COVID-19 update from your friends at WICC
February 1st, 2021
It is essential to follow the health guidelines in your area, especially when planning gatherings that include vulnerable people. Many parts of Canada are living with “stay at home unless it is essential to go out”. WICC is recommending online World Day of Prayer services this year for the safety of all involved. See the WICC website for more details.
WICC continues to be fully operational with staff able to receive your emails and phone calls during the current lockdowns. Thank you for your prayers and financial support.
January 1st, 2021
WICC continues to be fully operational with staff able to receive your emails and phone calls in the midst of the current lockdown in Ontario.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support as we promote the online World Day of Prayer service, accessible to everyone. Watch our website, wicc.org, for online events that you can join.
December 1st, 2020
In Canada, and other parts of the world, COVID-19 numbers have been rising and people are encouraged to stay home once again. This is a very different Christmas advent season for all of us.
WICC continues to be fully operational with staff working from home offices, able to receive your emails and phone calls.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support as we prepare for an online version of the World Day of Prayer service, accessible to everyone. Watch our website for online events that you can join.
November 2nd, 2020
“Recalibrate” seems to be the buzz word this month to describe the way that churches and non-profit organizations are navigating the challenges of the pandemic.
Thank you for your support and prayers for WICC as we transition to online events and programs. Most of our team is currently working from home with full phone and email availability. Nancy, our Administrator, goes to the office each day but we are not open for visitors due to strict COVID-19 protocols to keep everyone safe.
Prayer is a key part of the WICC mission and culture. I really appreciate the Facebook Live prayer times with Rev. Shirley DeMerchant (WICC Facebook at 1 pm EST on the first and third Friday of each month for 15 minutes). Hopefully, you can join us. During her most recent prayer time (video available to watch at wicc.org/events), Shirley talked about prayer during COVID-19 and offered a different perspective.
“May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors, remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home, remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for children when their school is closed, remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips, remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market, remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home, remember those who have no home at all.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love. At this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbours.”
Amen (Author unknown)
Report by Cath MacKeil, WICC Executive Director
October 1st, 2020
The words “reimagining and rebuilding” are becoming popular in the world these days as organizations navigate the changes required as a result of the global pandemic. We don’t know how the next few months will unfold with COVID restrictions but we do know that the mission of WICC, Empowering Christians to pursue justice, peace and reconciliation by standing together in prayer and action, is alive and well.
The way that we join together in these times involves moving to online platforms such as Facebook, Zoom and YouTube. Many of our churches launched their first onscreen services six short months ago. WICC is keeping pace with the need for virtual options by planning something special to bring us all together for World Day of Prayer 2021 even if many of us may not be able to gather in person.
Meanwhile, we have started a prayer movement NOW. Please join Rev. Shirley DeMerchant via WICC Facebook on the first and third Friday of each month for 15 minutes of WDP prayers at 1 pm EST.
Watch the events page on our website wicc.org/events for all opportunities to join together.
Note: The office staff is back in the WICC building but we are currently closed to visitors due to strict COVID-19 protocols to keep everyone safe.
September 1st, 2020
WICC continues to explore options for WDP 2021 services and events. In addition to the possibility of in-person services, we are preparing an online service with special guests for WDP (March 2021) along with other events. Look for further information this fall on our website www.wicc.org/events. Be sure to join us and invite a friend.
WDP service coordinators will be introduced to a new Leader’s Login on our website to access all WDP 2021 materials quickly and easily. WDP field reps, assigned to all regions in Canada, will be ready to provide orientation and support in this transition.
The office staff is back in the WICC building but we are currently closed to visitors.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Wishing you health and happiness as we work together to see positive change in our world.
July 15th, 2020
Keeping Good Habits
The coronavirus pandemic has changed some daily rituals, for better or worse, allowing new ones to emerge and take their place. Sleep schedules may be more in accordance with our body’s optimal schedule. Church services are taking place via ZOOM, YouTube, and parking lot drive-ins with free FM radio transmission so people can stay in their vehicles. The number of sourdough starters in Canadian homes has peaked.
While life changes can be stressful because of uncertainty, we may also feel freed up to practice new behaviours without interference from established cues. Discontinuity causes us to think and embrace new opportunities.
WICC is taking note of what is working for people, and what is not. To nurture increasing comfort with online communities and sharing of information technically, we are examining ways to incorporate these into World Day of Prayer (WDP) services and celebration. An online service that is available to all via the internet or a computer memory stick may provide a way to celebrate WDP while maintaining any social distancing measures in effect in March of 2021. As well, such an online service may meet a need for those unable to attend in person during harsh winter weather or because they are physically not able.
WICC is mindful that our 2020 WDP evaluations were very positive. Therefore, we proceed thoughtfully, and with much prayer, through these times of change as resources are developed to suit a variety of needs while encouraging a common trend to reduce paper products, increase online resources and engage new participants. Stay tuned to the WICC website www.wicc.org for other new online event opportunities coming this fall.
June 3rd, 2020
REDEFINING: WICC Responds to COVID-19 – Please Continue to Pray
Over the past several months, we’ve all experienced unprecedented disruptions to our daily lives, both personally and professionally. As we settle into a “new” normal, change is the only constant! We at WICC, have pivoted with every new restriction and regulation as it has been announced, and we have been ahead of the game in keeping our staff safe and productive in home-based offices. Our office building may be predominately closed, but our ministry has continued.
Please continue to pray for the office staff working from home and for their occasional days in the office to process the mail. Cheques are still arriving from 2020 World Day of Prayer services across the country. Tax receipts for those donations will be mailed out later in the summer.
WDP Vanuatu 2021 Picture: Mother sheltering child during cyclone. Palm tree is bending. Roots are holding firm.
We cherish your prayers as we continue together to respond faithfully and prayerfully to restore hope to women touched by injustice.
For the first time, our Board will meet virtually via Zoom instead of our typical June face-to-face meeting. Please pray for our ability to concentrate and carry out the business of the board on June 19-20.
Much of the board work is on-going as the grant review process is evaluating the applications to see which ones fit denominational teaching and the COVID-19 timeline. They will be approved at the board meeting and distributed to the successful organizations.
The World Day of Prayer Team is working on the 2021 service from Vanuatu. The theme “Build on a Strong Foundation” is so appropriate considering the shifting sands we are on in our changing times. Lives change. God doesn’t. Thank you to each of you and your prayerful contributions as we remain rooted in faith and called to action together.
Be safe! Be blessed!
Rev. Steph McClellan – WICC President-Elect
May 7th, 2020
Build on a Firm Foundation
Much has changed for everyone over the last two months after the announcement of a global pandemic just five days after the World Day of Prayer (WDP).
Praise God for the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the WDP Zimbabwe 2020 services across Canada!
For many, it was the last group gathering before COVID-19 restrictions came into effect. Several people have commented that it was good to assemble as an inter-church community before this long period of isolation. Illustration for WDP 2021 – Vanuatu
The WICC office staff began working from home on March 20th. Everyone is doing well and we have been busy processing your offerings and WDP grant applications. For the past 100 years, WICC has been “Rooted in Faith and Called to Action” and our vision has not changed. Thanks to your generosity, we will be able to fund grant projects to help women and children emerge from situations of injustice.
As WICC prepares for WDP 2021 and everyone anticipates emerging from the isolation and safe practices resulting from COVID-19, there is some uncertainty regarding timing for lifting restrictions, especially for group events. What a perfect year for us to draw hope from the stories of Jesus in Matthew 7, the scripture basis for the 2021 Vanuatu WDP Service, and the theme “Building on a Strong Foundation”. God is the firm foundation on which we build. We can do this! Stay tuned for upcoming ideas and updates.
Please note that the mail delivery to the WICC office is up to date as of May 6th and Canada Post continues to operate. If you are one of the WDP Coordinators who hasn’t mailed your Offering Remittance and Evaluation form yet, please do so at your earliest convenience. If you didn’t have a chance to donate yet, the process is very easy on the WICC website, which is automatically connected to Canada Helps. https://wicc.org/donate-online/
With your support, we are empowering Christians to pursue justice, peace and reconciliation by standing together in prayer and action. We continue to pray for the safety and blessing of our World Day of Prayer family.
April 2nd, 2020
COVID-19 update from your friends at WICC
Great is Thy Faithfulness! God has brought WICC through many challenges in the past 100 years including the First and Second World Wars, Spanish Flu, and the Great Depression. We are inspired by the resilience and faith of those who came before us.
We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has not been experienced by many in our generation. Like the previous generations, we fix our eyes on Jesus who gives peace in the midst of everything. Our hearts continue to pray together while we are apart.
How is WICC affected by COVID-19? Our office in Toronto is currently closed but WICC staff are working from home to continue to serve you.
World Day of Prayer donations are being processed and the deadline for grant applications has been extended to April 30th.
If you have any questions, please use the CONTACT page on the wicc.org website, email [email protected] or call 416-929-5174 (221) and leave a message. Your message is important to us and will be returned as soon as possible.
Thank you for partnering with us to pursue justice, peace and reconciliation by standing together in prayer and action.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9