Diocese to collect online worship statistics
In light of COVID-19, the Diocese needs to find different ways of acknowledging and tracking congregations’ creative online worship responses. Within the next couple of weeks, congregations will receive a link to an online survey to capture some of this data. While not an official count that will be used to determine average weekly attendance (or Synod membership), this information will be collected as a component of the story of how congregations met the challenge of the pandemic and continued to share the gospel and tend their communities. As with parochial returns, the information you submit will be included in your congregation’s record. For more information, see the Measuring Online Worship document.
Donor offers FaithWorks matching grant
Our FaithWorks ministry partners continue to serve the most vulnerable members of society during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a generous donor has offered a $100,000 matching challenge grant for new and increased donations in 2020. That means for every dollar raised over last year’s amount, FaithWorks gets an extra dollar, multiplying the impact of donations. To find out how to donate, visit faithworks.ca.
One in the Spirit 2020
You are warmly invited to attend an online celebration of Pentecost on May 31 at 2 p.m. which is being offered in joy and love from every corner of the vast Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario – from Moosonee and Algoma in the north and west, to Ottawa and Ontario in the east and Toronto, Huron and Niagara in the south. In word and song, in prayers, music and images we will catch sight and sound of the Spirit’s flame and work in our midst, binding us together in love.
Christians join global wave of prayer
From the Ascension to Pentecost (May 21-31), Anglicans across the Diocese are invited to participate in Thy Kingdom Come, a global wave of prayer for more people to come to know Jesus Christ. The initiative will look different this year because of COVID-19, but you can find ideas about how to participate as individuals, families or church communities on the Thy Kingdom Come global website.
Diocese continues to live stream from cathedral
Services from St. James Cathedral are being live streamed each Sunday at 11 a.m. on the Diocese’s Facebook page and the diocesan website, with videos posted after the fact on YouTube.
Parish leaders invited to workshops
Each episcopal area is holding a Zoom workshop for parish leaders, especially those new to their positions. If you’re a leader in your parish or thinking about becoming one, you are strongly encouraged to attend. The invitations are extended to churchwardens, deputy churchwardens, parish administrators, treasurers, administrative staff and clergy. Check the Supporting Parish Leaders workshops page for updates and to register.
- York-Credit Valley: June 9 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- York-Simcoe: June 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- York-Scarborough: June 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Trent-Durham: June 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Area youth invited to Thy Kingdom Come event
York-Credit Valley youth and youth leaders are invited to save the date and plan to attend a Thy Kingdom Come beacon event on May 29 at 7 p.m. The area Children & Youth Ministry and Evangelism taskforces have partnered to curate a selection of resources available on the YCV Area Resources page. They have also created an Instagram invitation you can use to encourage others to come. Register online.
Anglicans, Lutherans gather online for Pentecost
On Pentecost (May 31), Anglicans and Lutherans across Canada are invited to join online to worship, pray and sing together with the Holy Spirit. Want to be involved in this national celebration? Submit a video reciting the Lord’s Prayer by yourself or with your family in the language of your choosing. To learn more about the event and how to submit a video, visit the One Family in Mission website.
COVID-19 resources for outreach programs
Angie Hocking, the Diocese’s point person for outreach ministries, together with health care professionals, has prepared recommendations for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Diocese of Toronto outreach programs during a pandemic. There is also a video tutorial for the proper use, donning and removal of PPE, along with COVID-19 screening tools for frontline staff and volunteers and for guests in homelessness service settings. These can be found under “Outreach and other resources” on the Diocese’s COVID-19 Updates page.
Tech mentorship available to parishes
The Congregational Development department is launching a small team of remote tech mentors who are available to help parishes set up online worship and small group meetings using digital media tools. Mentoring will take place through phone calls, video calls or email. If you would like to be paired with a mentor, or if you’d like to offer your skills as a mentor, contact Elizabeth McCaffrey, Volunteer Resources Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Reach More Grants fund innovative post-COVID initiatives
Do you have ideas for local ministries that will help your church begin to gather and rebuild after the COVID-19 quarantine has ended? The Diocese is expanding the Reach Grant fund by $100,000 to provide resources for creative ministry at a time when many churches will be feeling financial stress. This program will provide one-time seed funding grants of $500-$5,000 for missional and attractional initiatives that will help us reconnect with each other and with our neighbours. To be eligible, your ministry initiative needs to be:
- Local: in the neighbourhood and community around the church
- Missional and/or attractional: reaching people with the gospel who aren’t currently being reached, or growing the congregation
- Innovative: doing ministry in a way that is new and untested for the congregation
The Diocese invites initiatives that build on your learned experience of being Church during this pandemic and that point to new ways of being Church and sharing the gospel with our neighbours. For more information on how to apply, visit the Reach Grants page.
Area grant deadlines approaching
The deadline to apply for York-Credit Valley area grants has been extended to May 31. Visit the York-Credit Valley Grants page to learn more and download an application form.
The deadline for York-Scarborough ministry development and FaithWorks grants is June 10. For more details, visit the York-Scarborough Grants page.
PWRDF seeking board nominations
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is seeking candidates for openings on the board of directors, honorary associates and a representative to the board of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Click on the links below to learn more:
- Board member / volunteer treasurer
- Honorary associate
- Representative to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank board
Send nomination forms to Mishael David by May 29 at 4 p.m. Only nominees chosen to be interviewed will be contacted. Elections will be held at the annual general meeting in September.
Martha Holmen, Digital Communications Coordinator, began her parental leave on May 20, and will be back in the office on June 15, 2021.
Allan McKee will be filling in for her as the Diocese’s Digital Communications Coordinator. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.