Congregational Update July 13, 2020

Congregational Update

July 13, 2020


Dear Congregants,

We are moving our weekly congregational update to Mondays so that we can print and mail out an up-to-date congregational email with the Sunday sermon to those who don’t have email. We were doing this on Friday after the Thursday worship recordings, but now that we have moved the service recordings to Sunday, the emails will sent out on Monday.

We are going through another steep learning curve as we try to move our online services to Sunday morning live-streaming. We had more glitches last Sunday morning, including a sudden cut to the service and very slow upload that caused frequent freezing. We are working very hard on this and other issues. Peter is hoping to fix last Sunday service and upload the entire service by tonight. Next Sunday we will only upload the recorded version to make sure that it is complete. Next Sunday’s service should be available for viewing by Sunday evening. We will be testing the live-stream option but not making it public for now until we have sorted out the main issues. Ultimately, we are hoping to move to a more sustainable, easier-to-manage, online service and July is giving us the opportunity to figure this out. Thanks to the new techie team of Peter Sim, Kim O’Grady, Bruce Bowles and Ron Bailey for helping us through this next phase. Again, I thank you, our congregation, for your patience and understanding. Keep praying!

Our Safe Re-Opening Committee is also working very hard on the writing of a detailed hybrid plan to re-open our building with different phases as we prepare for various scenarios. Thank you to everyone who responded to our emailed questions and to those who attended the Zoom meeting. We received about 20 pages of feedback from emails, phone calls and Zoom participation. We are carefully considering all of this feedback, together with multiple documents including provincial and United Church guidelines. The completed report will be sent to Council for consideration at its July 21 meeting and it will then be made available to the congregation. Members of the Safe Re-Opening Committee are Eunice Pratt, chair of committee, George Nyman, Diane Riordan, Karla Farstad, Teresa Sztaba, Paul Chard and Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd.

I’m sure that the church is not the only place continuing to experience glitches and having to make alternate plans. I expect that we are all becoming a bit weary of constant negotiations and truncated summer plans when we don’t know what lies around the corner for any of us. Last Saturday, as I was walking on the sand at Victoria Beach, it dawned on me that our pandemic journey is much like walking on shifting sand. Our body automatically re-balances with every sandy step. It takes more energy to walk and the going is slower, but we still forge ahead so that we can listen to the birds and pick the lush, wild berries.

Our body’s compensation to the sandy walk can teach us how to emotionally and mentally compensate for the pandemic walk. As our foundation is shifting under our feet, the pandemic walk will require a greater amount of energy and more time to do what we used to do. We need to emotionally re-balance with every disappointment and readjustment to shifting plans and situations. But our bodies teach us that it is possible. Once we learn the new rhythm, we will be able to focus once again on the beauty that continues to surround us. May God help us listen once more to the melodious songs of the birds and taste the lush berries exploding with flavour. There truly is much for which we can be grateful.

Next Sunday I will talk about where we find the presence of God. In preparation for that, I would love to receive some emails or phone calls from you saying what your most holy moments in life have been. Where and when have you been aware of God’s presence?



Deaths and Births

We extend our sympathy to Karl Ringstrom and Anna Ringstrom and families on the passing of their mother, Mary Ringstrom on July 4.

Our condolences to Barbara and Frank Wynes and family on the passing of Barbara’s sister, Norma.

Our sympathy to Jenny and Ross Jeffers and family on the passing of Jenny’s mother.

Congratulations to Eunice and Doug Pratt on the birth of grandson, Greyson.


Wednesday Pandemic Practicum Discussion

Join us for our third meeting this Wednesday at 4:00 pm—you don’t need to have connected with the previous ones. This week’s topic is “When Hope Says Hello”. Please watch the third YouTube prior to the meeting. It is produced  by Rev. Diane Strickland, traumatologist and compassion fatigue therapist. You can view it from the following website:—pandemic-practicums-1-4.html. To join us this Wednesday, the Zoom link is

Windows on the world!

The 88 existing windows being removed and replaced are for sale. They are $25 each or 2 for $40. Each is approximately 35” x 18”. They are in pastel shades of rose, blue, green and yellow. First come first served. To reserve yours send an email to and include your name and contact phone. You will be contacted. They will be available after the installation is complete which is scheduled for late July. We are unable to store any unsold.

Are you on PAR?

If you wish to make a donation to Westworth please consider signing up for PAR. This will allow you to make regular donations from your bank account directly to Westworth. Please contact the office at 204-489-6974 or email to receive your PAR information package.

Another donation option.

In addition to PAR you may make an online donation through the Westworth website, . Select the Donate tab and you will be able to set the amount, payment method and receive your tax receipt immediately by email.

From Your CE Team:  

Coming to a doorstep near you…..a bit of flying fun.  If you haven’t received a Westworth Frisbee by Friday, July 17, but would enjoy  having one, please let Dianne Sjoberg ( know your address and she will get one to you.

Rendez-vous 2020 Aug. 11-14 For youth (gr. 9 -12), young adults, and leaders. Feeling done with “online”?    …So was my daughter! …so when her favourite summer camp offered her a free week of online camp, she wasn’t thrilled …until she got the schedule for it and saw that it DID look like fun after all. Like that camp, Rendez-vous has also been re-imagined. Through real-time online events, recordings, and DIY workshop kits, we will celebrate bold faithbrave space and brazen grace.  Instead of a fee, a donation is requested. Any who choose to donate, will receive a tax receipt. So, why not register?  When you receive a schedule of events, you can pick and choose what you’d like to attend.  Your choice!  Register by Aug. 7 Register by July 15th, if you’d like to order a t-shirt or toque.


West Broadway Community Ministry

This is what $1500.00 donations buys in groceries for West Broadway.

This was the second of two loads which Marion and Allan McKay have hauled.