Congregational Email June 10, 2021


We seem to have a continuous flood of global and national crises these days. After we grieved the loss of life in Israel and Palestine, we then mourned the loss of 215 children found in unmarked graves beside the Kamloops Residential School. We are still bracing ourselves for the discovery of more unmarked graves. And then we were plunged into shock over the hate-provoked attack on the Muslim family in London. More grief. How do we handle waves upon wave of grief? First, we need to allow ourselves time for this to sink in. We can’t push each wave aside and continue on. It takes time and energy to process what is called secondary trauma. I realize that some of us have more time and energy than others, but the healing our ourselves and our community benefits from whatever amount of time we can dedicate to processing and prayer.

The next step is to reach out to others. If you have Muslim friends, call them to see how they are doing. If you have Indigenous friends connect with them. This week, we have gathered about 60 signatories from various faith communities in Winnipeg (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, United Church, Mennonite, Salvation Army, Quaker, Jewish, Budhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain and Yazidi) to approve the following paragraph. We sent this to our Muslim friends and to the media:

As leaders and members of various, local faith communities, we are shocked and distressed about the hate-provoked, targeted attack on the Muslim family in London. We offer our deep condolences to the Muslim communities. We pray for the family and friends of the four people who were killed and for the nine-year old boy recovering both from serious injuries and incredible grief at the loss of his family. We stand with the Muslim communities both in grief and in resolve to do all that we can to counter Islamophobic hate and violence.

We received the following responses from our Muslim friends:

Thank you for the support, the kind words, and the commitment to work on countering Islamophobia. Hate of any kind and the violence that stems from it has destroyed so many lives here in Canada and abroad. This incident is sad and shook our community once more. However, it’s friends like you and all the 50 signatures here that give us hope and help us keep our commitment to continue to do the work of spreading love and light in place of hate and darkness. 

-Humaira Jaleel

 Dear Interfaith Friends Peace be with you 

In this time of grief, Muslim community in Manitoba appreciates and is strengthened by your prayers and words of support. May the Merciful Creator bless all of you, and your families and community with peace, security, joy and good health. 

-Shahina Siddiqui

 I just heard you on the radio this morning. Thank you so much for your compassion and initiative with the statement. It means a lot and helps the Muslim community feel less alone.

I’ve made a film in an effort to help people find a moment of solace in the midst of the constant barrage of heavy news. Feel free to share in your circles.

Thank you again and best always.

– Nilufer

 Link to Nilufer’s film:

 The United Church has sent out a great page about the residential schools which answers a number of questions that I have heard within our own congregation. You will see it under the Outreach section. The United Church has also sent out a well-researched response to the London killings:

Included in this link are:

  • History of attacks on Muslims in Canada
  • Stats on hate crimes in Canada (between 2015-2019 there was a 14% increase of police-reported hate crimes against Muslims)
  • List of United Church interfaith documents addressing Muslim relations
  • List of United Church Muslim partners
  • Moderator’s statement and prayer for the Muslim community

Praying for healing,




We have established a new Visioning Committee to investigate how our building might be of better service to the community with both space and ministry. We will be exploring various possibilities, including becoming a community hub and shared space with partners. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact one of our members: Bruce T, chair, Sharon S, Barb M, Shirley W, Dianne S, Keith L and Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd. Your prayers for wisdom and discernment are appreciated.


We will hold a Zoom Café after the church service for at least the remainder of the Sundays in June. We’ll start at noon for a maximum of 45 minutes. The Zoom link is below. If you can’t connect by computer, you can still call the number below to connect by telephone.

Meeting ID: 823 4030 0192

Passcode: 709791

Dial 204 272 7920


 June 13

Join Moderator Richard Bott in a special service celebrating the 96th Anniversary of the United Church of Canada. Richard is a creative liturgist who will lead us in inspirational worship. You are invited to have water ready for the service!


June 13, 2021

10:45 a.m.


June 20

Open Heartedness in a Time of Closure with soloist Martin Robson

June 27—July 25

St. Andrew’s River Heights will be joining virtually in these services.

June 27

Generosity of Spirit with soloist Christina Thanisch-Smith

July 4

Canada-Day theme with Rev. Heather Robbins and soloist Amalia Hickerson

July 11

Nature collage of reflections, scripture & photos with soloist Christina Thanisch-Smith



 This week’s Sunday school story is ‘Bartimaeus Sees’.

Keep checking our Face Book page as Julia will continue to read a bible story for you each week throughout the summer.

Join me and your Sunday school teachers for Blue Jean Sunday school, June 13th at 10.15am.  Our theme this week will be about ‘Nature and the World around Us’.  Then join the online service starting at 10.45am this week following Zoom Blue Jean Sunday school .

The 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 here:

Sunday School Zoom Information- Please note this is a NEW Meeting ID and Passcode

Meeting ID: 889 9495 5678

Passcode: 116778



Making a Difference at Home …..

 A Message From The Rt. Rev. Dr. Richard Bott and The Rev. Murray Pruden

This information may be traumatic for residential school survivors. If you are feeling pain or distress because of your residential school experiences, please call the free 24-hour crisis line: 1-866-925-4419. You can also call the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310. It’s toll-free and open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Message to People of The United Church of Canada

Grace and Peace to you.

Since the announcement of the discovery of the undocumented and unmarked remains of 215 children on the grounds of Kamloops Residential School, we have received many messages of sorrow, concern, and outrage from members of the church.

We share these feelings.

We have also been asked many questions about the United Church’s intentions regarding burial sites and missing children, about the sharing of our residential schools records, and about our response to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Many biblical passages remind us of the importance of working together for peace and justice. We would like to take this opportunity to answer your questions so that together we can honour all those affected by the residential schools system, and live up to our obligations as a participant in it.

The United Church of Canada operated 15 of the residential schools covered by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), accounting for approximately 10 percent of Indigenous children who were forced to attend them. A history of our involvement is available at the website The Children Remembered(opens in a new tab), created by the United Church Archives.

Since 1998, our response to the role we played in this system has been guided by the wisdom of residential school and intergenerational survivors. In 2003, the Residential Schools Steering Committee (later the Committee on Indigenous Justice and Residential Schools) established six principles of reconciliation, which continue to guide this work.

Among them is the principle of whole community involvement, the “acknowledgement that [the impacts of residential schools] are communal as well as individual and that they are intergenerational.” The committee also acknowledged that “the children and grandchildren of survivors are also living people who carry with them the burdens of the residential schools system.” The discovery at Kamloops, and the pain and trauma that it has reignited, make it clear that residential schools are not simply part of a historic event; it is also why we have been doing the difficult work of reconciliation, and must continue to do so.

United Church Response to the Kamloops Discovery

The principle of community involvement guides how we are responding. Indigenous Ministries Executive Minister Murray Pruden and the Moderator issued pastoral responses, along with a call to mourn and remember. This time of respect is required in order for any other actions we take to go forward in a good way.

As The United Church of Canada, we stated our commitment to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission when they were issued in June 2015. This includes Calls to Action 73‒76, which deal with burial sites and missing children. We have already worked with communities in commemorating known gravesites in Brandon, Edmonton, File Hills, Red Deer, and Regina.

These Calls to Action state very clearly that the Indigenous communities most affected must lead in the development of such strategies, and that their protocols must be followed. We are aware that unmarked graves may be found on United Church properties, and we are committed to working on them, and on known burial sites, following the principles laid out in the Calls to Action.

The General Secretary is convening a table of current and former staff to develop our response, and the ecumenical parties to the Settlement Agreement will also be meeting to discuss how to respond together to an issue that affects us all. The National Indigenous Council and Elders Council also continue to meet to discern the needs and response of the Indigenous church. These meetings are taking place in the next few weeks, and we will share more information with you as it comes forward.

We are grateful for the actions you are taking in your own contexts, whether they are vigils, times of prayer, support for Indigenous agencies, or donations to The Healing Fund. Please know that any donations made to The Healing Fund in this time will be held until the Indigenous church, which oversees The Healing Fund, decides how best to share them given the needs that emerge in Indigenous communities.

Sharing of Documentation

It has been widely reported that many institutions have not fully shared their residential school records. This has understandably raised questions about what the United Church has shared.

During the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, United Church General Council and Conference Archives staff went through all records that were related to residential schools and created a substantial Guide to Holdings Related to Residential Schools(opens in a new tab). These materials are available to researchers.

The materials were also turned over to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for its research. They have since been transferred to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, where they are available for research and have contributed to projects such as the National Residential Schools Memorial Register(opens in a new tab).

We are currently undertaking a similar discovery process regarding our role in Day Schools, and will continue to turn over relevant material if and as it emerges.

United Church Response to the Calls to Action

We track United Church work on those TRC Calls to Action(opens in a new tab) directed to the churches and the Parties to the Settlement Agreement in this document(opens in a new tab), which is updated annually. We also support and participate in advocacy initiatives identified in other Calls to Action, such as those concerning child welfare and missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

As we do this work, we often find ourselves reflecting on this passage from 2 Corinthians 5:18–19: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself…and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.”

With this trust comes the onus to first seek and speak the truth. At this time, we recommit to truth-telling, to education, and to taking action for those things for which we hold responsibility. May God be our helper.

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Richard Bott

The Rev. Murray Pruden
Executive Minister, Indigenous Ministries and Justice

 West Broadway Community Ministry


The staff and volunteers at WBCM continue to work hard to provide coffee, snacks and a nutritious lunch each day for the guests at West Broadway.  We are grateful to all of you who continue to assist in supporting this vital ministry. Plans are now being made for a special treat for Westworth’s June lunch. We will offer a BBQ like none other, complete with “gourmet fixings” (fried onions mushrooms. choice of cheese), choice of drink, bags of chips, and ice cream, along with giant cookies and fruit. Your generosity has made all of this possible. We are grateful to all of you who continue to assist in supporting 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 2021 Urban Retreats Virtual Garden Tour Is Coming!

 Check-out the trailer below for a taste of what you will enjoy next month, when we release our full Virtual Garden Tour!

Raising essential funds for 1JustCity’s West End Drop-in Centre – St Matthews Maryland Community Ministry.

Every day we offer love and support to West End families, some of the most vulnerable people in our city. These families need our help now more than ever.

Since the COVID crisis began, the number of people depending on us for food support has doubled. By supporting our Virtual Garden Tour, you will be keeping West End families from going hungry.

CLICK HERE to donate now and we will send you the video as soon as it is released!

Making a Difference in the Community …..

Canadian Foodgrains Bank

 Hello Members of Westworth United Church

World leaders are meeting in the next two weeks, and we’re asking you to add your voice.

Let me introduce my colleague, Mueni Mutinda, who recently joined the public policy team after spending five years in Kenya working with farmers to scale up our conservation agriculture program. During that time, she witnessed the impact of a changing climate on small-scale farmers.

“I’ve seen the challenges farmers face with too much rain, not enough rain, and new pests or diseases on their crops. I’ve witnessed the heartache of mothers forced to send their children out as labourers to help the family cope, cut down portion sizes, or skip meals altogether.” – Mueni Mutinda.

She recorded a video message just for you: Mueni Mutinda, Canadian Foodgrains

Canada has an international obligation to help developing countries address climate change, but Canada is not doing its fair share. In 2019, the Outreach Team at Westworth sent your petitions to the federal government to see our country honour our global commitments. We are again asking you support empower small-scale farmers, many of whom are women, to realize their full potential. We need action right now to help make that happen. World leaders are meeting to make decisions in the next two weeks, so we need you to send a letter to your MP today.

Yes, I’ll send my letter

Thank you for adding your voice!

 On behalf of Mueni and the team at Foodgrains Bank,

James Kornelsen


 Gift Bags for New Babies

We are happy to report that 16 gift bags for new babies have been delivered to West Broadway Community Ministry. Although COVID restrictions mean the new Moms cannot meet together in person, programming continues with one-on-one visits and on-line groups. The members of UCW Unit 94 say thank-you to Dorothy R for purchasing items, assembling the gift bags and arranging pick-up. We also thank knitters Morag B and Alma A and seamstresses Dorothy R and Nancy D.

What’s in a gift bag? A sleeper, onesie, socks, burp cloth, swaddling blanket, hand knit blanket, hat, baby soap in a hand knit fish mitt, board book and wet wipes, all packaged with our love and best wishes!



From June 14th to 19th, the YAAY Committee and all other participants will be working together to walk 900km using the app “Pacer”. 900km is one tenth of the distance from Winnipeg to Turkey, where a family of four is currently living. The YAAY Committee is working with Young United Church to raise the final $8,000 needed for their refugee sponsorship application.  This event is free for anyone to participate, but as it is a fundraiser, all participants who donate or raise $20 or more will be entered to win one of three prizes. All participants will receive a plant as a thank you for participating!

Register Here!

After registration you will receive information about how to join the app and get set up on our fundraising page.

If you do not want to participate, but would like to support one of the runners/walkers, please go to this CanadaHelps page. You can select the name of the person you would like to support, which may help them to win a prize.