Congregational Email Nov. 12, 2020

Congregational Email

Nov. 12, 2020

Dear Congregants,

I keep wondering how we will make it through the weariness of it all and then something more happens! At first my adrenalin rises to the challenge and then I find myself even more weary from adrenalin hangover. I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone. This past week’s confusion from the provincial government has not helped. We have received clarification that our church is closed to everything except the online worship team for recording the service and it has been reduced to 5 people. That means that we will not be able to have a scripture reader/liturgist under these current restrictions. Thanks to the quick response of our entire Worship Team and techies, we are adapting once again. Our Safe Reopening Committee is also quick to keep up with the changing restrictions. You’ll find an update in this email from Eunice P., the Chair of the Safe Reopening Committee (perhaps we should rename it the Safe Closure Committee! J)

As you know by now, Westworth United Church is often going one step further in its safety protocols than required by law. We ended in-person worship when we moved into Orange Alert, even though this was not required until now. We are concerned for the many vulnerable in our midst and believe that our social responsibility requires us to do all we can for the most vulnerable. This necessitates some sacrifices.

The gospel calls us to be an example to our wider society of the extent to which we are willing to make sacrifices for the most vulnerable. Last week, I was encouraged by so many Westworth congregants who were preparing to physically isolate within their household. In spite of the tremendous toll isolation is taking on our mental health, our congregants were bracing themselves for a period of isolation while accepting this suffering for the sake of the vulnerable. We were pulling together compassionately and resolutely.

And then we heard a flip in the news, when household isolation was changed from a restriction to a recommendation. Many of us were confused, angered and saddened. Businesses were required to close while social gatherings—where the largest spread of the virus has been traced—were only recommended to cease? Some of us at Westworth are writing letters to the government, asking that they listen to the medical experts who are requesting a full closure of society. At the very least, we are requesting a restriction against socializing outside of our households.

I recognize the mental cost of isolation and I pray that the sooner we practice physical isolation, the sooner we will be able to be with our loved ones in person. I am also reminded this week of the sacrifices so many made during the wars for our freedom and peace. Their stories have inspired me to sacrifice my freedom of social gatherings for a short time so that more may live. I ask you to join me and take up the challenge of Dr. Roussin’s recommendation that we curtail social gatherings for now. But remember—physical isolation does not mean social isolation. We need each other more than ever. May God grant us creative ways to keep supporting one another.


I close with the words of our Moderator Rev. Richard Bott:

You may be tired;
you may be frustrated;
You may be stressed, or anxious,
challenged, isolated, or confined;
you may be feeling small or forgotten,
sad, sore,  or numb;
you may be one of these things,
or some of them,
all of them or none…

but, hear this-
in the midst of all of that,
you are most definitely one thing more.

You are loved.

You are loved by a Love that is forever,
Love that will never let you go,
Love that loves regardless of “worth,”
Regardless of “name”, or “face,” or “standing.”

Oh friend….
No matter what, remember-

I pray for Christ’s blessings for you,



CE Sunday School News

This week’s Sunday school lesson on The Ten Commandments has been sent by e-mail, it includes all the age groups from N/K to G5/6, with the activity sheets.

If you need a printed copy of the curriculum, please let me know at

The Sunday school teachers will be on Zoom this Sunday from 10.15am-10.40am to chat with you. Then join Loraine for the online service following Zoom Sunday school.

This week’s bible story read by Julia and The Lord’s Prayer read by Danielle, your Sunday school teachers are on the Westworth Face Book page for you to view, there is also a link in the CE drop down menu on our web site.

Thank you to Caitlin, McKenna and Riley F. who delivered flowers and small gifts to those they know who work on the front-lines in this most difficult time.

Please note the Zoom link will be sent out in a separate e-mail later in the week.



The Westworth Safe Reopening Committee continues to follow the latest directives from the government of Manitoba in the response to COVID 19.  Keeping these directives and the safety and well being of our congregation and staff  in mind,  we are closing our church building to the public at this time.

With the support and guidance of the Ministry and Personnel Committee, our staff will continue to make work arrangements that support their own health and safety working from home when possible.  Staff will continue to be available by email or phone. I know that you would all join me in thanking our staff for their tremendous efforts in meeting the new needs and finding creative solutions in these very difficult times.

We emphasize that the important work and human connections made at Westworth Church continue.  We can continue to participate in online Worship and Sunday School, meet through Zoom, and connect on line, on the telephone, or even old-fashioned post! There are many ways in which we are able to be active participants in the life of our church and just as importantly support each other in this very difficult time. Please continue to reach out to each other in any ways that keep our community safe.

Our committee will continue to monitor the latest information, and will continue to inform you of any changes.

The Westworth Safe Reopening Committee, November 12, 2020″


The deadline to donate treats for Lesley Fox’s care package will be Nov. 22 so we can forward to her for Christmas. Please contact the office to drop off any items. Thanks.

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

The Women’s Spirituality Group will meet, by Zoom, on Saturday, November 14th at 10:00.  We will be discussing the PodCast “For God’s Sake”.  Google  CBC RADIO NADIA KIDWAI FOR GOD’S SAKE’. Nadia interviews 7 Winnipeg people about their beliefs and ideas and how their faith helps them in their day to day lives. All women and all those who identify as women are invited to join us.  If you are not currently a participant in The Women’s Spirituality Group please contact Dorcas W. ( or phone (204 832-1399) to let her know that you would like to be included on the Zoom invitation list.

The Unit 77 Book Group will meet by Zoom on Wednesday, November 18th, at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.  All those who are interested in being part of this discussion and would like to receive the Zoom invitation, please contact Dorcas at

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

 2020 Pledged  Received
M&S  $       44,441  $        27,506
Westworth Operations  $      268,821  $      234,882
Total  $      313,262  $      262,388

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

2018  $231,404                       2019  $242,961                       2020  $262,388


Canadian Foodgrains Bank

You gave $1,220 in our special Thanksgiving offering for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Thank you for your generous support, especially in these challenging times!


Westworth: Anti-Racist as part of our Affirming Identity?

The Affirming Committee is offering a follow-up 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.


“We’re all in this together”… A challenge from the Community Care Team

Our Westworth Bazaar and Luncheon was originally planned for November 7, 2020. The days leading up to this event are a flurry of busy activity. The event day provides a wonderful backdrop for meeting up with people we haven’t seen for awhile. We work, we laugh, we eat, we share stories and we are nurtured by each other’s company. This year we are all grieving the absence of this well loved event.

So… the Community Care Team is putting out a challenge:

In lieu of the time you might have spent volunteering or shopping at our Bazaar this week, please contact a Westworth member (or members) that you haven’t spoken to in awhile. It can be by phone, email, text or Canada Post; whatever your preference. An unexpected “hello” can make all the difference in someone’s day.


What part are you called to play in the life of the Westworth congregation?  What gifts, skills and time do you have to share?  The Westworth Leadership Team has several places for you to share those gifts and skills to support and enrich the life of our congregation.  For general information about each position, please see the Westworth Manual

Please take time to consider if now is the time for you to make a difference and let us know – it is really hard, in this strange time, to know what you might be available for…  If you know of someone who might consider a leadership position, please contact Pat Stephenson, Council Chair, (431)374-8383

  • Vice-Chair of Council to start after the 2020 Annual General Meeting. This position leads into becoming Chair of Council in 2021. Questions? Please call Pat S., Council Chair, (431)374-8383.
  • Secretary for Council to start after the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Questions?  Please call Pat Stephenson, Council Chair, (431)374-8383 or Barb M., Council Secretary, (204)488-0853.
  • Leader/Leaders for the Christian Education Ministry Team. This Team creates faith-building adventures and opportunities for our children and youth and is supported by Maggie B.  We would like to fill this position as soon as   Questions?  Please call Dianne S., (204)771-5860
  • Leader/Leaders for the Property Ministry Team. This Team sets priorities for the care and maintenance of the spaces and property where we love to gather and carries out that care with the support of the Office Administrator, maintenance assistance and volunteers.  We would like to fill this position as soon as possible.  Questions?  Please call Eunice P., (204)488-8835
  • Leader/Leaders for the Community Care Ministry Team. This Team cares about building and sustaining our relationships within the congregation.  They encourage and support us all as we reach out to each other and have some fun along the way. This position starts in 2021. Questions?  Please call Jennifer S., (204)489-3365.

What else can we do, as congregation members?  Consider what you love to do.  Perhaps it is walking, running, bike riding, reading books, connecting with someone for supper (maybe on Zoom!), creating stories for children, examining justice issues, helping with computer communications or social media how-tos…  If others are interested, would you be interested in joining with them to form a small group for a short time or long time.  What are you interested in that you would like to share with someone else?  Let us know and let’s see what we can arrange.  Get in touch with a Council member or Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd.  Thanks for thinking about this!


  1. West Broadway Community Ministry:
  2. Lunches: Another lockdown – yet all guests at West Broadway continue to be served a nourishing lunch Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays through the window on Broadway. Your  Outreach Team asks that the congregation continue generous support for the lunch program that Westworth will continue to offer on a monthly basis. The cost of each month’s 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”.
  3. West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM) Emergency Pantry: As the building remains 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. Turkeys for Rossbrook House: Wow! Ten turkeys offered — FIVE spots left! Will you be one of the five?? It’s 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   


  1. 5. Place mat Fund-Raiser for 1JustCity: The Trinity Sew and Sew Quilters are selling beautiful placemats on – line via the Trinity United Church website from   November 7, to November 28. All  proceeds of this sale will go to 1Just City.  All place mats have been photographed and numbered and the pictures are on the Trinity United Church web site.
  2. 6. Go to Trinity United Church website 7.Under the “Adult Activities” tab, scroll down to “Quilting Group”
  3. 8. View the wonderful array of place mats that have been made this year, and make your choices. Phone (204) 269-0631and either:a) talk to the person answering to give your name and phone numberand the numbers of your selections; or
  1. 9.   b) leave the information in a clear message on the machine—remember to speak clearly and slowly when you leave your message (your name, phone number and the numbers of your selections).
  2. 10 Come to the church (933 Summerside Ave, Winnipeg) on Tuesday November 10, 17, 24, December 1, or Thursday November 12, 19, 26 from 10:00 am to noon.  (If you need alternate arrangements for delivery, please phone the church.)

11.Pay for your selections — by cheque payable to Trinity Sew and Sews, and collect the place mats.

12.Enjoy your place mats, or wrap them up as a gift for someone your care about so they can enjoy them and think of you each time they use them!  J

    Thank you for supporting our Christmas fund-raiser!


13. New Gifts with Vision Catalogue Has Launched! Have you ordered you gifts yet?

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!