Tidings February 14, 2021


The Life and Work of

Edith Rankin Memorial United Church

for February 14, 2021

as of January 14, 2021

The Ontario Government has issued a Stay at Home Order, in the most recent attempts to combat COVID 19. This impacts every citizen of Ontario, and as of today Thursday January 14th 2021, it is the law. Places of worship are not deemed Essential Service, and so all staff must work from home as they are able.

To meet the legal requirements of our insurance policy, our ERMUC building facility must be checked daily. M+P and Property have worked collaboratively with the staff, and have adjusted Barry Van Hooser’s work responsibilities, so that he will be the one checking the building 7 days a week during this lock down period. Be assured the mail will continue to be received, bank deposits will continue to be made, and all essential business will be conducted to the best of our ability during this time.

Access to the building is now restricted to these essential and any emergency situations. Please respect the law, “stay home, save lives” and do not attempt to enter into the ERMUC facility.

Council will continue to monitor the situation, and will be reviewing our circumstances at our next Council meeting on Tuesday January 26th, 2021, and will report back to you all through Tidings, and the website.

Please pray for your ERMUC family. The volunteers who sit on Council, Ministry and Personnel, Property, and your staff as together we work towards providing a safe and healthy ministry for all.

Please pray for our Community Health Care workers, Emergency Services, and First Responders, who continue to put themselves at risk as they serve the population.

Please pray for our provincial, national and global governmental leaders. There work is thankless right now, and whether we voted for them or not, they can all use the support of our prayers.

Please Stay Home. Please Stay Safe. Please Help to Save Lives.

Rev. Michelle Down

THIS SUNDAY, Let’s Virtually Celebrate Laurence Rowbotham 

At the Jan. 23 meeting, Council approved a plan brought forth by our Ministry & Personnel Committee to honour the 15 year ministry of Music of Laurence Rowbotham, at Edith Rankin. With input from both the Chancel choir and the Bell choir a celebration is planned for this SUNDAY. A monetary donation to the charity of Laurie’s choosing, which is the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario via the University Hospitals Kingston Foundation, will be included as part of recognition of his many years of dedicated service. Your financial contribution to this gift is requested and can be made directly to the church by e-transfer or by cheque, clearly marked “GIFT FOR LAURENCE”. Contributions will be accepted until Friday Feb 19th at 9am. This monetary gift will not be eligible for a taxable receipt.

We honour Laurie’s ministry among us and ask God to continue to bless he and Bev, and their family.

This Week

  • Sat Feb 13, 7:00 pm:  Virtual Movie Night:  The Beatles are Coming – Part 1
  • Sun Feb 14, 10:00 am:  Virtual Worship Service 
  • Mon Feb 15:  Family Day – Church Office/Building Closed
  • Tues Feb 16
    • 7:00 pm:  Just 4 More Men (JM4) 
    • 7:00 pm:  Discernment Team Meeting 
  • Wed Feb 17, 11:00 am:  Pastoral Care gathering 
  • Thurs Feb 18
    • 1:00 pm: Virtual Lenten Journey with Revs. Michelle, Judith and Susan
    • 7:00 pm:  Virtual Choir Meeting 
  • Sat Feb 20, 7:00 pm:  Virtual Movie Night:  The Beatles are Coming – Part 2
  • Sun Feb 21,
    • 10:00 am:  Virtual Worship Service
    • 11:00 am:  Annual Congregational Meeting

      Links are generally sent out via MailChimp Tidings weekly or to the group directly.  Need a link?  Please contact Tanya in the office for assistance.


Office Hours

Please note, the Church is closed to the public due to Covid 19, however, the black mailbox by the wooden door is available for drop offs, and only accessible by our office.  

The staff are available and will be monitoring the mailbox, phones and emails during this closure.  For urgent pastoral care needs, please contact Rev. Michelle Down or Elizabeth Amirault.

Coming Up…


Breaking News! Recently discovered in the archival vaults of ERMUC were several old plays and performances put on by members of our congregation. They go back as far as 1985. So get your popcorn ready.

The second performance is the “The Beatles are Coming (Part 1)” .  If you weren’t able to see our congregation salute to The Beatles, then please join us this Saturday for the first half of the show.  You won’t want to miss this tribute which features members of our congregation including the Bell Choir, Children’s Sunday School and a few surprises. The link to join is the same one used for Sunday morning Worship Services.  The date is February 13 2020 at 7 pm. Feel free to call Rhonda Kerr if you need any assistance.

There will be other performances to follow in the weeks to come, including: The Beatles are Coming Part 2 (Feb 20th 7pm), Parsons Predicament, The Ed Sullivan Show, Hee Haw and The Coal Miners Daughter. All of these plays/musicals feature members of ERMUC congregation from 1985 to 2013. Watch Tidings for dates and further information.  If you didn’t get to see the shows live, now is the the time to see them or revisit them. Lots of surprises. See you at the movies.



The Annual Congregational Meeting will be held virtually following the morning service on  21 February in order to consider approval of 2020 Annual Report. The Ring Central link will remain live after the worship service for this meeting.  All members of the Congregation are encouraged to attend this meeting. It is expected NOT to be a lengthy meeting.

Annual Reports have been emailed out, and are on the ERMUC website.

Questions can be directed to Christopher Sproule, Chair of the Congregation via phone or email. If you require Mr. Sproule’s contact information, please do not hesitate to contact Tanya in the office.

Staffing Discernment at Edith Rankin

Daring to believe in the future is at our core, and no better time than at the beginning of a new year, to pray about where God is leading us next. I want to invite you into that discernment process, as a family at Edith Rankin. Where is God calling us as we work together to serve this community.

When I was hired, I was tasked with the responsibility of completing the staff team at Edith Rankin, and I believe that this is the time to be creative and bold in our visioning for the future.  What would be the most helpful additions to the staff team.  Community Partners Advocate; Technology Expert; Parish Nurse; Children and Youth Minister; Share Staff with other United Churches in Kingston; or just stay the course with what we have, are just as some ideas!  One full time position, or 4 positions at 10 hours a week? Lots of things to discern, and we need your input. 

Please join me in the conversation and exploration of the Vision for Edith Rankin in the future. 
  1. Congregational Annual Meeting: Feb 21, 2021; report to congregation an update of process
  2. Round Table/World Café: March 22, Monday 7-8:30 pm
 Gordon Sinclair was approached by the Chair of Council to chair a group of volunteers in this discernment process. They will receive the information from the Round Table Conversations, collate it, and come back to the congregation with a recommendation at the conclusion of the process.  The discernment committee will be meeting independently, and also making reports back to Council regularly. 
This process is open to everyone.  ALL voices, ideas and opinions will be welcomed at the table.

Please join in the process.

Lenten Journey 2021 

To honour my commitment to share gifts and resources, Edith Rankin Memorial United Church, and Crossroads United Church will be offering a joint Lenten Journey this year. HEY – GREAT NEWS – Princess Street United Church is also going to be joining the journey!

We will be using the United Church’s Daily Lenten resource entitled: Faith on the Move: Daily Reflections on Hope and Change.Of it they write: Our spiritual practices carry us through the times of transition in our lives, when we wander in a metaphorical desert. For migrants, refugees, immigrants, and others, the journey is more than a metaphor. In this Lenten devotional, daily reflections by diverse contributors invite us to reflect on and embody God’s welcome and love for people who are on the move for a variety of reasons.

I have ordered 10 copies of this book which you can purchase for $20. If finances are difficult at this time, please do not let that be a barrier to your participation. Joyce and I will happily cover the cost of your book, as we want you to join us on the journey. 

If lockdown is still in place, then we will offer porch drop offs, or if the stay at home order has been lifted, then you will be able to pick up your book at the ERMUC Welcome Centre.  Stay tuned!

Rev. Judith from Crossroads United, Rev. Susan from Princess Street United, and I will offer a weekly Zoom gathering to discuss our Daily Lenten Journey’s that we have been having with the book resource on Thursdays from 1-2:30. This will begin on Thursday February 18th, 2021 and last until Easter.

Please join us on this Lenten Journey, and this shared partnership with the folks at Crossroads United Church. Please send an email Rev. Michelle Down to reserve your book. 


Join us on Sunday February 28th for our next Virtual Fellowship Breakfast, now at a new time, 8:30am.  This month, we welcome Rev. Adele Halliday, United Church of Canada’s Minister of Diversity, Anti-Racism and Justice. Rev. Adele’s presentation will focus on what it means to become an anti-racist denomination.  

News and Updates…

Do you have a good news story you would like to share with ERMUC?  Please send along to Tanya at churchoffice@ermuc.ca and we will do our best to
share your good news, space permitting. 

person holding opened song bookVirtual Sing-Along with Anthony and Judy

The shared household at 118 Ford Street is offering a virtual sing-along on Thursday evenings, starting at 8:00pm. Anthony Gifford and Judy Bierma host the shared singing and invite all to join them. If you’d like a copy of the song book they use, they will email you an e-copy, or will provide you a print copy, (over 500 songs) for $20.00. If interested, email Judy Bierma for the link. This will continue until we can sing without masks. Just Keep Singing! 

USB copies of Worship Service

A few of our church members are in either nursing homes or retirement living homes. Because of lack of internet service or personal computers they have been unable to view the virtual services during this covid time. Thanks to the efforts of Craig Pettis several members have been provided with USB sticks with copies of the service that they can view at their leisure if the own or have access to a computer or lap top. If anyone would be interested in having the same please contact Tom Kerr. If you need his contact info, please contact Tanya in the office.

Offering Envelopes/PAR

We are in the process of handling the distribution of 2021 offering envelopes, but would like to use this opportunity to encourage envelope users to consider the switch PAR. Sometimes life’s agenda takes over our best-laid plans. Covid 19 has been a perfect example this year. With PAR, you don’t have to worry about writing a cheque or forgetting to donate because life has thrown you a curveball. By signing up for PAR, you make a clear statement of what is important to you. You also give ERMUC the peace of mind that comes with knowing  your help is stable and reliable. If you are able to switch from envelopes to PAR, please contact Tanya in the church office for an easy transition.

Group Virtual Meetings

Is your group meeting virtually and you would like the date shared?  Have you noticed that your meeting(s) aren’t showing in Tidings?  Please let Tanya in the office either by phone or email of your meetings and she will make sure that they are in Tidings.  Need help setting up a virtual meeting? Tanya can help with that too!  Don’t be shy, send her an email and she will get you all set up!  

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Virtual Spaces for Pastoral Care, Friendship, Visit with Ministers

There are opportunities to “drop-in” for conversations to strengthen your spirit, connect with friends and church members, and visit with our ministers. You will find links to RingCentral Meeting rooms in the emailed version of Tidings. We continue our “pastoral care and friendship” virtual welcome centre gathering each Wednesday at 11:00 am. Michelle says “Drop in for just a minute to say hello, or pour yourself a cup of coffee and bring a question.” 

ERMUC Groups meeting online

Several small groups are starting to meet again using RingCentral Meetings. Two of the men’s groups, two UCW units, the Wednesday drop-in and others are using this virtual meeting space share faith, friendship and learning. If you are interested in hosting an online gathering, we can help!

Just call or email the church office for details. 

We are all in this together

What do you need? 

It’s hard for us to know how we are doing and what we might need when we are isolated from each other. Do you need some help? Do you need a phone call? Do you need someone to  pick up some supplies for you? Do you need someone to help with a household project (as a safe distance). Pick up the phone or use that contact form on the website to reach out. 


What can you offer?

The current situation of physical distancing to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus challenges us to do mission and ministry as a congregation differently. Are you wondering how you could offer your gifts and skills to these new challenges? Call the church office at 613-389-2530 or use the email contact form on the website to reach out.

Happy Birthday To Our Shining Lights in February

Lauren M – Feb 2 (9yrs) ♥ Violent M – Feb 3 (5yrs) ♥ Xander M – Feb 5 (18yrs) ♥
Dylan R – Feb 13 (4yrs) ♥ Patrick M – Feb 15 (2yrs) ♥ Barbara M – Feb 15 (14yrs) ♥
Annie M – Feb 15 (14yrs) ♥ Grace CF – Feb 20 (5yrs) ♥ Jayda S – Feb 23 (7yrs) ♥
Emerson B – Feb 23 (10yrs) ♥ Spencer M – Feb 24 (7yrs) ♥ Eilidh C – Feb 27 (10yrs) ♥

Happy Birthday to our Classics for the Month of February

Don Gray – Feb 3 ♥ Frances Downey – Feb 8 ♥ Eleanor Dickey – Feb 13 ♥
Pat Bullett – Feb 15 ♥ Anne Sinclair – Feb 15 ♥ Pat Galasso – Feb 17 ♥
Julie Lam – Feb 18 ♥ Donna Southcott – Feb 22 ♥ 

Prayers for Best Wishes, Health & Happiness! Enjoy Your Day!

In the Community…

Hospice Kingston is looking for volunteers.  Hospice Kingston provides comfort and care to individuals with life-limiting illness, at end-of-life, their families and caregivers, and those affected by grief and loss.  For more information, click HERE.


There are several ways of continuing to support the ministries of our congregation for the next few weeks when we are not “passing the plate.” Some of you already give through Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR). If you would like to join the PAR programme, contact the Church Treasurer using this form. You can also give through Canada Helps, using PayPal, or by sending an e-transfer through your bank to the church email address churchoffice@ermuc.ca (make sure you specify to which fund you are directing your donation).  The first Sunday of each month we ask for donations to the Benevolent Fund to respond to local requests for urgent needs. Please indicate if you would like a donation to be directed to the Benevolent Fund.

Contact ministers and staff through the church office: 613‑389‑2530

Tanya Bax x101 — Rev. Michelle Down x103

Elizabeth Amirault x106 — Kim Barney x107