I write this March 30, looking out at the fresh skiff of snow. As you can see from the photo below, taken April 14, 2021, we forget that spring also played a trick on us last year! And yet, the snow and ice did eventually melt. We had some great times with family and friends with backyard BBQs, fun and relaxation. It will happen again. Just as surely as the sun cycles back into full strength, so we will find our feet under us again and cycle back into our social networks and communities.
I ask you to consider coming back to in-person worship. Here are some of the reasons:
- We continue to have new people and they would like to meet you!
Last Sunday we had 6 new people and 1 newish person. And yet, the total number of people in the pews was 25 (43 all together with choir & volunteers). We didn’t have a critical mass. It can be daunting to sit in a largely empty sanctuary. New folks need to know that we do have a much larger, thriving congregation!
- We offer a place that is safer than the theatre, concert hall or sports venue.
We maintain 5 feet between households on each side as well as in front and behind. Every other pew is still closed. We still require masks and double vaccination for those 12 & over, unless prevented by medical condition.
- We need to rebuild our community.
We now welcome people to stay in the narthex after church to visit. You may be surprised at the changes that have happened to many people over the last two years. Come and share your stories. Come and lend a listening ear. Let’s get reacquainted with one another.
- We offer surround sound music.
Nothing beats live music. We can now sing together as a congregation. We have expanded the choir numbers for worship to 12 (the actual choir is much larger and practices every Thursday—they patiently wait their turn to sign for worship). We can now have one wind instrument and last Sunday, Bettina’s flute transported us to the heavens.
- We cheer Milestone Celebrations.
We are reinstituting the celebration of milestone events, such as special birthdays or anniversaries, graduations or awards. We will resume this practice on the last Sunday of each month, although it will begin this Sunday, April 3. Please let me know by Thursday (today) any milestones you would like us to celebrate.
- We support West Broadway on Spare Change Sunday.
On the last Sunday of each month, we will be resuming our collection of spare change to send to West Broadway Community Ministry. This gives us an alternative response to the request for spare change on the streets and it helps us keep our support West Broadway front and centre.
- We celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion in a safer way.
It has been difficult for many of us celebrating communion alone in our homes. When we can physically come together we can tangibly share as the body of Christ. We are offering communion with pre-packaged wafers and juice that we open together while seated in our pews. Gluten-free options are also served. This coming Sunday, we will be celebrating communion.
Some have wondered if our online services will simply make it easier for people to stay home. While that may be true, we are committed to maintaining online worship for those who cannot come. We recognize that many are no longer physically able to come. As well, some cannot yet come because of immune-compromised systems of either themselves or those with whom they are in contact. In my visits and contacts, I have heard repeatedly how much they appreciate being able to stay connected with the Westworth community through the online services.
If you are able to come—it’s worth the trip! We need you and I pray that you still need us! Let’s build up the body of Christ again.
Upcoming Worship Services both in-person and live-streamed
April 3: Celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion
April 10: Palm Sunday with dramatic readings
April 14: Maundy Thursday service 7:00-7:30 pm at St. Andrew’s River Heights United Church
April 15: Joint Good Friday service 10:30 am with St. Andrew’s at Westworth
April 17: Easter Sunday celebration
April 24: Environment with Rev. Peter Denton
EASTER SPECIAL APPEAL – Deadline April 10 (Palm Sunday)
For a third year, COVID restrictions have prevented the UCW from holding its Rummage Sale or Fall Bazaar and they are unable to contribute to the Spring Appeal. For the last two years, the congregation has stepped up and given generously so that we might be able to continue supporting our partner organizations. Last year, the congregation gave an amazing $2,767. This, together with a carry-over from the previous year, allowed us to distribute $2,800 as per the following table. We ask you to consider the same for this year’s Easter’s appeal. Your contributions will allow us to continue supporting our partners in ministry.
2021 Special Appeals Fund Disbursement
|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.|
|West Broadway Community Ministry||500.|
|1 Just City – for WBCM 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.|
Hello to Our New Interim Coordinator, Children, Youth and Family Ministries
Please say hello to Katie A our interim Coordinator of Children, Youth and Family Ministries. Katie will be working with our Church School and youth and can be contacted at (204)489-6974, ext. 23 or email email@example.com .
Sunday School Online
We are together again in our building, and we hope you will be able to join us for Church School at 10:45 a.m. There is NO pre-registration required. Children will gather in the lower-level classroom with Cheryl, Danielle and Julia for the full hour as part of a multi-age group.
There are no snacks shared at this time. Everyone is welcome to bring their own water with them. Masks must be worn if you are 5 and older.
The Zoom and in-person Sunday school lesson for April 3rd is the story of: The Greatest Commandments! Matthew 22:34-46
Our talk together will be “Jesus tells us to love God and love our neighbours”.
Danielle will be presenting the Sunday School lesson via Zoom at 10:15 a.m.
We hope to see you soon! Please call if you have any questions.
Westworth (204) 489-6974, ext. 23
cell: (204) 588-6331
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 823 0989 8208
+1 204 272 7920 Canada
Everyone of all ages are invited to join Julia on Facebook or through the link in the congregational email for this week’s Bible Story: The Greatest Commandment
Bible Story is Available Here:
Curriculum is Available Here:
VISIONING BREAKOUT QUESTIONS: THIRD INSTALLMENT
During our recent congregational annual general meeting, breakout sessions were organized to give attendees the opportunity to voice questions and comments for the Visioning Committee to consider. The Visioning Committee made a commitment to answer the questions in weekly congregational emails. We have covered, in past emails, questions regarding the possibility of amalgamation and alterations to, adaptations of or loss of the gym, what contacts that the Visioning Committee has made, what has been learned from those contacts, and the timelines for decision making into what a redeveloped Westworth will look like. This week, the topics are the work that has done at other congregations, specifically Augustine and how their neighbours are reacting, and how the committee views engaging our Westworth neighbours.
Question:How has Augustine United Church changed and what does it look like now? How do its congregants and neighbours feel about these changes? Similarly, people asked about Young United
Answer: (abridged from the Augustine Centre website)
‘After being in the centre of it all in Winnipeg’s historic Osborne Village since 1903, with vacant space and crumbling infrastructure, the church council made a bold and innovative move four years ago by reimagining the relationship between the church, the community, and the building. The non-profit entity, Augustine Centre, was born to oversee the maintenance and management of the building.
Since then, Augustine Centre has undertaken an $8.5M renovation project aimed at restoring the historic building to serve the changing needs of the community. To date, Augustine Centre and its partners, Oak Table – a community gathering place and SPLASH early learning centre and the congregation have raised $3.2M in donations and grants plus confirmed $860,000 in long-term financing to complete most of the renovation and restoration of the building, including the steeple. Plans are in place for the auditorium to become a dynamic performing arts stage and the River Avenue lawn turned into a neighborhood plaza, children’s play area and meeting place.
Grant applications to the Federal government and other foundations totaling $3M are pending, leaving $1.5M left to be raised through donors to ensure the project is completed. The restoration of this community hub will honour the legacy of the past and continue to build towards an inclusive, vibrant future for all.’
According to those directly involved in the redevelopment of Augustine, both the congregation and neighbours support how it’s turning out.
Regarding the redevelopment of Young United Church into Crossways in Common, their circumstances were quite different than ours (a fire necessitating the re-build, insurance money was available, the community context 40 years ago was not the same as today). Therefore, the Visioning Committee has not yet asked for an information meeting.
Question: When are we planning to consult with our neighbours and how broadly do we believe it necessary to consult?
Answer: We will consult with neighbours as soon as we have a clearer idea of how we (the congregation) wish to redevelop. In principle, we believe that any neighbor who might be affected by our redevelopment should be informed of our plans and should have the opportunity to comment. We also believe that consultation will be necessary to generate community support for redevelopment and participation in our new activities.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Bruce Tefft . Another installment to come next week!
This opportunity to build and share faith is for you!
The Christian Education Ministry Team is asking you to volunteer to provide leadership for the Team as it plans for, guides and supports a wonderful group of children, youth and Sunday School teachers. You and your Team will be working together to initiate and coordinate a variety of programs and activities designed to provide meaningful faith development opportunities for our younger members. The Team works in partnership with the Coordinator of Children, Youth & Family Ministries, and others as needed. Our new Leader will be part of the Westworth Leadership Team. Please consider finding out more information and then putting your name forward – this is one opportunity where you give and receive in equal measure.
Contact Dianne S or Barb M
Temporary Change to Office Hours:
Office hours for the next couple of weeks will be:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Tammy’s schedule)
Wednesday (currently closed, please leave voice mails/emails)
Updates to the hours will be posted each week in our congregational email.
West Broadway Community Ministry (1JustCity):
The Pantry: Several toiletries were purchased this week for the pantry. These items were purchased with funds you have so generously given in the past few months. Thank you!
Making a Difference in the World
Germinating Conversations: What is a Sustainable Diet?
The Knox United Green Team, in co-operation with the “Germinating Conversations” dialogue initiative, are hosting a night of education featuring 4 local farmers with varying perspectives on and practices of food production who will talk about what sustainability means to them and how they embody that in their farming practices.
It will take place at Knox United Church, April 7th, 7-8:30pm.
Livestreaming of the event will be provided on the Knox Konnection YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/c/TheKnoxKonnexion
The best information currently available indicates that the food chain – production, processing and transportation, is a large source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the media we often hear that if we want to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, thus avoiding catastrophic climate change, one of the best things we can do is stop eating meat and switch to plant based diets. A wonderfully simple solution!
Is it too simple? Maybe “what to eat” is not the only important question. Where was it grown? How was it grown? What are the broader impacts on the health of the soil, the water, the air – the whole biosphere?
Those of us who consume food, in other words all of us, have a role to play in making human life sustainable on this planet, our only home. In order to make good decisions about the food we consume we need good information. Who better to help inform us than those who are active in producing the food we eat?!
Why not create a “Watch Party” and gather your friends to watch this event and then have your own discussion?
The Germinating Conversations Initiative is an initiative created by A Rocha Canada, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Canadian Mennonite University, and Mennonite Central Committee.
The invasion of Ukraine continues, creating a humanitarian crisis with more than 3.5 million people now displaced. Visit the United Church website at Ukraine Crisis | The United Church of Canada (united-church.ca to find out how you can show your support and make a gift.
A Friendly Reminder
This is just a friendly reminder that any church maintenance or cleaning issues need to be identified to Tammy in the office.
Outside of Westworth