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Our next Service of Communion will be held on Sunday, June 13, at 10:30 a.m.. As the celebration of the Lord’s Supper grounds us in what is essential in our faith and binds us more closely to our Lord Jesus Christ, we encourage all members of the congregation to make a special effort to attend this service. We also welcome others to our table. Our practice is to invite all who love Jesus, regardless of age, denomination, or status of membership, to join in the meal that he has prepared .

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If you have in your hands a printed copy of this newsletter, you will also find that it contains a Communion Offering envelope. If you are getting your newsletter on the net, you will find Communion Offering envelopes included in your box of Sunday offering envelopes or placed in the pews at church. You can use these envelopes to make a special offering on June 13. Remembering at the Lord’s Table how Christ gave himself for us, we respond in gratitude by making an offering of ourselves for others.

This Communion Offering will be equally divided between four organizations whose work is of particular interest to our congregation and which we have been supporting for many years:

The Conference Bursary Fund, which provides support to those studying for the ministry;
Alpha House, which provides safe transitional housing for women and children at risk;
The Canadian Bible Society, which distributes low-cost scriptures in Canada and abroad;
Project Peacemakers, which provides educational programs on issues of peace and international relations. The Project Peacemeakers office is located at Westminster Church.

We thank your for your generous April Communion Offering. $1,200 was given for the Westminster Session Fund, enabling our ministers to respond to cases of immediate need.

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Betty Halstead
Gordon Pattison
Gwen Thorsteinson
Helen White

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This program began about five years ago when it was pointed out that not everybody is away all summer and they don't all golf. In fact, for some, the more leisurely pace of the sommuer months affords them more time to be a part of a study group. We start at 7 p.m. and are done by 8:30, hence the name "Home Before Dark". This year, as in others, we have a series of videos to stimulate our thinking and discusion. "Faces of Faith" will introduce us to speakers who will share their faith stories and challenges us to reflect on our own experiences of God. The first if Bernie Siegel, a physician and author of the best-selling Love, Medicine, and Miracles. He has encouraged thousands of patients and their families by gently prodding them to view ther afflictions as opportunities for redirection and healing.

This series will run 3 Tuesdays in July : July 6, 13 and 27. (On July 20th there is a special concert being held in the church which we hope all will attend.)

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Rose will be preaching for five Sundays (June 27 - July 25) and has chosen as this summer's theme "A Handful of Parables". Do you have a favourite? Come and let's explore together these stories with their hidden and not-so-hidden meanings.

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Blue Jean Sunday School continues throughout the summer. There will be stories, games and crafts for ages 3 - 12. Those over 12 are welcome to be Jr. Leaders and we will need an adult for each Sunday. If you can participate, please call Rose at 784-1330.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL will be held at St. Andrew's River Hights United Church, July 19 - 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We have more details adn application forms at the church office.

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I am really going to miss you, Betty.
You were my right hand since I came to Canada.
You helped me in so many ways, and you never
got tired of doing that.

You made my life easier by helping me get to know
Winnipeg, shopping, lunches, laughing and caring
for me and my family.

I'm lucky you were my friend,

Lela Saric

The Refugee Committee has unanimously decided to recommend to the Church Board the renaming the Refugee Fund as Betty Halstead Refugee Fund.

As a member of the Refugee Committee at the Westminster United Church, I have had the privilege to meet and work with wonderful people. Their deep compassion and conscious effort to help others in need has touched me very personally. I have been thankful to have them in my life for the last seven years.

About seven years ago, my wife Lily and I were searching for ways to sponsor my cousin, Lela Saric, and her family, who had been stranded in the war-torn Yugoslavia. We found the much needed help at the Westminster United Church. What seemed like an impossible task for the two of us was suddenly blessed with a lot of hope.

The hope came from a few individuals whose enthusiasm and initiative had eventually led the way to a successful undertaking of sponsorship for the Saric family.

Betty Halstead was in the heart of our efforts. Hers were the most difficult tasks, and she did them with great joy and enthusiasm. Betty was a true leader, with always positive approach, giving encouragement when needed, taking initiative when needed, breaking through cultural differences when needed.

Betty had laid the foundations of the Refugee Fund when she appealed to the congregation to help Lela Saric and her family. The success of this undertaking has left me and other members of my family with gratitude in our hearts and thankfulness to everyone who helped in the process.The Refugee Fund continues to be of fundamental importance for the current and future work of the Refugee Committee.

Betty continued to be actively involved with the work of the Refugee Committee for as long as she was able to. Her amazing spirit was a tremendous resource for the rest of us and we will all miss her terribly.

Mladen Despic, the Refugee Committee

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Sundays May 23 - Aug 29 Service Blue Jean Sunday School
Sunday May 30 Service Adult Confirmation & Farewell to Rose
Sunday June 13 Service Communion
Sunday June 20 Service Baptism
  June 15 - 20   Rose away on study leave
  June 21 - July 2   Robert away on study leave
Tuesdays July 6, 13, 20, 27 7 - 8:30 p.m. Home Before Dark (Bible Study)
Sunday August 8 After Service Communion
Wednesday Sept 8 Noon Deadline - Fall Newsletter
Sunday Sept 19   Newsletters available for pick-up
Sunday October 3 Service Communion
Sunday Nov 7 Service Remembrance Service
    After Service Communion
    8:00 p.m. Organ Series Concert
Sunday Nov 14 Service Anniversary Service
Wednesday Nov 24 Noon Deadline - Christmas Newsletter
Sunday Dec 5   Newsletters available for pick-up
Sunday Dec 12 4:00 p.m. Blue Christmas Service
Sunday Dec 19 Service Communion
Sunday Dec 24 7:00 p.m. Family Christmas Service
    11:00 p.m. Choral Candlelight Service

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from the Westminster Congregation

... to Anne Moore and Bruce Linney, retiring co-chairs of the Westminster Garage Sale. They ably guided the many aspects of the sale from its inception in 1994 when $3852 was raised to the current year where over $19,000 was raised. Their invaluable expertise will be appreciated by those continuing in their footsteps.

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It was the 11th garage sale and early on we were concerned that it might be the beginning of the end. Things were slow coming in, and what came in seemed only average. Not of the quality expected of the Westminster Garage Sale. After all, we have a reputation to uphold. March was the turning point and there was a collective sigh of relief. As things turned out, the final amount raised was net $19,000--second highest total of our 11 sales.

Well done volunteers and those who donated such wonderful items. It is not easy saying thank-you to everyone involved. Some of you were working in November and were still there working on sale day. This crew is really the mainstay of the sale, working every Tuesday, and often more, in less than comfortable surroundings. "Bat Cave" is close to the truth although real bats wouldn't be caught dead there.

Thank-you one and all. You did it again. Go and enjoy your summer.

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Two of our youth were confirmed on May 9th. They had participated sine January in a program that is held jointly with young people from St. Andrew’s River Heights United. The leaders are Terry Hidichuk and Janet Walker from St. Andrew’s and Rose Ferries from Westminster. Over the four month period, the class engages in studying the Bible, learning about church history and the Sacraments and many other subjects. They attend other styles of worship and take part in volunteer work. At the end of this time they are invited to make a mature, lifelong commitment to the church.

Stephanie Elizabeth Elder and Adrianna Marie Konstance Gorenc bring not only what they learned during Confirmation classes but many years of involvement in Westminster Church. Both have been part of the Sunday School and Junior Choir; Stephanie currently works in the babyfold and Adrianna has helped at Vacation Bible School and Blue Jean Sunday School. They have taken part in drama productions and other special events in the life of the church. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to grow in their Christian lives.

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Gladys and Rudy Comeault - Gladys is enjoying retirement volunteering in the Oncology Department at Victoria Hospital, volunteering at Westminster. And now that summer is nearly here she will get back to her gardening at the lake. Rudy is also retired but enjoys a continued involvement in the field of housing cooperatives as a consultant. he also spends volunteer time in chruch-related matters of finance. His interests include computers and programming. They are both in their third year of Disciple Bible study. They enjoy worshipping and the fellowship at Westminster.

Ron and Elizabeth Russell- Over their 37 years of marriage they have lived in and attended United Churches in Lynn Lake, Flin Flon, Thompson and Winnipeg. Ron recently retired after 41 years of work with both the Hudson Bay and North West companies.Elizabeth has been a medical lab technologist and for the past 17 years a medical clinic manager.They have a son Mark, currently in Japan and two daughters, Leslie and Marnie, a son-in-law and two grandchildren, all living in New Zealand.

Kathryn and Richard Bracken- Kathryn was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was educated at U. of. Penn. She has enjoyed her years in Winnipeg raising a family and volunteering in schools and community boards.Richard, grandson of former Manitoba Premier John Bracken was born in Winnipeg and educated at Princeton and Harvard. He is currently Chairman of Royal Canadian Securities Limited, Chairman of The City of Winnipeg Civic Pension Fund Investment Committee and Vice Chair of The Business Council of Manitoba.Kathryn and Richard, married 31 years, have 4 sons. Taylor and David have a business in Phoenix, Arisona,Geoffrey is in 4th Year Business at Texas A&M University and John is in 2nd Year at Arizona State University.

Jack and Margaret Swann
- They are both retirees who enjoy reading and golf. Their family includes a son, two daughters, two sons-in-law and 3 grandchildren.

Jackie Derkson and Michael Naphin- This couple is planning their Westminster marriage in October. Jackie is a Lab Technologist. Her interests include teaching Sparks, cross-stitching, curling, baseball and volunteering. Michael is both a surveyor and a plasterer. He enjoys games, movies, sports, science and astrology. Their family also includes daughter Isabella. (Both Michael and Jackie admit they would rather be at home, raising Isabella than be out working!)

Tammy Lee Hoogland and Robert Balon- Tammy and Robert will be married in Westminster this coming November. Tammy is currently a landscape designer. She loves traveling, gardening, reading, drawing, playing the violin and baseball. Robert is a Personal Banker at Royal Bank. He, too, enjoys travel and reading.

Bradley Taylor-Pirogov- Bradley works at W.A. Refrigeration where he has much to do with ice, self-serve machines and is sales manager. His interests include reading in sci-fi and fantasy genres, Bible Study, role playing games and collecting movies. His family includes wife Lisa, two daughters and a son.

Alice MacKenzie- Alice is a retired banker and is currently self-employed in the jewelry business.She is also a long-time member of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Board. She enjoys music, shopping, her cottage and travel. Alice's family includes two sons, both married, and three grandchildren.

Leslie Roberts- Leslie's "day job" is many and varied: a contract worker, Nurse, and Board member and Chair, a gardener and a golfer. She also loves gardening, reading, music and travel.Her family includes 3 siblings, 7 nieces and nephews, and a "surrogate) brother.

Marjory Helen Harvey- Marjory is retired and spends her time volunteering, maintaining a house and garden, knitting and reading. her family includes a sister and brother-in-law and two nieces, both with two children each.

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Rose will be formally bid adieu from her work at Westminster on Sunday, May 30. Roy Halstead apologizes for not having a "Farewell" to Rose in this issue of the news letter. However, a proper accounting of this wonderful woman's work in the congregation will appear this summer on the Rose Ferries sermon page of our website and will then appear in print in our fall newsletter.

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Another Year One of Disciple is being offered this fall and will begin on Monday, September 13. Disciple is a 34 week program which will take you from Genesis to Revelation. The group will be led by Lisa Caldwell who has been a Disciple Leader fro the last two years. Please register by phoning the office as soon as possible. We need to be sure we order enough workbooks for all of you. Your registration fee of $40 covers the cost of your book.

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An Algerian refugee claimant was to be deported in February, but asked a Quebec City United Church for Sanctuary, which was granted. In March,Quebec City police entered the church and arrested him and turned him over to US authorities at the border. The concept of sanctuary has moral authority but is not enshrined in law, and the United Church is concerned about the way this moral authority was violated. The Winnipeg Presbytery Refugee Concerns Committee is passing on a request from the United Church head office that those who feel able to do so should write to their Member of Parliament about this.

An article “ A Sanctuary Violated” is printed in the April 2004 Observer.

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Wayne Arnould is about to conclude a three year term as chairman of Westminster Housing Society. He will, however, remain on the executive as Past-Chairman.

It has been a busy three years. During his tenure as chairman the Society has doubled the number of housing units under its ownership. The growth of the organization brings with it added problems which must be solved: there are more tenants to deal with, more records to keep, more meetings to attend, more financial concerns to address.

Wayne has been involved in all aspects of the operations of the Society besides chairing the regular board meetings. From dealing with a tenant’s complaint about energy costs to negotiating security agreements with financial institutions, Wayne has taken an active role. Fortunately he will continue to devote his energies and skills to Westminster Housing Society in his position as past-chair.

Journalist Tom Ford takes over as board chairman. Tom has been an active member of the board and chair of its budget committee for several years. The balance of the executive remains the same. Frank Le Clair is vice-chair, Charles Huband is vice-chair development, Wilf Brock is treasurer and Andrea Philp is secretary.

The Society is now completing the rehabilitation of a very large former rooming house at 276 Furby Street. It will be transformed into a small apartment building with 7 units. Drive by and take a look.

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The Westminster Concert Organ Series, at Westminster United Church presents exciting concerts with the magnificent four manual Casavant Pipe Organ - superb sight lines of the console, great acoustics. Click here for a description of the organ.




Clive Driskill-Smith is a recent winner of the Royal College of Organists Artist of the Year.  He won the Prize of the Audience at the St. Albans International Organ Competition and the Concerto Gold Medal at the 2002 Calgary International Organ Festival competition.  He is a graduate of Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford University, and is currently sub-organist of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.  After graduation from Eton College, where he was a music scholar, he spent a year as sub-organist at Winchester Cathedral.  He holds the FRCO diploma and was awarded the RCO’s Limpus Prize and the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal.



SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2005 2:30 P.M.


The Organist and Choirmaster at Christ and St.Stephen's Church, New York City, Paul Jacobs was appointed Chairman of the Organ Department at the Juliard School of Music in 2004. He is noted for his mastery of an enormous body of repetoire - having memorized the complete organ works of Brahms, Franck and Durufle, much Messiaen, most of Bach as well as a vast range of other organ literature. And he is working on the complete organ works of Max Reger. He has studied with George Rau, John Weaver and Thomas Murray and performed throughout North and South America and in Western Europe.


SUNDAY, APRIL 17, 2005 8:00 P.M.


Concert organist Martin Setchell is Organ Curator of the Christchurch Town Hall, where he performs on the acclaimed Rieger pipe organ. He studied organ at Exeter University and Cathedral. His advanced studies followed with various teachers including Pierre Cochereau, Marie-Claire Alain, Piet Kee and Peter Hurford. An Associate Professor of Music at the University of Canterbury, his solo organ concerts have taken him to America, Austrailia, Italy, Germany, England, Poland, China and Hong Kong.

Please click here for a printable version of the Westminster Concert Organ Series 2004-2005 season ticket order form.

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Check out the web site www.westminsterchurchwinnipeg.ca You will find information about what's happening at Westminster, the Weekly Bulletin and Rose's and Robert's recent sermons.

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