Congregational Email April 17, 2020

Dear Congregants,

We are about to enter into our sixth week of building closure. Time warps during crises and it seems months, not weeks, since we were last together. I pray that you are each finding new ways to stay healthy physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually in these strange times of expansion. I am working largely from home these days, so feel free to call me if you need to reach me quickly at (204) 775-8817. I am slowly making my way through an increase of email and it may take me a little longer to respond than usual, but I will eventually! Thanks for your patience. .

To help us stay healthy, we are offering the following ministries, including a few new initiatives:



Our online Worship Team continues to record services every Thursday morning and Peter S. usually posts them on our website by Saturday evening. We plan to continue this until our building opens to the public.

One of the advantages of this form of worship is that we are able to connect with congregants, friends and family whose health does not allow them to attend worship. We are also able to include those who live in other parts of the world.

Please note that copyright law only allows us to post these recordings for one month. We will soon begin to remove the earlier services from our website, so if you’re waiting to binge-watch worship, you’ll want to start now!

The following stats indicate how many have watched our services, realizing that some have watched them more than once!

March 22: Fourth Sunday of Lent: 275 for Part 1, 172 for Part 2, 165 for Part 3

March 29: Fifth Sunday of Lent: 233

April 5: Palm Sunday: 280

April 10: Good Friday: 243

April 12: Easter Sunday: 249

This coming Sunday, April 19, will focus on Earth Day and will include contributions from people within Westworth, as well as people from Augustine United Church, which is currently without a minister.


Care Connections

  1. Every group, committee and team is contacting its members regularly to check-in with one another. Our Pastoral Care Team has now organized a call list of every family in our congregation who is not part of any of these groups. Our volunteer callers will begin connecting with these families next week. A huge thanks to Shirley Watts and Jennifer Snyder who are organizing this.
  2. Our Virtual Prayer Circle now meets every Wednesday at 11:00 am via Zoom. Please let me know if you would like to join or have any prayer requests.


After Church Café

This coming Sunday, April 19, we will try having after-church coffee at 11:30 am via Zoom. If you do not have a smartphone, notebook or laptop, you may need to phone in with one of the following long-distance numbers, as well as connect via your desktop computer. We won’t be able to see you, but we will be able to hear you and you will be able to see and hear others.

To join this Zoom After-Church Café, click on the following link this Sunday at 11:30 am and click on the connection with audio and video:


If you are calling in, dial any of the following numbers. Note that these are long distance calls.

1 438 809 7799 Canada

1 587 328 1099 Canada

1 647 374 4685 Canada

1 647 558 0588 Canada

1 778 907 2071 Canada

Meeting ID: 997 6797 0880

Password: 069179


Faith Café

We will try having a Faith Café this coming Tuesday, April 21 at 11:00 am via Zoom. The same instructions above apply to this gathering, but the link and Meeting ID are different, as below. The topic will be Faith and the Virus. The following link will take you to a brief reflection on this.  It is written from an American perspective, but it still gives us a good jumping off place to begin our discussion:

To join this Zoom Faith Café, click on the following link on April 21 at 11:00 am:

If you are calling in, dial any of the following numbers. Note that these are long distance calls.

1 647 558 0588 Canada

1 778 907 2071 Canada

1 438 809 7799 Canada

1 587 328 1099 Canada

1 647 374 4685 Canada

Meeting ID: 279 513 3822


Group Meetings

If your group, team or committee would like to meet via Zoom, please email Heather and she can help you arrange this: We are sorting out all of the hiccups and this should now work for you.


Blessings on you and your loved ones. Be gentle with yourselves and one another, as these are difficult times.

In your service,

Rev. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd


Message from Debbie McLeod:

This Sunday is Earth Day. The music I am sharing this week is a beautiful recording of “Earth Song” by composer Frank Ticheli. The song laments the sorry state of our planet and its inhabitants, then uses music and singing as a metaphor for faith and hope – a light shining through clouds of despair. For your optional listening: click on the YouTube link or copy the link to your search engine. The lyrics are shown on the recording.


Message from Outreach Team

  1. West Broadway Community Ministry Update
  • A good routine is in place and the staff/volunteers are assigned to specific tasks. There’s been an emphasis on retaining the same people to work in the facility so that the need for orientation is diminished.
  • Marion M. has completed the last 2 isolation gowns that she sewed for WBCM out of donated bedsheets.
  • Just a Warm Sleep put on an appeal for 600 masks. These are to be given to individuals who arrive at the facility with symptoms (coughing, sneezing) so that they can isolate themselves from others. [Remember: non-medical face masks protect others from you – they do not protect you from others]. So, once a mask is given away, it’s gone. Manitoba Prairie Quilters and Trinity United’s Sew and Sews Quilting group produced 121 masks that were delivered to 1JustCity to be used at Just a Warm Sleep. Elastic for making face masks is scarce to unavailable.  if anyone has ¼ or 1/8 inch elastic, and is willing to donate it, it could be dropped off  and placed in a box on the front step of the M. home at 22 Leeds Ave.
  • Monetary donations are preferred to the donation of physical groceries at this time. You may donate by giving directly to West Broadway by clicking on the following link which takes you to the 1JustCity website: To ensure that your donation is applied to West Broadway directly, please indicate in the memo box that you wish your donation to go specifically to West Broadway Community Ministry.  Thank you for your continued generosity in support of this vital ministry.
  1. Canadian Churches for Care and Change in the time of COVID 19 – In these days of increasing uncertainty in our lives, it is increasingly important that we, as communities of faith work together to care for the most vulnerable in our country. Your Outreach Team encourages you to read the information located in the article presented in the following link, and consider supporting the petition initiated by local clergy.


Message from Finance Committee:

2020 PLEDGES AND DONATIONS from January to Mar 31 received from identifiable givers

 2020 Pledged  Received
M&S $        44,441  $          12,459
Westworth Operations $      268,821  $          71,223
Total $      313,262  $          83,682

Total of all donations from Jan.-Apr. 30, including open plate, for the past 3 years.

2018  $75,893             2019  $74,472                         2020  $83,682