Prayer Challenge: Pandemic Playlist!

Did you know that we did a complete recording session in 2015 of all of our choirs? You can listen to them online here!
We are wondering what music you are listening to right now. We are looking to create a “Pandemic Playlist” which we will send out in a future newsletter!
To complete this challenge:
  1. Pick a piece of music that speaks to you right now. It can be sacred, secular, any style. Share the song below in the comments below. You can share the title/composer or a link to a recording on YouTube.
  2. (Optional) Write 2-3 sentences about why that song speaks to you.
  3. That’s it!

Moderator’s Online Worship


Moderator Richard Bott shares an online worship service and reflection on John 11:1-45, the raising of Lazarus.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Moderator is offering online worship for churches to share and use on Sunday mornings. We invite you join in and share this service with your communities of faith to use on Sunday, March 29, 2020. May you be blessed by the gathering of God’s people during this challenging time.

This service is recorded live on Zoom. If you would like to participate in the live version of this worship as it is being recorded, please join us online on Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. PDT, 7:00 p.m. EDT, 8:30 p.m. in Newfoundland.

(These online services are planned to run at least through Holy Week 2020.)

Offering Support in Anxious Times

March 18, 2020 by Rev. Diane Strickland.
The Rev. Diane Strickland is a Certified Community and Workplace Traumatologist, Compassion Fatigue Therapist, and a Critical Incident Responder for a national health service provider. Through The United Church of Canada, Diane provided onsite support following two of our country’s largest natural disasters — in High River, AB after the 2013 floods and in Fort MacMurray, AB after the 2016 Wildfires. She has a private practice for trauma-informed support and ministry.

The moment when a crisis becomes “real” may be different for each one of us. During our current pandemic that might have happened in a grocery store aisle with empty shelves, or in a sudden realization that a loved one is out of the country, or when picking up a message telling you not to come to work. As time passes with no relief, anxiety builds and our fears increase. But there is some relief you can give yourself even as the crisis continues and there are simple ways to support others.

#1 Everyone’s response to a traumatic event is unique

 

A pandemic creates a context for trauma that will elicit different reactions. That means some people you don’t expect to be seriously affected may, in fact, struggle with coming to terms with facts, procedures, and implications. That may even be you.

 

While all aspects of the pandemic are important, some may seem more obviously critical than others. But our anxiety may choose to gather around any of them as a core stressor. This is because our brains work differently in crisis. Our cognitive function does not necessarily dominate brain function. Instead, our alarm systems working out of the limbic system and the amygdala may launch a takeover. So, the thing that triggers that alarm system is not necessarily the most critically important thing. And the reasons we are triggered by that may not always be apparent or shared. But they are real.

 

So, some people rant about leadership, others fall apart at the grocery store, and still, others are up all night worrying their loved one home. A few will remain calm through all of it. The point here is that we are all different and our response to trauma is unique. We may find others with a similar response, but we can’t expect it from others. There are many known and unknown factors that create our responses and as a crisis goes on, our responses may change on a dime. Be kind to yourself and be kind to others.

 

We also may find emotions and behaviours of others that catch us off guard. It is unhelpful, however, to try and argue people into being calmer, “correct” them about what’s stressing them or to berate them. We are who we are. Our psychological wiring can be complex. Most people are doing the best they can with the resources they have. In a crisis, self-awareness can be both scarce and in demand. Self-awareness can come at a premium in a crisis. Don’t think you have to answer people’s questions or solve their identified problem if you can’t, or even respond on topic if it doesn’t feel helpful. There is no value in escalating some discussions.

 

A few low-key responses to others to help harness calm might be useful:

  • We are going to have to keep going and look out for each other.
  • You may be on to something there. And I wish you the best.
  • I’m anxious about a lot of things too. It going to take time to sort this out.
  • It’s tough all right. And it’s going to need to best out of all of us.
  • These are challenging times. I think about my parent and grandparents and how they just kept going. And I think that’s what they want me to do.
  • You have a lot to carry right now. May you find the strength to keep going.
  • It’s very hard right now. It will get better. But not for a while. Let’s push forward as best we can.
  • That’s a good point. I’ll be thinking about that, too. You take care.

Keep that list by you when chatting with people electronically. Most of all, don’t worry if your response is different from someone else. Support that person when they need it with an affirming and encouraging presence (if possible) and words. Ask for the same when it’s your turn to need it. If you have concerns about anyone’s well-being, use local service agencies you may have for assistance or call police or RCMP and ask for a wellness check. If anyone threatens to harm themselves or others, do not set that aside. Call police or RCMP and report it.

In my work and ministry, I see glimpses of the “why” of God believing in us. We will get there—perhaps diminished in some ways and more in others. This experience is changing us, but we can do this. I’ve seen us do it. And we are doing it right now. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

Permission granted to reproduce and distribute as is helpful, with the author paragraph included. Thank you.

Virtual Prayer Group

We had our first virtual prayer group meeting on Wednesday using Zoom. We had four people join us on zoom and two people join us by telephone. We took turns to share our prayers and to pray together.

Our prayers included:

  • Thank you for family members who have traveled back to Canada safely. A prayer for their continued safety as they self-quarantine. Prayers for family members still overseas
  • A thank you for technology such as zoom that allows us to stay connected
  • THANK YOU to people who are still working to keep us safe and prayers for their continued safety

Our next Prayer Meeting will be on Thursday April 2. All are welcome to join us, for details on how to join see our event page here. We also invite you to share your prayers below as a comment and we will make sure to include them in our prayers.

Welcome!

Welcome to our Wesley-Knox blog page! This page has been developed rather quickly in response to our current pandemic situation. The goal of this page is to create a more dynamic section of the website where people can comment and share ideas.

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing:
  • Prayer challenges
  • Music playlists
  • Updates from the United Church of Canada
  • Worship services and ideas
  • Other Ideas?  If you have ideas for content/resources that you would like to share, send us an email at communications@wesleyknox.com or share in our Facebook Group.