Congregational Email Update
April 23, 2020
This has been a particularly difficult week as news has continued to roll in about the Nova Scotia massacre. Many of us have family in Nova Scotia. My colleague, Rev. Deb Murray in Winnipeg, had a stepsister killed. This double-whammy of COVID-19 isolation and job loss, coupled with such tragedy has left many of us struggling. I offer you a prayer at the bottom of my message, along with the following spiritual exercise which I find helpful.
At the end of each day, spend a few minutes writing about your emotional journey for that day. What range of emotions were you feeling? Sadness, pain, fear, anxiety? You may also have had moments of peace, contentment, and happiness. As you record each feeling, notice and record where you hold each feeling. In your shoulders, your chest, your stomach? This practice of emotional journaling takes us into an observant mode that can lessen the intensity of some of the emotions we feel in a time of stress. Once you have recorded these observations, allow yourself to write whatever comes to mind in a form of free association. Then, offer to God anything that emerges in the form of a prayer. It could be a prayer of thanks or a prayer of help. Know that you are not alone—many of us are struggling with intense emotional reactions this week.
Nova Scotia Vigil & Farewell to Elaine & Jim Pigden
We have dedicated our upcoming worship service for April 26 to the memory of the Nova Scotians killed. Along with a candle litany, a piper has been able to join us for the recording of this service. We have notified the Winnipeg Free Press so that others in Winnipeg who wish to pray for Nova Scotia can join us. In this Sunday’s worship service we will also be offering a blessing to Elaine & Jim P. on their move to Jordan, Ontario this coming Tuesday. They each will be offering a few words during the service. The service will be available for viewing this Sunday, from our website (westworth.ca) and Facebook page. At 11:30 am this Sunday, April 26, we will be having a Zoom After Church Café. Jim & Elaine will part of this so that you can offer your own words of farewell to them. Click on this Zoom link at 11:30 to enter this café: https://zoom.us/j/92223649526?pwd=NTdKRlUvdy9qbWhVTG1RNCtYRnBydz09 If you have difficulty with your computer or phone video, you can phone the following long distance number:
1 778 907 2071. Meeting ID: 922 2364 9526; Password: 073982.
Christian Family Sunday Photos
On May 10, our worship service will celebrate families of all shapes and sizes. For this online service, we welcome your photos of your family engaged in your favourite family activities.! Please email Peter Sim if you would like to submit photos and he can specify the required resolution: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Worship Service Removal
Please note that, due to licensing regulations, all recorded services can only stay up on our website and Facebook for one month. As of this week, we will begin taking down the earlier services. Last chance to binge-watch all of them!
Every Easter, we receive extra donations for Special Appeals that assist various, local non-profit organizations. This year, we have only received $800—less than half of what we usually receive from the congregation. The United Church Women (UCW) usually contribute $1800, but this money comes from the spring Rummage Sale, which was postponed, and the fall Bazaar. At this moment, the UCW is unable to make a contribution. You will see below what we were able to distribute last year based on donations received. With only $800 for this year, we will be needing to make some difficult decisions. We have extended the deadline for Special Appeals to May 11. If you are able to contribute, please contact the church office: (204) 489-6974 x20.
2019 Special Appeals Fund disbursement:
|Theological education||Prairie to Pine Regional Council Bursary Fund||200.|
|St. Andrews College||200.|
|Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre||500.|
|Centre for Christian Studies||200.|
|Local social justice||Willow Place||200.|
|West Broadway Community Ministry||1000.|
|1 Just City||200.|
|L.I.T.E. (local investment towards employment)||200.|
|Youth support||Days for Girls, Winnipeg Chapter||200.|
|Rock Lake United Church Camp||700.|
Prayer for Nova Scotians
Spirit of Gentleness, may each of those who were terrorized in their last moments in Nova Scotia now rest in your eternal peace.
Gather loved ones crushed in grief into your arms of consolation.
Hold the broken hearts of those who have lost mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, grandparents and children, friends, colleagues and neighbours.
Ease the fear of Nova Scotians, even as we learn more disturbing details.
May the love and the lives of those who were killed continue to inspire dreams, form conscience and kindle hope.
Comfort Nova Scotia with the knowledge that they do not walk alone.
Link our hearts across this country and strengthen our resolve
to keep loving through the violence,
to uproot seeds of hate and fear
and to follow Christ’s way of compassion.
We offer these prayers through the risen Christ, Amen.
Blessings on your week,
Rev. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd
Message from Debbie McLeod:
The news from Nova Scotia this week has broken our hearts at an already very trying time. In our prayers and music, we honour our fallen east coast brothers and sisters. This week’s music link is an arrangement of “Pie Jesu,” a prayer for the dead, by French composer Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) and arranged and presented by the a cappella singing group Voces8. The Latin translation is simple: “Merciful Lord Jesus, grant them eternal rest . . . grant them everlasting rest.”
Message from Ruth W.
West Broadway Community Ministry:
– The number of employees/volunteers in the building is down to about 6 per day, which is ideal. We are fortunate to have a consistent group of volunteers who have become very comfortable with the sanitation protocols. Everyone has been wearing an isolation gown when in the building for the past couple of weeks. This week, the public health officials recommended that those working at the door
handing out lunches and emergency food also wear masks and goggles. We have a good supply of non-medical masks made from cotton fabric. Tessa Blaikie of 1JustCity was able to source goggles.
– The other good news is that everyone working at WBCM is eligible for COVID-19 testing if they develop symptoms because they are considered to be essential workers.
– Demand for lunches has risen about 20% since last week. There are about 120 lunches handed out each day. 100 of these meals are provided by an anonymous donor – WBCM is making up the rest.
– Demand for emergency food is also rising about 20%. The pantry and overflow pantry continue to be well stocked with both purchased and donated food. Thank you to all of you who are supporting West Broadway by donating much-needed dollars to this vital ministry.
– 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: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/1justcity-inc/#donate-now-pane . 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.