Emergency closure orders due to COVID-19 have halted public church services locally.  However, many congregations are forging ahead in faith and holding services online in addition to sharing worship resources people can access from home.

At Knox Presbyterian Church in Vankleek Hill and at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Hawkesbury, the Sunday morning worship service led by the Reverend James Douglas is being streamed at 11 a.m.  The videos are all saved and available for viewing later on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCorFp3ADLXU9ZaK0ZbVDleQ .  Knox and St. Paul’s are also streaming a Lenten devotional at 10 a.m. from Monday to Saturday, and a children’s Bible story at 1 p.m. from Monday to Friday.  Those items can be seen on the Knox Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/465758796848254/?epa=SEARCH_BOX .

The Reverend Claude Delorme ministers at five local Anglican churches, including those in Vankleek Hill, Hawkesbury, and Grenville.  He recently sent a message to parishioners urging them to pray for people working on the front lines of the pandemic in medicine and emergency response.  He also included a list of Anglican resources people can use for online worship.

At Vankleek Hill Baptist Church, Pastor Scott Sadlier has been providing families in the congregation with guidelines for how they can worship together at home through prayer, scripture reading, and singing.  Each Sunday, he streams a sermon at 11 a.m. on Youtube, which can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-PoFVUuTQV6t3kFt_NDdtQ .  Sadlier said some Sunday School teachers have also been sending ideas to parents for lessons at home.

Members of St. Jude Roman Catholic Parish in Hawkesbury have been receiving updates and reflections on Sunday mass Bible readings from their pastor, Father Alexis Ruzibiza.  Catholics can also view masses celebrated at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ottawa at https://catholicottawa.ca/ .

“We are bound together in spiritual communion.  I am also convinced and share the hope that we’ll beat this virus and get back together soon,” Father Ruzibiza wrote to parishioners last Sunday.

The Laurentian Area Ministry of the United Church of Canada has adapted the video streaming program zoom very well for Sunday services.  The ministry includes United churches in Grenville, Cushing, Lachute, Avoca, and Harrington plus six others in the Laurentians.  The minister, Rev. Cathy Hamilton said that they follow the regular order of service with a sermon presentation on Power Point.  Zoom allows for the participants to hear each other, so the congregation can sing and recite prayers together.  More than 60 people signed in for last Sunday’s service.  Complete information is available at the Laurentian Area Ministry’s website  https://www.lam-mrl.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Minist%C3%A8re-r%C3%A9gional-des-Laurentides-Laurentian-Area-Ministry-417037055698709/ .  The zoom link for the services is https://zoom.us/j/886476852 .

A recent United Church Laurentian Area Ministry service on Zoom. Photo: Suzanne Hocquard.