We are approaching Holy Week and this year, all of our Holy Week services will be joint services with St. Andrew’s River Heights United Church. We begin with Palm Sunday when we tell the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey and being greeted by crowds waving palm branches. Rev. Karen Lumley, from St. Andrew’s, and I will offer a dramatic dialogue that explores the meaning of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem as the Good Friday storm clouds began gathering on the horizon.
On Maundy Thursday, the service will be recorded at St. Andrew’s and will tell the story of the Last Supper through song and liturgy. We will be celebrating Holy Communion, so please have juice or wine and bread or crackers available. As well, we will be remembering Jesus’ command (mandatum in Latin, root of “Maundy”) to serve and love one another as he washed the disciples’ feet. Please have a basin of water and cloth available if you would like to join Karen and Loraine in washing hands as part of the liturgy.
On Good Friday, the service will be recorded at both churches and at the community ministries which each church serves: Oak Table and West Broadway. We will be hearing how the Good Friday story connects with our community ministries.
Easter Sunday will bring renewed hope of the resurrection and new life. Youth confirmations, hand bells, and solo singing will give all of us a needed lift as we continue to forge through the COVID clouds. The sun/son will shine again!
There are so many people working behind the scene to make all of the services happen within safety protocols. I’m grateful to staff, the Safe Reopening Committee, the Worship Team, the tech team, readers, soloists, and—most importantly—you, the congregation tuning in to the services.
One of the difficulties with online services is that we miss in-person feedback. The Worship Team would appreciate your thoughts on the online services so that we can make them even more meaningful. Please take a moment to respond to the Worship Team’s questions within this congregational email.
Let us journey well into Holy Week—separate and yet together.
Blessings of light shining in the darkness,
BECAUSE THERE IS HOPE HERE: LENT 2021 WORSHIP SERVICES
This year’s Lenten services will feature congregational reflections on hope.
HOLY WEEK SERVICES
All of our Holy Week Services will be offered jointly with St. Andrew’s River Heights United Church
March 28 – 10:45 a.m. and available later through website
Palm Sunday live-streamed at Westworth; soloists Howard R. and Fred C. Youth from our confirmation class will talk about how they find hope in these difficult times.
April 1 – available from 7:00 p.m. and later
Maundy Thursday pre-recorded at St. Andrew’s. Have communion elements, water, basin and towel ready as you join the service from home.
April 2 – available from 10:30 a.m. and later
Good Friday pre-recorded at Westworth, St. Andrew’s, West Broadway Community Ministry and Oak Table
April 4th – 10:45 a.mm and available later through website
Westworth Easter Service is live-streamed at 10:45 am with 6 youth confirmations, Morna-June M. on handbells and soloist Cheryl M.
There are still a few multifaith calendars for 2021 available for free from the office. They are accompanied by beautiful art work and include the major celebrations for each world religion. Call the office to arrange for pickup.
GUARANTEED LIVABLE INCOME
Lynda T., West Broadway Community Minister, is helping to organize interfaith vigils on April 8 at 12:30 pm at MP offices throughout Manitoba in support of Guaranteed Livable Income for all Canadians. Loraine will be attending one of the vigils. Please contact her if you would like to join her. The following video from our Moderator and links on the United Church website give more info about a Guaranteed Livable Income:
Every Lent, we invite donations for our special appeals to support our non-profit community agencies and ministry partners. The congregation usually raises around $1600 and the UCW contributes $1800 from their Rummage Sale and Bazaar fundraisers. Because the UCW was unable to hold either due to COVID-related building closures last year, the congregation generously gave $2500, which allowed us to continue supporting most of our partners. This year, the UCW is again unable to contribute because our building remains closed to fundraisers. We are therefore asking the congregation once more to consider giving more than usual so that we can continue supporting our partners, who are more stretched than ever. These are the partners we were able to support last year through Special Appeals:
Prairie to Pine Regional Council Bursary Fund
St. Andrews College
Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre
Centre for Christian Studies
Local social justice
West Broadway Community Ministry
1 Just City
L.I.T.E. (local investment towards employment)
Rock Lake United Church Camp
Our Special Appeal donation deadline is Easter Sunday, April 4.
SUNDAY SCHOOL NEWS
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 Sunday is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.
This week’s Sunday school lesson, ‘Holy Week’ 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-10.30am to chat with you. Our theme this week will be about, ‘Bravery’. Then join the online service starting at 10.45am this week with Loraine following Zoom Sunday school. Our Westworth Confirmation class will be confirmed this week.
Julia is reading this week’s bible story and “The Lord’s Prayer” will be 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.
The Bible Story is also available here:
Zoom Sunday School Information
Zoom Meeting ID 743 937 1522
Pass Code 042976
DAILY LENTEN CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER
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:
NEWS ABOUT WESTWORTH MEMBERS
Birthday – Diether P.
April 3, 2021
Happy Birthday wishes and greetings are warmly extended to Diether P. for his special 90th birthday on April 3rd
Opera Performance – Christina T.
March 26, 2021
- “Tune into Schulich School of Music of McGill University’s YouTube page at 6pmCST to watch me make my Handel debut in the title role of Opera McGill’s Devil Wears Prada-inspired production of Partenope!! The show will be live-streamed, and will be available for viewing afterwards too. It’s been such a blessing to perform opera amidst COVID-19! I’ve been surrounded by a fantastic cast and crew through this process and I am so excited to share this with you all!”
- The opera will be sung in Italian, but set in the present. Christina will present the character of Parentope as a fashion designer; great care has been taken to create the costumes. She will be wigged, so you might not recognize her at first. The McGill COVID safety committee will allow singers to perform arias unmasked while remaining socially-distant; consequently the committee decided the running time of the opera has to be shortened for the safety of all on stage.
- Watch Here: https://youtube.com/c/schulichmusic
- WEST BROADWAY COMMUNITY MINISTRY
The West Broadway Community was overjoyed to enjoy, once again, “Meatball Sub Day” on Thursday, March 18. The Outreach Team thanks you so much for your contribution to the cost of each month’s lunch that is approximately $350. 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!
ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE & THE ENVIRONMENT
April is designated as Climate Action Month, and from now until the end of April, this section of the Outreach Team’s report will focus on deepening our awareness that humans are intricately connected with all other life forms on Earth, and the health of our planet has a direct and real impact on our spiritual and physical health. Here are two important dates (with links to excellent info) to remind us of our commitment to ecological justice.
March 28: Earth Hour at 8:30 pm
Turn out the lights! Go outside! Be one with creation!
For tons of info, click here:
Wow – the Virtual Spotlight – coming soon! Just click here;
Want to hear Amanda Gorman’s poem “EARTHRISE”? Just click here!
April 22: Earth Day
Westworth will observe Earth Day during worship on April 18. In the meantime, the Outreach Team encourages you and your family to deepen your connection with the Earth; to dig deeper into the issues that have created the ecological crisis that we now face; and to prayerfully consider how you might respond to this crisis. The attached calendar could be used to guide your observation of Earth Month during April:
A REQUEST FROM THE WORSHIP TEAM
We are all following the recent changes to the government orders in response to the COVID crisis. We are feeling more hopeful with some minor easing of restrictions and with the vaccine roll out, but worried about the new variants. Throughout the past year we, the Worship Team and staff, have strived to have the “sense of the holy”* present in our online services. Our Technology Team has navigated their way through production and distribution of these services. We are so grateful to everyone involved. We are still quite restricted by government orders and the direction of the United Church, but like all of you, we have hope for the future.
We would love to hear from you!
- Which components of worship best connect you with a sense of the holy?
- Which components get in the way of your time with each other and this time with God?
- If all protocols were in place, would you attend in-person worship?
- Do you have any suggestions during this time of restrictions and moving forward?
*idea taken from Lenten Challenge Gospel of Mark by Dr. Charles Anderson, Rev. Dave Anderson, Rev. Richard Bott
2021 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN RESULTS
There were 261 Stewardship packages mailed to our church families for the 2021 Stewardship Campaign. As a result, there are 126 families donating monthly on PAR which represents 48% of our families. Of the 135 families not on PAR, 28 families responded to the Stewardship Campaign by making a pledge to be honoured during the year.
We recognize that the past year has been different and difficult. If your circumstances have changed and you are now able to participate in our Stewardship Campaign, we would gratefully accept your pledge. You can do so by contacting Tammy at the church office at 204-489-6974, Ext 20.
Full information on ways to give and the annual budget is on the Westworth website www.westworth.ca. Thank you for supporting the 2021 Stewardship Campaign and the Mission of Westworth United Church.