This has been a heavy week with the death of two of our members, Jeff F. and Anita S. At the same time, it has been a week of celebration with the birth of Amanda and Luc’s daughter. The cycle of life takes us on highs and lows that can sometimes spin together in a whirlwind of emotions. I have found that the emotional whirlwinds of this pandemic take us on similar highs and lows. One minute we are lethargic, struggling to find motivation as news of delayed vaccines and the arrival of the variant virus makes us wonder, “How long, O Lord?” The next minute, we find renewed hope as we hear about decreasing COVID numbers and gradual re-openings.
In these emotional yo-yos, I am finding it helpful to hold onto hope. Here are a number of things that are giving me hope:
- We have a new Office Administrator who is jumping into the deep end, sorting through a myriad of new challenges and doing so well! In the midst of a massive orientation, she has dealt with a phone system that has decided not to function (please try your calls again to the church office—hopefully it will be fixed today) and given us a new look to our congregational emails. Welcome Tammy!
- We brought a sound engineer into our church (Dan D. graciously volunteered his time) to help us sort out the sound problems we have been having with our worship services. He confirmed that Peter’s research and choice of equipment was spot on—we just needed some minor tweaks of microphone placement and sound board adjustments.
- Inspired by Thriving Churches, Barb Jardine is making a 10 minute Youtube video offering contemplative prayer for every day of Lent, beginning next week. She has agreed to send it these daily prayers to us and we will post them on our website. We have inspired her to inspire us!
- Children, youth and adults are making videos for our Lenten services about what gives them hope in these difficult times.
I have also found that spiritual disciplines give me a grounding that helps me to better negotiate the emotional yo-yo’s. Perhaps we can each commitment ourselves to a spiritual discipline during Lent that will awaken the hope within. One of the following suggestions might resonate with you:
- Join a Zoom study group that dedicates 15 min. every day to reflect on the Book of Mark
- Set aside 10 min every day to follow Rev. Jardine’s contemplative Lenten prayer Youtube found on our website beginning next week
- Walk ½ hour alone every day, regardless of the weather, staying present to everything to you see, hear, smell and feel—being open to what the Spirit may bring
- Sign up for Richard Rohr’s daily meditations (https://cac.org/email-sign-up/sign-up/ )
- Download an app on your android or Apple phone to receive daily one Bible verse & a couple of sentences of reflection from the Taizé community in France. (go to bottom of page to find the app download button (https://www.taize.fr/en_article1854.html )
Here’s an excerpt from Fr. Richard Rohr’s email meditation for Friday, Feb. 12:
“The spiritual journey is a constant interplay between moments of awe followed by a general process of surrender to that moment. We must first allow ourselves to be captured by the goodness, truth, or beauty of something beyond and outside ourselves. Then we universalize from that moment to the goodness, truth, and beauty of the rest of reality, until our realization eventually ricochets back to include ourselves! This is the great inner dialogue we call prayer. Yet we humans resist both the awe and, even more, the surrender. The ego resists the awe while the will resists the surrender. But both together are vital and necessary.
The way to any universal idea is to proceed through a concrete encounter. There are a number of ways to say the same thing: the one is the way to the many, the specific is the way to the spacious, the now is the way to the always, the here is the way to the everywhere, the material is the way to the spiritual, the visible is the way to the invisible. When we see contemplatively, we know that we live in a fully sacramental universe, where everything is a pointer and an epiphany.
To let the moment teach us, we must allow ourselves to be at least slightly stunned by it until it draws inward and upward, toward a subtle experience of wonder. We normally need a single moment of gratuitous awe to get us started—and such moments are the only solid foundation for the entire religious instinct and journey.”
May you find a spiritual discipline that best resonates for you in your Lenten journey of hope.
We offer our prayers for the families of Jeff F. (wife Sharon and their children & grandchildren) and Anita S. (nephew Bary F. and his wife Leslie), who both passed on this past week.
- Congratulations to Amanda D. and Luc on the birth of her daughter, Camile Gaelle!
To help our exhausted health care professionals, Kathy M. took off her retirement hat and went back to work in health care. She was hired by Shared Health for a contract from the end of Nov. until last week as Provincial PCH (Personal Care Home) Lead. This meant that she was a liaison between the Executive Directors/CEO’s of PCHs and their regions to assist their state of readiness for infection control. She also helped the PCH CEO’s/ED’s to prepare for vaccine for residents in PCHs. Kathy told me that she was most impressed with the PCHs in the north. They put their elders first, were in control, and staff were willing to sleep in the PCHs if staffing shortages required this. Kathy also said that PCHs in Winnipeg all planned ahead getting their Pandemic Plans in place throughout the summer, with some even building separately-ventilated COVID units. Some management even purchased extra mattresses for themselves to sleep on as they foresaw staffing shortages due to staff sickness. Management teams have worked very long hours not being able to see their families for days. Although our PCHs have suffered undeniable heartache with this virus, Kathy said that the level of preparedness was remarkable. Kathy put in some very long hours, especially at the beginning of her contract. She wasn’t on the front line, but she was still working very hard. A huge thanks to Kathy for her commitment to helping us manage this pandemic and giving us additional insight into what has happened with the PCHs in Manitoba.
Please send me milestones of accomplishments, birthdays, anniversaries or other tributes of those in this congregation. Let’s celebrate one another and lift up as much good news as we can these days!
Regional Ash Wednesday preparation
UPCOMING WORSHIP SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS
Feb. 14: Gospel music love-themed service with jazz/gospel guest musicians
Feb 17: Regional Ash Wednesday Service
Feb 21: First Sunday of Lent—this year’s theme: Because There is Hope Here, featuring congregational reflections every Sunday of Lent on hope
Feb. 28: Online service begins earlier 10:30-11:00 am, followed by the AGM on Zoom at 11:15 am.
ESTATE PLANNING WORKSHOPS
Continued workshop series: Registrations still being accepted.
Part III: February 17th. “Legal Aspects of Wills, Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives”, Presented by Eleanor Wiebe
Detailed descriptions of each workshop are on the Westworth website, www.westworth.ca
To allow for discussion we would like to limit the number of registrations to 25 sites. More than one person can participate at each site. Please register at email@example.com and put “Estate Planning” in the subject line or call 204-489-6974 ext. 20. You will be sent a Zoom link by email prior to each session.
SUNDAY SCHOOL NEWS
Hope this e-mail finds you all, and I will continue to send the Sunday school lesson by e-mail until we can meet in person again.
Happy Valentine’s Day
This week’s Sunday school lesson on ‘The Centurion’s Servant’ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Sunday school teachers will be on Zoom this Sunday from 10.15am-10.40am to chat with you. Our theme this week will be ‘Trust’. Then join the online service with Loraine following Zoom Sunday school .
This week’s bible story is read by Julia, and The Lord’s Prayer is 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.
Zoom Sunday School Information
Zoom Meeting ID 743 937 1522
Pass Code 042976
RUMMAGE SALE NEWS
As we are chugging along through COVID, many of us continue to “sort, toss and keep”. We, the Rummage Organizers, appreciate the efforts made by those who can save items for the next Rummage sale and we TOTALLY understand those who are sending their donations to other worthy groups able to accept them.
We have been giving thought to future sales and have decided, with input from UCW members, that we will make a change in the next sale. We receive mountains of clothing which take up a lot of space and energy, but do not bring in a lot of revenue. As our volunteer base is getting smaller (and most of us are getting older!), we have decided to save our backs and no longer sell clothing. This will allow more space for better display of items which are otherwise crowded onto and under tables, and often are unseen by potential purchasers. Please note: we will continue to accept and sell household linens, drapes, etc. (not pillows)
So, starting now, please do not donate clothing, hats or shoes to the Rummage Sale. (We will take purses, backpacks, suitcases.) Many other worthy organizations will take these items throughout the year. We are planning to have once or twice yearly collections of specific items for specific agencies that have gratefully received clothing from us in the past. These will include: Main Street Project (sturdy clothing, winter wear, shoes), Spirit Care at St. Boniface Hospital (coats, jackets, shoes, casual clothes), Villa Rosa (baby clothes), and others.
We have not set a date for the next Rummage Sale. This will be determined by provincial regulations and our Westworth Safe Reopening Committee. We will keep you posted. We appreciate your understanding and continuing support of Westworth and the wider community through your donations.
For your reference, we are unable to accept the following items:
- text books, encyclopedias, business books, out-of-date travel books, and magazines (Note: pre-COVID, Health Sciences Centre welcomed magazines. Info to follow.)
- computer components, vcrs, tapes, and cassettes
- Due to govt regulations – no baby cribs, high chairs, car seats or strollers.
Andrea, Dorothy and Lee-Ann
WESTWORTH OFFICE HOURS DURING COVID
During the COVID-19 closure, the office is open for email and telephone contact only. If you need to pick something up or drop something off via the drop boxes, phone Tammy, the office administrator, at 204-489-6974 to make arrangements or email email@example.com
Tammy is on site during these hours:
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The 2020 Annual Report is posted on our website and paper copies will be available the week of February 15th. After that date, if anyone would like a paper copy, please let the office know and we will put it in the drop box for you. We have some volunteer drivers who can drop off a copy for you if it is difficult to come to the church—just let the office know if you would like a copy.
WEST BROADWAY COMMUNITY MINISTRY
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. We are now supplying ham, cheese, rye bread, fruit and cookies so that staff at West Broadway can make sandwiches and fill lunch bags for our guests.
The cost of each month’s lunch is approximately $350. 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”.
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!
West Broadway is in urgent need of toques, mitts, gloves, scarves, hand warmers and long underwear for our guests during this cold snap. (No socks are needed at this time). Your Outreach Team is collecting your donation! If you have clean, gently used articles or are able to purchase new articles, your donation can be dropped off at the home of Jan McIlroy – 436 Lindsay Street on Saturday February 19 or Sunday February 20. There will be a box at the front door in which to place your donation. For further information, please connect with Jan by calling 204-229-7037. Thank you in advance for your generosity!
– Ruth Wiwchar
FESTIVAL DES CRECHES
This FREE festival hosts over 300 various nativity scenes from around the world, using different mediums. Manitoba Public Health has allowed them to be open to the public as of February 12th, 2021 and runs until March 14, 2021.
The festival is located at:
Winnipeg River Heritage Museum
19 Baie Caron Bay
Use this link to access a preview video of the festival itself.