I am relieved that our province has taken a gradual approach to reopening to allow us more time to have as many people fully vaccinated as are willing and able. I am also grateful that we have the medical knowledge and financial means to have this protection. Below you will see ways in which you can contribute to vaccination programs in other countries that are less fortunate. Our federal government is currently matching donations sent through the United Church of Canada. Know that all funds sent through the United Church for special appeals go to directly to these appeals. No overhead administration costs are taken from these donations.
As we look towards the fall, we are hopeful that we will be able to safely have in-person worship. We won’t know the exact re-opening date until our Worship Team and Safe Reopening Committee meet in early September. Until then, we will be offering an online service this Sunday at Westworth. For August and Labour Day Sunday, we encourage you to watch the online services at St. Andrew River Heights United Church. I will be leading worship on the Labour Day Sunday at St. Andrew’s while Rev. Karen Lumley is away.
Next week, I will be on study leave attending an on-line course through Richard Rohr’s Living School. Following this week, I will be on holiday for August, when Nancy & I will be in Victoria for 2 weeks to be with my father and then we’ll be in a remote cabin with our beloved canoe for one week. I’ll be back September 1. During this time, the following ministers will be on call for emergency pastoral care:
Rev. Earl Gould July 23-31. (204) 888-1543 (home)
Rev. Karen Lumley Aug. 1-25 (204) 250-5073 (cell)
Rev. Heather Robbins Aug.26-31 (204) 295-1542 (cell)
We have so many leaders, volunteers and staff who have worked so hard these past months to keep Westworth moving forward with meaningful ministry and solid infrastructure that pave the way for an exciting future. Thanks to all of you, we are well-placed for a fall that will be rich with new life and possibilities. We have baptisms, weddings and funerals that are on hold. Rentals are again being tentatively booked. We will meet new people who have found us in this virtual existence.
But before things start up again, I do hope that you are able to rejuvenate, travel and relax with family and friends. You have made it this far—let’s celebrate as best we are able with the gifts of life and love that bless our lives.
Pat C turns 90 on July 28
Gordon T turns 101 on July 31
Eleanor G turns 85 on July 27
Please contact the church office for addresses, if you wish to send cards.
Westworth supports Rossbrook House with its annual carved turkeys and gravy at Christmas time. They just held their annual meeting virtually and included a brief Youtube of the year’s highlights: https://youtu.be/f0sDTksl9Mw . At the meeting, they mentioned gratitude for Westworth’s turkey meals.
FUNDRAISING FOR ENHANCED AV SYSTEM
This past Tuesday, Westworth Council approved a fundraising campaign for the new AV system for our sanctuary. Our goal is to reach $80,000 and we are almost there before we even begin!
$30,000 Prairie to Pine Region matching grant
$30,000 Westworth Fund (approved by Council)
$8,200 Donations to date
If you have appreciated the online worship services, which are now being shown weekly by The Wellington retirement home, and our ability to bring people from across Canada and around the world to participate in funerals, weddings and workshops, please consider supporting this initiative. Without this enhanced system, we will be unable to continue live-streaming once we return to in-person worship.
AFTER-CHURCH ZOOM CAFÉ
We will hold a Zoom Café after the church service. 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.
THIS IS THE LAST ZOOM CAFÉ FOR THE SUMMER
Meeting ID: 823 4030 0192
Dial 204 272 7920
UPCOMING WORSHIP SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS
June 27—July 25
St. Andrew’s River Heights will be joining virtually in these services.
Spiritual power with Rev. Earl Gould and soloist Martin R
August 1-Sept 5
Westworth will join St. Andrew’s River Heights in their online services. Click on “What’s New” on their homepage to access their online worship services https://standrewsriverheights.com . The services will be available as of 10:30 am on Sundays. The September 5 service will be recorded at St. Andrew’s and will be a joint communion service with Loraine and Rita S co-officiating.
This week’s Bible story is The Good Shepherd.
Stay connected with children’s weekly bible stories on our Westworth website and Facebook page.
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 available here: https://www.facebook.com/westworthuc/videos/2997706340485900
Highlights from the May 25, 2021 Council meeting:
- Council approved pursuing video broadcasting capability.
- Council established a working group (Audio-Enhancement Team) with representation from Property, Worship, CE, M&P, Finance and Communications, with invitations to other interested individuals.
- Council designated $30,000 from the Westworth Fund to honour our dollar-for-dollar commitment to the Prairie to Pine Church Development Inc. grant. (A grant from Prairie to Pine was promised following the April 19th Council Meeting, as was outlined by Loraine in a congregational email).
Highlights of Special Council Meeting on July 13th following up on receipt of the grant:
- Council approved a contract position for a casual maintenance worker.
- Council ratified appointment of a new Director of Music: Bill Q beginning September 1st, 2021.
- Council approved in principal proceeding with the audio-visual package proposal, and authorized the Audio- Enhancement Team to dedicate $80,000 to the project, with overages to be authorized by Council.
With thanks to Loraine for keeping congregation informed of some of these exciting developments through our congregational e-mails.
Council invites queries and responses; please contact us by e-mail or phone.
– Joyce C, Council Secretary
WESTWORTH FINANCE OVERVIEW
The Westworth finances to the end of June show a positive Net Income of $24,327 after expenses are deducted from revenues, but this is distorted by one-time grants and wage subsides from government due to COVID totaling $29,221. Without these Westworth would be showing a net loss of about $5,000. These subsidies are ending and are unlikely to be available in the months and years ahead.
Donations to the general fund are lower by $5,000 as compared to last year and higher by almost $3,000 to M&S. As PAR revenues automatically continue from month to month, the difference in donations is in non-PAR pledges which have not been made to the end of June. If members have made a pledge and can contribute toward it, this would be most appreciated. It may be a question of timing by donors, and this will be monitored by the Finance Committee. There are no open plate donations as the church is closed. M&S donations are flowed through Westworth and no portion is retained.
Some operation expenses are lower (caretaking, office expenses). Heating expenses are higher and it is believed this is primarily due to the Carbon Tax. Insurance expenses to date are lower simply because they are now being paid monthly. Overall insurance has gone up significantly.
Leadership Team expenses are higher by $3,000 with music almost double due to the honorariums paid to soloists, higher property expenses and higher Christian Education expenses.
Wages are higher than last year due in part to the overlap of Office Administrator staff with the retirement of Heather and the start of Tammy. There were also end of employment expenses which are typical with a retirement.
If members have any questions, please direct them to me at my email or through the church office.
NEW DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
We are so pleased to announce the hiring of our new Director of Music, Mr. Bill Q, who will start in this position on September 1, 2021. Bill has an extensive background in music, from church musician as a baritone, to playing guitar, to choir director at various churches. In addition, Bill has significant experience in choral directing and musical theatre as a middle and senior high school choral teacher. Please extend our warmest Westworth United Church welcome to Bill. We are so pleased to have Bill join our team and congregation.
A very special thanks is extended to our Search Committee in the recruitment process for this position, specifically Elaine B (M&P), Teresa S (Worship/Choir), Dorcas W (Worship), George N (Worship), Carol W (Choir), Neil A (Choir), Grace J (Confirmand), and Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd (Minister).
– Sharon S, M & P Committee
FROM WESTWORTH OFFICE
The last congregational email for the summer is July 29thas the office is closed for the month of August.
UNITED CHURCH MODERATOR’S STATEMENT ON RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL BURIAL SITES
To Residential School Survivors, Families, and Communities:
I want to acknowledge the pain that you, as survivors of residential schools, families, and communities, are experiencing. We understand that the pain endured at these schools went far beyond their walls and grounds into community and through generations.
The United Church of Canada operated 15 residential schools: Alberni, Ahousaht, Coqualeetza, Kitimaat (Elizabeth Long Memorial Home), and Port Simpson (Crosby Boys’ and Girls’ Home) in BC; Edmonton, McDougall Orphanage/Morley, and Red Deer in Alberta; Cote (formerly Crowstand), File Hills, and Round Lake in Saskatchewan; Brandon, Norway House, and Portage la Prairie in Manitoba; and Mount Elgin in Ontario.
We are aware of cemeteries on some of these sites, and we know that there are also unmarked and likely undocumented graves of children.
We acknowledge that our role in the residential school system and colonization is an abuse of power through our Christian faith. We hope that our ongoing work for reconciliation, which has been guided by United Church residential school survivors, more truly reflects what our faith calls us to be and do. We are committed to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, especially those directed to us as perpetrators. These include those related to burial sites and missing children.
In the spirit of truth telling and transparency, we want to share the work that we have done, in consultation with community, on identifying and restoring graveyards. The United Church in southwestern Manitoba has actively supported ongoing work on the identification and preservation of gravesites related to the residential school in Brandon; this includes the 104 graves identified off-site in 2018. In Saskatchewan, we supported the community of Okanese in preserving its graveyard and honouring the children buried there. The United Church of Canada has also been a partner in the preservation of the Regina Industrial School cemetery. (Regina was operated by the Presbyterian church, but the United Church shares responsibility.) United Churches in Red Deer, Alberta, worked to preserve the residential school cemetery in cooperation with the communities whose children were sent to Red Deer. There has also been research into possible graves at the Edmonton Residential School.
This work is just a beginning, and we understand that it must continue. Steps are required to properly locate, identify, and honour these children, and for the truth that Indigenous people have always known to finally be heard. Any work we do to help search grounds of and surrounding United Church residential schools must be done with respect for, the consent of, and with the guidance of Indigenous leadership, communities, survivors, and families.
We know that we are not the experts in this work. We will continue to share all the documents and knowledge we have. If anyone in community wishes to share information and expertise with us, we will gratefully accept it and be committed to transparency.
We are committed to meeting with leadership to hear how they wish to proceed, and whether they would like our assistance at any stage. This includes financial assistance for what community leadership deems appropriate.
The United Church of Canada is committed to reconciliation and to transparency in our efforts to support Indigenous leadership, communities, survivors, and families in bringing these children the honour we denied them in life.
The Right Rev. Dr. Richard Bott
Making a Difference at Home …..
West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM) Emergency Pantry: West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM) Emergency Pantry: Because the need for emergency food continues, we will continue to accept cheques throughout the summer months to support the Pantry. Cheques can be issued to Westworth with “WBCM Pantry” on the memo line. Thank you!
- Books by Canadian Indigenous Writers:
For further understanding residential schools, you may find the books listed here interesting and helpful. There are books for children, youth and adult! Indigenous Writers Books
Making a Difference in the Community …..
- Cuban Emergency Relief Appeal
Westworth has had an on-going relationship with Luyano Presbyterian Church in Havana for over three decades, beginning with the vision of Rev. Dr. Eleanor Gieb. Over the years, many from Westworth have visited Luyano, including our youth groups, and we still connect with members and former members of the congregation on an on-going basis. More than $1000.00. has been sitting in our “Cuba Fund”, intended for future youth tours to Cuba. As there are no tours planned in the immediate future, and as Cuba is at a crisis point vis a vis food security, medical supplies and COVID – related needs, we are pleased to be able to support the United Church in its Cuban Emergency Appeal.
Most recently, the United Church sent funds to the Cuban Centre for Reflection and Dialogue, located at the seminary in Matanzas. The Centre has become a vaccination centre and a field hospital for children and their families. If you would like send donations, every penny will be used for emergency appeals. Administrations costs do not come from these donations.
You may donate online at https://united-church.ca/donate select “in celebration” and ’emergency response-Cuba’ in text field, call 1-800-268-3781 or send a cheque to The United Church of Canada 3250 Bloor Street West Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4 – make sure to notate CUBA on the donation.
If you would like to sign a petition asking the Canadian government to call on the United States to end their embargo of Cuba, please click on this link: (petition link here) ,
- Great News for Small Farmers in Africa
We are excited and grateful to announce that Westworth has made a difference as we hear recent news of Canada’s commitment to increase support for people around the world affected by a changing climate.
At the G7 meeting held in mid-June, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Canada would double the amount of money it provides to developing countries for climate finance, including support for vulnerable people to adapt to the effects of climate change they are already experiencing.
“We are confident this support will have a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of people around the world, particularly small-scale farmers,” says Foodgrains Bank executive director Andy Harrington. He notes that although small-scale farmers have contributed little to climate change, they are some of the people most-affected by it, due to things like drought and flash flooding.
This announcement is the result of years of advocacy work. Over the last several years, people in the Foodgrains Bank network have sent more than 25,000 postcards to members of Parliament, met with MPs, written hundreds of letters, and engaged with elected officials through social media. Thank you!
If you have participated in any of these advocacy actions, or if you are just thankful for this, then join us in sending a note of gratitude to the Prime Minister.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELEANOR!
On July 27, Eleanor Gcelebrates her 85th birthday. To celebrate that significant landmark, we’re encouraging congregational members to send Eleanor a birthday card or give her a call to congratulate her. She says she really doesn’t want a large gathering at this time, but would be ‘delighted’ to hear from her many friends.
My friend, Ken D, who is also a friend to many Westworth congregants has been having a particularly difficult year. We were asked during the Prayers of the People on Sunday’s service to pray for Ken as he is facing surgery on Friday. He is also dealing with a recent family tragedy as his foster Son is accused of murdering his young daughter. As well, Ken is still grieving the death of his Spouse John R. It’s a lot for one person to deal with . I would like to ask anyone that would be willing to cook a meal that could go in the freezer if possible for Ken and his son Abe when Ken returns from hospital and begins recovery. I am willing to pick up food and deliver it to Ken or coordinate the distribution of any donations. Please email me at email@example.com or call 204-295-1542 if you would like to help.
– Blessings, Heather Robbins (she/her)
UNITED CHURCH COVID-19 GLOBAL RESPONSE
The Pay it Forward part of The United Church of Canada’s campaign in support of global partners, encouraging people to buy a vaccine for someone in another country, will now be matched by government funds.
Pay It Forward is part of the church’s COVID-19: Global Response. Now in its second week, the campaign urges people to advocate, donate, and buy a vaccine to be administered in the Global South, where pandemic-related suffering continues to increase. Pay it Forward offers the chance to buy a vaccine for just $25 for someone in a country where vaccines are in short supply and are distributed through UNICEF’s networks.
Advocacy efforts are getting results. This week, the Canadian government announced that 17.7 million doses of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine will be sent as part of Canada’s contribution to the international COVAX initiative to share vaccines. “At their June summit, Group of Seven (G7) nations pledged to donate 870 million vaccine doses over two years, but the World Health Organization says that the world needs four billion doses this year alone and 11 billion doses to conquer COVID-19 globally. We must continue to advocate for more distribution and remove barriers so more countries can produce their own vaccines,” says Patti Talbot, Team Leader, Global Partnership Program.
Donations will be distributed to the church’s overseas partners for their ongoing work in food security, health, and education. “Many United Church partners are working in conditions we can’t imagine, providing community care since the pandemic began and not letting up, despite the risks to their own health and safety,” Talbot adds.
As the campaign notes, the pandemic is not over for anyone until it is over for everyone.