Congregation Email Update May 1, 2020

Congregation Email Update

May 1, 2020

Dear Congregants,

Much has changed this past week with the provincial government’s phased restoration plan. Included in Phase II is the allowance of worship services, weddings and funerals in our church building as of June 1. However, Phase II is dependent upon all going well with Phase I, so we need to remain vigilant and maintain our physical distance with other households for May. We do not yet know what restrictions will be required for the opening of the church building. And so—we continue to wait and watch. Your Council and Leadership Team—and especially the Worship Team—are all meeting through Zoom over these next two weeks as we try to figure out together what a new normal is. There may be some changes that will be permanent and others that will be temporary. Our first priority will be the safety and protection of everyone, with particular attention to those most vulnerable. Please pray for wisdom for us!


I am so grateful to our leadership. They continue our ministry in creative ways. Thanks to:

  • Our new chair, Pat S., who is bravely rising to the challenge of helping us navigate through unchartered waters. Who knew that we offered baptism by fire!!!
  • Council as it meets more frequently to guide us through these times (you will find the minutes on the website)
  • the Outreach Team for continuing to organize support for West Broadway and arrange for Amanda D. recorded Minute for the Environment for worship services.
  • the Christian Education Team and Maggie Barnett for continuing to send out weekly Sunday School material through our online curriculum and organize the creative outreach project you will see below in this email.
  • our online worship group (Peter S., editor in chief, Ray M., assistant recorder, Dorcas Windsor, Christina T-S and Debbie McLeod) and our Worship Team as they are meeting more frequently these days to figure out next steps
  • everyone who is recording readings from home and sending them to Peter.
  • The Ministry and Personnel Committee, which continues to meet via Zoom and work with staff.
  • The Finance Team, which is closely monitoring our finances and applying for government assistance according to our qualifications. Donations have dropped a little, fundraisers have been postponed and rentals have been cancelled.
  • Donors who are keeping up with their pledge to general revenue and those giving extra for Special Appeals. We are grateful for receiving another $800 this past week for Special Appeals and hope that more will come in before the extended May 11 deadline.
  • Jeff K. and Sean B. who are cleaning up the yard and making the inside of our church sparkle.
  • Team Leaders, Committee Chairs, and Group Leaders who are continuing to be in contact with their members just to see how they are doing.
  • Our One-on-One visitors who continue to phone or email those who are shut-in
  • twenty volunteers who are checking in with everyone on our membership and adherent list who is not already part of a team/committee/group. A huge thanks to Shirley W. and Jennifer S. who have organized this calling list.

If you have not yet received a call or email, please let our office know in case we have the wrong contact info for you. Call (204) 489-6974 x. 20 or email . Heather is still working at home, but checks her messages throughout the day and still receives emails.

Blessings on this coming week as we begin preparing for a new reality to emerge from its cocoon. We are all on an Easter journey of resurrection.

Rev. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd


From your CE Team

  1. “Westworth Winds-up West Broadway” activity.

Because our annual Sundae Sunday is not possible this year, our families are winding up their year of Sunday School and community gatherings by contributing food to the West Broadway emergency food cupboard. This is a tangible way for our children to remember their year at Westworth while also remembering their connection with our wider community. Collaboration with the West Broadway board and help from Andrea F., Marion M. and Alan M. has been critical in making this wind-up possible, and we thank them for that.

Following is a list of the items that most suit emergency package needs:


Individually packaged oatmeal

Individually packaged fruit cups

Individually packaged puddings

Kraft Dinner

Canned Soup

Canned Tuna

Canned Ham

SMALL containers of peanut butter

Andrea Firth has placed a box for food contributions at her front entrance, the box will be available from Monday April 27th until Monday May 11th.  If parents so desire, their children may also include notes of encouragement to the guests of West Broadway.  Alan M. will then pick up and deliver our contributions to West Broadway.  If you have lost your church directory and can not find Andrea’s address…feel free to contact Dianne S. (204-885-0700) and she will give it to you.

  1. Coming to a Doorstep Near You

Members of our congregation are invited to decorate the steps and sidewalks of our building with art, such as butterflies, flowers, messages of hope, and hopscotch games. Our Sunday School families will automatically receive a package of sidewalk chalk on their doorstep. Other children at heart can contact Dianne Sjoberg to receive their package. These works of art can be created anytime you feel the spirit, just let Dianne know at the date and timeframe you intend to be there….first come first served. Should more than one family want the space at one time, Dianne will advise one family to try to find another time, this to ensure physical distancing.

  1. From Twila McNair, Our United Church Youth Coordinator

Last week, Abbey hosted our first Virtual Youth Drop-in using the platform Zoom.  17 young people connected.  Meetings are 2:30pm on Thursdays. This week Shavaughn will be hosting and next week Marissa will host.

New people are welcome to join each week. Those who joined last week are welcome to keep coming and to invite their friends. The meetings are open to any youth grades 5 and up from Prairie to Pine Region. We will play some games over Zoom and break into smaller groups for wellness check-ins and conversation.

We need to give the hosts a heads-up each week as to how many youth they can expect to have joining them. Please email Twila before Tuesday morning if you plan to join the group.  Click on the following link just before 2:30pm on Thursdays to join Virtual Youth Drop-In

The numbers below should ONLY be used by those whose Wifi is not strong enough to fully support Zoom.  When you join by the link above, IF you find that the audio is not clear, you can first try to turn off your camera/video to see if that clears up your audio. If it doesn’t, OR if you are doing something in the youth drop-in where it would be helpful for others to be able to see your video, then you can call one of the numbers below to join the audio portion by phone.  If you have free calling within Canada, then please use one of the first 5 numbers.  If not, you can use the toll free number and the United Church will pay.

+1 587 328 1099 Canada

+1 647 374 4685 Canada

+1 647 558 0588 Canada

+1 778 907 2071 Canada

+1 438 809 7799 Canada

855 703 8985 Canada Toll-free


Wider Community Announcement

Our friends at the First Unitarian Universalist Church are selling Rain barrels fore $60 to support their refugee sponsorships. The sale includes home delivery starting the week of May 29th. For more info, contact Deborah L., or 204-451-4139.