Oct. 29, 2020
Our Interfaith Anti-Racism sessions continue to attract just under 100 participants from different denominations, faiths and cultural backgrounds. We are learning a lot! You will note below that the Affirming Committee is inviting as many congregants as possible to join one Zoom meeting on Monday, Nov. 30 at 7:00 pm to consider how we, as a congregation, can be more inclusive of people of diverse races and how we can actively be anti-racist. This is a follow-up to the 6-session Interfaith Anti-Racism series, but if you have not been able to attend the previous sessions, please still consider attending the Nov. 30 Zoom meeting. This is part of Westworth’s educational process as we consider becoming an Affirming Ministry.
I am including in this congregational email a United Church response to racism that I have found inspiring. It is written by Rev. Dr. Paul Walfall, a United Church minister who spoke at General Council in 2018 and helped us move towards becoming an anti-racist church. Paul helps us understand how God’s grace is empowering us in this new ministry.
May God help us find moments of grace in this challenging time that might transform us in mighty ways never before possible.
Condolences & Notices
We extend our condolences to Robert R. on the passing of his wife Merry. Also sympathy to Carol and Clarke W. and family (Carol’s mother), Andrea W-G. Gilmore and Colin G. and family (Andrea’s grandmother).
For anyone interested in contacting John D. or info about Gail and Mike please contact Joanne K. Her contact info can be obtained through the church office.
“I was very honoured to be recognized during the service last Sunday for my 45 years as organist and pianist at Westworth. Thank you so very much to the Ministry and Personnel Committee for arranging for the gift of the beautiful bromeliad plant! Thank you to Loraine, the staff and all of you who are part of the Westworth family for your good wishes. It feels like a lifetime ago that John Standing and I took over from Winnifred Sim, who was both organist and choir director at that time in 1975. In some ways, October of 1975 was an unlikely time for me to begin my role as organist because two months later, our middle son, Dave, was born. John Standing very ably played the organ and directed the choir until I returned to the “bench.” I have been so privileged to work with choir directors: John Standing, Ruth Wiwchar, Stuart Sladden and Debbie McLeod as well as clergy: Fred McNally, Ian Macdonald, Eleanor Geib, Terry Hidichuk, Clark Saunders, Mona Denton and Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd. I couldn’t have asked for more wonderful colleagues! I continue to feel very blessed to be part of the music ministry at Westworth as well as other aspects of our life together there, and I look forward to the day when we can all be together in person!”
Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, Nov. 1st 2:00 a.m. (CST) (move your clocks backward an hour).
The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated again this coming Sunday, Nov. 1. Please have ready juice and bread or cracker as you settle in to watch this service at home.
New Members Service
We have two people who have been waiting to join our church for some time. We have decided to go ahead and have a virtual new member’s service, where we will introduce these new members to you via Zoom and will have a profession of faith opportunity for everyone. If there is anyone else who would like become a member of Westworth, please let Loraine know within the next couple of weeks.
CE Sunday School News
This week’s Sunday school lesson on Free from Slavery-the story of Moses, has been sent by e-mail, it includes all the age groups from N/K to G5/6, with the activity sheets.
CE is unable to do our special Halloween evening on the steps of Westworth this year, but we would love it if you can send us photos of you in your Halloween costumes. They will be for in-house only and shared on Zoom Sunday school.
If you need a printed copy of the curriculum, please let me know at email@example.com.
The Sunday school teachers will be on Zoom this Sunday from 10.15am-10.40am to chat with you. Then join Loraine for ‘Time with the Children’ at the beginning of the online service.
This week’s bible story and The Lord’s Prayer read by your Sunday school teachers are on the Westworth Face Book page for you to view, there is also a link on our website under the CE drop-down menu.
Please note the Zoom link will be sent out in a separate e-mail later in the week.
Christmas Baking Fund Raiser Baking will be sold in packages of one dozen. Orders will be taken from November 1st – November 15th and filled as soon as possible after the order is received.
Order form is attached. Please place your order by calling Cathy M. at 204-488-3681 or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westworth: Anti-Racist as part of our Affirming Identity?
The Affirming Committee is offering a followup discussion to the Interfaith Responses to Racism series. Please mark your calendars for Monday, November 30 at 7:00pm. This discussion via Zoom is intended for all members of the congregation. Bring your ideas about how to become a more welcoming congregation to all people, including Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour, inclusive of all gender identities and sexual orientations. If you’ve attended the interfaith sessions, we hope you’ll come and share what you’ve learned.
Stewardship Campaign is part way there…
Thanks to those who have been able to send in their annual stewardship pledge. Your support is greatly appreciated.
We would like to encourage those who have not yet had an opportunity to complete their pledge to do so soon. The work on the annual budget starts in November and is based on the pledges received. Please drop off or mail to Westworth.
We encourage you to give what you can, and we understand for some it may be difficult at this time to make a commitment.
If you are currently considering what your gift might be, you may be interested in the following tax credit information. All donations to registered charities in Manitoba are eligible to receive a tax credit. The amount of the tax credit savings shown is approximate and individual circumstances will vary.
|Annual Gift||If made monthly through PAR||Approximate tax savings||Net cost after tax savings|
Thank You Thank You Thank You…
Thanks to the hard working team of UCW volunteers for the wonderful jams and jellies cooked up and sold over the past month. The batches of jams and jelly are now sold out. Over $1,858 was raised. Those of us with a sweet tooth are thankful for your creativity. “Scones by Shirley” also are being sold to help out Westworth. Thank you, Shirley Watts. Funds from both of these UCW initiatives are being donated to the operating budget of Westworth.
These types of fundraising initiatives can help with the operations at Westworth or be directed to a specific project which Westworth supports. This is especially helpful during COVID with rental income eliminated. If you wish to undertake a fundraiser amongst the members and promote it as a Westworth fundraiser, please complete a “Fundraising Notification” which is available from the office or online at http://westworth.ca/about-us/mdocuments-library/ . Applications are reviewed and approved by the Finance Committee.
Ron B. email@example.com 204-955-7191
Rev. Dr. Paul Douglas Walfall writes that to be prophetic in the face of racial intolerance is to proclaim the extravagant grace of God.
I have been troubled by the reports in the news media of the occurrences of violence associated with racial issues. The events which happened recently in Red Deer and in North East Edmonton, Alberta were concerning, partly because they were coming to close to home. Yet, the honest reality is that these situations seem to be occurring across Canada. Unfortunately, they seem to be occurring with an increased frequency. These events should be of concern for all persons in our society.
In many of these instances, some are speaking but no one is willing to listen to each other. It needs to be stated again, that when people say that there is systemic racism in Canada it is not a moral judgement against anyone. It is not to suggest that people are not good and caring. It is, however, to soberly acknowledge that, systemically, a Black or an Indigenous person is more likely to be at a disadvantage when dealing with the institutions and policies in our nation. It does not suggest that there are no disadvantaged White people in our society. But it does call the attention to the experience I had of standing on the LRT in Edmonton, dressed in a suit and my best clergy shirt, and still I could hear some one whisper, “Watch that Black guy, he may be up to no good.” (I was the only Black person on that LRT car at that moment.) You see, an assumption was made about me based on one reason and one reason alone. What other assumptions are being made about me, I ask?
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, once wrote:
Solitary religion is not to be found there. “Holy Solitaries” is a phrase no more consistent with the gospel than Holy Adulterers. The gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness. Faith working by love, is the length and breadth and depth and height of Christian perfection. (John Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems (1739), Preface, page viii.)
I like Wesley’s emphasis on social holiness; it is a reminder to me that all the faith I have at home and in the church building must be seen and expressed every time when I encounter people. Holiness is here not to be understood as “holier-than-others,” instead it means being a disciple of Jesus. It means to love God so much that your life is transformed by that love. It is by our living out our faith that we are helping to make this world a better place. Yet I also believe that this requires us to be intentional about showing our faith. It is more than what we say; it is what we say, do, and live will show to others the love of God that we have experienced and how that love has transformed our living.
As I reflect on the current intolerance about race that seems to have gripped our society, I wonder if we need to be intentional about enabling social holiness. There is need for society to be transformed by justice, righteousness, and right relations. This occurs when we live the love of God that we have experienced. It also means a move away from being judgmental, mean, and unloving to others. It is reminder to us that we are called to reflect the love and grace of God in all our encounters and relationships in society. When we do so, we are in fact making a prophetic response to the society. To be a prophet is to proclaim the will of God to the people. To be prophetic in the face of racial intolerance is to proclaim the extravagant grace of God by the way we live. We show this in how we live: that all are loved by God, all are accepted by God and that none are inferior, and that the cries and concerns of those who have been marginalized is not forgotten by God. This is what Jesus would have done.
May we, who have known this matchless love which God gives, we who know the ways that this love transforms and changes, we who know the life-giving quality of God’s grace, be willing to live it. May we in this time of COVID, unemployment, fear, suspicion and heightened intolerance show that we are followers of Jesus Christ by the way we love! May the love we reflect continue to change the world.
—Rev. Dr. Paul Douglas Walfall is the ministry personnel in the Fort Saskatchewan Pastoral Charge in Northern Spirit Regional Council.
- West Broadway Community Ministry:
- Lunches: As the COVID -19 numbers increase in the province, planning changes daily – and sometimes hourly! The planned opening on a very limited basis of the dining area at WB has been postponed indefinitely, therefore all guests continue to be served Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through the window on Broadway. Outreach Team asks that the congregation to continue your generous support for the lunch program that Westworth will continue to offer on a monthly basis. The cost of each months lunch is approximately $250. and so your donation to assist with the lunch program is gratefully received! Cheques may be sent to the Westworth office with the memo line indicating “WBCM lunches”.
- West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM) Emergency Pantry: As our building is once again closed, weekly donations of food, toiletries and feminine hygiene products cannot be placed in the WB Buckets, please consider making a donation to the purchasing of food and supplies for the pantry. Cheques to Westworth with “WBCM Pantry” on the memo line are gratefully received!
4.Racism: Reject and Respond: A 2-day Professional Development training initiative will be held November 5-6. Presenters include Shahina Saddiqui and Niigan Sinclair. Registration fee is $ 400.00. For more information call Sarah at 204-944-1560, or go to issacanada.com.
5. Caring for our Environment: Just a gentle reminder that, when disposing of reusable masks, it is important to snip the elastics before disposing in the garbage. Thanks!
6. Turkeys for Rossbrook House: It is that time of year again when good folks from Westworth prepare turkeys for use at Rossbrook House. Hot turkey sandwiches are provided at the drop-in during the Christmas break. Clearly things are a little different this year. At their request we will reduce the number of turkeys to fifteen. Please do not be disappointed. Be one of the first to call or e-mail and contribute your turkey. Allan M. will provide a weekly count so that you will know when we are approaching our goal. What is required? 1. Cook, slice and freeze your turkey in a well-sealed foil pan suitable for re-heating. 2. Prepare and freeze gravy in a container which you do not expect to get back. 3. Allan and Dan will arrange pick-up on Monday December 21 afternoon and evening. They will call you on Sunday to confirm pick-up. To take advantage of this wonderful opportunity call Allan M. at 204-269-5292 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7.New Gifts with Vision Catalogue Has Launched! A new year of giving through Gifts with Vision has begun! There are lots of great new gifts for our partners in Canada and across the world, along with some of your favourite projects from previous catalogues. The world has changed so much since this time last year, and some of the new gifts reflect that, showing how our partners are responding to the pandemic. Your gifts bring help to those who need it most. Shop the Gifts with Vision catalogue and help save and transform lives!