weather appears unsettled on Sunday morning, check your email to see if the location of the service has changed. Sunday School continues each Sunday during worship until June 19th. All children are welcome. Please note the summer schedule for worship services. There will be no service in any form on July 3rd and July 10th. Email worship services and the possibility of in-person services in the Community Park will be offered on July 17th, July 24th, and July 31st. There will be no services in any form during the month of August and on September 4th. Worship services will resume on Sunday, September 11th.

The Outreach Committee reported that donations of food items for the Exeter Community Foodbank can be brought to church on June 12th instead of June 5th this month.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported Rev. Louise will be on vacation from Monday, June 27th to Monday, July 11th and Friday, August 5th to Friday, August 19th. Several contacts have been made in an effort to find a cleaner for the church. A decision on hiring will be deferred until fall. If you are interested in taking on this duty beginning in September, or know of someone who may be, please contact Helen Kadey, Joan Morgan, or Janis Richardson.

The Stewardship and Finance Committee led the program for the UCW meeting on May 10th. A Bakeless Bake Sale collected $242 towards the M&S Fund. Donations can still be sent to Helen Kadey. Stewardship donations this month went to Huron Safe Homes for Youth and Children's Health Foundation. The UCW celebrates 60 years in 2022, so a service to mark this milestone will be held in the fall. Camp Bimini requested homemade cookies for campers this summer. Our members will provide 21 dozen cookies for the week of July 17th. The next meeting will be on September 13th with a 'welcome back' catered meal.

Several emails were received from Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council and the United Church of Canada during the month of May, and any pertinent information was passed on to the appropriate people. The Region's Facebook page is a good way to keep up-to-date on regional happenings including upcoming events, workshops, and programs for children and youth. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/WOWUCC/. Reverend Louise and Sharon Lynn attended the virtual Western Ontario Waterways Regional Spring Meeting by way of Zoom on Friday, May 6th and Saturday, May 7th. The theme of the meeting was "Our Words Matter". The topics covered - the word Mission, anti-bullying in the church, using pronouns, and racial justice - were timely and thought provoking. The Fall Regional Meeting will take place on November 18th and 19th, 2022 in a virtual or hybrid format. It is hoped an in-person Spring Meeting can take place May 26th and 27th, 2023. While it may be tempting to distance recent racist attacks in Buffalo, N.Y. and Laguna Woods, CA. as extreme events taking place solely in the United States, the realities of racism are also ever-present in Canada, and the impacts of these attacks are acutely felt here as well. The United Church of Christ in the United States, a full communion partner with The United Church of Canada, has offered this prayer following these horrific racist killings.

The Celebration Committee has been busy planning our 25th Anniversary weekend taking place on Friday, June 3rd and Sunday, June 5th. The committee met at the church on May 26th to finalize plans for Friday night’s supper and Farmer-style Olympics, and Sunday’s lunch and ball game. Close to 100 people have purchased tickets for Sunday's lunch. The 'Praying Hands Hosta' project was a success with 50 plants now growing and connecting the community as a reminder of the 25th anniversary of Thames Road Elimville United Church. Proceeds of $360 will help offset expenses for the celebrations. Thanks to Janis Richardson and Melonie Miller for coordinating this project.

Council agreed that wearing a mask at all future church-related gatherings will be a personal choice. Please do what makes you feel the most comfortable.

A discussion took place on the financial situation of our church. Our rapidly declining bank balance is a serious concern to Council members and will be a business priority when Council resumes meeting in September.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:00 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 7th at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM MAY 4, 2022

The May 4th Church Council meeting took place in-person at the church. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with a territorial acknowledgement of the land on which we were meeting.

Reverend Louise reported that during the month of April she attended the Council meeting by Zoom, prepared 4 ½ worship services including Good Friday, led 3 ½, the half being the Foodgrains service at Exeter United Church; one service was led by the Worship Committee in her absence. She attended the UCW meeting by Zoom, made no in-person visits, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, attended a Ministerial meeting, conducted some Ministerial business, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom, attended an online workshop on Acknowledgement of Indigenous Territory, kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported Interest in the 25th Anniversary Cookbook is still growing so the deadline for submitting recipes has been extended to May 8th. There have been 300 recipes received so far and the committee is trying to reach out to those who need a reminder or may not have heard about the project. Contact Anne Kernick, Amy Parsons, Helen Kadey, or Judith Parker to submit a recipe. A grant request to assist in offsetting printing costs of the cookbook has been submitted to the Huron Heritage Fund.

The Property Committee is working on getting the dehumidifier hooked up in the basement of the church. As well, the broken blind on the west window is being repaired.

The Worship Committee reported Sunday May 8th, the fourth Sunday of Easter, is Mother’s Day. There will be no worship service at Thames Road Elimville on Sunday May 22nd as Rev. Louise will be off on Study Leave. On June 5th Sunday worship will take place at the Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre at 10:00 a.m. as part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations. On June 19th a Confirmation service will be held for Natalie Parsons and Mercedes Prout. Sunday School continues each Sunday during worship until June 19th. All children are welcome.

The Outreach Committee reported the first Sunday of the month is when we support Exeter Community Foodbank. Bring non-perishable food items to church and they will help refill shelves at the food bank. Donation bins are also available at Hansen’s and Dollartree.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported Rev. Louise will be attending the Festival of Homiletics from Monday, May 16th to Friday, May 20th for Study Leave and will be off on Sunday May 22nd. Our cleaning team of Katelyn, Natalie, and Janelle are resigning from cleaning the church as they are finding time does not allow them to carry on. As a result, we are in need of a cleaner at the church as soon as possible. If you would be interested in taking on this task or know of someone who may be, contact Helen Kadey, Joan Morgan, or Janis Richardson for more information. Helen Kadey attended a Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council workshop for Ministry and Personnel Committee members via Zoom on April 27th.

Brodie Tree Service planted two Autumn Fantasy trees at the Community Park on April 29th at the entrance of the playground to replace the two trees that had died. A portion of the playset at the park is in need of repair and has been cordoned off until repairs can be made. No word has been received on our application for a Vitality Fund grant. If received the funds will be used to install a stand-alone swing structure with 2 toddler swing seats at the park.

Due to COVID concerns the United Church Women met via Zoom on Tuesday April 12th. A Lent and Easter program prepared by Joan Morgan and Marg McCarter was presented by Joan. An Easter bunny craft made from a sock was demonstrated. The Mission and Outreach Committee sent Easter cards and made phone visits to several of our senior and shut-in members. Donations were made to the South Huron Foodgrains Project, Phoenix House, Five Oaks, and the Camp Bimini “Kitchen Project”. Members will be baking 21 dozen cookies for Camp Bimini participants this summer. The ladies meet next on Tuesday May 10th with the Stewardship and Finance Committee leading the program. The Roll Call is a donation to a Bakeless Bake Sale with proceeds going to the Mission and Service Fund.

Several emails were received from Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council and the United Church of Canada during the month of April, and any pertinent information was passed on to the appropriate people. The Region’s Facebook page is a good way to keep up-to-date on regional happenings including upcoming events, workshops, and programs for children and youth. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/WOWUCC/. Rev. Louise and Sharon Lynn will be attending the Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council Spring Meeting on Friday May 6th and Saturday May 7th. The United Church Women celebrate their 60th anniversary in 2022. A future Sunday worship service at Thames Road Elimville will commemorate this event. Pope Francis has spoken words of apology. The United Church recognizes how important this is for Indigenous members of the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian denominations, and Indigenous people who are not a part of the church...especially residential school survivors, intergenerational survivors, and their communities. Every step that is taken in the work of truth, of repentance, of reparation, of building right relationship, is a step in the right direction. May 2‒8 is Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada and for the second year the United Church marked Mental Health Sunday on May 1st. On January 24, 2022, The United Church of Canada launched its Korea Peace Appeal Ten Thousand Signature Campaign declaring, “70 years is enough”. In 2018, the United Church’s 43rd General Council declared that we believe God is calling us to join with partners to work for peace, justice, and reunification in the Korean peninsula. The 43rd General Council urged the church to address the suffering of the Korean people, which continues since the Korean War has not ended, some seven decades after it was begun. The United Church of Canada has taken up the invitation from Korean partners to add Ten Thousand Signatures to the Korean Peace Appeal by July 2022. The number of signatures collected so far is around 1,400. To sign the petition, click on the above link. We continue to pray for the people of Ukraine as we watch with horror the pain and destruction that has been caused in their country. United Church Mission & Service partners are responding to the unfolding crisis. You can help with your donation. Donate online here: https://www.gifttool.com/donations/Donate?ID=1955&AID=2274&PID=6507. Or send a cheque to: The United Church of Canada, Philanthropy Unit – Emergency Response, 3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 200, Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4. Please note “Emergency Response – Ukraine” on the face of your cheque.

The Celebration Committee has been busy planning our 25th Anniversary weekend taking place on Friday June 3rd (rain date Saturday June 4th) and Sunday June 5th. Friday (or Sat.) 6:00 p.m. at Thames Road Elimville Community Park - Hot dogs, chips, s'mores and a campfire - free will donations accepted. Bring your own beverages, lawn chairs, and roasting sticks. Friday (or Sat.) 7:00 p.m. - Farmer Style Olympics for the young and young at heart. Sunday 10:00 a.m. at Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre - Worship Service led by Rev. Louise with Guest Preacher Rev. Jock Tolmay. Sunday 12:00 noon - Lunch of Dressed Pork, Mashed Potatoes, Carrots, Baked Beans, Gravy, Coleslaw, Applesauce, Buns, Trifle, lemonade, tea, and coffee.

ADVANCED TICKETS ONLY BY MAY 25TH. Adults - $25.00, Children 6-12 years of age - $12.50, 5 and under – free. Contact Amy Parsons, Robert and Kathy Bray, Sharon Lynn, Judith Parker, or Virginia Warwick for tickets. Sunday 1:00 p.m. - Family Ball Game on the Kirkton diamonds – bring your own water bottles and ball gloves. Watch your snail mail for your invitation and plan on joining us for a weekend of fun, faith, and family as we celebrate 25 years together. Spread the word to family and friends - everyone is welcome.

The 'Praying Hands Hosta' has been chosen as the signature plant for the 25th anniversary of Thames Road Elimville United Church. It's a way to connect the homes and families in our community of faith during this Year of the Garden. See the attached flyer for details on ordering your hostas for planting in the next month. Thanks to Janis Richardson and Melonie Miller for coordinating this project.

A discussion took place on the deteriorating condition of the fence along the west side of the church. Further discussion will take place at the next Council meeting.

Provincial and Public Health regulations no longer mandate a face covering in a church building. However, for the safety of everyone who enters the building, Council is requesting that a face covering continue to be worn in the church. Capacity limits have been lifted for worship services, meetings, and other gatherings in the church. Proof of vaccination requirements have also been lifted. Health screening, contact tracing, and hand sanitizing remain in place. Worship services will continue to be available by email and mailbox drop off.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 7:50 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday June 1st at 7:00 p.m., in-person at the church.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM APRIL 6, 2022

The April 6th Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with a territorial acknowledgement of the land on which we were meeting.

Reverend Louise reported that during the month of March she attended the Council meeting by Zoom, prepared 4 Sunday worship services, 3 led in-person, one on Zoom, attended the 25th Anniversary Committee meeting by Zoom, made no in-person visits, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, planned and led three confirmation sessions, 2 in-person, one by Zoom, led a marriage prep session in-person, attended a Ministerial meeting, conducted some Ministerial business, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Regional Clergy Gathering by Zoom, kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported the deadline of April 15th is fast approaching for submitting recipes for the 25th Anniversary Cookbook to committee members Anne Kernick, Amy Parsons, Helen Kadey and Judith Parker. Forms with details are available at the church or can be emailed. This community has a wonderful culinary history so let’s keep the legacy growing with recipes new and old.

The Christian Education Committee reported that Confirmation sessions concluded on March 16th. A Confirmation service for Natalie Parsons and Mercedes Prout will take place on June 19th. Amy Parsons and Sarah Govers will be offering Sunday School leadership during worship every Sunday until June 19th, excluding Easter Sunday. All children are welcome.

In-person worship services resumed at the church on March 6th, the first Sunday of Lent. Palm Sunday is April 10th, and a Good Friday service will take place on April 15th at 10:00 a.m. at the church. On April 17th Easter will be celebrated with communion being served. You are invited to bring an Easter lily to place in memory of a loved one on Easter Sunday. Please contact Robert & Kathy Bray by email vkjbray@quadro.net or by phone 519-229-8863 no later than Good Friday, advising who you are placing the lily in memory of. A service of baptism for Brynlee Lynn will take place on May 1st. The wedding of Jessica Arnold and Lars Kemmere will take place at the church on July 23rd.

The Outreach Committee reported that the Exeter Community Foodbank needs our help. Their shelves are emptying as fast as they fill them. So folks are asked once again to bring non-perishable food items to church on the first Sunday of the month. Currently, they are in need of cereal, student lunch snacks, crackers, soup, canned meals, sidekicks, canned veggies, KD and rice. Donation bins are available at Hansen's and Dollartree. The ninth edition of the TR-E Huggers Hub newsletter was sent out on March 28th. Contact Judith Parker if you are not receiving the group emails with weekly worship service, council reports, newsletter, etc. Sometimes internet technology has a mind of its own!

The Community Park Committee reported the application for a grant from the Sunset Community Foundation through the Vitality Fund has been sent. If received a stand-alone swing structure with 2 toddler swing seats will be erected at the park. Corey Laye has been contacted and will be cutting the grass at the park again this year.

The UCW met in person at the church on March 8th with the Mission and Outreach Committee leading the program on the theme of International Women's Day. Cash donations and feminine hygiene products collected from our church community in the days leading up to the meeting amounted to over $500.00 of products for the women in Ukraine. Several Irish stories, jokes, and riddles around St. Patrick's Day were enjoyed. During business the upcoming cookbook fundraiser in conjunction with our 25th anniversary celebration was promoted. Date for submission of recipes is April 15th. The ladies will meet next on Tuesday April 12th at 7:30 p.m. in person at the church. Roll Call for the meeting is "A household safety tip." If attending, please bring a pair of scissors with you to the meeting.

Several emails were received from Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council and the United Church of Canada during the month of March, and any pertinent information was passed on to the appropriate people. The Region’s Facebook page is a good way to keep up-to-date on regional happenings including upcoming events, workshops, and programs for children and youth. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/WOWUCC/.

The Christian Resource Centre in Mitchell is open Tues., Wed., and Fri. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They have up-to-date, cutting-edge theological resources; spiritual, social justice, and children’s books; church supplies, and plenty of gift ideas and cards. The Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council Spring Meeting will take place May 6-8, 2022 on Zoom.

The extreme violence in Ukraine continues to be beyond words, as is the case for so many around the world who confront armed conflict in their communities. Thanks to your generosity, the United Church community has raised $402,000 for humanitarian relief so far. Of that, $240,000 has been sent via the ACT Alliance. Spanning 127 countries, the Action by Churches Together (ACT) Alliance is the world's largest network of Protestant and Orthodox churches and agencies, including the United Church. Your generosity through Mission & Service has long supported ACT's humanitarian relief and advocacy efforts. Plans are being finalized for disbursement of $162,000 and funds that continue to come in. Please consider making an online donation today. Or you can send a cheque to:

The United Church of Canada
Philanthropy Unit - Emergency Response
3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 200,
Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4
Please note "Emergency Response - Ukraine" on the face of your cheque.

A successful South Huron Foodgrains worship service took place on Sunday, April 3rd at Exeter United Church. The guest speaker for the service was Henry Reinders, Regional Representative for Ontario at Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Due to safety concerns around the pandemic, there was no in-person lunch served following the service, but Screaming Chef refrigerated meals were available to take home for a donation. Bags of white beans donated by Hensall District Co-op were included in the donation. The 2022 growing project will be planted on two parcels of land provided by Francis Cornish and Robert Essery.

Mark your calendar for Thames Road Elimville United Church 25th anniversary celebration events coming up on Friday June 3rd (rain date Saturday June 4th) at the Community Park, and Sunday June 5th at the Kirkton Woodham Community Centre. Friday will offer burgers, hot dogs, and s'mores beginning at 6:00 p.m. followed by "Farmer Style Olympics" for all the family. On Sunday there will be a 10:00 a.m. worship service followed by a catered lunch, a family ball game, and more.

Provincial and Public Health regulations no longer mandate a face covering in a church building. However, for the safety of everyone who enters the building, Council is requesting that a face covering continue to be worn in the church. Capacity limits have been lifted for worship services, meetings, and other gatherings in the church. Proof of vaccination requirements have also been lifted. Health screening, contact tracing, and hand sanitizing remain in place. Worship services will continue to be available by email and mailbox drop off.

An application through the Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program resulted in a rebate of a portion of energy costs incurred at the church in recent months.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:00 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday May 4th at 7:00 p.m., in-person at the church.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM MARCH 2, 2022

The March 2nd Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with an acknowledgement of the land on which we were meeting.

Reverend Louise reported that during the month of February she attended the Council meeting, prepared 4 Sunday worship services led on Zoom, attended the Annual meeting on Zoom, attended the UCW meeting by Zoom, made no in-person visits, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, planned and led three confirmation sessions, one on Zoom, two in person, led a marriage prep session in person, attended a Ministerial meeting, conducted some Ministerial business, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom, took five days of Study Leave, participated in the Coldest Night of the Year walk as part of the TR-E Huggers team, kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee provided details for submitting recipes to the 25th Anniversary Cookbook project. Committee members are Anne Kernick, Amy Parsons, Helen Kadey and Judith Parker. The committee is asking for family favourite recipes from the vintage Thames Road and Elimville cookbooks, as well as new recipes to keep our culinary history growing. Consider contacting former members who may want to share their family favourites from previous cookbooks. The deadline for submitting recipes is April 15th.

The Christian Education Committee reported that six of eight Confirmation sessions have taken place to date. The sessions are now taking place in-person.

In-person worship services at the church will begin again on March 6th, the first Sunday of Lent. Communion will be served, and the Commissioning of Church Council will take place during the service. There will be no worship service at Thames Road Elimville United Church on Sunday April 3rd due to the South Huron Foodgrains service at Exeter United Church.

The Outreach Committee extended a thank you to the donors and walkers who supported Coldest Night of the Year (CNOY). The TR-E Huggers team had 13 walkers and raised $3,705 in support of the South Huron Connection Centre in Exeter and the Huron Homelessness Initiative http://www.cnoy.org/exeter. In the three years our church has participated, we have contributed $11,360 to the local CNOY campaign. Contact Judith or Marianne if you would like to renew your Broadview subscription or sign up. Cost is $25 and the deadline is March 11. Remember to support the Exeter area foodbank when you are at the local grocery stores.

The Community Park Committee is applying for a grant to purchase and install a two-seat standalone toddler swing set at the park. The park's yearend report has been sent to the South Huron Municipality as per the Memorandum of Understanding. Trees at the park that have died will be replaced during the year. A work bee is planned for May to spread mulch around the trees.

The UCW ladies have not met since the last Council meeting. Around the globe, World Day of Prayer was celebrated on Friday, March 4. Click on this link to view the virtual WDP service: https://wicc.org/world-day-of-prayer-2022-service-video/. The theme is “I Know the Plans I Have for You” (Jeremiah 29:11) and was prepared by women of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They will share the injustice obstacles that immigrant women in the UK have met, the selfishness of Britain as a conquering nation, and the hopes for the future. The next UCW meeting will take place in-person at the church on Tuesday, March 8th at 7:30 p.m. with the Mission and Outreach Committee leading the program. The Roll Call is “An Irish Saying”.

Several emails were received from Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council and the United Church of Canada during the month of February, and any pertinent information was passed on to the appropriate people. The Region’s Facebook page is a good way to keep up-to-date on regional happenings including upcoming events, workshops, and programs for children and youth. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/WOWUCC/. Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council is an Affirming Ministry of the United Church of Canada. The 4th annual P.I.E. Day on March 14th is a time to celebrate being Public, Intentional and Explicit in our inclusive welcoming of 2S and LGBTQIA+ peoples. Everyone is invited to enjoy a piece of pie and think about the people these letters represent.

The Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council Spring Meeting will take place May 6-8, 2022. Since the pandemic struck, over $500,000 in emergency gifts have been donated to support our Mission & Service partners. The donations are used to deliver personal protective equipment, distribute food, install sanitation stations, and support education programs to help prevent and control the spread of the virus. Also, through the Gifts with Vision catalogue, over 8,360 full vaccinations have been provided to those who need them most across the globe. Altogether, that’s over $750,000 in COVID relief. In October 2020, the people of The United Church of Canada committed to becoming an actively anti-racist church. This includes intentionally opposing signs and systems of racism whenever they are displayed in the church and society. To this end, the church created a diverse Anti-Racism Common Table of Indigenous, non-Indigenous racialized, and White people from across the country to work alongside staff in providing direction on how the church can respond to ongoing manifestations of systemic racism, including White Supremacy, in the church and in Canada. In an open letter the United Church's Anti-Racism Common Table expresses deep concerns about the display of racist symbols that have been seen recently at demonstrations occurring across the country. Click on this link to learn more: https://united-church.ca/news/opposing-symbols-hate-protests.

The annual South Huron Foodgrains worship service is planned for Sunday, April 3, 2022 at Exeter United Church at 10:30 a.m. The guest speaker will be Henry Reinders, regional representative for Ontario at Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Due to safety concerns around the pandemic, there will be no in-person lunch served following the service. Two parcels of land are being considered for the 2022 growing project.

The Thames Road Elimville congregation will celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2022. Mark your calendar for celebration events on June 3rd and June 5th. More details will be provided as they become available.

With the reduced COVID restrictions announced by the provincial government in recent days, capacity limits are lifted for all indoor public settings including worship services, meetings, and other gatherings in the church. Proof of vaccination requirements are also lifted. We can choose to require proof of vaccination if we want to, but it is not required. Council members voted to return to in-person worship services in the church beginning Sunday March 6th. Proof of vaccination will not be required. Other protective measures such as a face covering and health screening of patrons upon entry, remain in place at this time. Worship services will continue to be available by email and mailbox drop off.

Some time was spent on developing policies and working on the annual Self-Assessment Checklist for Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday April 6th at 7:00 p.m., in-person at the church.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM FEBRUARY 9, 2022

The February 9th Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with an acknowledgement of the land on which we were meeting.

Rev. Louise reported that during the month of January she attended the Council meeting, prepared 5 Sunday worship services led on Zoom, the last of which was led by Robert & Kathy Bray, made two in-person visits, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, officiated at the funeral for Murray Dawson, planned and led two confirmation sessions on Zoom, led a marriage prep session in person, attended a Ministerial meeting on Zoom, conducted some Ministerial business, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom, took two days of Study Leave, kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Finance Committee presented the 2022 fee schedule for use of church buildings and equipment. The schedule was adopted as presented with no changes from 2021.

The Christian Education Committee reported that three Confirmation sessions have taken place to date on Zoom.

Sunday worship services will continue virtually on Zoom until at least February 27th. There will be no worship services on Sunday, July 3rd and Sunday, July 10th. Email worship services and the possibly of in-person services in the Community Park will be offered on July 17th, July 24th, and July 31st. There will be no services in any form during the month of August and on September 4th. Worship services will resume on Sunday, September 11th.

The Outreach Committee reported our Coldest Night of the Year team, the TR-E Huggers, has 5 walkers participating so far and raised $1225 to date. This year's campaign will support the South Huron Connection Centre in Exeter which offers washroom, shower, and laundry facilities plus light meals to those in need. Funds will also support the Huron Homelessness Initiative in the area. Last year our team raised $4,490 and everyone is encouraged to consider walking or donating to this important cause in our community. Visit www.cnoy.org/exeter or contact Judith or Rick Parker for more information. Renewal of our Broadview group subscription was extended to the April/May issue of 2022. Contact Judith or Marianne if you would like to renew or start a subscription to the magazine. Cost is $25 and the deadline is March 11th.

The Ministry & Personnel Committee reported Reverend Louise has booked her holidays for 2022 and will be away from Monday, June 27th to Monday, July 11th, from Friday, August 5th to Friday, August 19th, and on Sunday, August 21st. She will also be off on Study Leave from Monday, May 16th to Sunday, May 22nd.

The Community Park Committee was meeting this past Thursday to discuss the possibility of carrying out a project in 2022 if COVID restrictions allow.

The UCW met virtually on Tuesday February 8th with the Christian Leadership & Development Committee in charge of the program. Several enjoyable readings and musical videos were presented on the theme of 'Love'. Charitable donations for the coming year, the 2022 budget, and 2023 meal prices were approved. The 2022 UCW program booklets were emailed out on January 15th. Contact Helen Kadey if you have not received a copy and would like one. The UCW made a donation of $100.00 to the TR-E Huggers walking team which is participating in the Coldest Night of the Year event in Exeter on February 26th. The ladies will meet next on Tuesday March 8th at 7:30 p.m. - in person or on Zoom, to be determined. The Mission and Outreach Committee will be in charge of the program. World Day of Prayer is Friday, March 4th and the service was prepared by the women of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The theme is "I Know the Plans I Have for You" (Jeremiah 29:11) and will share the injustice obstacles that immigrant women in the UK have met, the selfishness of Britain as a conquering nation, and the hopes for the future. Similar to last year, there will be no in-person gathering but a one-hour video is available from the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada. The video link will be shared with our partner women’s groups at Exeter United, Precious Blood, Exeter Christian Reform and Exeter Pentecostal to be viewed on March 4 in our homes. Together in 170 countries around the world, there will be a sense of standing together in prayer and action to restore hope for women and children touched by injustice.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. The Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council Spring Meeting will take place May 6-8th. For the first time in the church’s 97 year history, the General Council will be held completely online in 2022. The 44th General Council starts on February 13, 2022, and continues with a series of gatherings, learning and listening sessions, and decision-making meetings through August 2022. The theme of the gathering is “Who do you say I am?”. The commissioners for GC44 were elected in 2021 from the 16 Regional Councils and the National Indigenous Council. On January 24, 2022, The United Church of Canada launched its Korea Peace Appeal Ten Thousand Signature Campaign and declared, “70 years is enough. It’s time to end the Korean War.” You are invited to participate in this church-wide effort to collect 10,000 signatures—you can sign the petition here. Moderator Richard Bott and the Rev. Dr. Kyongia (Kay) Cho will be hosting a special Korea Peace Appeal Ten Thousand Signature Campaign information session on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. to encourage and support uptake of this campaign. Use this link to register and find out more.

A thank you was extended to everyone who took a position on the 2022 Church Council. The Installation of Church Council will take place during the worship service on March 6th.

The Thames Road Elimville congregation will celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2022. A celebration weekend will begin on Friday June 3rd at the Community Park for an evening of family friendly events. Ideas for suitable activities would be welcomed by the planning committee; please contact a member of the committee if you have a suggestion to offer. Celebration Committee members are Amy Parsons, Robert and Kathy Bray, Virginia Warwick, Sharon Lynn, and Judith Parker.

Some time was spent on developing policies and working on the annual Self-Assessment Checklist for Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:25 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2nd at 7:00 p.m. by way of Zoom.

REPORT FROM THE CONGREGATIONAL ANNUAL MEETING FEBRUARY 6, 2022

To ensure the safety of participants during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 24 members of our community of faith attended the 2021 Annual Meeting of Thames Road Elimville Pastoral Charge by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of their homes. Chair of Council John Miner welcomed everyone and called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. with an acknowledgement of the land on which we were meeting.

Remembered in prayer by Reverend Louise were Lorraine Alexander, Bruce Delbridge, Paul Kerslake, Elizabeth Taylor, and Gerald (Jerry) Riehl, members of Thames Road Elimville Pastoral Charge who passed away in 2021. Welcomed with joy to our church family were Breanna Barbara Loerzel by Baptism, and Katelyn Parsons as a full member by Affirmation of Faith Confirmation.

Following a motion passed by the full members of the congregation, adherents were extended voting rights on all matters of business coming before the meeting.

The minutes from the 2020 Annual Meeting were approved and the reports in the 2021 Annual Report booklet were reviewed and adopted as printed.

Motions were passed to:
-Approve the Minister's Remuneration Report for 2022.
-Approve the 2022 Honoraria Report for non-salaried employees.
-Approve the 2022 Proposed Budget.
-Approve the 2022 Mission and Service Fund allocation of $7,000.00.
-Appoint Sharon Lynn and Marianne Timmerman as Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council Representatives for 2022.
-Appoint Carolyn Johns and Helen Kadey as Financial Examiners for 2022.
-Approve participation in the South Huron Foodgrains growing project in 2022 and to name Larry Lynn, Brent Dawson, and Ken Kadey to the committee.
-Appoint Robert Bray as a member of the Trustee Board for a 4 year term.
-Approve the disbandment of the Interview Team.
-Adopt a full slate of members for the 2022 Church Council.
-Approve our Living Faith Story for Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council.

The Community Park Committee is hopeful they will be able to undertake a project in 2022 if COVID restrictions allow for activities to take place in the park.

Speaking on behalf of the South Huron Foodgrains Committee, Larry Lynn thanked everyone who supported the growing project in 2021. The annual Foodgrains worship service is planned for Sunday April 3, 2022.

The Elimville Cemetery Board will be looking for help to re-install the newly painted cemetery fence when the weather is appropriate to do so.

Church Council will have no new faces in 2022 as all retiring members agreed to return to their positions for another term.

The Thames Road Elimville congregation will celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2022. A celebration weekend will begin on Friday June 3rd at the Community Park for an evening of family friendly events. On Sunday June 5th a worship service will take place at the Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre, followed by lunch and a ball game on the ball diamonds. Reverend Jock has agreed to be guest speaker at the worship service, working with Reverend Louise. Ideas for Friday evening activities would be welcomed by the planning committee; please contact a member of the committee if you have a suggestion to offer. Mark your calendar and watch for further details as they unfold. Celebration Committee members are Amy Parsons, Robert and Kathy Bray, Virginia Warwick, Sharon Lynn, and Judith Parker.

What's in store for 2022? While COVID-19 continues to be a concern, it is hoped that our community of faith will return to some sense of “normal” in 2022. We look forward to returning to our church building again soon and being able to carry out some of the activities we have been unable to do during the past two years. We look forward to our 25th anniversary celebrations in June.

John Miner extended a thank you to Reverend Louise for her worship leadership in 2021, and for being so dedicated to pastoral care within our church family during another difficult year. We appreciate her ability to rise to the challenges that COVID-19 presented within our community of faith and feel very blessed to have her and Bruce as part of our church family here at Thames Road Elimville.

John also extended a thank you to our hardworking, dedicated Council that holds everything together, and to the members of the congregation for their participation in church activities, although limited again this past year due to the pandemic. Everyone’s ongoing support is very much appreciated. Sharon Lynn extended a thank you to chair John Miner for his wisdom and guidance throughout another difficult year. John continues to be up-to-date on the latest regulations regarding COVID-19 put in place by the government and public health, keeping Council informed along the way. His main concern from the beginning of the pandemic has been to keep everyone safe, and for this we are truly thankful.

The first meeting of the new Church Council will be on Wednesday February 9, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. by way of Zoom video conferencing. The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM JANUARY 5, 2022

The January 5th Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

A thank-you note from Marilyn Rohde was shared. Marilyn extends her thanks to the congregation for the gift and recognition received following her recent retirement from custodial duties at the church.

Rev. Louise reported that during the month of December she attended the Council meeting, prepared 3 Sunday worship services and the Christmas Eve service, the last 2 being led on Zoom, made two in-person visits, officiated at the funeral for Jerry Riehl, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, met with a couple regarding a wedding, attended the Country Christmas Parking Lot Social, attended the UCW meeting, attended a Ministerial meeting, conducted some Ministerial business, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Region Clergy Gathering by Zoom, took one week of Study Leave, kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Finance Committee presented the 2022 Proposed Budget. It was approved by Council and will be taken to the Annual Meeting for approval by the congregation.

The Fundraising Committee reported that a profit of $500.00 was made on the Christmas fundraiser. A thank you is extended to everyone who participated in the fundraiser and also to those who made a financial donation to the church in response to the Appeal Letter.

The Christian Education Committee reported that two people will be participating in Confirmation classes beginning in February.

The Worship Committee reported that the UCW installation of officers service will take place during Sunday worship on January 16th. Worship services will take place virtually on Zoom until at least February 6th.

The Outreach Committee reported the in-person worship service planned for December 29th at Exeter Villa was cancelled due to restricting visitors into the Villa because of the Omicron variant. A recommendation for the M & S allocation for 2022 was approved by Council and will be taken to the Annual Meeting for approval. Weekly worship services continue to be mailed to four members who do not have email. Let Judith Parker know if anyone else would appreciate receiving a copy. The TR-E Huggers team will be participating in the Coldest Night of the Year event coming up on February 26th. Please support this outreach project by walking, or by sponsoring a walker. Walkers can complete their walk anytime during the month of February. The walk raises money for local charities serving people experiencing hunger and homelessness. The South Huron Ministerial is looking at ways local churches can assist with homelessness in the community. Council will be considering how our congregation can contribute to this outreach project.

The Trustees reported that a report has been received from the Insurance company regarding the inspection of the church and properties by the Loss Prevention Officer. The only item to be addressed is to re-locate one fire extinguisher. The cleaning staff has reduced their hours and will report weekly to the Trustees until in-person worship services resume in the church.

The December UCW meeting was held in-person and led by Joan Skinner and Sharon Lynn. The Christmas program included demonstrating 'cookies in a jar' gift idea and a craft where we made church mice out of felt and a candy cane. A full slate of officers was brought forward for 2022 and Janis Richardson was thanked for her three years of service as President; also, the committee members who remained in place for an extra year due to the pandemic. A gift exchange took place while having tea and cookies. It was nice to be together for a meeting at the church after 20 months. An installation of officers will be held during the worship service on January 16th. The next UCW meeting is February 15th.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth.

The annual South Huron Foodgrains worship service is planned for Sunday, April 3, 2022. The committee is looking for land for the 2022 growing project. If you are able to provide acreage or know of someone who might consider doing so, please contact Larry Lynn, Brent Dawson or Ken Kadey.

The Nominating Committee has organized for 2022; members are Joan Skinner, Greg Bahro, Marianne Timmerman, Sharon Passmore, Amy Parsons, and John Miner. No one from the congregation has come forward to stand as a member-at-large on the committee. Positions to be filled include Chair of Council and one member on each of the Finance, Property, Outreach, Worship, and Christian Education Committees. Several volunteers have come forward to fill these positions; however, if you are interested in letting your name stand for a position on Church Council, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee before the Annual Meeting.

The Provincial government has announced new gathering restrictions that cover the period from January 5th to January 26th. Decreased capacity limits reduce attendance at in-person worship services and other gatherings; therefore, Council has decided to suspend in-person worship services until after February 6th. The matter will be revisited at the February Council meeting. In the interim, worship services will be available on Zoom video and telephone conferencing, by email, and by mail. All church related and non-church related indoor meetings and other gatherings are now limited to 5 people.

Reports for the Annual Report are to be to Sharon Lynn by January 16, 2022. Reports will be available on January 30, 2022. The 2021 Annual Meeting will take place virtually on Zoom on Sunday February 6, 2022, with an alternate date of Sunday February 13, 2022 if needed. In order for the meeting to proceed, a quorum must be in attendance; a quorum is at least 20 full members of our congregation. A person becomes a full member in one of the following ways: confirmation, adult baptism and profession of faith, or through a certificate of transfer from another congregation or church, among others. Children of full members and children who have been baptised but have not yet become full members are considered members, not full members. To ensure a quorum, Council is asking full members of our congregation to make a prior commitment to attend the meeting. Further information will be sent out in advance of the meeting.

Our Living Faith Story prepared for Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council was reviewed and will be taken to the Annual Meeting for approval by the congregation. Some time was spent working on the annual Self-Assessment Checklist that will be forwarded to Regional Council when completed. The checklist is a guide to help communities of faith learn about the requirements and best practices for their ministry, and to identify where work needs to be done to improve on the way we are currently doing things.

Sandblasting and painting of the Elimville Cemetery fence has been completed and is ready to be re-installed when the weather allows this to happen. Please contact Gerald Johns if you can be of assistance when the times comes.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:30 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 9th at 7:00 p.m.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM DECEMBER 1, 2021

The December 1st Church Council meeting took place in-person at the church. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that during the month of November she attended the Council meeting, prepared 4 Sunday worship services, one led by Bruce Ward in her absence due to a cold, made no in-person visits, held a baptism preparation session by Zoom, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, attended a Ministerial meeting, conducted some Ministerial business, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council meeting by Zoom over 2 days, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom, attended a planning meeting for our scene in this year's Bethlehem Journey, by Zoom, participated as Narrator in our scene in the Bethlehem Journey, and kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Finance Committee reported that the 2022 Proposed Budget was presented. Some changes were made, and the amended budget will be brought to the January meeting for approval by Council.

The Fundraising Committee reported that orders for the Christmas Fundraiser have been submitted and the items from Epicure, Westland Greenhouses, and Stonetown Artisan Cheese, are to be picked up at the church on Friday December 10th from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. A thank you is extended to everyone who participated in the fundraiser, and to those who have forwarded a financial donation in response to the Appeal Letter that was mailed to every household on November 24th. If you haven't already made a financial donation in support of the mission and ministry of our church, please consider doing so.

The Property Committee reported that both kitchen faucets have been replaced at the church.

The Christian Education Committee reported that having a Santa Claus parade on Elimville Line is not feasible this year. Instead, a Country Christmas Parking Lot Social will take place in the church parking lot on Sunday December 5th from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be hot drinks and a child safe fire for roasting marshmallows. A visitor from the north is expected if it's not too cold; parents are asked to bring a small gift for their child/children ($10. or less). Please dress for the weather and park along Elimville Line as the parking lot will be blocked off. If the weather is horrible the campfire will be eliminated, and folks will gather in the church shed for a social time.

The Worship Committee reported that December 5th is White Gift Sunday. Folks are asked to bring a monetary offering in a white envelope and place it on the offering plate. The offering will support the Exeter and Area Food Bank. A Christmas Eve service will take place at the church on Friday December 24th at 7:00 p.m. A mask, proof of vaccination, and identification are required for those aged 12 and up to attend services in the church. There will be no worship service, on-line or in-person, on Sunday December 26th. Over the winter, in the event of inclement weather worship services will take place by way of Zoom if travel to the church is deemed unsafe. Watch your email for any update if the weather is unsettled.

The Outreach Committee reported a successful Bethlehem Journey was held on November 27th with Exeter United and Thames Road-Elimville partnering for the Wisemen scene. There were 87 vehicles visiting the five scenes and comments were very positive. A thank you is extended to John Miner, Bruce Ward, Greg Bahro, Marianne Timmerman, Sharon & Brett Lynn, Robert & Kathy Bray and Rev. Louise for taking part in this community outreach event with Exeter area churches. Remember to give when you can towards the Exeter and Area Food Bank when at the grocery store. Thank you to those who support the 2021 Mission & Service Fund goal of $8000. Donations can be made monthly through PAR or by cheque or e-transfer to Treasurer, Mary Lou. A TR-E Huggers Hub newsletter of upcoming community events, fundraisers, and projects was compiled and sent out on November 17th. Weekly worship services continue to be mailed to four members who do not have email. Let Judith know if anyone else would appreciate receiving a copy. The Exeter Villa has contacted us about offering in-person worship services for the residents once again. It has been arranged that Rev. Louise and helpers will attend on Wednesday, Dec 29th at 2 p.m. The South Huron Ministerial is looking at ways local churches can assist with homelessness in the community. Council will be considering how our congregation can contribute to this outreach project.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported that Rev. Louise will be on Study Leave from December 26th to January 1st.

The Community Park Committee reported that Karel Hodgert has donated tulip bulbs to the park and Judith Parker has planted them in the two entranceway gardens. A thank you is extended to Karel and Judith.

The November UCW zoom meeting was led by Joyce Fulton and Judith Parker. Guest speaker was Bonnie Sitter of Exeter who gave a presentation on writing the book "Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz - Memories of Ontario Farmerettes." Along with Shirleyann English, Bonnie captured stories of the young women recruited through a government sponsored program to work on farms in Southwestern Ontario during WWII until 1952. The book is being made into a play and will make its way to Blyth Theatre in the next couple of years. There is also a movement to have the 'Farmerettes' honoured with a Canada Post stamp recognizing their commitment to serve the country. Copies of the book are available from Bonnie or at several stores around town. Recipients of the month's stewardship donations were Make-a-Wish Foundation and Huron County Christmas Bureau. The next UCW meeting will be held on December 14th with Joan Skinner and Sharon Lynn planning the program. We hope to meet in the church, with a $5 gift exchange and tea-time to follow.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. Rev. Louise and Sharon Lynn attended the Western Ontario Waterways Fall Meeting virtually in three sessions on Friday, November 12th and Saturday, November 13th. The theme of the meeting was "Resurrection not Resuscitation". Reports were received from the various Commissions, and financial statements and the 2022 Proposed Budget were approved. Presentations were made by Mission and Service and the United Property Resource Corporation, a United Church entity developed to support communities of faith on using their real estate assets within the United Church to support community ministries and right relations. It is hoped the 2022 Spring Meeting can be held in person.

A thank you is extended to everyone who participated, volunteered, financially supported, or assisted in any way to support the 2021 South Huron Foodgrains Project. To be recognized in particular are the Murton Brock family and Ondrejicka Elevators, who made significant contributions to the project in the form of acreage and harvested produce. The joint effort by everyone has resulted in the largest financial contribution the South Huron Project has ever made to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank National Coalition. The South Huron Committee is looking for land for the 2022 growing project. If you are able to provide acreage or know of someone who might consider doing so, please contact Larry Lynn, Brent Dawson or Ken Kadey.

The Nominating Committee has organized for 2022; members are Joan Skinner, Greg Bahro, Marianne Timmerman, Sharon Passmore, Amy Parsons, and John Miner. No one from the congregation has come forward to stand as a member-at-large on the committee. Positions to be filled include Chair of Council and one member on each of the Finance, Property, Outreach, Worship, and Christian Education Committees. Several volunteers have come forward to fill these positions; however, if you are interested in letting your name stand for a position on Church Council, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation. A celebration weekend will begin on Friday June 3, 2022 at the Community Park for an evening of family friendly events. On Sunday June 5, 2022, a worship service will take place at the Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre, followed by lunch and a ball game on the ball diamonds. The planning committee will meet again in the new year. Watch for more details as they unfold.

Reports for the Annual Report are to be to Sharon Lynn by January 16, 2022. Reports will be available on January 30, 2022. The 2021 Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday February 6, 2022, with an alternate date of Sunday February 13, 2022 if needed. In order for the meeting to proceed, a quorum must be in attendance; a quorum is at least 20 full members of our congregation. A person becomes a full member in one of the following ways: confirmation, adult baptism and profession of faith, or through a certificate of transfer from another congregation or church, among others.

A monetary donation will be made on behalf of the congregation to the Zamokuhle Day Care Centre in memory of Pam Tolmay.

Signage to identify an additional handicapped parking spot will be erected in the church parking lot.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 5th at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM NOVEMBER 3, 2021

The November 3rd Church Council meeting took place in-person at the church. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that during the month of October she attended the Council meeting and a Special Council meeting, both by Zoom; prepared 5 Sunday worship services, 3 of which were led by way of Zoom, and 2 being held in person in our sanctuary; made 2 in-person visits; made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business; attended the UCW meeting by Zoom; attended a Ministerial meeting in person; conducted some Ministerial business; attended a session of United Fresh Start along with John Miner, Sharon Lynn and Judith Parker; attended the WOW Clergy Gathering by Zoom; attended a planning meeting for our scene in this year's Bethlehem Journey; was on-call for emergency pastoral care for Exeter United Church (no calls); kept up to date with United Church and WOW Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported that order forms for an upcoming Christmas fundraiser will be available soon. Products from Epicure, Westland Greenhouses, and Stonetown Artisan Cheese will be available for purchase in time for Christmas. Order deadline is Sunday, November 21st with pickup at the church on Friday, December 10th. Watch for your order forms and further details as they become available. An appeal letter for financial support to the mission and ministry of our church will be mailed to every household the end of November. It is hoped that everyone in the Thames Road Elimville faith community will consider answering the appeal for financial support and participate in the fundraisers if possible.

The Property Committee reported that the trees along the parking lot fence have been trimmed.

The Christian Education Committee reported that two successful events for the kids have taken place this fall. Over 20 children participated in the Pumpkin Wagon Ride to the Govers' farm on October 24th. A big thankyou is extended to the Govers family for hosting this event. About 22 ghosts, cowboys, clowns, fairies, and more were present in the sanctuary on October 31st for Halloween. Following a short worship time with Rev. Louise, the children enjoyed a Halloween Party in the basement. With COVID-19 still in our midst, the traditional Christmas concert, silent auction, and Country Supper will not be held in the church this year. Instead, plans are being made to have a Christmas parade on Elimville Line on Sunday December 5th. A take-out supper will follow the parade. Start thinking about how your family can participate in the parade.

The Worship Committee reported that the Remembrance Day service will take place at the church on November 7th. Two services of baptism will take place at the church, one on November 14th and the other on November 21st.

The Outreach Committee reported that planning is underway for the 2nd Bethlehem Journey drive-thru event on Saturday, November 27th from 5 - 8 p.m. Our church is partnering with Exeter United for the Wiseman scene. Volunteers are needed to dress in costume for the vignette or be a parking attendant. The journey will follow the star from Centralia Faith Tabernacle to Emmanual Baptist Church, Exeter Pentecostal Tabernacle, Exeter United and finish at Exeter Christian Reform church. Contact Rev. Louise, Judith, or Robert & Kathy if you can participate for all or part of the time. Register now to travel the journey as last year the event filled up early. Click on this link to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-bethlehem-journey-2021-tickets-188434130557. Remember to give when you can towards the Exeter Food Bank when at the grocery store. Thank you to those who support the 2021 Mission & Service Fund goal of $8000. Donations can be made monthly through PAR or by cheque or e-transfer to Treasurer, Mary Lou. Camp Bimini is holding a Drive-thru Dinner on November 14 with pickup at St. Marys United Church. Menu is Loin of Pork Chausser, Rotini Arribiata, vegetables and brownies. $20 adult; $10 children 10 & under. Ticket info available at www.campbimini.ca by Nov 7th. The United Church of Canada annual 'Gifts with Vision' gift catalogue is now available at www.giftswithvision.ca. Each Gift with Vision provides support for specific Mission & Service partners for special projects. Without Mission & Service, Gifts with Vision projects would not be possible. Visit the website and see some of the success stories. A newsletter is being prepared to send out shortly. Please submit any items you would like included in the newsletter to Judith within the next week.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported that Robert Bray is willing to train anyone who is interested in learning his role so there is someone to fill in when he is not available. The job includes putting the slide show together for the worship service and overseeing the presentation on the screen on Sunday morning. If this is something that interests you, contact Robert or any member of Council.

The Trustees reported that Usborne Hibbert Fire Insurance Company inspected the church recently and found no serious issues. The fire extinguishers will be checked within the next few weeks.

The October UCW zoom meeting was led by Virginia Warwick and Shirley Cooper. Each member was asked what they were thankful for during 2021. The answers were printed onto a large pumpkin which was very effective. Recipients of this month’s stewardship donations were One Care, VON Palliative Care, and the Poppy Fund. The next UCW meeting will be held by Zoom on November 9 at 7:30 pm with Joyce Fulton, Judith Parker and Kay Cunnington planning the program. Author and photographer Bonnie Sitter will be guest speaker on writing the book "Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz - Memories of Ontario Farmerettes." Along with Shirleyann English, Bonnie captured stories of the women who stepped in to work on farms during WWII. Everyone is welcome to join this meeting; contact Judith for the Zoom link.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. Creating Conversation is a video series that features a variety of topics that youth and young adults are keenly interested in exploring further. To access the videos, go to: Creating Conversations – Shining Waters Regional Council: shiningwatersregionalcouncil.ca.

Rev. Louise and Sharon Lynn will be attending the Western Ontario Waterways Fall Meeting online on Friday, November 12th and Saturday, November 13th. The theme of the meeting is "Resurrection not Resuscitation". 2022 church calendars are available. You can pick one up at the Christian Resource Centre in Mitchell. Commissioners of the 43rd General Council met online on October 23rd and approved a mission and vision statement for the denomination. Commissioners embraced the words "Deep Spirituality, Bold Discipleship, and Daring Justice" as a statement of purpose for the church in such a time as this, and supported a related vision statement: Called by God, as disciples of Jesus, The United Church of Canada seeks to be a bold, connected, evolving church of diverse, courageous, hope-filled communities united in deep spirituality, inspiring worship, and daring justice. General Council 44 is meeting virtually in 2022.

For the 2021 South Huron Foodgrains Project, seven acres of soybeans were planted on Hern Line on land provided by Murton Brock.

The Nominating Committee is organizing for 2022. Our bylaws allow for up to two congregation members or adherents at large to be part of the committee. If this is a position you would be interested in filling, please contact any member of Church Council.

Rev. Louise, John Miner, Judith Parker, and Sharon Lynn participated in the United Fresh Start session entitled “Transitions” on Tuesday, October 19th on Zoom. Good discussion around change and transition took place during the session. It is important to note that change is an event, while transition is a process that takes place over time.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation and the Celebration Committee met on October 7th to begin planning for this milestone. The celebration weekend will begin on Friday June 3, 2022 at the Community Park for an evening of family friendly events. On Sunday June 5, 2022, a worship service will take place at the Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre, followed by lunch and a ball game on the ball diamonds. Watch for more details as they unfold.

Representatives from the church have met with Hay Communications about bringing their fibre network into the church. The work is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.

In a recent communication with Rev. Jock, he related that Pam's cancer is slowly taking over and her health is deteriorating. Please include Pam and Jock and their family in your prayers.

To meet Huron Perth Public Health regulations for non-church related social gatherings in the church (e.g. family gatherings), identification and proof of full vaccination is required for anyone 12 years of age and older, along with health screening and contact information for everyone attending the event. It is the responsibility of the church, not the group using the church, to screen participants, record contact information, and check identification and proof of vaccination.

Thanks to Robert and Kathy, the First Aid Kit and the defibrillator are now housed neatly on a shelf near the vertical lift where they are easily seen and readily accessible.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:50 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 1st at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT OCTOBER 27, 2021

A Special Council meeting took place on October 27th by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Recent Provincial legislation that took effect on October 25, 2021 allows congregations to “opt in” to lifting capacity limits for worship services, weddings, and funerals held in the church. In return, anyone 12 years of age and older entering the building for these events will be required to present identification and proof of full vaccination, or a valid exemption certificate. As this new option would remove capacity restrictions currently in place in the sanctuary to meet physical distancing requirements, Council voted to move forward with this new alternative. All other current COVID-19 protocols including masking, hand sanitizing, health screening, and contact tracing, will remain in place.

For identification purposes, photo ID is not required. Proof of identity can be established using documentation issued by a public body, provided it includes the name of the holder and date of birth. Examples of acceptable documents include birth certificate, driver's licence, health card, or passport. An expired driver's licence or health card is also acceptable.

To be fully vaccinated, the final dose must be received at least 14 days prior to the date of entry into the building. Proof of full vaccination is your Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code, or your vaccination receipt, with or without, a QR code. The enhanced vaccine certificate is a digital format on your phone, with a QR code that can be scanned by the Verify Ontario app. Your vaccination receipt can be in the form of a paper copy or a download on your phone. Both are acceptable proof of vaccine documentation. To print a paper copy of your vaccination receipt, or to download it to your phone, click on this link and follow the prompts: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/proof-covid-19-vaccination.

A valid exemption certificate must be signed by a Medical Doctor, a Registered Nurse (Extended Class), or a Nurse Practitioner, stating that you are exempt for a medical reason from being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the effective time-period for the medical reason.

Failure to meet these requirements will result in denied entry into the church building. As the church is not permitted to retain any personal information provided, identification and proof of full vaccination or a valid exemption certificate, will need to be verified each time you enter the building for a worship service, wedding, or a funeral.

In other business, the kitchen, which has been off-limits, was reopened, and congregational group responses will now be allowed during worship services.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM OCTOBER 6, 2021 The October 6th Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that the month of September continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During September she concluded her 2-week end-of-summer vacation, attended the Council meeting by Zoom, prepared 3 Sunday worship services, 2 of which were led by way of Zoom, and 1 being the Covenanting service outdoors at the park (thanks to all who made it such a special day), made no in-person visits, made quite a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, hosted a Ministerial meeting in person in our church building, and agreed to become the Ministerial's new Chairperson, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom, and kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported it is exploring another fundraiser for the upcoming season. Stay tuned for details as they become available. An appeal letter for financial support to the mission and ministry of our church will be sent out to every household in the coming weeks.

The Property Committee reported that the new water heater has been installed in the church.

The Worship Committee reported that the Thanksgiving service on Sunday October 10th will be held in the Community Park, weather permitting. Following the re-opening of our church building, two baptisms will take place.

The Outreach Committee reported that we will partner with Exeter United Church as a participant in the 2nd Bethlehem Journey on Saturday November 27th. Other participants in the event include Centralia Faith Tabernacle, Emmanuel Baptist, Exeter Pentecostal Tabernacle and Exeter Christian Reform churches. Stay tuned on how you can volunteer to be part of this meaningful outdoor event. The need for food security in our area has not stopped. Please consider supporting the Exeter and Area Community Food Bank by making a donation when checking out at Holtzmann’s Foodland or Hansen’s Independent. Just a reminder to subscribers, your Broadview Magazine renewal has been extended until April 2022. Our church Mission & Service Fund allocation is $8,000 this year. Thank you to those who make donations through monthly pre-authorized remittance (PAR) or have increased giving to M&S during the pandemic closure. There are a number of short videos on how your donation makes a difference. Click https://www.youtube.com/c/unitedchurchofcanada/playlists and scroll down to [Your Generosity Matters-2021]. Contact Sharon Passmore regarding signing up with PAR.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported it will be contacting lay employees in the near future regarding remuneration for 2022.

The Community Park Committee will be replacing the seats, chains, and connectors on the swings in the park.

The next UCW zoom meeting is October 12th at 7:30 pm with Virginia Warwick, Shirley Cooper and Nancy Smith on the program committee.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. Sunday, October 17th is the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and an opportunity to join with others across the church to draw attention to the call and need for a Guaranteed Livable Income.

Rev. Louise, John Miner, Judith Parker, and Sharon Lynn will be participating in another Fresh Start session on October 19th.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation and the Celebration Committee has met to begin planning for this milestone. Planning committee members are Chairperson Amy Parsons, Robert and Kathy Bray, Sharon Lynn, Virginia Warwick, and Judith Parker. Watch for details of celebration events as they unfold.

Council voted to re-open our church building for in-person meetings, gatherings, and worship services beginning October 24, 2021, with Huron Perth Public Health guidelines in place. Services by email, mail or mailbox drop off, will continue to be available to the members and adherents of our congregation.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:25 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 3rd at 7:00 p.m. at the church.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM SEPTEMBER 8, 2021

The September 8th Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that the months of June, July and August continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During those months she took two 2-week vacations (July 3-17 and August 23-September 6); prepared 8 Sunday worship services, 3 of which were led by way of Zoom, 4 outdoor services (including the Confirmation of Katelyn Parsons) and one email-only service; did some planning ahead for worship services; conducted the wedding of Brett Warwick and Julia Roberts; conducted the funeral service for Bruce Delbridge; made 3 in-person visits; made quite a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business; attended the July 18th Drive-in service of the Villages United Church; attended a Ministerial meeting in person; attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom; attended the Council meeting by Zoom; attended the Council gathering at the church; attended the 8th and final session of the United Fresh Start program by Zoom; kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported a successful Chicken Fundraiser was held in July with 60 customers ordering 189 boxes of Elmira chicken products. A profit of $1,195 was realized and the committee thanks everyone for their continued support of our church mission and ministry.

The Property Committee reported that the tire ruts left in the lawn after the roof repair at the church have been filled in and seeded with grass. The dehumidifier has been replaced. Installation of a new hot water heater in the church will take place in the next week or so. Quotes were received for replacing the fence at the church, but no action is being taken at this time.

The Worship Committee reported there will be no worship service the morning of September 19th due to the covenanting service in the afternoon.

The Outreach Committee reported that our church has been approached about participation with other local churches in the Bethlehem Journey again this year in December. Interest was expressed if a partnership with Exeter United Church is possible.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported that Marilyn Rhode has retired from cleaning the church effective August 21st following 30 years of service. A big thank you is extended to Marilyn for carrying out her duties in such a dedicated, efficient, and professional manner all these years. Katelyn, Natalie, and Janelle Parsons are the new custodians for the church.

The UCW Welcome Back Potluck scheduled for September will not be held due to the ongoing safety concerns to public health. There was no scheduled meeting in June.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. Huron Shores United Church in Grand Bend was successful with their application for grant funds from the Government of Canada’s $31 million Healthy Communities initiative, formed to help support communities create or transform public spaces during the pandemic. The front yard of the church has been transformed into what the church calls a Community Living Room where both visitors and residents can expect to feel safe and included. As many Canadians begin to see the way out of the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccines, the United Church of Canada is adding a vigorous advocacy campaign to its COVID-19 Global Response and is continuing to ask people to financially support global partners dealing with the ongoing pandemic. ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches, notes that Global South nations will reach herd immunity levels only in 2024, if ever. The new chapter of the COVID-19 Global Response appeal asks people to advocate with the Canadian government for more vaccine sharing, donate to the ongoing appeal, or show solidarity by buying a vaccine for someone in the Global South. Donations to the appeal support our partners as they respond to the increasingly devastating impact of COVID-19 in communities they serve with food, PPE, shelter, income generating activities, and more. The United Church of Canada has launched a fundraising campaign to support the people of Haiti in recovering from a massive earthquake and drenching tropical storm. A Centennial Celebrations Planning Committee is being formed to mark the 100th Anniversary of the United Church of Canada in 2025. On September 30th people across Canada are invited to wear orange shirts to remember and honour Indigenous children who were taken from their communities and families to residential schools. Sunday, October 17th is the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and an opportunity to join with others across the church to draw attention to the call and need for a Guaranteed Livable Income.

The covenanting service with Rev. Louise and the Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council has been set for Sunday, September 19th at 2:00 p.m. at the Community Park. In the event of inclement weather, a motion was passed to allow the service to take place at the church. Rev. Fred Monteith, who has a connection with the Thames Road community, will be the guest speaker for the service. Volunteers are needed to present symbols during the service. Contact Rev. Louise if you are interested in taking part. Following public health protocols, the UCW will serve a snack following the service. Everyone is welcome to attend; please bring your mask and a lawn chair.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation and Council is beginning to plan for this milestone. Planning committee members Robert and Kathy Bray, Sharon Lynn, Amy Parsons, Virginia Warwick, and Judith Parker plan to begin meeting in September. If you would like to join the team, please contact any member of Council. A motion was passed to allow gatherings of up to 10 people meeting for church related business to take place in the church.

In July, Council approved a request from the Elimville Cemetery Board to proceed with sandblasting and repainting the cemetery fence. The cost will be covered by Elimville Cemetery Board funds.

Hay Communications has been contacted with our expression of interest in having their fibre network brought to the church. The work is expected to take place in 2022.

As the safety of all who enter the building is of upmost importance, the church building continues to be closed for worship services. Although the building is closed, “church” is still open. Services by email, mail or mailbox drop off, and Zoom video and telephone conferencing, will continue to be available to the members and adherents of our congregation until in-person services resume.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:00 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m. by way of Zoom video conferencing.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM JUNE 2, 2021

The June 2nd Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that the month of May continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month she prepared 4 Sunday worship services, all of which were led by way of Zoom (one of which was the shared Foodgrains service), contributed by video to the funeral service for Lorraine Alexander, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, attended the Council meeting by Zoom, attended the UCW meeting by Zoom, attended the 7th session of the United Fresh Start program by Zoom, attended the 3rd combined session of the United Fresh Start program along with John, Sharon L, and Judith by Zoom, attended the 3-day Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council Meeting by Zoom, took a week of Study Leave in order to attend the online Festival of Homiletics, kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported that in place of the strawberry & ham smorgasbord this year, the committee is planning a fundraiser using the Profit from Poultry program of JD Sweid Foods, better known as Elmira Chicken. They offer great chicken products sold in boxes for the freezer. You should have received ordering information by now. If you haven’t and would like to participate in the fundraiser, contact Judith Parker.

The Property Committee reported that repairs on the church roof are now complete. Ruts in the grass from the work still need to be repaired.

The Worship Committee reported that Zoom worship services will take place on June 6th, June 13th, and June 27th. On June 20th, Father's Day, a Confirmation service for Katelyn Parsons will take place at the Community Park, weather permitting and provided provincial guidelines can be met. Stay tuned regarding the other June worship services; they may be moved to the Community Park if allowed by provincial guidelines. There will be no worship services during the month of July 2021, on August 29, 2021 and September 5, 2021. On August 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2021 there will be email services only.

The Outreach Committee reminds everyone to remember the Exeter & Area Foodbank by giving donations when asked at the checkouts in Holtzmann’s Foodland and Hansen’s Independent. Please let Judith Parker know of anyone who would like to receive the weekly worship service by mail.

The May 11 UCW meeting was held virtually with Helen Kadey, Sharon Passmore, Helen Weston and Marilyn Vandenbussche presenting a program on Stewardship and Finance. Donations this month were directed to Huron Safe Homes for Youth and Children’s Health Network. Provided that day camps can be held, our donation of cookies for Camp Bimini will be delivered on July 13 along with any items on the wish list circulated last month. The next meeting is on September 14 and will be virtual or in-person depending on pandemic restrictions.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. Rev. Louise and Sharon L. “attended” the Western Ontario Waterways Spring Regional Council Meeting by way of Zoom from Thursday, May 13th to Saturday, May 15th. Five sessions took place over the three days, totalling about 10 hours. Between 150 and 175 people attended each session. A sacred fire lit on the grounds of Cape Croker United Church burned for the duration of the meeting. Several interesting and informative presentations were viewed; Commissioners were named to attend General Council 44 in July 2022; Western Ontario Waterways Executive and Commission members were acclaimed; 4 new Licenced Lay Worship Leaders were inducted; 5 ministers were remembered In Memoriam; 55 Jubilands were celebrated for between 5 and 70 years of ministry; one community of faith amalgamation was recognized. 12 year old Jaylynn from Stoney Point First Nation performed a jingle dance dressed in a red dress dotted with jingle bells – the red dress being representative of the many Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women. The fall Regional Meeting will take place from November 12th to November 14th, most likely virtually. The Celebration of Ministry that could not take place at the spring meeting due to gathering restrictions related to COVID-19, will take place at the fall meeting.

The date for the covenanting service with Rev. Louise and the Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council has been set for Sunday, September 19th at 2:00 p.m. The location for the service (the church or the community park) will depend on any restrictions on gatherings that may be in place at the time. Rev. Fred Monteith, who has a connection with the Thames Road community, will be the guest speaker for the service.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation and Council is beginning to plan for this milestone. We are happy to welcome Virginia Warwick to the planning committee. Other committee members include Robert and Kathy Bray, Sharon Lynn, Amy Parsons, and Judith Parker. If you would like to join the team, please contact any member of Council.

An invitation to participate in drive-in worship services at the Starlite Drive-In has been received from Rev. Jacob Shaw from Villages United Church. Our congregation has offered to participate in the service on July 18th.

Hay Communications is expanding their fibre network to the area and the church will qualify. There is no cost to bring the service up to the church. The company will be contacted with our expression of interest in having this done.

$215.00 was donated to the Healing Fund of the United Church of Canada in recognition of the remains of the 215 indigenous children found on the grounds of the Kamloops B.C. residential school.

As the safety of all who enter the building is of upmost importance, the church building continues to be closed. Although the building is closed, "church" is still open. Services by email, mail or mailbox drop off, and Zoom video and telephone conferencing, will continue to be available to the members and adherents of our congregation until in-person services resume.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 8th at 7:00 p.m., format/location to be determined when the time is closer.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM MAY 5, 2021

The May 5th Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that the month of April continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month she prepared 4 Sunday worship services and a Good Friday service, all of which were led by way of Zoom (an additional Maundy Thursday service was emailed to the congregation), did some advance planning for the May 2nd Foodgrains service, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, attended the Council meeting by Zoom, attended the UCW meeting by Zoom, attended the 6th session of the United Fresh Start program by Zoom, attended the 2nd combined session of the United Fresh Start program along with John Miner, Sharon Lynn, and Judith Parker by Zoom, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom, and kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Fundraising Committee reported that during this third wave of COVID-19, it is hard to promote fundraising events that may or may not be able to happen. Alternatively, everyone is encouraged to continue supporting the mission and ministry of our church through donations by cheque payable to Thames Road Elimville UC and mail to PO Box 3, Exeter ON N0M 1S6. Or by E-transfer to: thamesroadelimvilleuc@quadro.net.

Ken and Greg from the Property Committee would like to thank the person(s) who raked the stones off the grass in preparation for mowing. They also extend a thank you to Lorne and Pat Ballantyne for the spring cleanup in the flower beds.

The Worship Committee reported that Mother's Day will be celebrated on May 9th. Regular Zoom worship services will take place on May 16th and May 30th. There is no worship service on May 23rd as Rev. Louise will be off on study leave.

The Outreach Committee reported that the Broadview Magazine has been recognized as top magazine and website by the Canadian Christian Communicators Association and top magazine by the Associated Church Press. A number of United Church writers were recognized for their work, including former Moderator David Giuliano and General Council staff members Trisha Elliott and Adele Halliday. For non-subscribers, the website offers some good reading https://broadview.org/. A series of videos were produced by Perth Huron United Way bringing awareness to the programs they support. One of the videos highlights the "Coldest Night of the Year" campaign in the Exeter area and what the dollars support. Scroll down to the Exeter Focus video in the following link; you may recognize some of the faces. https://perthhuron.unitedway.ca/spirit-of-community/. Remember the Exeter & Area Foodbank and give donations when asked at the checkouts in Holtzmann's Foodland and Hansen's Independent. Please let Judith Parker know of anyone who would like to receive the weekly worship service by mail.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported that Rev. Jock Tolmay will be available for pastoral care when Rev. Louise is on study leave, May 17th to 23rd, and away on vacation from July 3rd to 18th. Rev. Jacob Shaw of Villages United Churches, Granton, will be available for pastoral care when Rev. Louise is on vacation from Aug 23rd to Sep 6th.

The Community Park Committee reported that they have started cutting grass at the park. The porta pottie will be serviced when COVID restrictions are lifted.

The Trustees reported that no new information has surfaced regarding the enquiry by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario about Thames Road Cemetery. A note has been sent off to Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council requesting guidance on how to proceed from here.

The April 13th meeting of the UCW was held virtually with Pat Ballantyne, Marg McCarter and Carolyn Johns preparing the program. Carolyn presented the theme of inclusiveness, referencing an article on how we can be aware and engaged locally in Huron County. The April stewardship donations were $30 to Huron County Women's Shelter (Phoenix Home) and $50 to South Huron Foodgrains Project. Cookies will be donated to Camp Bimini for the day campers this summer. As well, the camp has provided a Wish List of items that any of us probably have in our cupboards. The list is attached to this report and items can be dropped off at Janis Richardson or Judith Parker's porch before July 12th. The next virtual meeting is May 11th at 7:30 p.m. The Roll Call is a "Bakeless Bake Sale" for the Mission and Service Fund. The program committee is Helen Kadey, Helen Weston, Sharon Passmore, and Marilyn Vandenbussche.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. The Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council spring gathering for ministers and lay representatives will be held by way of Zoom on Thursday evening, Friday evening, and all day Saturday, May 13th to May 15th. The election of members to the Western Ontario Waterways Executive and Commissions will take place at the meeting. General Council Commissioners will also be elected at the meeting. May 3rd to 9th is Mental Health Awareness Week in Canada, and this year for the first time the United Church marked Mental Health Sunday on May 2nd. Preparing for Retirement: A Practical Spirituality is a three-part webinar series on preparing for retirement. Retiring is one of the major transitions in our lives, and like all transitions it raises many spiritual questions. The live webinars, led by Rev. Dr. Sheila MacGregor, were recorded on April 15th, April 22nd, and April 29th. Part 1 is Endings/The Exodus; Part 2 is Life in the Wilderness; Part 3 is The Promised Land. To view the recorded webinars, visit United in Learning Recorded Webinars with this link: https://www.united-in-learning.com/index.php/webinars/recordings. The webinars can be viewed free of charge, but a $10.00 donation per webinar is suggested.

The annual South Huron Foodgrains worship service took place virtually on Sunday May 2nd with approximately 35 people in attendance. Rev. Louise and Robert and Kathy Bray led the Zoom service on behalf of Thames Road Elimville United Church. Members of Exeter United, Centralia United, and Zion United also took part in the service. Henry Reinders, Ontario Regional Representative for Canadian Foodgrains Bank, shared his experiences while on a learning tour to India in early 2020. The South Huron Foodgrains Project sign has been erected at the site of the 2021 project on land provided by Murton Brock. Ways to financially support the work of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank through the South Huron Foodgrains Project are: EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) send an e-Transfer to shgbtreasurer@gmail.com

Cheque
send a cheque made out to the South Huron Foodgrains Project
c/o Brent Caslick
256 Victoria Dr.
Centralia ON N0M 1K0

The date for the covenanting service with Rev. Louise and the Regional Council has been set for Sunday, September 19th at 2:00 p.m. The location for the service (the church or the community park) will depend on any restrictions on gatherings that may be in place at the time.

Rev. Louise along with John Miner, Sharon Lynn, and Judith Parker attended the second and third combined sessions of the United Fresh Start program on April 24th and May 4th by way of Zoom. The sessions titled "Habits, Norms and Expectations" and "Family Systems Theory," explored the habits, norms and expectations and the clarity of roles and relationships within a new pastoral relationship.

A Privacy Policy photo consent form was approved at the meeting. It will be circulated to the congregation by email as a fillable form. A hard copy of the form will be supplied on request. The consent form will be reviewed in 5 years time for any changes that may be needed.

An Accessibility Committee was formed to oversee all issues relating to accessibility. The committee will have several roles, some of which are - ensuring that practices and procedures are consistent with our Accessibility Policy, coordinating accessibility training for volunteers, and ensuring that assistive devices provided by the church are available and in good working order. Committee members to date include Rev. Louise, Robert Bray, and Joan Skinner.

A Community Resources page has been added to our church website. The page provides links to websites for Al-Anon, Canadian Mental Health Association Huron Perth, Exeter Community Food Bank, Huron Women's Shelter, Jessica's House, and Victim Services Huron County.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation and Council is beginning to plan for this milestone. Committee members so far include Robert and Kathy Bray, Sharon Lynn, Amy Parsons, and Judith Parker. If you would like to join the team, please contact any member of Council.

A request to provide space, for a donation, at either the community park or the church parking lot for a fish fry, is being investigated. The host would be responsible for planning and carrying out the event and contacting Huron Perth Public Health about any restrictions that would apply.

As the safety of all who enter the building is of upmost importance, the church building continues to be closed. Although the building is closed, "church" is still open. Services by email, mail or mailbox drop off, and Zoom video and telephone conferencing, will continue to be available to the members and adherents of our congregation until in-person services resume.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:10 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 2nd at 7:00 p.m. at the community park. In the event of bad weather, the meeting will take place by way of Zoom.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM APRIL 7, 2021

The April 7th Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that the month of March continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month she prepared 4 Sunday worship services, all of which were led by way of Zoom, did some advance planning for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday services, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, attended the Council meeting by Zoom, attended part of the UCW meeting by Zoom, attended the 5th session of the United Fresh Start program by Zoom, attended the 1st combined session of the United Fresh Start program along with John Miner, Sharon Lynn, and Judith Parker by Zoom, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom, prepared for and conducted 4 Confirmation sessions by Zoom, prepared for and conducted 2 Marriage Prep sessions for a couple by Zoom and kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Christian Education Committee reported that Confirmation sessions with Katelyn Parsons have been completed and a Confirmation service will take place when the weather allows for an outdoor in-person gathering.

The Worship Committee extended a thank you to everyone who attended the recent Easter services. It was great to see many faces for the breakfast and Easter morning service. Rev. Louise will conduct the wedding ceremony for Brett Warwick and Julia Roberts on Saturday June 5, 2021. A Teen Bible will be presented to Katelyn Parsons at her Confirmation service. Worship services by way of Zoom are planned for April 11th, April 18th, and April 25th; however, if the weather is warm, plans could change and the services may be held at the community park. The South Huron Foodgrains worship service will be on May 2nd at 10:00 a.m. by way of Zoom. There will be no worship service on Sunday May 23rd as Rev. Louise will be off on study leave. Rev. Louise will be on vacation for 5 Sundays this summer - July 4th, 11th, and 18th, August 29th, and September 5th. There will be no worship services during the month of July. Services on August 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd will be e-mail services only.

The Outreach Committee encourages everyone to remember the Exeter & Area Foodbank and give donations at the checkouts in Holtzmann's Foodland and Hansen's Independent. Our church Mission & Service Fund allocation is $8,000 this year. Events like the coffee hours, Mom's Night Out and Christmas Country Supper have been regular fundraisers for the M&S Fund. So, during the COVID closures consider making donations by monthly pre-authorized remittance (PAR) or increasing your monthly givings to M&S so our allocation can be met by year-end. Contact Sharon Passmore regarding signing up with PAR.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported that Rev. Louise and Bruce will be on vacation from Monday, August 23rd to Monday September 6th.

The March 9th UCW meeting was held virtually with the Mission & Outreach committee leading a program on experiences with homelessness in the Exeter area. The March stewardship donations were $30 to Habitat for Humanity and $50 to Exeter Community Food Bank. Four easy-care tablecloths have been donated for the long tables in the church. This will alleviate the use of plastic when we return to holding events at the church. The next virtual meeting is April 13th at 7:30 and the Roll Call is "What is your birthstone." Program committee is Carolyn Johns, Pat Ballantyne and Marg McCarter.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. The Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council spring gathering for ministers and lay representatives will be held by way of Zoom on Thursday evening, Friday evening and all day Saturday, May 13th to May 15th. General Council Commissioners will be elected at the meeting. The folks of Trinity and Atwood United Churches in North Perth have created some lawn signs. The intent is to be a visible reminder that people in the area value diversity, and to promote this message to people who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. There is no geographical reference on the signs so they could be used beyond Perth County. Proceeds will be used by Trinity and Atwood United Churches to fund further efforts towards racial justice, social justice, inclusion, and diversity projects in their community. The WE VALUE DIVERSITY lawn signs are for sale for $15. Each sign comes with a wire stake to use in the ground. To order, email Sandy Earl. The confirmation email will include the password for an e-transfer. There will be a designated day/time at Listowel's Trinity United Church parking lot for sign pick up. Details will be included in the confirmation email. In a historic decision, the commissioners of the 43rd General Council decided on March 20, 2021, to conduct the 44th General Council online only in July 2022. This will be the first time in the church's 97 year history that the triennial meeting will not be in person. The commissioners for GC44 will be elected from the 16 regional councils and the National Indigenous Council throughout 2021. The July 2022 meeting will elect the new Moderator for the next three years. The terms of the current commissioners, national committees, and Moderator were extended a year from 2021 to 2022 because of the pandemic.

A virtual South Huron Foodgrains worship service will take place on Sunday May 2nd at 10:00 a.m. with Thames Road Elimville as Zoom host. Henry Reinders, Ontario Regional Representative for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, will be the guest speaker. Murton Brock has agreed to be the 2021 Foodgrains Project Farmer.

Discussions are taking place on holding covenanting services with Rev. Louise and the WOW region. It is hoped a fall date can be arranged with the region.

Rev. Louise along with John Miner, Sharon Lynn, and Judith Parker attended the first combined session of the United Fresh Start program on Saturday, March 20th by way of Zoom. The purpose of the session titled "Entering A New System," was to help participants understand that community of faiths are living systems and that the way new people enter the system can have a substantial impact on their ministry.

The Thames Road Elimville United Church Accessibility Document approved at the February Council meeting is now uploaded to the church website. In the months ahead an Accessibility Committee will be formed to oversee things and to make sure training takes places as per our Accessibility Policy.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation and Council is beginning to plan for this milestone. The first step is to form a committee to plan and oversee celebratory events. We are currently recruiting members and invite you to contact any member of Church Council to express your interest in being a part of the committee. Several suggestions have been made on possible ways to celebrate this milestone, including a night of music through the decades or a hymn sing night, hotdogs and fireworks, a family games night, a movie night with the VCR tapes from the events leading up to the closing of Elimville Church, a fish fry at the community park, and a worship service. Other ideas are welcome. Please consider being a part of the planning committee.

The Christian Resource Centre in Mitchell is open for curbside pickup only until at least April 30th.

As the safety of all who enter the building is of upmost importance, the church building continues to be closed. Although the building is closed, "church" is still open. Services by email, mail or mailbox drop off, and Zoom video and telephone conferencing, will continue to be available to the members and adherents of our congregation until in-person services resume.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 7:50 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 5th at 7:00 p.m.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM MARCH 3, 2021

The March 3rd Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that the month of February continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month she prepared 4 Sunday worship services, all of which were led by way of Zoom, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, attended the congregation’s Annual Meeting by Zoom, attended the Council meeting by Zoom, attended the 4th session of the United Fresh Start program by Zoom, attended the Ministerial meeting by Zoom, attended the WOW Clergy Gathering by Zoom, prepared for and conducted 4 Confirmation sessions by Zoom, prepared for and conducted 2 Marriage Prep sessions for a couple by Zoom, and kept up to date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Finance Committee reported the 2021 fee schedule for the use of church buildings and equipment has been uploaded to the church website.

The Property Committee reported that a representative from the Technical Standards Safety Authority visited the church in February for the annual inspection of the vertical lift. The lift passed inspection.

The Christian Education Committee reported that Confirmation sessions are ongoing.

The Worship Committee reported that Lenten worship services will continue on March 7th, 14th and 21st by way of Zoom. March 28th is Palm Sunday by way of Zoom. A Maundy Thursday evening email service will be offered on April 1st. A Good Friday service will be held by way of Zoom on April 2nd at 10:00 a.m. Easter Sunday, April 4th, will offer a Zoom Easter breakfast at 8:45 a.m. followed by a Zoom Easter worship service at 10:00 a.m. with communion. If the weather shines on us, the Easter worship service may be moved to the community park. The South Huron Foodgrains annual worship service will take place by way of Zoom on May 2nd at 10:00 a.m.

The Outreach Committee reported that our Coldest Night of the Year team had 19 participants register for the 2-5 km. walk on February 20th to bring awareness and support for the homelessness issue in the Exeter area. The local community campaign had 24 teams with a $30,000 goal and $41,102 raised to date. Our TR-E Huggers team raised $4,490 which surpasses last year's goal by $1,300. This success would not have been possible without the generosity of friends and family of our community. For subscribers to the Broadview magazine, the renewal is being extended until the April/May issue of 2022. The magazine is changing its print frequency from 10 issues to 8 issues per year. The new renewal date will be March instead of November. Mission and Service videos provided by the United Church of Canada to promote the Mission and Service Fund, are now available for our use.

The Community Park Committee reported that a recap of the 2020 park events has been forwarded to the Municipality of South Huron as a requirement of the Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the Municipality.

The Trustees reported that the search for information requested by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is ongoing. A recent communication from the Municipality of South Huron advised no new information has been found, but they are still looking.

The February 9th meeting of the United Church Women was held virtually with the Christian Leadership Committee leading a short program. The 2021 budget was approved along with the list of charitable organizations the UCW will donate towards during the year. A $100 donation was given to the TR-E Huggers team in support of the Coldest Night of the Year campaign. World Day of Prayer is Friday March 5th, and Thames Road Elimville UCW are the hosts this year. In-person events are not possible due to the pandemic, so a one-hour video has been prepared by the Women's Inter-Church Council to convey the program theme developed by the women of Vanautu, an archipelago of islands in the South Pacific. The video link is being shared with our partners Exeter United, Precious Blood, Exeter Christian Reform, Caven Presbyterian and Exeter Pentecostal women's groups to be viewed in our homes. Together in 170 countries around the world, there will be a sense of standing together in prayer and action to restore hope for women and children touched by injustice. The video can be viewed here: World Day of Prayer 2021 Virtual Service - YouTube.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. As part of the United Fresh Start program, our community of faith has been invited to register a group to take part in some of the core modules of the program. The group can have up to 10 participants, including the minister. Currently we have 4 members in the group, including Rev. Louise. A Ministry & Personnel workshop will be offered through Zoom on Thursday, March 11th from 7 to 9 p.m. and again on Saturday, April 10th from 9 to 11 a.m. A Camp Bimini Fundraiser Drive-Thru Dinner will take place on Sunday, March 28th in the St. Marys United Church parking lot from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visit www.campbimini.ca for details and to purchase tickets. Faith On the Move - Daily Reflections on Hope and Change is an opportunity to journey together through Lent, exploring the resources in the new Lenten devotional from United Church Publishing House. Meet online every Tuesday at 1 p.m. from February 23rd to March 30th. Find out more and register.

A virtual South Huron Foodgrains worship service is being planned for Sunday May 2nd at 10:00 a.m. with Thames Road Elimville as Zoom host. Henry Reinders, Ontario Regional Representative for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, will be the guest speaker.

After being on hold for a year due to the pandemic, discussions are once again taking place on holding covenanting services with Rev. Louise and the region. Documents supporting our community of faith's Annual Self-Assessment were submitted to Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council in February. In the months ahead an Accessibility Committee will be formed as a requirement of our newly approved Accessibility Policy.

The Christian Resource Centre in Mitchell re-opened on March 1st with the following hours of business: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Monday and Thursday - closed; and by appointment. They are always available by email or through the contact form on the webpage www.wowresourcecentre.ca. You may leave a phone message at 519-348-9261 and messages will be taken off once or twice a week. They still have plenty of 2021 Church Calendars.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation and Council is beginning to plan for this milestone. The first step is to form a committee to plan and oversee celebratory events. We are currently recruiting members and invite you to contact any member of Church Council to express your interest in being a part of the committee. Several suggestions have been made on possible ways to celebrate this milestone, including a night of music through the decades or a hymn sing night, hotdogs and fireworks, a family games night, a movie night with the VCR tapes from the events leading up to the closing of Elimville Church, a fish fry at the community park, and a worship service. Other ideas are welcome.

As the safety of all who enter the building is of upmost importance, the church building continues to be closed. Although the building is closed, "church" is still open. Services by email, mail or mailbox drop off, and Zoom video and telephone conferencing, will continue to be available to the members and adherents of our congregation until in-person services resume.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 7:40 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 7th at 7:00 p.m. by way of Zoom video conferencing.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM FEBRUARY 10, 2021

The February 10th Church Council meeting took place by way of Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that the month of January has continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month she prepared 5 Sunday worship services, all of which were led by way of Zoom, made a number of phone calls and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business, attended the Council meeting by way of Zoom, attended the 3rd session of the United Fresh Start program by Zoom, attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom, prepared for Confirmation sessions to start in February, and kept up to date with United Church and Regional Council emails and other information.

The Finance Committee presented the committee's recommendation for the 2021 fee schedule for the use of church buildings and equipment. The recommendation was accepted with no changes from last year.

The Christian Education Committee reported that Rev. Louise is currently leading a Confirmation class that will be meeting weekly for the next couple of months.

The Worship Committee reported that Thames Road Elimville United Church has been asked to host the South Huron Foodgrains church service by way of Zoom. The committee, along with Rev. Louise, has agreed to take on this project. The date of the service is yet to be determined.

The Outreach Committee reported that the TR-E Huggers team is participating in the Coldest Night of the Year event on February 20th. This outreach opportunity encourages members of our congregation to be a walker or a sponsor. Funds raised will support local initiatives to help the homeless, hungry, and hurting people in the Exeter area. Register to walk or to make a donation to the team or an individual walker at www.cnoy.org/Exeter. Contact Judith for more information.

The Ministry and Personnel Committee reported that Rev. Louise will be on holidays in Algonquin Park from Saturday, July 3rd to Sunday July 18th. She will also be taking a study leave from Monday, May 17th to Sunday, May 23rd for the Festival of Homiletics which is held online.

The Community Park Committee reported that a recap of the 2020 park events will be forwarded to the Municipality of South Huron as a requirement of the Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the Municipality.

The Trustees reported that the search for information requested by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is ongoing. Contact has been made with the Ministry of Health and the Municipality of South Huron. To date the Ministry of Health has not responded. The Municipality has confirmed that the Thames Road cemetery was declared abandoned some time ago and they continue to search their records for more information.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. February is Black History Month. In October, the General Council of the United Church of Canada made a commitment to work towards becoming an anti-racist denomination. The Executive of Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council has pledged to bring attention to Black Lives Matter in the year ahead. Applications are open for positions at Camp Menesetung for folks 16 and up. The first round of applications closes February 21, 2021. See the poster for details and more information.

A thank you was extended to everyone who took a position on the 2021 Church Council. A full slate of Council members was approved at the congregational Annual Meeting on February 7, 2021.

Council members completed their work on the Self Assessment Checklist. A Privacy Policy and an Accessibility Policy were approved as part of the process. The checklist, to be completed annually, will be forwarded to Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council. As part of the Privacy Policy families will be asked to sign a form consenting to the use of personal images (photo or video). Watch for the form in a future mailout.

A service of installation of the Church Council will take place during the worship service on Sunday, February 21st.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation. In the months ahead Council will be working on plans to celebrate this milestone.

As the safety of all who enter the building is of upmost importance, the church building continues to be closed. Although the building is closed, "church" is still open. Services by email, mail or mailbox drop off, and Zoom video and telephone conferencing, will continue to be available to the members and adherents of our congregation until in-person services resume.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:25 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 3rd at 7:00 p.m. by way of Zoom video conferencing.

REPORT FROM THE CONGREGATIONAL ANNUAL MEETING FEBRUARY 7, 2021

Due to lockdown measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, 28 members of our community of faith attended the 2020 Annual Meeting of Thames Road Elimville Pastoral Charge by way of Zoom video and telephone conferencing in the comfort of their homes. Chair of Council John Miner called the meeting to order at 11:00 a.m.

Remembered in prayer by Rev. Louise were Paul Stewart, Jean Coward, David Passmore and Gerry Morgan, members of Thames Road Elimville Pastoral Charge who passed away in 2020. Welcomed with joy to our church family was Noah Elson Lynn by baptism, and Bruce Ward by transfer.

Following a motion passed by the full members of the congregation, adherents were extended voting rights on all matters of business coming before the meeting.

The minutes from the 2019 Annual Meeting were approved and the reports in the 2020 Annual Report booklet were reviewed and accepted as printed.

Motions were passed to:
-Approve the Minister's Remuneration Report for 2021.
-Approve the 2021 Honoraria Report for non-salaried employees.
-Approve the 2021 Proposed Budget as printed in the Annual Report booklet.
-Approve the 2021 Mission and Service Fund allocation of $8,000.00.
-Appoint Sharon Lynn and Marianne Timmerman as Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council Representatives for 2021.
-Appoint Helen Kadey and Carolyn Johns as Financial Examiners for 2021.
-Approve participation in the South Huron Foodgrains growing project in 2021 and to appoint Larry
Lynn, Brent Dawson and Ken Kadey to the committee.
-Appoint Ken Kadey as a member of the Trustee Board for a 4 year term.
-Approve a full slate of members for the 2021 Church Council.

Due to the pandemic several fundraising projects planned by the Fundraising Committee did not take place in 2020; however, the committee was pleased with the financial outcome at the end of the year after conducting a successful canvass that was well supported by members and adherents of the congregation.

The Community Park Committee reported that no major projects are planned for the park in 2021. A recap of the 2020 park events will be forwarded to the Municipality of South Huron as a requirement of the Memorandum of Understanding agreement with the Municipality. In the year ahead the pandemic will continue to affect activity in the park as it did in 2020.

Speaking on behalf of the South Huron Foodgrains Committee, Larry Lynn thanked everyone who supported the growing project in 2020. To date no offer of land has been received for a 2021 crop. Due to the pandemic, at this time the committee is unable to project if a Foodgrains church service will be held in the spring of 2021.

Church Council will have no new faces in 2021 as all retiring members agreed to return to their positions for another term.

2022 is the 25th anniversary of our blended Thames Road Elimville congregation. In the months ahead Council will be making plans to celebrate this milestone.

What's in store for 2021? While COVID-19 continues to be a major concern, it is hoped that our community of faith can return to some sense of "normal" in 2021. We look forward to returning to our church building at some point during the year and putting our re-entry plan into action when it is safe to do so.

John Miner extended a thank you to Rev. Louise for her worship leadership in 2020, and for being so dedicated to pastoral care within our church family during a difficult year. We appreciate her ability to rise to the challenges that COVID-19 presented within our community of faith and feel very blessed to have her and Bruce as part of our church family here at Thames Road Elimville.

John also extended a thank you to the dedicated members of Church Council. COVID-19 presented some new challenges, but everyone rose to the task of dealing with them and carried on, getting the work done. The members of the congregation, who too successfully adapted to a new way of “church”, were thanked for their participation in church activities in 2020 and for their ongoing support in every way.

Sharon Lynn extended a thank you to chair John Miner for his wisdom and guidance throughout a difficult year. He was continually up-to-date on the latest regulations regarding COVID-19, keeping Council informed and everyone safe.

The first meeting of the new Church Council will be on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. by way of Zoom video conferencing. The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.

CHURCH COUNCIL REPORT FROM JANUARY 6, 2021

The January 6th Church Council meeting took place via Zoom video conferencing in the comfort of our homes. Chair John Miner called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Rev. Louise reported that the month of December continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the month she prepared 3 Sunday worship services, a Blue Christmas service on December 21st, and our Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols, all of which were led by way of Zoom; made a number of phone calls, and sent a number of emails and text messages to stay in touch with members of the congregation and to conduct administrative business; attended the Council meeting by way of Zoom; attended the second session of the United Fresh Start Program by Zoom; attended the Western Ontario Waterways Clergy Gathering by Zoom; participated in our part of the Bethlehem Journey; kept up-to-date with United Church and Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council emails and other information.

The Finance Committee extends a thank you to everyone who responded to the appeal letter sent out in October.

The Fundraising Committee extended a thank you to everyone who participated in the Christmas fundraising orders. A profit of $722.79 was raised. The next fundraising project will be compiling a cookbook with new and vintage recipes. Watch for details.

The Property Committee reported that the planned roof repair at the church has been completed; however, another leak has been detected. The additional repair will be undertaken when the ground is firm enough to handle the equipment needed to make the repair.

The Christian Education Committee was thanked for organizing and producing the virtual Christmas Concert that was shared online just before Christmas. Many thanks go out to Sue Shafer, Amy Parsons, Maggie Acs, Sarah Govers and Reverend Louise for their organizing efforts. Also, a big thank you is extended to all who participated by recording and submitting their video clips. Special thanks to Maggie and Sarah for all the time spent on compiling and editing the video submissions. The presentation was very well done and truly a delight to watch when we were unable to be together to celebrate the Christmas season.

The Outreach Committee reported that the Bethlehem Journey, held on December 5th in conjunction with Centralia Faith Tabernacle, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Exeter Pentecostal Tabernacle, Exeter United Church and Exeter Christian Reform Church was a success. Visitors travelled by vehicle to each church for a different scene in the Christmas Story. Thanks to Greg Bahro, Bruce Ward, John Miner, Sharon Lynn, Will & Nic Parsons, Louise von Massow, Marianne Timmerman, Karel Hodgert, Robert and Kathy Bray, and Judith Parker for their participation in partnering with Exeter United Church (coordinated by Dianne Shapton) in presenting the wisemen scene. The weekly worship services continue to be sent by email to 80 families and a printed version is sent by mail or mailbox drop off, upon request. Please let Judith Parker know if anyone would like to receive the weekly worship service by mail. In December, Holtzmann's Foodland put out a challenge of matching the first $1000 towards the Exeter and Area Foodbank. There was $5,435 donated by the community through this challenge. Thanks to our congregation who continue to support the food bank at Foodland and Hansen’s YIG.

Our prayers go out to friends and family who are residents or staff at the Exeter Villa as they face the challenges of controlling a COVID-19 outbreak declared on December 18, 2020. Show your support with a phone call, card, email or text to those we know. The Bethlehem Journey Committee has produced an encouragement video for Exeter Villa. Reverend Louise and Judith Parker contributed to the video on behalf of Thames Road Elimville by participating in a 20 second script provided by the committee. The purpose of the video is to let the staff and residents of the Villa know that the community is thinking about them and supporting them.

The Trustees reported that the search for information requested by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario is ongoing. The Authority is looking for a Registry of Burials and a map of the burial plots around the church. The United Church Archives and the Municipality of South Huron have been contacted for information on any records they may have. If anyone has information, documentation, a map, or photos of the church grounds prior to 1941 that will assist in confirming where the graves are located, please contact Beth Cooper, Robert Bray, John Miner or Ken Kadey.

A virtual UCW meeting was held on December 8th. The program included viewing the musical video "Mary Did You Know" performed by the Pentatonix. Virginia Warwick led a discussion exploring the lyrics of this emotional song. Shirley Cooper gave a Christmas reading. President Janis Richardson led the business, and committee reports were given. The monthly stewardship donations have been made to all local and regional charities the UCW supports. Marilyn Vandenbussche reported she has given $850 to Ronald McDonald House as a result of sewing custom face masks for a donation during the past months. A time of chatting closed the virtual gathering. The next Zoom UCW meeting will be held February 9, 2021 with the Christian Leadership Committee providing a short program.

The Western Ontario Waterways Facebook page, available to everyone, is a good way to keep up-to-date on Regional happenings including programs for children and youth. In November Rev. Therese Samuel was named to the new tri-region position of Minister, Right Relations and Social Justice, effective March 1, 2021. Ending Life Well is a 7 week program, once a week via zoom, on Thursdays from 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. beginning January 7, 2021. The program, presented by Sydenham-Heritage United Church, Brantford creates a discussion about death in a safe and respectful place. Professional presenters cover topics such as legal issues, hospice, palliative care, medically assisted dying, funeral homes, and grieving and loss. Download the brochure. Email Jane Baxter for more information. Marshall Memorial United Church, Ancaster, Ontario has been live streaming their worship services since 2008. In this time of COVID-19 they have carried on without skipping a beat. Check out their YouTube channel, the music is wonderful.

In 2020, 5 acres of corn and 5 acres of soybeans were planted on land donated by Jeff Borland (Huron Perth Ag Services) for the South Huron Foodgrains project. $13,500.00 will be sent to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank; with the 4 to 1 ratio given by the Federal Government, this becomes $67,500.00. A thank you is extended to everyone who contributed to the project by donation or in kind. The South Huron community can be very proud of this accomplishment.

The Nominating Committee has organized for 2021 with members Joyce Fulton, Ken Kadey, Judith Parker, Kathy or Robert Bray, Sarah Govers and John Miner. Positions to be filled include Secretary and one member on each of the Finance, Property, Outreach, Worship, Christian Education and Ministry & Personnel Committees. Several volunteers have come forward to fill these positions; however, if you are interested in letting your name stand for a position on Church Council, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee before the Annual Meeting. Reports for the Annual Report are to be to Sharon Lynn by January 17, 2021. Reports will be available on January 31, 2021. The 2020 Annual Meeting will take place via Zoom on Sunday, February 7, 2021, with an alternate date of February 14, 2021 if needed. In order for the meeting to proceed, a quorum must be in attendance; a quorum is at least 20 full members of our congregation. A person becomes a full member through one of the following ways: confirmation, adult baptism and profession of faith, or through a certificate of transfer from another congregation or church, among others. Children of full members and children who have been baptised but have not yet become full members are considered members, not full members. Further information will be forthcoming in a newsletter that will be sent out a few days before the meeting.

Council members spent some time working on the annual Self Assessment Checklist that will be forwarded to Western Ontario Waterways Regional Council when completed. The checklist is a guide to help communities of faith learn about the requirements and best practices for their ministry and to identify where work needs to be done to improve on the way we are currently doing things.

As the safety of all who enter the building is of upmost importance, the church building continues to be closed. Although the building is closed, “church” is still open. Services by email, mail or mailbox drop off, and Zoom video conferencing, will continue to be available to the members and adherents of our congregation until in-person services resume.

The meeting closed with prayer and was adjourned at 8:00 p.m. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 10th at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom video conferencing.


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We believe that guided by the Holy Spirit our Pastoral Charge will nurture Christian faith so that we may serve God by word and personal example.