I would like to introduce you to Jane Powell, whom I see monthly for a spiritual check-up. I call her my spiritual guide—others use the name spiritual director or body talk practitioner. She is steeped in the Christian tradition, amongst other faith traditions and energy work, and has a particular interest in the Christian mystics, as do I. In our last session together, we talked about how to walk the middle way during these polarized times. She envisions a darkened path bordered by flat stones. Light is cast only as far as the next step. Every time she finds herself moving into reactive energy, she envisions this path that draws her back into the middle way where she can sit prayerfully with the present situation and respond with compassion. Key to this image is that we can only know our next step. Beyond that lies the unknown.
I have heard that some teachers are saying that they are already in their “November tired”—in other words, energy that is usually sagging by November has already sagged to that level due to added stress and so many unknowns this fall. We all start our day with our cup already filled half-way—or even three-quarters. It doesn’t take much more to overflow into frustration, depression, tears or anger. We find ourselves reacting more than usual.
And so—I invite you to join me in what will become part of my intentional spiritual practice for the next while. Here’s what I will try to do. The moment I sense reactive energy begin to build in me (evidenced in me by my heart beating a little faster and my face feeling flushed), I will try to take a micro pause and visualize this path. This pause alone will help to slow down my reactive energy. Because the light illuminates only the next step ahead, I can’t look forward with worry or attempts to plan. The image keeps me in the present. As I breathe into my slow, steady steps, my sympathetic nervous system steps down from high alert. The fight/flight/freeze path melds back onto the slower path, giving me a bit more space and time to process and release.
This slow path reminds me of Jesus teaching his disciples that his way is a narrow path, more difficult and challenging to follow than the common path. Indeed, calming our surging energy of fear and frustration is very difficult. But with God’s grace it is not impossible. This narrow path is the one that takes us to compassion—for everyone on all sides of the vaccination debate.
Will you join me in this spiritual practice of trying to walk the narrow, slow path of compassion? We start with baby steps, because we are truly learning how to walk again.
UPCOMING WORSHIP SERVICES
Live-streamed Thanksgiving service with Tessa B preaching and Earl Gould liturgist while Loraine is on bereavement leave for a Celebration of Life for her mother in Victoria.
Live-streamed service including baptism for a new family.
Our extra offering for Thanksgiving will go once again to the Canadian Food Grains Bank. Please indicate “Food Grains Bank” with your donation.
REOPENING THE CHURCH
Dear Members of Westworth,
The Safe Reopening Committee continues to work diligently as we gradually begin to reopen our church building for worship, small groups, individual visits and rentals. Faced with the quickly changing COVID situation in our province, the unknown possibilities of what a “Fourth Wave” may bring, and caring deeply for the health and safety of our congregation, we have taken a cautious approach to reopening. We thank you for your patience, and we are grateful to all those who have kept the important work of our church alive as we have waited to reopen our building.
Reopening has begun in small, controlled steps, and those involved take great care to be as safe as possible. Our choir is now practicing on Thursday evenings, the UCW and other groups have had in-person meetings, and rentals have begun once again. For the present, we are delaying in-person worship, knowing that our live streamed and recorded services are available to our congregation and beyond. We have been told that the next few weeks will be critical in the spread of a “Fourth Wave”. For the next few weeks, our committee will be closely monitoring COVID developments particularly in the Winnipeg area, and will make decisions about our Worship services and other building use based on the data that is presented. We will, of course, need to consider any new restrictions to the Public Health Orders.
On Monday evening our Council accepted Hope Continues, a revised reopening plan for the church, and made some suggestions for possible additions. This plan complies with and often exceeds the measures required by the public health orders and will minimize but not eliminate the risk of contracting the virus while in our building. We ask everyone to consider their own health and safety needs as they think about returning to in-person activities. Please remember to call ahead if you wish to enter the building. A copy of this document will be available on the website within the next few weeks. If you require more information, please email or call the office at 204 489 6974 and your request will be forwarded to the appropriate person.
Thanks to you, our staff and Council for the continuing support!
Westworth Safe Re-Opening Committee
UPCOMING STUDY GROUP
The Landscape of Grief and Loss with Linda Watson
This will be a six-week discussion group looking at grief and loss, including the losses experienced during the COVID shutdowns. The six sessions will develop as follows: 1) Lies my culture told me, 2) Dumb things people say (and why), 3) Am I losing my mind? (Sadly, yes), 4) What’s God got to do with it?, 5) The challenge of empathy, and 6) Hello, self-compassion. NOTE: Although we will draw on our personal experiences, this will not be a “support group”, as such.
The group will meet Mondays, October 18 – November 22. If you are interested, please contact Linda at email@example.com to indicate your preference for:
a) PLACE: on Zoom, OR on an in-person basis at the church (only fully-vaccinated),
b) TIME: in the afternoon (2:00-3:30pm), OR evening (7:30-9:00pm)
Linda Watson is relatively new to Westworth and we are fortunate to have her offer her gifts of teaching and facilitation. Drawing upon her theological training, plus life and ministry experience, she brings a valuable perspective on grief and loss. She is the author of Facing Death: A Companion in Words and Images.
This week Westworth kids will listen to the story of ‘The Burning Bush’. We will talk about Thanksgiving and what we are thankful for! Please join us at 10.15am till 10.40am. The Zoom invitation information is below.
– Maggie and your Sunday School Teachers
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 899 4698 7441
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
Bible Story: The Burning Bush
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.
Bible Story is Available Here:
Curriculum is Available Here:
- West Broadway Community Ministry (1JustCity)
New Approaches! As a part of the 1JustCity Family, West Broadway is entering into a new way of being present to the community. Beginning this week, WB will be open Monday through Thursday, afternoon to early evening. The Pantry will be available each day, with folks being welcomed for coffee with a volunteer, and then “shopping” for needed items. Suppers will be served early evening (still through the window). Although this is a departure from the decades-long operational format, this change will ensure that our guests will have an opportunity to receive a nourishing meal at suppertime, with lunches continuing to be served at the Maryland and the Oak Table locations. It is the intention of the Outreach Team to continue to offer one meal per month. We will inform you very soon as to what that offering will look like! Stay tuned!
- West Broadway Community Ministry (WBCM) Emergency Pantry: Thank you for your support for the folks in the West Broadway area. Cheques to Westworth with “WBCM Pantry” on the memo line are gratefully received!
- An Incredible Opportunity to Consider – “LET JUSTICE FLOW“!: Westworth United Church has supported involved with West Broadway Community Ministry since its beginning, continuing for decades as a member of the Winnipeg Presbytery’s Partners in Mission. We have had members serve on the WB Board and on the Pastoral Care Team. We have invited members of the West Broadway Community to share their story in worship services. We have served their favourite lunch—meatball subs—on a monthly basis. Even through the COVID pandemic, we have supported them with a monthly meal and donations for emergency food.
As you may know, to address the reality of an aging Church, shrinking dollars and fewer volunteers, West Broadway Community Ministry opted to join with other Community ministries in the city and reach out beyond the churches for both funding and volunteers. In early 2021, West Broadway officially became part of 1JustCity.
While we celebrate this choice, we are concerned that our church’s vital connection to inner city mission could become lost. Rev. Linda Trono, the outgoing Minister at West Broadway has devised a plan where each Community of Faith might encourage a member to engage in education and collaboration through a 10-week certificate program, Let Justice Flow. The course will begin in November. Brochures are available now and applications for the course are due mid-October. If you are interested in taking the course, please contact Ruth Wiwchar at ruth.wiwchar@mymts for more information.
Making a Difference in the World
Join Canadian Foodgrains Bank for a virtual “Singin’ in the Grain” fundraising concert on, Saturday, October 16, 2021, at 8:00 pm, Central Time. Appropriately, October 16th is World Food Day. The video will be available to be viewed later as well.
Since 2011 the “Singin’ in the Grain” committee has organized annual fundraising concerts to support the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the concert became a virtual event in 2020. Given the positive response to that virtual concert we are delighted to invite you to another virtual Singin’ in the Grain concert.
Michelle Sawatzky of Golden West Radio will MC this musical event featuring three sets of talented musical guests who have offered their time and talents for you to enjoy in an hour of outstanding music. The Quonset Brothers from Winkler are back by popular demand. Quattro Grani is a quartet from Winnipeg featuring Matt Pauls, James Magnus-Johnston, Nolan Kehler, and Mike Wiebe. The musical duo of Kim Thiessen and Darryl Neustaedter Barg round out a lineup of wonderful musical talent. For more information, click on the link! https://foodgrainsbank.ca/news/singin-in-the-grain-2021/