Congregational Email February 26, 2021

Dear Congregants,

Lent is a 40-day period, beginning with Ash Wednesday (February 17 this year), that helps Christians prepare for Easter Sunday. This is an ancient church practice, going back at least to the Council of Nicea in 325 C.E. The 40 days do not include the Sundays during Lent, which are sometimes known as “little Easters”. However, these Sundays are still part of the Lenten season during which we focus on scripture readings that help us prepare for Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. This Lenten period of preparation is intended to be a time of fasting and reflection on how we need to cleanse ourselves of all that distracts and separates us from God’s love. For some this requires penitence (confessing and turning from that which harms ourselves or others). For others it requires a quieting and slowing that makes space for meditation and personal introspection. Often, we are asked to give up some type of pleasure, that we may open our hearts to the passion of Jesus and the suffering of others.

This year, we are trying to give up both worries for what we cannot control and fear of the unknown challenges that lie before us. Our focus is on hope that springs eternal. This coming Sunday is our annual meeting at 11:15 am via Zoom (find Zoom link below), when we will be reflecting on our past year. Most of us would rather not look back on 2020! But as I read through the reports from our various teams and committees, I find hope as I am struck by how much we have done during this pandemic closure of the building:

  • Some of the Lenten Studies continued via Zoom last year and this Lent we have 3 more than full groups meeting weekly (26 people) through Zoom, reading through the Gospel of Mark together.
  • We sponsored a fall study on interfaith responses to racism, for which 125 people registered from various faith communities across Winnipeg and beyond.
  • Our Westworth congregation held a follow-up discussion about how we might become an anti-racist church.
  • Our Women’s and Men’s Spirituality Groups continued meeting monthly
  • Our Prayer Shawl group continued knitting and meeting. We delivered more prayer shawls than ever.
  • We have continued creative ministry with the children through home drop offs and Zoom Sunday School
  • We’ve sent out more cards to congregants than ever.
  • We held a three-session seminar on Wills, Estates and Funerals
  • the UCW book club continued meeting, as did Unit 94 with its focus on podcasts.
  • Some attended the United Church Webinar on Thriving Churches.
  • Our teams and committees have continued meeting.
  • We conducted two rounds of phone calls to congregants not involved in groups and we are starting a third round.
  • We had an amazing increase in donations for West Broadway Community Ministries and our Special Appeals that supports ministries and social justice groups outside of Westworth.
  • Our donations to Westworth also increased slightly.
  • We completed our new window and roof projects for the sanctuary, as well as other energy efficient improvements.
  • We had no break in Sunday worship—we were able to offer a weekly online worship beginning with the first Sunday following our building closure to the public.
  • We’ve had 4 people become members and at least 5 new people join us regularly for online worship since the building closure.
  • We have a full slate for our new Leadership Team, some of whom are relatively new to our congregation.

2020 was not a write-off year for Westworth by any means. Yes, we struggled and our learning curve was steep, but we are well-placed to make this year a successful year of ministry regardless of restrictions. We’ve learned to ride the tsunami wave and make the best of whatever comes our way. We will not only make it through this time (that’s survival thinking), but we welcome this challenge as an opportunity to explore and develop new forms of ministry, some of which will continue once the virus is no longer a danger. I say this confidently, trusting in God’s grace, Because There Is Hope Here!

O God, who has made us the creatures of time, so that every tomorrow is an unknown country, and every decision a venture of faith, grant us, frail children of the day, who are blind to the future, to move toward it with a sure confidence in your love, from which neither life nor death can separate us.    –Reinhold Neibuhr

May you be blessed with hope in the most unexpected ways,



The funeral for Anita S. will be on Saturday, Feb 27 at 2:00 pm at Chapel Lawn. The family is gratefully receiving donations to Westworth United Church, in memory of Anita. There is no longer room for anyone to attend in person, but you are invited to view the live-streamed service on Zoom. Please let Tammy know in our office asap and she will put you in touch with Bary F., Anita’s nephew, to receive the Zoom link.


 This year’s Lenten services will feature congregational reflections on hope.

Feb. 28:                Online service begins earlier 10:30-11:00 am with John Erskine as soloist, followed by the AGM on Zoom at 11:15 am.

March 7:              A cross of foolishness or wisdom?

March 14:            Loraine will be on holiday March 8-14 and Rev. Earl Gould will be leading worship.

March 21:            Celtic-themed Lenten service.


A member of a United Church congregation has been baptized, was engaged in some type of faith preparation, such as confirmation, and has joined the church with a profession of faith. An adherent is part of the life of the congregation and may not be baptized nor confirmed. Loraine uses the term “congregants” to refer to both members and adherents. Adherents can do almost everything members can except for a few things. Council members should be members of the church and the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of Council, along with the Chair of the Ministry & Personnel Committee must be members. At congregational meetings, including the annual meeting, one of the first motions made is to allow adherents to vote. However, there are a few areas in which only members can vote including the call or appointment of a new minister and the approval of a new Trustee. At the upcoming Annual Meeting, only members will be able to vote on the motions pertaining to Trustees.


The Annual Report is now available online on our Westworth United Church homepage. You can access it via this link:

Or, navigate to Westworth United Homepage and:
1. Click on Home Tab
2. Click on Documents
3. Click on Reports


 The annual general meeting is this February 28th, 11:15 a.m. We will be voting on becoming an affirming ministry. There will be some youth attending the meeting and at least one will be speaking.

This year, it will take place as a zoom meeting in which you can participate via your electronic devices or telephone. There are some electronic actions that you will be required to do within the meeting and instructions have been included after the invite link below.

If you would like to attend the meeting, here is the Zoom invite link:

Meeting ID: 871 1780 9745

Passcode: 083675

Dial by your location

+1 204 272 7920 Canada

Meeting Start:  11:15 a.m.

Room opens at  11:00 a.m.

Tammy will be in the office on that day and you can contact her at

If you would like any assistance with the zoom buttons, arrive ½ hour to fifteen minutes early in the room (click on the invite link) ahead of time for help.

There are some actions that you will be asked to perform during the meeting. These are:


Mute/Unmute yourself

Start/Stop Video

Raise Hand (Reaction Button) (Used in voting). For the purposes of this meeting, you will only be asked to RAISE your hand to register your vote. Tammy will lower your hands once the vote has been counted.

Below are the instructions to perform these functions:

Zoom Attendee Controls

For more information, go here:

When you join a Zoom meeting hosted by another user, you are considered an attendee. The user who scheduled the meeting or was selected to be the alternative host (if the host is unable to join) will have host controls.


The attendee controls appear at the bottom of your screen if you’re not currently screen sharing.

Attendees have access to these features:

Mute / Unmute: Mute and unmute your microphone.
Start Video Stop Video: Turns your camera on or off.
Participants: See who’s currently in the meeting. You can also access to these options:

Rename: Hover over your name, click More, and choose Rename to change your screen name displayed to other participants.

Chat: Access the chat window to chat with participants. In the chat box, you can privately chat with the meeting host if you are having trouble. If you look to lower bottom of the chat window, you will see “everyone” with a down arrow key. The chat box defaults to showing your messages to everyone in the room. If you click on the arrow key beside everyone, all the names of everyone who is participating in the meeting will be displayed. Highlight and click the name of the person you want to private chat with which will open up a private line / window. To return to chatting with everyone, choose “everyone” in the list.

ReactionsMeeting reactions, nonverbal feedback, and Raise Hand allow you to communicate issues or feedback to the host or presenter without disrupting the meeting. For this meeting you will only use the RAISE HAND REACTION. Clicking on this will put a raised hand on your screen, beside your name.

Leave: Leave the meeting while it continues for the other participants. Only the host can end the meeting.

Instructions for ANDROID

The attendee controls appear at the bottom of your screen, except for Leave meeting which appears at the top-right corner.

Mute Unmute: Mute or unmute your microphone.

Video: Start and stop your own video.

Share: Start a screen share. You’ll be able to select what you want to share.

Participants: See who’s currently in the meeting. The participants list also gives you access to these options:

  • Tap your name if you want to rename yourself or raise your hand.
  • Non-verbal feedbackicons (if enabled by the host: Tapping an icon will notify the host by placing the icon beside your name in the participants list. For example, the hand icon places the raise hand icon beside your name and simulates a hand raise.
  • Chat: Access the chat window to chat with other participants.
  • Raise Hand


The attendee controls appear at the bottom of your screen, except for Leave meeting which appears at the top-right corner.

Mute Unmute: Mute or unmute your microphone.

Video: Start and stop your own video.

Participants: See who’s currently in the meeting. The participants list also gives you access to these options:

  • Tap your name if you want to rename yourself or raise your hand.


  • Non-verbal feedbackicons (if enabled by the host: Tapping an icon will notify the host by placing the icon beside your name in the participants list. For example, the hand icon places the raise hand icon beside your name and simulates a hand raise.
  • Chat: Access the chat window to chat with other participants.
  • Raise Hand


More Details Here:

The following commands can be entered via DTMF tones using your phone’s dial pad while in a Zoom meeting:



Hope this e-mail finds you all well, and I will continue to send the Sunday school lesson by e-mail until we can meet in person again.

This is the Second Sunday in Lent- our service theme will be HOPE.

This week’s Sunday school lesson on ‘Jesus  Heals Two Blind Men’ 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-10.30am to chat with you.  Our theme this week will be about ‘Being Different’.  Then join the online service starting at 10.30am this week with Loraine following Zoom Sunday school.  Vaughn, Myles, Rowan and Talia will tell us what they HOPE for in the service.

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.

Here is a direct link:

Zoom Sunday School Information

Zoom Meeting ID 743 937 1522

Pass Code 042976



 Rev. Barb Jardine has put together a Lenten series that introduces us to the practice of contemplative prayer. Her introduction, along with her daily 10 min. YouTube videos are designed for beginners who have never tried this form of prayer. These can be found in the link below and on our website home page in the What’s New section. Barb has produced these for her congregation, but she is willing for Westworth to have access to them as a thank you for the inspiration she received from Thriving Churches.

Here is this week’s installments:

Take Ten – Day 4

Take Ten – Day 5

Take Ten – Day 6

Take Ten – Day 7

Take Ten – Day 8

Take Ten – Day 9


  1. A. Lunches

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”.

  1. B.  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!

  1. Donations to West Broadway for Cold Weather:

The Outreach Team is gratefull to all of you who donated cold weather supplies for our guests at West Broadway. Jan McIlroy delivered the following: 21 scarves or neck warmers, 20 Pairs of Mitts/gloves, and 1 box hot pad toe warmers and 64 hats or ear muffs. Thank you!

  1. Online Courses through Canadian Mennonite University (CMU)

The Spring Session of this CMU series begins in March. Two of the sessions will be of interest to many of you (as will others not mentioned here!). For more information and to register – just follow this link:


with Adrian Jacobs; Keeper of the Circle, Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre, Sessional Instructor at Atlantic School of Theology

We will explore and experience the encounter of Indigenous and Settler worlds in light of the Christian faith encounter with very differing Indigenous embodied spiritual worlds. Stories and cultural experiences will form a platform for discussion fostering peace-building. Exploring how an integral Christian faith can co-exist with an authentic Indigenous spiritual and cultural identity will be the substance of this course.


with Harry Huebner, Emeritus Professor of Theology and Philosophy

This course will begin by exploring why and how Christians might be in dialogue with people of other faiths. It will then invite representatives from both the Jewish faith and the Muslim faith to speak to the group on the same question from their perspectives. Participants will be invited to engage the presenters in theological dialogue. In the process it is hoped that the group will gain an appreciation for dialogue as a form of peacebuilding.


 A year ago we enjoyed Samedi Swing on February 29; just days before the COVID 19 lockdown. This year, why not crank up the music in your own home and dance?  Dance with your partner, dance on your own, or dance with a grandchild via Zoom. Listen to a golden oldie, some rock music, today’s top charts, a favourite Manitoba artist…so many to choose from! Dancing can reduce stress and depression, improve flexibility and balance, and increase energy. So, in the words of William Purkey,

“Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ve never been hurt;

sing like no one is listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth.”


 There is a complimentary copy of, “Thriving Churches – Urban and Rural Successes” now in the library for borrowing.


 We are all following the recent changes to the government orders and restrictions in response to the COVID crisis. We all yearn to meet family and friends, gather to talk and share in a meal together, hug and shake hands, and share in-person worship.  The latest announcements have provided a glimmer of hope, but it is so important to remain vigilant at this time.  Our committee wishes to share the following information with the congregation.

Although the government has loosened some restrictions the province is still in Code Red, and contact with others outside immediate households is strongly ill-advised. For these reasons, and for the health and safety of our staff and congregation, we will continue to offer virtual worship services only. In compliance with the government orders, we are not able to have small group meetings at this time, and staff will continue to limit their interactions and follow all safety protocols.   Funerals and weddings can be offered following the government’s orders.  Please call Loraine for more information.  These plans will remain in place until the province returns to Code Orange at which time our committee will re-evaluate the situation and our guidelines.

As always, we are thankful for the time, commitment and talent of those involved in the creation of our virtual services; for the committees and ministry teams that continue to meet virtually and carry out the work of the church; for our staff that have found new and innovative ways to work together; and for our congregation who continues to support the church in so many ways.

We are all looking forward to the time when restrictions will be reduced, but for now, limiting the spread of the virus, keeping each other healthy and safe, and continuing our work as the hands and feet of Christ are the priorities.


Hello, everyone! I just want to let everyone know that I have read your emails of good will, appreciation and support and they have filled my spirit. Westworth is a wonderful place to work and it is all of you that is making it so. I don’t have the time to respond due to getting ready for the annual general meeting and other things but I wanted you to know that I appreciate the thoughts you sent my way.

Also, we’re trying to figure out our timelines around things so the congregational email will be going out on Thursdays instead of Fridays for the near future. If you have any submissions for it, please submit them to me by Wednesday at 12 noon.

Our phone lines have been going through some glitches in the last few weeks. When people have been calling in, our phones have not been ringing and instead, the caller has been sent directly to voice mail. We have had technical support persons on site for the last few weeks trying to determine the problem.

Thank you to everyone for their patience until this can be sorted out.

Kind regards,



 The Manitoba Multifaith Council has a number of beautiful multi faith calendars leftover and are giving them to Westworth for free for any who would like to pick one up. The calendars give the major holidays and celebrations of various faith traditions and have pictures of beautiful artwork. Please call the office to arrange a time to pick one up.