Congregational Email Sept. 24, 2020

Congregational Email

Sept. 24, 2020

Dear Congregants,

Welcome back!  In-person worship for the congregation began Sunday, September 20.  As people arrived, they were serenaded outside the building (and at a safe distance!) with song and trumpet, and greeted at the doors with balloons, people in costumes and friendly ushers and greeters.  The worship service included much that was familiar, with adjustments made to have the space as safe as possible based on our carefully researched Safe Reopening Plan.  We were very pleased to welcome 40 people in person.  There is room for more!

You may or may not feel ready to attend in-person worship services at this time.  If not, we understand and empathize.  Services are also available on line at

If you would like to attend a worship service, the steps to follow are included below.

As of this coming Sunday, Loraine will offer a short Children’s Time at the beginning of the service so that families who are viewing online can bring your children together for these few minutes. This coming Sunday, Loraine will be talking about angels and inviting children to email her angels that the children may have coloured and named. Maggie has emailed these outlines to families. If you have not received one, please contact her so that you can be added to her email list (

As we continue to adapt our ministries to the current restrictions and find our way through the haze of fear and uncertainty, let us turn our attention inward to the wisdom and peace of the Spirit. Thomas Merton wrote, “You do not need to know precisely what is happening or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and the challenges offered by the present moment and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” May God grant us the ability to stay in the present as long as possible and savour what is dear to our hearts.


Planning to attend a worship service?

Before You Arrive

  • Self-Screen: If you feel unwell, please postpone your visit.
  • Email the church office: at this time, attendance at worship services must be booked ahead of time.  Email the office (preferred) at or call (204) 489-6974 between Wed. and Friday noon.  Please include in the email your answer to the following questions. Heather will email you a confirmation with your time of arrival (10:15 or 10:30).
    • 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?
  • Pack your face mask: Visitors are required to wear a protective face covering.  Disposable masks are available without charge for those who do not have a mask, and a limited number of face shields can be borrowed by those who cannot wear a mask.  Remember to sanitize your hands frequently before entering and throughout your visit.

When You Arrive

  • Plan to arrive at the time given to you by our Office Administrator. This helps us avoid congestion and you will be able to hear a number of beautiful organ or piano selections.
  • Enter through the main narthex doors on the north.
  • Use hand sanitizer and practice physical distancing of 2 metres from others when entering, exiting and in the building.
  • “Check in” with a greeter as you arrive for worship.   We are required by health authorities to keep track of who is attending activities.
  • Keep your belongings with you. The cloak rooms are closed at this time.

During Your Visit

  • Maintain a safe physical distance from others. Pews are marked accordingly, and ushers will help you find your place.
  • Some washrooms had been closed at this time. Watch for signs indicating which ones are open.
  • Bulletins are placed on the pews and contain the Order of Service. We are including all announcements in the weekly congregational email so that those attending on line as well as those attending in person will be aware of church activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will there be enough room for everyone?

For the safety and health of all, we need to adhere to current Manitoba government guidelines. The sanctuary and other meeting spaces in the church have specific limits so that correct physical distancing can occur.  This is why we’re asking everyone to call ahead.  If a service is full, your name will be recorded so that you might have priority for the next service. At this time, we still have plenty of room, so don’t hesitate to register.

What about food and drink? 

Westworth is a friendly place and refreshments have been an important part of how we build community.  Unfortunately, we cannot prepare or share refreshments at this time.  Bringing a water bottle is fine.

There are a lot of rules?  What if I forget?

Greeters and ushers are well trained and able to guide you as you come for worship services. It’s a learning curve for everyone!  Mistakes will happen, and we need to gently and kindly support each other with these new expectations for getting together.

What happens if a rise in COVID cases in the province changes guidelines for worship or reopening?

The Safe Reopening Committee monitors information received from the province and from the United Church and will adjust plans based on the most current health and safety information.

Can I get more information?

YES!  Because There is Hope Here: A Safe Reopening Plan for Westworth United Church Revised Version is posted on the website.  We continue to make small changes to our plan, based on the most current information.   If you have specific questions, email or call 204 489 6974 and your request will be forwarded to the appropriate person.

Thank You!

We appreciate that you have taken the time to consider returning for worship.  We look forward to seeing you!   If you are not comfortable in returning in-person at this time, we understand.  If there is anything that might make this possible, please let us know.  If not, connections through on-line worship, meetings, and phone trees will continue.  Let’s stay in touch, stay active and keep our community of faith strong!

Westworth Safe Re-Opening Committee



Senior Choir News

Dorothy C. is retiring from her position at Pembina Trails School Division and moving to B.C next month to enjoy her retirement closer to her son’s family and far from Winnipeg’s brutal winters.  The senior choir will greatly miss her but wishes her well in this new and exciting phase of her life. On Sunday, Oct. 4, Dorothy will be with us for our in-person worship and will offer a few words. We will be offering her a blessing.

Dorothy faithfully served in senior choir for over 40 years. She sang in the Junior and Intermediate choirs during Winnifred Sim’s tenure, then joined her High School choral director, John Standing, when he replaced Mrs. Sim as senior choir director at Westworth.

Dorothy has always been one of the most consistent attendees and, with her clear strong alto voice and encouragement of those around her, has been the lynchpin of the alto section. She is also our parade marshal who organizes our processing and recessing…sometimes requiring the skill and patience of a herder of cats.

She has served on choir executive more often than not and has been choir president for the last 6 years, where she has provided direction and cohesion to our social well-being as a welcoming and convivial choir and has ensured support to maintain and enhance the music experience at Westworth.  You could always count on Dorothy to know what needed doing and to get it done.  And Dorothy, your brownies are legendary! Enjoyed at choir executive meetings and potlucks.

We wish you well in your bold new undertaking but will miss you sorely and remember you dearly.


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.

A One Day Retreat for Grades 7 and up, including Young Adults from Prairie to Pine Region  Sat., October 24th from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm Location Choices:  Souris, Carman, Oakbank  and online (only evening portion) Check  for more info and registration.


  1. West Broadway Community Ministry: The rapidly changing weather continues to challenge 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 provided the first of  our famous “meatball subs “lunches on Thursday September 17, and the Outreach Team, together with our “Lunch Hosts” will  decide how to proceed going forward. Meanwhile, donations of dollars to assist with the lunch program are gratefully received! Cheques may be sent to the Westworth office 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. The Outreach Team us once again providing  the bins in the Narthex 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.
  3. 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.
  2. Guaranteed Livable Wage: You will recall that in late spring, Westworth led our Region in encouraging the National Church to join Senators and interest groups from all political parties across the country to  encourage the government of Canada to move toward establishing a guaranteed livable wage for all Canadians. This is not a new proposal. Dauphin Manitoba was chosen in the 1970s to partake in a study to determine how a guaranteed minimum wage (“mincom”) would affect a community. The following link provides some information for you to read.

How can you help make this proposal a reality? The United Church has formulated a plan of action that you will find here. Together we can truly make a difference in the lives of all Canadians!

6.Racism: Reject and Respond: A 2-day Professional Development training initiative will be held September 24-25, October 29-30 and 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

  1. The 4th “Annual We are All Treaty People” Celebration: We cannot meet at the Forks this year, but we can still gather together by sharing a broadcast on September 27 via UofM radio! Tune in on the 27th from 3-5 pm on 105.5 FM or by accessing the station at

Guaranteed Basic Income

Last Tuesday, four of us from Westworth, together with Rev. Lynda Trono from West Broadway Community Ministry and our interfaith friends numbered 21 for our prayer vigil in support of Guaranteed Livable Income (Guaranteed Basic Income). Dianne S. drew circles on the pavement, which helped everyone stand 2m apart. She was prepared to hand out masks, but everyone wore one. Elder David Budd offered a powerful drumming song. Lynda and Prof. Sid Frankl spoke eloquently, followed by sung prayers from Dorit Kosmin (Etz Chayim Synagogue), the blowing of the shofar by Rabbi Kliel Rose, prayers from Shahina Siddiqui of Islamic Social Services Association and additional prayers offered by a member of Prairie Spirit United Church and St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church. CBC, CTV and the Winnipeg Free Press picked up this story and helped to promote the concept of a Guaranteed Livable Income. Thanks to Westworth for its prayerful support. Now we wait and see…



Andrew’s College’s first #NoGalaGala online fundraiser. I invite you to join me and Tannis Schmidt, St. Andrew’s Musician-in-Residence, on September 29th in a conversation with Tannis’ original music. During this musical conversation and premiere, we will discuss leadership, hope, and sharing the Good News in a world seeking light. Whether you choose to watch on your own or organise an evening with family, friends and/or faith communities, it would be an honour to have you join us.   The outtakes alone are worth watching!

Dea. Dr. Richard Manley-Tannis