Last week we submitted grant applications for an enhanced AV system that will allow us to offer a hybrid of in-person and virtual worship, workshops, interfaith dialogues, etc. We received letters of support from some of our community partners for these grants that amazed me in their praise for Westworth’s ministry. I would like to share two of these letters below as a reminder to all of us that Westworth has an important ministry not only for us but also for our partners.
We need both shots of the vaccine and shots of encouragement these days. I hope that these letters touch you as much as they did me, and encourage all of us to keep before us our mission to be the hands and feet of Christ. Even in these days of isolation, Westworth’s impact continues to be felt.
Loraine is on holiday April 26-May 2 and Rev. Earl Gould is on call for emergency pastoral care during this week. He may be reached at (204) 888-1543.
UPCOMING WORSHIP SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS
Love in truth and action.
The dynamic duo of Rev. Dr. Mac Watts preaching and Rev. Earl Gould as liturgist with Emily Casselman as soloist.
Celebration of Westworth becoming an Affirming Ministry with Rev. Heather Robbins and John E. as soloist.
Christ above & beyond, within and around with Martin R. as soloist.
Pentecost Sunday with Rev. Earl Gould
This week’s Sunday school lesson ‘The Ascension’ was 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 about ‘When someone you love moves away’. Then join the online service starting at 10.45am this week 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.
The Bible Story is also available with a link here:
There is also a new link in the congregational e-mail to access this week’s curriculum here:
Zoom Sunday School Information
Zoom Meeting ID 743 937 1522
Pass Code 042976
WEST BROADWAY COMMUNITY MINISTRY
The Outreach Team delivered meatballs, sauce, buns, fruit and cookies for the staff and volunteers at WBCM to prepare and serve the guests at lunchtime on Thursday, April 15. We are grateful to all of you who continue to support this vital ministry. Cheques may be sent to the Westworth office with the memo line indicating “WBCM lunches”.
Thank you for your continuing support for the folks in the West Broadway area. Cheques to Westworth with “WBCM Pantry” on the memo line are gratefully received!
- The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives CCPA
The CCPA will host an upcoming webinar series on long-term care and health system reform in Canada.
“Converging Crises: Addressing the crises in long-term care, health system inequities, and federal-provincial relations” is a series of three online events taking place April 23, April 30 and May 7. Find link to further information and registration at https://www.policyalternatives.ca/newsroom/updates/%E2%80%9Cconverging-crises%E2%80%9D-webinar-series-focus-long-term-care-health-system-reform. The CCPA, is committed to addressing through its research the growing inequities in Canada, and have also engaged in the debate around for-profit versus public delivery of health services, and challenges in long-term care and the seniors’ care system.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the CCPA has been increasingly focused on the humanitarian crisis in long-term care, the unequal impacts on the racialized and gendered workforce and the call for national standards in long-term care. The federal government struggled to take meaningful and timely leadership action due primarily to deepening fault lines between the federal and provincial governments. But now is the time for all levels of government to work together to ensure that evidence guides COVID-19 and long-term care.
THE ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE:
This week, Richard Rohr’s daily meditations are focusing on The Contemplative Call to Nature. Tuesday’s meditation is included in the newsletter. The link to the rest of the mediations is: https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/2021/
An additional great read about a passionate relationship with nature, particularly Winnipeg’s urban forest, has been chosen by the Free Press Book Club for the month of April.
The ecological justice inserts in the newsletter will appear monthly, starting in May. Happy reading! Happy walking!
Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation
From the Center for Action and Contemplation
Week Sixteen: The Contemplative Call to Nature
Grieving the Trees
Love and grief go hand in hand. Sometimes it is the deep grief we feel during loss that awakens us to the depth and sincerity of our love. As we witness the many ways the earth has been exploited and damaged beyond repair (particularly in our lifetimes), we must grieve and commit to show our love through conscious action. The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas expresses her grief through prayer:
In times like these, our prayer may need to be expressive and embodied, visceral and vocal. How else can we pray with our immense anger and grief? How else can we pray about ecocide, about the death that humanity is unleashing upon Mother Earth and upon ourselves? How else can we break through our inertia and despair, so that we don’t shut down and go numb? . . . .
I’ve taken to praying outdoors. I go outside, feel the good earth beneath my feet and the wind on my face, and I sing to the trees—to oak and beech, hemlock and pines. Making up the words and music as I go along, I sing my grief to the trees that are going down, and my grief for so much more—for what we have lost and are losing, and for what we are likely to lose. I sing my outrage about these beautiful old trees being cut to the roots, their bodies chipped to bits and hauled away to sell. I sing my fury about the predicament we’re in as a species. I sing my protest of the political and corporate powers-that-be that drive forward relentlessly with business as usual, razing forests, drilling for more oil and fracked gas, digging for more coal, expanding pipeline construction, and opening up public lands and waters to endless exploitation, as if Earth were their private business and they were conducting a liquidation sale. I sing out my shame to the trees, my repentance and apology for the part I have played in Earth’s destruction and for the part my ancestors played when they stole land and chopped down the original forests of the Native peoples who lived here. I sing my praise for the beauty of trees and my resolve not to let a day go by that I don’t celebrate the precious living world of which we are so blessedly a part. I’m not finished until I sing my determination to renew action for trees and for all of God’s Creation. . . .
So our prayer may be noisy and expressive, or it may be very quiet. It may be the kind of prayer that depends on listening in stillness and silence with complete attention: listening to the crickets as they pulse at night, listening to the rain as it falls, listening to our breath as we breathe God in and breathe God out, listening to the inner voice of love that is always sounding in our heart. A discipline of contemplative prayer or meditation can set us free from the frantic churn of thoughts and feelings and enable our spirit to rest and roam in a vaster, wilder space.
Prayer For Our Community
Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.
Listen to Father Richard pray this prayer aloud.
Story From Our Community
My home is just a mile from a mountain wilderness and since the pandemic began I’ve hiked solo 2-3 times per week. Walking in silence as a hawk circles, slowing down to observe sparkling dew on the grass, feeling the simple joy of my legs carrying me along a path of dirt and rock—these often bring me a deeper connection to the mystery we call God. I come home from these forays into nature feeling more whole, hopeful and human.
Get out your rainbow colours and join in the celebration on May 9th as Westworth officially becomes an Affirming Congregation!
We have followed the United Church and Affirm United process of education, discussion and involvement of the congregation over several years to reach this point.
The regular service on May 9th will include presentation of the official certificate (by Rev. Ken DeLisle representing Affirm United), a special soloist and reader and, we hope, greetings from friends of Westworth and some of those involved in our education process.
Join us on-line on our You-tube channel at 10:45 a.m. May 9th.
- This month: what is your pronoun?
Your affirming ad hoc committee invites you to learn and grow with us by sharing a monthly piece of information on this journey we share together.
“You” went from being a plural pronoun that took plural verbs to being a singular pronoun that continued to take its plural verb.
Wherever you use names, also include pronouns.
This helps everyone use pronouns correctly and helps normalize the practice.
Using your own pronouns signals that you understand the importance of identity. People who stand outside of traditional gender norms often say they face a lot of questions, and explaining themselves can sometimes feel like a burden. Using pronouns indicates alliance.
Using pronouns signals an openness to discussion and helps to make our space more welcoming for people of all gender identities.
You can add pronouns on name tags, email signatures, or introductions at meetings. You might say something like, “Hi, my name is _____. My pronouns are she/her.” On a nametag, you could write “they/them,” “she/her”, or “he/him/his” following your name.
What if you use the wrong pronoun by mistake?
Simply correct yourself if you make a mistake. Many years of using “they” as a plural pronoun may seem hard to unlearn, so the best way to become more comfortable is to practice! Tell a story about a friend using the pronoun “they”. The non-binary pronoun “they” is now found in most dictionaries and style guides and language continues to evolve. Did you know that “you” went from being a plural pronoun that took plural verbs to being a singular pronoun that continued to take its plural verb?
FROM YOUR COMMUNITY CARE TEAM
Staying connected during COVID; A thank-you to our dedicated phone callers
After our church suspended in-person worship and group events in March 2020, the Community Care Team took a close look at our membership list. We asked the leaders of groups and teams to keep connected with their members, but we realized there were close to 170 people that were not currently affiliated with a Westworth group. That’s when the “checking in” phone calls started! Our dedicated team of phone callers has reached out to people 3 or 4 times over the past year; to remind them of weekly on-line services, to make sure they are receiving email updates and to learn how they are coping. We appreciate the commitment of our dedicated phone call makers: Merle A, Rochelle B, Lee-Ann B, Nancy D, Alberto F, Barb G, Arlene H, Barb M, Kathy M, Merle M, Cathy M, Wendy M, Bettina N, George N, Dorothy R, Janet S, Jennifer S, Pat S, Marilyn T, Mac W, Shirley W, Carol W, Nancy W, Kathy W, Dorcas W and Ruth W. Thank-you!
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
“The Prayer Shawl Ministry group has prayer squares available for you to share with friends and family who may find comfort in your support. If you would like to pass these squares and support along, please feel free to call Barb Magarrell and we can arrange the best way to get them to you. “
SPECIAL APPEALS ANNOUNCEMENT
Thank-you to all who contributed to our Special Appeals request during the Easter season. Your generosity has enabled us to provide financial support to the following organizations:
|Theological education||Prairie to Pine Regional Council Bursary Fund||200.|
|St. Andrews College||200.|
|Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre||200.|
|Centre for Christian Studies||200.|
|Local social justice||Willow Place||200.|
|1 Just City – for West Broadway Community Ministry’s emergency pantry||500.|
|1 Just City – for general funds||200.|
|L.I.T.E. (local investment towards employment)||200.|
|Youth support||Days for Girls, Winnipeg Chapter||100.|
|Rock Lake United Church Camp||400.|
THRIVING CHURCHES BOOK STUDY
Four Week Book Study
Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Suggested time only. Can be changed depending on interested parties schedules).
June 1, 2021 – June 22, 2021
Joint study with St. Andrew’s as we discuss with Loraine what she and another colleague, Tammy Allan, discovered on their sabbatical visits to thriving United Churches across Canada in 2019. One chapter includes results from a follow up with these churches last year to see how they were doing during COVID. Bulk orders of the book significantly reduce shipping costs, making the $19.95 book more affordable. If you would like to order a book and/or join the study group, please email Tammy in the Westworth office email@example.com .
WIDER COMMUNITY EVENTS
Basic Income Manitoba 2021 Essay Contest
Topic: What would a basic income mean for you?
Submission Dates: April 1, 2021 – June 30, 2021.
Writing submissions must be written in an editorial format with a word limit of 1,000 words. Submissions will be accepted in English, French or Indigenous languages. This year we our offering three categories for participation: Written essays by High School students, written essays by students in Post-Secondary Institutions (undergraduate programs only), and a new multimedia category. Multimedia submissions (High School and undergraduate students) can include poetry, art, video, or any other creative mediums. Students must be studying in Manitoba. Please submit essays and multimedia to our website: http://basicincomemanitoba.ca/essay-contest/
The deadline for submission is June 30, 2021 at midnight (cst). To learn more about us, please visit basicincomemanitoba.ca
• $250 cash prize for first place in each category
• First place written essays will be published in the Winnipeg Free Press
• First place multimedia winners will be published on our website, basicincomemanitoba.ca, and on our social media pages
• $100 cash prize for second place in each category
• $50 cash prize for third place in each category
Criteria for Selection for Written Submissions:
• The piece can be no longer than 1,000 words
• Essays can be submitted by a group
• The written piece must not have been previously published
• The piece must adhere to essay contest topic
A judging panel will determine winners based on creativity, critical thinking and quality of writing. Please note, we will not provide criticism on submitted essays.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for any accommodations or questions
Criteria for Selection for Multimedia Submissions:
• Multimedia can include art, poetry, video or film, illustration, painting, sculptures, etc.
• High School and Post-Secondary students (undergraduate programs only) will both be accepted in this category, and will be judged together
• Work can be submitted in groups
• The piece must not have been previously published or presented
• The piece must include a 200-word abstract about how it relates to the contest topic
A judging panel will determine winners based on creativity, critical thinking and quality of work. Please note, we will not provide criticism on submitted multimedia.
If your piece is a physical object, please include several clear, high resolution JPEG pictures of the art in your submission
•Email email@example.com for any accommodations or questions
June 30, 2021 at midnight (cst). Submit essays and multimedia online at http://basicincomemanitoba.ca/essay-contest/