There is much for which we can be grateful. This past week, as I grumbled about having to figure out the buses, transfers and walks that I need to make because my place of car servicing wasn’t offering shuttle drop-offs anymore, I realized that my grumbling was coming out of a place of privilege. At least I have a car and can take the bus! On my way to sort out a banking issue—with more grumbling about lost time—I passed a couple with their worldly possession in a shopping cart and bundle buggy. Their faces were haggard and I felt Christ looking at me with sad eyes. At least I have money to grumble about!
The other day I was reading Galatians 5: “Live by the Spirit…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.” I focussed on this passage in my morning meditation and then tried repeating this to myself throughout the day. I found that this repeated mantra helped to bring back my thoughts when they strayed into the grumbling department. The guidance of the Spirit does help bring us peace in the midst of unsettledness and a repetition of mantras throughout the day offers one way to train our minds into the Christ’s way of peace. What biblical passage or quote might offer a mantra of peace for you?
I close with an anonymous prayer:
| A Prayer During Times of a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced,
May we who have no risk factors,
May we who have the luxury of working from home,
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children
May we who have to cancel our trips,
May we who are losing our marginal income
May we who settle in for another quarantine at home,
During this time when we cannot physically
INTRO TO SILENT PRAYER
Tuesdays, 12:00-12:45, May 11, 18 & 25 through Zoom.
We will be offering three sessions of introduction to Centering Prayer with Rev. Earl Gould, who is an accredited instructor in Centering Prayer through the Contemplative Outreach International, a world-wide non-profit organization that facilitates the sharing of Centering Prayer around the world.
If you would like to join these three sessions, please let Loraine know and she will send you a Zoom link.
Here are Earl’s words of description:
When we refer to Prayer, we think of using our words, thought processes, emotions to be with God. Absolutely!
But our prayer life can be augmented by praying without using words, thoughts, emotions. May seem strange, but it is an ancient way of praying reintroduced to the Western World in the last fifty years or so by mainline Christianity. These people, like Father Thomas Keating, are confident Jesus included a type of Centering Prayer as one of the ways he prayed.
The fruit of Centering Prayer is communion with God without the encumbrances of words, thoughts. The method of Centering Prayer can be taught in a moment; it takes a lifetime to grow into the discipline.
There is no danger for anyone practicing Centering Prayer. The fruits may include healing of wounds so deep we don’t even know their source. Another fruit could be living with a peace that passes all understanding. It is not my intention to be a huckster. It is my joy to be able to share with others what I have been given by others, including Thomas Keating.
UPCOMING WORSHIP SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS
Celebration of Westworth becoming an Affirming Ministry with Rev. Heather Robbins and John E as soloist.
Christ above & beyond, within and around with Martin Robson as soloist.
Pentecost Sunday with Rev. Earl Gould
This week’s Sunday school lesson, ‘Philip and the Ethiopian’ has been sent by e-mail and 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 email@example.com.
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 ‘Baptism ’. Then join the Affirming Service for Westworth online 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 and there is also a link in the CE drop down menu on our web site.
The Bible Story is also available here: https://www.facebook.com/167751653256851/videos/173193748026340
There is also a new link in the congregational e-mail to access this week’s curriculum
There will an NO Sunday School on May 30th as the Regional Service will begin at 10.00am, we hope you can Zoom attend this. Sunday School Zoom Information- Please note this is a NEW Meeting ID and Passcode
Meeting ID: 889 9495 5678
YOUTH IN CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
On behalf of Westworth United Church and Council:
We would like to congratulate Loraine for receiving the Craig Chaplin Memorial Award. This award is given at the United Theological College for outstanding contribution by a person from the LGBTQ2 community. This award was established in 2001 in memory of the Reverand Craig Chaplin to carry on his believes in human equality.
Rev Chaplin believed and wished to honour ” those whose life’s work has been particularly distinguished in the clear embodiment of such central gospel values as personal courage and integrity, life affirming faith and spirituality, an unswerving commitment to social justice and a sustainable environment and solidarity with these who are poor and marginalized.”
THE SAFE REOPENING COMMITTEE
Dear Members of Westworth:
A new month, and we still battling these new COVID strains. Now, more than ever, it is important to continue to protect our families, neighbours, and church community.
In response to the latest government directives, and with the safety and well-being of the congregation and our staff in mind, the following temporary adjustments have been made to our guidelines for Westworth.
Currently the use of our building is restricted to staff, maintenance contractors, and those people involved in producing our on-line services. We strongly encourage virtual meetings and phone calls. Please postpone visits whenever possible at this critical time. Pick up and drop off of materials can be arranged with the office to minimize need for building entry.
If it is essential for you to enter the building during this time, remember to:
- Plan ahead! Contact Eunice P with your request and rationale for building access. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- If you wish to meet with a staff member, call that person directly. Use virtual means of getting together whenever possible.
- Once the need for your visit is discussed and affirmed, you will then call the office administrator to set up a time for building entry. Your flexibility will be required as we are very limited in the numbers of people, including staff that are allowed in the building at any time.
- As the building is locked, you will need to call the office administrator when you arrive.
- All safety protocols must be followed while in the building including answering “No” to the Covid questions, recording contact information, signing in and out, hand sanitizing, mask wearing, maintaining safe distances from others including staff, and keeping to assigned areas. Please keep your visit as brief as possible.
As always, thank you for your cooperation and commitment to keeping our congregation and staff safe in these difficult times. Looking forward to seeing you all when it becomes safe to do so,
Eunice P on behalf of the Safe Reopening Committee
Making A Difference At Home …..
- WEST BROADWAY COMMUNITY MINISTRY:
The Outreach Team will deliver meatballs, sauce, buns, fruit and cookies for the staff and volunteers at WBCM to prepare and serve the guests at lunchtime on Thursday, May 20. 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”.
West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM) Emergency Pantry:
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!
- DID YOU SEE US?
Reunion, Remembrance, and Reclamation at an Urban Indian Residential School by Survivors of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School (Author), Andrew Woolford (Editor)
New book from Survivors of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School breaks the barbed wire barrier to community presence, recognition and reconciliation.
Newly published Did You See Us? will be presented at a virtual book launch May 12 at 7 p.m. hosted by the Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group, University of Manitoba Press and McNally Robinson Booksellers to discuss the breakthrough actions of 12 Assiniboia survivors to reclaim and commemorate their presence in the Winnipeg suburb of River Heights.
The Assiniboia school is unique within Canada’s Indian Residential School system, located in a large urban centre and operating from 1958 to 1973, an experiment within the broader destructive framework of Canada’s Indian residential schools. Did You See Us? mingles survivor and community remembrances within a socio-historical reconstruction of the school and its position in Winnipeg and the larger residential school system. It reveals stories of Assiniboia from inside the fence line that are not available in the archival records, illustrating a dynamic where forced assimilation and Indigenous resilience co-existed.
Survivor Theodore Fontaine notes, “The legacy of Assiniboia is the blending of stories not only of Survivors, but also of many in the community. This includes the residents of River Heights, who lived along the same roads and streets as Assiniboia with their children, yet didn’t know who we were or why we were there”.
Andrew Woolford explains, “Did You See Us? invites the reader to join in a reunion of sorts, entered into through memories and images from the Assiniboia Indian Residential School. It is a gathering of diverse knowledge brought together to communicate the complexity of the residential school experience. Moreover, it asserts the presence of the school in Winnipeg, as the Survivors will no longer go unseen.”
The Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group is an incorporated non-profit organization with the goals to preserve and commemorate Assiniboia in partnership with the Winnipeg community. “This commemorative book, recognition of the former school site, and reclamation of a permanent gathering place on the playing fields will be elements of the legacy we leave behind. We trust that those who come after us will hold our past tenderly in their hearts and understand at what cost did we come here.”
Access to the virtual book launch will be posted by McNally Robinson Booksellers and the University of Manitoba Press.
The event listing may be found here:
The YouTube streaming link is here: https://youtu.be/7YgZao-kalc
The Facebook event page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/637745620514771/
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
The Assiniboia Residential School Legacy Group is a non-profit organization with a mandate to: honour the legacy of the Assiniboia Residential School through commemorative and educational activities; promote positive and reconciliatory relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people; foster awareness, understanding, and healing; feature culture and language as interpreted and presented by the Survivors of the Residential School.
Andrew Woolford is a professor of sociology at the University of Manitoba and the author of This Benevolent Experiment: Indigenous Boarding Schools, Genocide, and Redress in the United States and Canada.
Making a Difference in the World ….
MAKE MOTHER’S DAY MORE MEANINGFUL, INCLUSIVE, AND COMPASSIONATE
Are you a mother who wants to make a difference? Do you have a mother or someone like a mother that you want to honour? Do you know people who have lost mothers or mothers who have lost a child? Does anyone you know find Mother’s Day hard for other reasons? Are there people in your life whose untraditional family unit deserves recognition and celebration?
This Mother’s Day, you can not only help families in need but also reach out to honour and support your loved ones at the same time. Find out how you can help.
ASIAN CANADIAN WOMEN: SUPPORT, STRENGTH, AND SOLIDARITY
If you are of Asian descent in The United Church of Canada and self-identify as woman, genderqueer, and/or nonbinary, you are invited to gather together in Asian Heritage Month this May. There will be time to get to know one another, talk about our places in the church, and explore the intersections of our racial identities and gender identities. Asian women are particularly visible and vulnerable during this pandemic time. Please be welcome to a safe meeting space to connect, lament, and honour one another.
To register, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your email, please include your full name, email address, and Asian ancestry. A Zoom link will be sent after registration.
AN AFFIRMING CELEBRATION AT WESTWORTH UNITED CHURCH WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
Get out your rainbow colours and join in the celebration on May 9th as Westworth officially becomes an Affirming Congregation!
Do you have a colourful t-shirt or maybe bright fun PJ’s to wear while watching Church? Wear them and take a photo and send it to us! You are invited to join in on the online celebration as Westworth United Church (Winnipeg) officially becomes an Affirming Congregation! There won’t be cake, but we promise to have another celebration when we can meet together. Rev. Ken DeLisle will present the certificate from Affirm United. It’s going to be a colourful, exciting service and we couldn’t do it without you. You can send greetings to help in the celebrations, please email to email@example.com You are invited to celebrate with us online on May 9th 10:45 a.m. or whenever it suits your time schedule, on YouTube or on our website. www.westworth.ca.
Join us on-line on our You-tube channel at 10:45 a.m. May 9th.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
We do have people registered and there are a few more spots available if others are interested.
Registration and book order deadline is May 15th.
ONLINE MEDITATION RETREAT
WWCM (World Community of Christian Meditation) will hold our next online meditation retreat day on Saturday May 15 from 10am to 3:30pm using Zoom. (Gathering at 9:45)
It will not be a completely silent retreat. We felt that during this time of necessary separation people might appreciate the opportunity to talk with others. So we have included time for discussion in small groups (breakout rooms) following each of the video segments. There will then be some personal time for you to use as you wish.
You will need to register in order to receive the zoom link, which will be sent out a few days prior to the retreat.. This provides for increased security.
Contact Rob and Gail Brooks at email@example.com if you wish to attend the retreat day.
A schedule for the day is attached.
Best wishes and hope to see you at the retreat.