Congregational Email Sept. 9, 2020

Congregational Email

Sept. 9, 2020

Dear Congregants,

September has arrived and we are still trying to negotiate ways of working, studying and socializing with the changing situation and regulations. I am particularly mindful of parents and children as they are discerning their needs, in addition to teachers who are trying to prepare in the midst of evolving rules. I am also mindful of those living in retirement homes and long-term care who continue to live with restrictions. As well, we have people within our midst who are recovering at home from hospital procedures or undergoing cancer treatment. Let us offer extra prayers for them.

Sunday, Sept. 20, will be our first in-person worship service since March. Please remember to bring your mask. If you plan to come, please call or email Heather on Friday, Sept. 18 to register. You will need to answer “no” to the following questions and provide your phone number or email address for contact tracing.

  • Do you have a new appearance of any of the COVID -19 symptoms i.e. cold or flu like symptoms such as fever, dry cough, tiredness, headache, sore throat, runny nose and shortness of breath? If someone answers yes, they will be encouraged to call Health Links at (204) 788-8200.
  • Have you travelled to places other than Western Canada and North Western Ontario in the last 14 days?
  • Have you interacted with anyone experiencing COVID -19 symptoms in the last 14 days?

In addition to safety protocols, we are adding a few extra touches of celebration on Sept. 20. Musicians will serenade those outside waiting in line and Dorcas will be playing about 20 minutes of prelude music for those arriving early. Each person will find a gift of an angel on their pew seats, made by Pat and Tim S. You may find ushers or greeters wearing some interesting outfits! We are trying to find ways to celebrate and have fun while keeping safe. We will also continue to offer the worship service online for those unable to attend. If you would like me to include prayer requests for the worship services, please email them to me by 10:00 am on Sunday morning: .

We recognize that we all have different levels of comfort and different needs for safety. If you feel that you cannot yet attend, please know that you are still a valued, important member of our community. We want to honour the various ways that each person finds to interact with our Westworth family.

As we move into a different kind of fall, I pray that we will try to see these strange times as an opportunity to try new ways of connecting with one another. During my two weeks of study leave in August, I continued to read and reflect on what helps churches to thrive. It occurred to me that the key for thriving churches is the deepening of relationships—with God, with one another, with those beyond our walls and with ourselves. Let’s prayerfully reflect together on how we at Westworth can strengthen these relationships.

I’m looking forward to re-connecting with you in whatever way is possible!

Rev. Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd


Welcome Back Westworth Kids!

C.E. is very happy to announce we will be running Sunday school in the gym starting Sept 20th so we will have lots of space to socially distance. There are lots of changes so C.E can offer Sunday school, some are the purchasing of special pencil boxes so each child will have their own, labelled with their name. The curriculum and activity sheets/ craft supplies etc will be placed out on Thursday morning.  There will be LEGO in the gym but NO Activity bags available due to sanitisation concerns.

I have added an extra story and a craft time to accommodate any extra time needed as the children will be going straight to the gym with a Sunday school teacher after sanitising their hands with a child suitable product upon entry to the church. Children grade 4 and up are required to wear masks. Please note the Nursery/Parents room is unavailable until further notice. Parents with small children can sit in the sanctuary or on the pews behind the glass in the narthex—please bring your own toys etc.  Children are to be collected from the gym after the service. Snacks and water are to be provided by the parents   Please label all belongings.

YOUTH– join me and your friends from Westworth for a catch-up session on Zoom on Wednesday September 16th at 7.00 p.m.

Please remember to register with Heather 204-489-6974 ext 20 if you plan to attend Sunday service. Hope to see you all.

Maggie Barnett


New Windows and More

When you come to church, you will notice new, brighter lights in the narthex, freshly waxed floors throughout the building and new windows on the north side that open, increasing our safety in these times of COVID, with new frames that have replaced the rotting frames. The weathered and brittle protective glass over the Leo Mol windows on the south side is also being replaced. To date, through grants, donations and pledges, we have almost reached our goal of $51,000 for the new windows. We are only short about $3,300. We also have a few panes of the old tinted glass left for sale. If anyone is interested in contributing or buying the panes, please contact our church office.

New pick up/drop off mailbox at the staff entrance. Envelopes can be placed in the drop off box or new mailbox at the front doors. Items can be left in the drop off box to relay items to staff or from staff to someone from the congregation. Contact the office for combination lock number for drop off mailbox.


2020 PLEDGES AND DONATIONS from January to Aug. 31 received from identifiable givers

 2020 Pledged  Received
M&S $         44,441  $          27,580
Westworth Operations $      268,821  $        176,295
Total $      313,262  $         203,875

Total of all donations from Jan.-Aug. 31, including open plate, for the past 3 years.

2018  $187,956                       2019  $195,319                                   2020  $203,875


Congregational Emails will be sent out weekly, likely on Thursday. Deadline for announcements will be Wednesday evening.

The Women’s Spirituality Group will be gathering on this Saturday, the 12th, at 10:00, on the church steps and surrounding area.  Safely distanced, wearing masks, bringing our own chairs and beverages.  We’ll have a brief meeting followed by safe mingling.

Congregational Zoom Meeting

The congregational Zoom meeting originally scheduled for Sept 3 has been postponed until Thursday, September 17 at 7 pm.  This gives the Safe Re-Opening Committee an opportunity to include the latest Manitoba government and United Church COVID guidelines in the plan, as well as information gained from the Soft Reopening worship service for our church leaders on Sept. 13 and the Usher and Greeter training session. Details with the Zoom connecting information will be sent in a future email. Thanks for your understanding.

Broadview Subscription (formerly called the Observer) The yearly fee is $25.00, cash or cheques made out to Westworth, should be in the office by the end of September. Please contact Rochelle B. at 204 479-1655 or email or Heather at the office with any changes or questions you may have. The deadline is Oct. 4 for your renewals. Thank you for your support.

Storage anyone?  A few folks have been keeping good quality rummage items for our next sale, hoping we would have access to storage space at the church.  Since this isn’t possible, they will have to send things elsewhere unless someone has space for temporary storage.  If your basement or garage is both dry and has space, and you are willing to hold some boxes for the church, please contact Andrea at 204-489-2284.

  1. West Broadway Community Ministry: The rapidly changing weather brings new challenges for the staff and volunteers at West Broadway. Presently, coffee and muffins are served to members of the community in the morning and lunches are served at 12:30 am. All food is delivered via a “drive-through” window located at the Broadway entrance as no one but staff and a limited number of volunteers are allowed in the building. Westworth will once again begin providing our famous “meatball subs” beginning on September 17, but the delivery will look very different. The McKays and the Wiwchars will purchase the food, prepare the meal on site, and will serve the meal via the window. Donations of food for the lunch are not being solicited this month. However cheques are gratefully received, with the memo line indicating “WBCM lunches”.
  2. West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM) Pantry:  Your donations over the past seven months have helped put thousands of dollars of food in the emergency pantry at West Broadway. This Sunday, we will once again provide the bins in the Narthes for you to place your donations for the pantry. Most needed is protein: tins of meat, chili, stews, fish, beans, and small jars of peanut butter. Also needed are feminine hygiene products and bath towels.
  3. Portage Residential School designated a national historic site: You may remember that several years ago the Westworth congregation was asked to sign a petition in support of the Portage Residential School becoming a national historic site.  September 1, 2020, Canada declared the Indian Residential Schools system an “event of national significance” and recognized Portage la Prairie Residential School in Manitoba, which was operated from 1925 until 1969 by The United Church of Canada, as a National Historic Site.The United Church welcomes this designation and recognizes that is the result of advocacy by residential school survivors and their communities, who are determined that the history and continuing legacy of residential schools not be forgotten or repeated.
  4. Orange Shirt Day On September 30, people all across Canada will wear orange shirts to remember and honour Indigenous children who attended Residential Schools. Indigenous Ministries and Justice at The United Church of Canada asks you to participate in Orange Shirt Day!Why orange? Because of Phyllis Jack Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, who went to St. Joseph Mission Residential School. On her first day of school, Phyllis wore an orange shirt that her grandmother had given her. It was immediately taken away, and that marked the beginning of Phyllis’s long separation from her family and community, a separation caused by actions of the church and the federal government. Orange Shirt Day is a time for us all to remember those events, their ongoing impact, and just as importantly, the continuing strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples.
  1. Canadian Foodgrains Bank Virtual “Singin’ in the Grain” Friday, October 16th, 8:00 pm:  Canadian Foodgrains Bank continues its work worldwide, as food security around the world is threatened more profoundly during these uncertain times. You are invited to attend a virtual fundraising concert  that will feature the fine music of the Quonset Brothers from Winkler, sister-brother duo Kristel Peters and Korey Peters from Steinbach, and Steve Bell from Winnipeg. Donations will support food security programs of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. More details online at share this invitation and join the virtual concert on Oct. 16thevening.




Dr. Douglas M. is soon turning 96, but nothing is slowing him down when it comes to supporting the arts in Winnipeg. He has taken on a challenge people half his age wouldn’t even consider: walking one kilometer every day for 96 days to raise $96,000 for the arts. The funds will be split evenly between Winnipeg’s four major performing arts organizations – the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, and Manitoba Opera.

An anonymous sponsor is donating $500 for every kl. Dr. M. walks, plus an additional $500 for each day he finds someone to walk with. Selfies are taken daily and a book is being created to commemorate the project.