Westworth United Church
1750 Grosvenor Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
3rd Sunday of Lent
On-line on our Website & Facebook Page
March 22, 2020
We Gather in Spirit to Worship
Welcome and Announcements
Candle-Lighting & Prelude: “Spirit of the Living God” John Carter
Hymn VU 747 “Psalm 23: The Lord’s My Shepherd” CRIMOND
Lenten Litany: Affirming our Diversity
“What Wondrous Love is This” John Carter
For the diversity of race within our congregation,
represented by the blue ribbon for the Métis Nation,
We give God thanks.
For the diversity of those with whom we minister,
represented by the orange ribbon for the children from the residential schools,
We give God thanks.
For the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity within our congregation, represented by the purple ribbon,
We give God thanks.
For the diversity of physical, mental and social abilities within our congregation, represented by the yellow ribbon,
We give God thanks.
Prayer of Confession
God of hope,
It is tempting to give into our fears.
It is difficult to know how to walk through
those darkest of valleys.
Assure us that, no matter what lies around or before us,
You are with us. You comfort us.
In the stillness, restore our souls.
Guide our every step on paths of justice-making.
Help us know, in the depths of our being,
That we are enough;
That you give us all that we need and more.
For surely goodness and mercy
Shall pursue us until we are found,
Embraced in your love forever.
Words of Assurance: MV 95 “How Deep the Peace” Bauman/Good
The Peace of Christ
One: May the peace of Christ be with you.
All: And also with you.
We Hear the Word
Scripture Reading: Psalm 23
This is testimony to the Word of God
Thanks be to God.
Sung Response: VU 830 “O Give Thanks to God” John L. Bell
Sermon: “Walking in the Dark”
Hymn VU 284, vs. 1-4 “Joyful Is the Dark” CEDARS
Dedication Hymn: VU 540 “Grant Us God, the Grace” STUTTGART
Prayers of the People
Prayer Introit: 950 “Stay With Me” Jacques Berthier, Taizé
Prayers of Thanksgiving and Intercession
The Lord’s Prayer VU 921
Hymn VU 371 “Open My Eyes, That I May See” OPEN MY EYES
Response MV 214 “May God’s Sheltering Wings” Judith Snowdon
Postlude: “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing” John Carter
welcome to westworth
We are the hands and feet of Christ within Westworth and beyond.
As part of our social responsibility for the community’s welfare, we have closed our building to the public until further notice. We will still offer worship services on-line through our website and Facebook page. Staff will still be working in the building, but we will not be opening our doors as we are conducting a thorough sanitization of the building. Pastoral care will still be offered and we are seeking volunteers to help run errands for those who are housebound and to call our congregants regularly. Please let the office know if you are able to help volunteer. We are seeking creative ways to continue ministering to one another and to the wider community. God will bring us through.
Minister: Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd
firstname.lastname@example.org 204 489-6974 Ext. 22
Director of Music: Debbie McLeod Cherub Choir Director: Jewel Casselman
Organist: Dorcas Windsor Westworth Winds Director: Ray McClelland
Minister Emerita: Eleanor Geib
Coordinator of Children, Youth & Family Ministries: Maggie Barnett
204 489-6974 Ext. 23 email@example.com
Office Administrator: Heather Lavery firstname.lastname@example.org
Church Phone # 204 489-6974 Ext. 20 www.westworth.ca
Church Accountant: Jenny Jeffers email@example.com
Our condolences to Jeanne Carlson and family on the passing of her husband Bob.
SUNDAY SCHOOL The children will be learning about The Bird in the Sky (Matthew 6:25-34) through on-line curriculum that Maggie will send to the families.
WESTWORTH 2020 INTERFAITH DIALOGUE: Rescheduled for the fall
RUMMAGE SALE: rescheduled for the Sept. 25 & 26. Please do not bring items to the church until the fall.
HOLY WEEK SERVICES: We will offer these services on-line.
- WEST BROADWAY COMMUNITY MINISTRY LUNCH MARCH 19: Your Outreach Committee and WBCM Thanks You!
Thank you Westworth for your gifts this month of food, money and time, supporting West Broadway. Unfortunately the luncheon was cancelled due to safety concerns, but sandwiches and fruit were still handed out. Our April luncheon at West Broadway is scheduled for Thursday, Apr. 16 and we will keep you posted of any changes. Nancy D-W. and Marion and Denis S. will act as hosts on behalf of Westworth.
- WEST BROADWAY ANNUAL MEETING on Sunday March 22nd has been cancelled.
- WEST BROADWAY UPDATE West Broadway Community Ministry is considered by the city to be an essential service, so it is asked to keep its essential services (lunches, emergency food) going as long as possible.
I know that many of you are concerned about what is happening at WBCM and wondering how you can help.
On Thursday, March 18, the following actions were taken:
- 100 bag lunches were prepared by WBCM staff and handed out at the door.
- Emergency food requests were handled at the Broadway Ave door. Emergency food kits are being made up in advance so that people can receive the food and move on as quickly as possible.
- No one except staff and volunteers are allowed in the building.
- A porta-potty has been set up in the alcove outside the Broadway Ave door.
Everything went well on Thursday, and we are hopeful that we will become even more proficient at our altered work-flow with a few more repetitions. However, plans will change regularly as we continue to respond to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation.
Financial donations can be made through the WBCM website at: https://www.westbroadwaycm.org/. There may be opportunities to donate food for lunches at a later date, but we have not yet been able to work out the logistics for this.
If you want to volunteer, please contact Laura Everett at firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina T-S’s Graduation Recital Sat. April 11 has been cancelled.
Westworth Protocol for COVID-19: Phase II
March 19, 2020
In light of further provincial updates, and with guidance from the United Church Statement on COVID-19, Westworth United Church Council met on Sunday, March 15, with the Worship Team and made the following decisions. We are trying to protect our congregation’s physical health, while creatively meeting our spiritual and social needs. We are also trying to creatively offer ministries with the wider community in various ways so that we can continue to be the hands and feet of Christ within Westworth and beyond.
Building Closure and Alternative Worship/Meetings
- As of noon Thursday, March 19, we will be closing our building to the public until further notice. If you have personal belongings at church, please pick them up by then.
- Please do not bring any further Rummage items to the church until the fall.
- Staff will still be working in the building during this time, but are instructed not to open the door to callers. Signs will be posted on the entrances.
- Worship services will not be held in the building. Instead, we will be recording them and posting the links on our website http://westworth.ca and on Facebook. As well, our Moderator of the United Church, The Right Rev. Richard Bott, will be offering on-line worship beginning March 22 on the United Church of Canada website https://www.united-church.ca .
- We are aligning the closure of the building with the school closures. Accordingly, the first Sunday we hope to resume holding worship in the building will be on Easter Sunday, April 12. However, this may change according to provincial health updates.
- Small groups are suspended from meeting in person until further notice. These include women’s and men’s spirituality, Lenten studies, and Prayer Shawl groups, as well as UCW Units, and the Faith Café. We are investigating an on-line platform that will allow groups to meet virtually. We welcome assistance of those skilled in on-line technology.
- Spring Break Vacation Bible School is cancelled.
- Interfaith Dialogue Series has been postponed until the fall.
- Rummage Sale has been postponed until Sept. 25 & 26.
- Funerals will be held for family members only so as to limit the numbers and we will not offer receptions until further notice.
- West Broadway Community Ministry has been asked to keep its essential services with lunches (sandwiches and fruit) and emergency food available. If you wish to help please consider making a financial donation through the WBCM website at: https://www.westbroadwaycm.org/.
- We are setting up a confidential virtual prayer circle. Loraine will send prayer requests to each member of this circle by email or phone. If you would like to be part of this circle or if you have prayer requests, please contact Loraine (204) 489-6974 x22. email@example.com
- We are setting up virtual house groups of about 20 each for our entire membership and adherent list. People within each group will be calling/emailing/texting their members once a month to see how they are doing. If you would like to help with these phone calls, please contact Maggie Barnett (204) 489-6974 x23. firstname.lastname@example.org
- We would like to coordinate the running of errands or deliveries for those who cannot leave their homes. If you are able to help with this, please contact Heather Lavery (204) 489-6974 x20. email@example.com
- Loraine is still available to offer pastoral care through phone, email, texts or one-on-one visiting as appropriate and as allowed by hospitals, retirement homes and nursing homes.
- One-on-One Visitors who are healthy and have not travelled outside of Canada recently or been in contact with anyone who has travelled outside of Canada recently may visit as allowed by the retirement home or nursing home. Cards, phone calls or emails may replace in-person visiting.
- We will be mindful of any comments about COVID-19 directed to any particular racial group and attempt to repudiate and dispel any comments that are prejudiced or racist.
- Your continued financial support for these ministries and more can be made on our website with the Donate button https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/id/35650/ , with e-transfers or cheques mailed to the office at 1750 Grosvenor Ave. Winnipeg, MB R3N 0H9
A Pastoral Note
These are unusual times that are calling for unusual precautions. Taking responsibility for our communal health calls for social isolation and yet we need one another, particularly when we are going through a crisis of global proportions. We hope that the above approaches will help to ease our sense of isolation, as well as address some of our fears. I will be offering some spiritual tools over the next few weeks which can help control our anxiety and lower our fear. Being in a constant state of vigilante fear takes its toll and depletes our immune system. Fear of getting sick can make us sick!
I pray that these unusual circumstances will provide us with an unusual opportunity to strengthen our community care for each other and for those beyond Westworth. The cancellation of various programs and events gives us more time to be with family, to pray and reflect and to volunteer. We have the opportunity to truly be Christ’s body for one another.
May we all take comfort in the prayer offered by our Moderator, The Right Rev. Richard Bott:
In this time of COVID-19, we pray:
When we aren’t sure, God,
help us be calm;
when information comes
from all sides, correct and not,
help us to discern;
when fear makes it hard to breathe,
and anxiety seems to be the order of the day,
slow us down, God;
help us to reach out with our hearts,
when we can’t touch with our hands;
help us to be socially connected,
when we have to be socially distant;
help us to love as perfectly as we can,
knowing that “perfect love casts out all fear.”
For the doctors, we pray,
for the nurses, we pray,
for the technicians and the janitors and the
aides and the caregivers, we pray,
for the researchers and theorists,
the epidemiologists and investigators,
for those who are sick,
and those who are grieving, we pray,
for all who are affected,
all around the world…
May we feed the hungry,
give drink to the thirsty,
clothe the naked and house those without homes;
may we walk with those who feel they are alone,
and may we do all that we can to heal
in spite of the epidemic,
in spite of the fear.
Help us, O God,
that we might help each other.
In the love of the Creator,
in the name of the Healer,
in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all,
May it be so.
Minute for Mission
Emmanuel Dennis Ngongo was 13 years old when he came across the Kenya Alliance for Advancement of Children’s Rights (KAACR) through his school’s Child’s Rights Club. KAACR is a long-standing Mission & Service global partner. When his parents were transferred to another district and he had to change schools, Emmanuel wrote to KAACR to get help in launching a new club.
Kenya has dire statistics on violence against children. Rape, abuse, and child labour occur widely in both rural and urban areas. For many young people, the situation is made worse by their inability to speak out at school or within their communities.
KAACR, a network organization established nearly two decades ago, serves as a platform for like-minded youth to engage in communications and advocacy on ending violence against children in Kenya. Using channels such as WhatsApp and social media, KAACR has reached at least 200 young men and women, many of whom have amazing stories to tell about their transformation. They share ideas and propel change at regional, national, and international levels. Their primary mandate is to champion children’s rights everywhere; they believe every child should be protected.
Emmanuel was so inspired by his experiences with KAACR that he launched the Child’s Rights Defenders Movement with other peers in 1999, which was hosted by KAACR. He later worked for KAACR as an advocate protecting girls from female genital mutilation and early marriage, and in general youth development work, where he coordinated Youth Employment Summit sessions in Kenya and throughout Africa.
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.