TEEN CONFIRMATION

Welcome to new member Andrea Tiwari, who was a member of the Teen Confirmation class, and was confirmed at Westminster on Sunday, May 15th. Andrea is in Grade 9 at Garden City Collegiate. She enjoys traveling, taking pictures, and playing volleyball. Three of Andrea’s hopes for the future are to attend university in another city, see the Seven Wonders of the World, and be successful in life.

Art, Creating For Pleasure

There are many ways to be creative; cooking, singing, acting, writing. For some people in our congregation the creative urge takes the form of painting in oils and watercolors, in using common objects in new visual constructions, in working with clay and glazes. While some of them don’t mind selling the things they produce mostly they create for the joy and relaxation that lies in the act itself.

Jim Richtik works in clay (the flower garden in front of his house is full of his small creations), in building of wreaths with combinations of plant life and seasonal objects
(these hang about, decorating our church building) and flower arranging (which often enhances the front of our sanctuary on Sunday mornings at special times of the year). He has exhibited and sold through the Forum Art Institute in Winnipeg. His picture shows him holding a ceramic piece of three penguins in silly poses. And he made it before he saw the movie Madagascar.
Dorothy Luross’s art experience goes back to her childhood when she watched her father paint in oils. She started in those early years and has continued to the present working in oils painting flowers and landscapes. In 1976 she joined the St. James Art Club and has exhibited and sold

paintings yearly with other Club artists in such places as The Conservatory at the Park, the Centennial Concert Hall’s Piano Nobile and the Manitoba Archives Building. To quote Dorothy, “I paint things that are pleasing to the eye. There is enough ugliness in the world without artists choosing it as their subject matter.” She tells, with pleasure, how a number of her grandchildren are already painting and bringing their work as gifts to grandma.

continued ....

NOTICE: Change of policy for distribution of the newsletter.

1) By internet. Those who have internet connections will continue to be notified on a monthly basis when the newsletter will be on our church website (the third Sunday of each month).

2) The paper edition: starting with September will no longer be sent by pony express to people who have not been able to pick up their copy at church. Copies will be placed in the narthex for anyone who cares to take one including visitors to the service.

3) People on our "far away" mailing list will continue to receive copies by mail.

4) Our shut-in members will continue to receive copies from their regular visitors.

5) People who wish to receive a particular month's edition by mail can request this service by phoning the church office at (204) 784-1330.



“A PARIS REFLECTION”. . .
Pam McLeod Arnould

Imagine, dear reader: it is evening on the corner of Rue Charentin and Boulevard Diderot. The air is filled with the scents of Parisian gardens and cuisine. At a distance, the chatter at a café is pleasant and unintrusive. The traffic is quietening and the shadows are lengthening. Overhead, balconies overflow with window boxes of flowers. Which way to walk? Any way will be marvellous! We set out and the evening is pure bliss, unlike the earlier day.

In the past 24 hours we had flown through the night, chasing backwards around the globe towards the morning sun, landed in the huge confusion of Charles de Gaulle airport under re-construction, collapsed onto a bus, exhausted and awed as we drive from the bright, modern, industrial-strength regions of the outskirts, into the softer, settled old city. The buildings are unself-conscious, dignified in decline like an elegant, aging, beautiful face. Our speed decreases as the density of people and activity increase. It seems that no one else is a stunned tourist on that sunny morning. Aroun
d us, thousands of Parisians swing efficiently into the day, unaware that they inhabit a fairy tale!

Having buttressed my confidence with folders of Internet-researched, detailed maps, and an infallible sense of direction, I had set out confidently from the Gare de Lyon, leading my family directly to the location of the apartment we have rented. Well, not quite directly; my sense of direction was honed on the prairies - not the most complicated training zone! Relinquishing the role of Supreme Leader to the bilingual children, we made it to our safe haven under 400-year-old beams up on the top floor with brilliant rooftop views in every direction. Safely back in the fairy tale, we settled in, shopped at the market, and napped until evening drew us out again.

We wandered back along Boulevard Diderot and found ourselves suddenly overlooking the Seine! I was as startled as a three-year-old finding the largest Easter egg. I expected to find the Seine in Paris, but I had been expecting to find the Seine River in Paris for 47 years and it was thrilling to finally be in that moment. Heading across the seventh bridge, our attention was captured by a collection of houseboats on the south side and it was not until we were in the centre of the bridge that we turned and were suddenly breathless at the sight of Notre Dame Cathedral, its roof and spires shining in the last rays of sun!Not a photo, not a video, not a documentary, but NotreDame, herself, just over there! And all Paris strolling by, taking the miracle for granted.



We walked to the cathedral, getting “deeper” as we approached. My prairie eyes were having difficulty adjusting to the cheek-by-jowl placement of magnificent and famous buildings. It seemed there should have been a respectful space to accommodate the aura! Victor Hugo described Notre Dame as a venerable monument to the history of France, of knowledge, and of art. “Monuments” deserve surrounding vistas, but I was struck by the way Notre Dame is part and parcel of the community. For all that I had first seen the cathedral from a distance, rising grandly above the Seine, close up, it is nestled amongst its neighbours. The wide doorways open directly from the pavement – no imposing flight of stairs – and, until fairly recently, they spilled worshippers and tourists directly into a muddle of small buildings and shops. There is a sense that, despite huge and ancient stone walls, the distinction between interior and exterior is unclear. Entering, we seem to move gradually from the outside to the inside, without ever crossing a definable threshold. The aisles are very similar to the cobbled streets beyond the doors, and the doors are more like castle gates. A very old sign, preserved as a curiosity, instructs people to dismount inside the porch! Alongside the aisles, chapels reveal evidence that they were once buildings inside the building, and the wide spaces would accommodate thousands going about the daily business of life. The cathedral has been a village, incorporating kitchens and gardens, places to sleep, to study, to pray, and also to do the laundry! Simultaneously, it has been a place of great power – political, economic, and social, as well as spiritual. And all this is cluttered in together, as it is in anyone’s home: the RRSP analyses stacked on the homework beside the hockey schedule; or the dinner conversations about concerts, Grandma’s eye appointment, putting the dog down, fish feeding a multitude, and why we study history; or that unofficial household record on the door jam revealing children’s yearly growth, dints from the time I tried to move the piano alone, the puppy’s
teeth marks, and flecks of the
previous owners’ favourite shade of green. The whole history is all there.

Unlike other historic churches we have toured – Westminster Cathedral, Bath Cathedral, the ancient kirk in the Royal Mile in Edinburgh – Notre Dame does not feel separate from its community. The Gothic structure is both lofty and down-to-earth, of the people and above the people, gloriously celebrating God and realistically accommodating God’s people. (As long as they dismount before entering!)







Art, Creating For Pleasure . . . .

 

For Bob Burton, art is a hobby that has been with him since he was a boy. While he has taken a number of short courses (in Banff and Brandon, for example) he is largely self taught. Bob paints both in
oils and in watercolors. He also enjoys creating constructions. For example, in the second floor auditorium of Westminster Church along with two or three of his paintings is a large construction piece created with old piano keys (Bob says he has two or three old pianos he uses for art parts!) He has exhibited in the Piano Nobile at the Centennial Concert Hall and, besides his work upstairs in our building Bob’s paintings can also be seen at the United Church Conference offices here in Winnipeg.

Many young people are involved in art through their regular school programs. James Campbell, for instance, was part of an Aboriginal Art Project in his school this last year where he studied native art and was also involved in
creating his own pieces in the style of the art studied. James especially enjoys cartooning and has recently
taken a course at Winnipeg Art Gallery. He is also an avid computer user and there too he finds the means for creating art electronically. Is art a career possibility for James in the future? No. “It’s just for fun.”


Glen Harrison’s home is full of beautifully framed and displayed Impressionist paintings. They look like they have been painted by Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Degas and Cézanne. But they are pure Harrison, copies in oils, of originals that Glen has seen in museums, at exhibits and in
books. For many students in art schools, copying the “originals’ is the first step in learning what painting is all about, what made the masters masters. For Glen, painting is a hobby, not a study, a creative activity that relaxes and engages the mind. And brings pleasure to his family and friends. Since his retirement from Education he has taken courses in Art History which help his eye to ‘see’ what these originals are all about. His paintings are not only in his home but in homes across Canada from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island.

It’s a certainty - many of our congregation use art (of all kinds) as a way to give their lives meaning and pleasure. For some it is also, surely, a spiritual activity. We would like to hear from you of other Westminster people who are engaged in the arts “just for fun”.

GOLF TOURNAMENT RESULTS


The team of Janet “Sorenstam” Forbes, Vic Kostmanchuk, Tracy Moore (daughter of local golf notables John and Anne Moore) and Chas Boone carded an impressive 3 over par score to win the 8th Westminster Open Golf Tournament on June 6th.

Thirty-six golfers were joined by seventeen non-golfers for dinner following golf. A security breakdown at the dessert table resulted in the theft of one portion of baklava before dinner. The “elderly’ perpetrator was apprehended and dealt with. The event produced $2,875 for Westminster Church. And everyone had a great time
JOKE of the MONTH

May thy ball lie in green pastures...and not in still waters!

Golf is a game invented by the same people who think music comes out of a bagpipe.

If you drink, don't drive. In fact, don't even putt. ~ Dean Martin

EVENTS COMING THIS FALL


Our Welcome Back BBQ will be on Sunday, September 11th. Food and drink for the whole family. What a great chance to re-acquaint with everyone after the summer vacation. See you there, summer tans and all!
Reminder to the Kids' Choir members, Helen La Rue hopes to see all you singers on Sunday morning, September 11th at the usual time for another great year of music!


A new choir is to start rehearsals in October, the Cherub Choir for children 3 to 7 years old. Lisa Taylor-Pirogov will be the director. Look for more information in the September newsletter.

THIS IS YOUR LAST NOTICE TILL SEPTEMBER!


The Great Westminster Church Fall Supper and Talent Auction.
It's now 2 months closer than when we first mentioned it! October 22, 2005. The meal will be good, the fellowship outstanding and the auction a great heap of fun. There is a committee already at work on the food and things for the evening. All that's missing is you! and those special talents you have that people can bid for, and buy. For each of us, there is a talent, a skill, a work activity that other people would like to make use of, and at the same time help Westminster, financially. It's a no-brainer! Just let the church office know that you're in the auction mix. Phone 784-1330 and give Edie the details.

Our Shut-In Friends
When you're out and about with a yen to say Hello, some of Westminster's permanent shut-ins might like to see you, hear from you, and know that we're
thinking about them. Give Edie a call at the church office (784-1330) for contact information on the following people: Sheila Boomer, Betty Buggey, Myra Davidson, Marie Edward, Agnes Hamilton, Betty Harvey, Sarah Joyce, Bonnie Kerr, Anne Law, Dorothy Lynch, Rev. Ed McCrea, Frances Mills, Herb Olsen, Rae Rutledge, Nancy Sifton, Junetta Stewart and Arlene Vennels.
Welcome to the Newest Members of the Westminster Family

Patricia Allan moved from Portage la Prairie after nursing for 20 years in the local hospital. Patty now works part-time on the Palliative Care Team home program and finds her work very rewarding. Her favourite pastimes are her grandchildren, Victorian antiques, gardening, and her grandchildren!



Dario and Laurina Perfumo
have been members of the United Church of Canada since their marriage at Knox United Church here in Winnipeg. Both enjoy participating in church activities and have, over the years, been involved in many different congregational programs. They look forward to a rewarding and pleasant association with the Westminster congregation.
Joe and Judy Winowich met in Whitby, Ontario in 1990. They were married in 1992 at St. Mark's United in Whitby. Between the two of them, they have 6 adult children. In the last 15 years, they have moved to many provinces, and have now decided to put their roots down in Winnipeg. They look forward to meeting their new church family at Westminster.


HERE COME THE GUITARS!

And what of Westminster? In the first three years of the current millennium attendance at Sunday morning services was roughly 225 to 250 per Sunday - approximately 50% of the congregation. From the fall of 2004 to the present attendance has been roughly150 to 160 per Sunday - approximately 33% of the congregation.

And what of other churches? The experience is the same. So, the question is always the same: “How can we stop the decline in attendance? At Sunday services? In mainline churches? The answer is routinely a variation on “Relevance.” But who’s relevance? Relevance to those whose comfort is found in tradition - ritual, theology, confession, sin, repentance and salvation through the teachings of the institutional church?

Relevance to those who find their comfort in unritualistic services, feel-good services with people who smile a great deal , clap their hands joyfully

to the rhythm of their music; services that play down theology, confession, a God who demands; services that emphasize participation unrestrained by the uncomfortable pew; services that use guitars!?

In the world of alternative worship Relevance is a smorgasbord of tradition, trendiness, yesterday’s fads, tomorrow’s likelihoods; and it is a deeply personal matter with considerable emotional overtones. At its best it shows a respect for church traditions and an acknowledgement of the need for the spirit in all people. It is not always in sync with the institutional church, its traditions or its definition of spirit.

The recent conference, The Morph Project, hosted by Winnipeg Presbytery was about alternatives in worship. It was also a kind of beginning, attempting to bring like-minded people across Canada together in person and also through the Internet to share and discuss ideas on
what worship might be, what experiences people are having with alternatives and how congregations might make it happen.

Some of the discussion and people’s reaction to it was fairly uncritical (euphoria happens when ardent believers and seekers get together for the first time!) But there were also presentations that were thoughtful and which received respectful reaction from the group. (A dvd of the speech of the first keynote speaker at the conference, Rev Eric Elnes from The Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ in Scottsdale, Arizona is avail for loan... Anyone in the congregation, interested, speak to Roy Halstead)

This topic will continue in the September edition of Westminster News. Carol Latter will also bring information on the supplement to Voices United, a project currently in progress. Your ideas and/or comments on the subject of worship (alternatives, traditions etc.) are welcome. We will gladly include your input in the newsletter (letters to the church office, emails to info@westminsterchurchwinnipeg.ca or to royhalstead@mts.net
From the website www.smallfire.org the following, brief excerpts help define what the current thinking seems to be on alternative worship:

1. Alternative worship is what happens when people create worship for themselves (reflecting their everyday lives rather than the teaching model and imagery of traditional worship)

2. Because most forms of church have become culturally disconnected from the wider world, alternative worship can seem like a radical break with conventional church practices.

3. At the same time, alternative worship searches the traditions of the Church for resources that fit the needs of the present.

4. Alternative worship is not about trendy evangelism (not about dressing the Church up in contemporary clothes to appeal to outsiders)

5. Alternative worship is deeply concerned for community (people growing through relationships)

6. Alternative worship is intensely concerned with creativity.

7. Alternative worship tries to give people 'tools' for honest encounters with God (prayer, pens and paper, a video loop, something to eat, someone to talk to, Holy Communion, or anything else that can help us to meet God in some way).

MILESTONES

Charles and Marilyn Huband spent the weekend of June 12th in Toronto for the celebration of Mildred Huband's 101st birthday. Our heartiest congratulations go out to this lady who graced our church from 1948 to 1955 with husband, Rev. Allen Huband, our minister.

Cinderella Man - Have you seen the new Russell Crowe movie "Cinderella Man"? If you have you've seen David Huband as "Ford Bond" the announcer. David, son of Charles and Marilyn (and grandson of Rev. Allen and Mildred) has appeared in 41 movies since his first role in "Police Academy 3" in 1986. On the Internet Movie Database (http://us.imdb.com) he is credited with 30 guest appearances on television and has writing credits for the movie "Seven Gates". And if you are an inveterate TV watcher you will have seen David in many goofy ads! David, his wife, Christina, also an actor, and their young son,

Eddie, who also has many TV ad credits in his CV, live in Toronto.

Congratulations to Pat and Jim Richtik, Boyd Rausch, Lisa and Bradley Taylor-Pirogov and Judy Hill on completion of the 32 week Disciple Level III Bible Study course. It was fun!

Congratulations also to the Friday morning Disciple Level III Bible Study group, Jim and Teresa Young, Keith and Anne Love, Val McIntyre, Gladys Comeault, Liz Wijtkamp, Patrick Chicoine, Grace Aoki and Beth Derraugh which completed the study at the end of January.

Have a Great year: Jim and Georgine Palmquist are leaving for China at the end of August where they will work for a year teaching English to Chinese students. They will be living in Zheng Zhou in Henan Province.

United Church Calls for Moratorium on New Genetically Modified Foods
Wednesday, June 1, 2005 Toronto

"Our concern with genetically modified foods is not what we know about their safety, but rather what we don't know," says Mark Hathaway, The United Church of Canada's program officer for Biotechnology and Food Security.

Hathaway explains that this uncertainty has led the United Church to call on the Canadian government to declare an immediate moratorium on the approval of new genetically modified (GM) food varieties until a more rigorous and independent system of approving, regulating, monitoring, and labelling GM foods has been fully implemented.

"We believe that our current regulatory system lacks the necessary transparency, independence and rigour to truly ensure food safety and ecological sustainability," says Hathaway. "We need an independent government agency working at arm's length to test and monitor all GM foods. This agency should publish all test results and make them available for scientific peer review."


In a letter sent this week to the Prime Minister, the United


Church outlines the genetically modified food policy recently approved by its General Council Executive. The policy's recommendations are the result of nearly four years of work involving study and consultation with United Church congregations, theologians, ethicists, agronomists, and other scientists.

The recommendations cover a broad range of issues, including the mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods; guaranteeing the right of farmers to save, reuse, and exchange seeds; and guaranteeing that Canada's trade and food aid policies do not promote—directly or indirectly—the adoption of GM foods in countries that have not explicitly chosen to do so.

Hathaway explains that the United Church also believes that the Government of Canada should commission thorough, independent, peer-reviewed research into some of the key unanswered safety and ecological concerns around GM foods.

As well, he says, some aspects of GM food technology should simply be prohibited because they pose significant

health and ecological risks. One example of this would be a ban on using GM food crops to produce chemical and pharmaceutical products, such as drugs and hormones that could negatively affect human or animal health if consumed unintentionally.

The moratorium on new GM food approvals is an important first step in creating a regulatory system that takes precaution seriously, says Hathaway. He adds, "Over four years ago, the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel's report called for a much more rigorous and indepen-dent regulatory framework for GM foods. Not only have few of the report's key recommendations ever been implement-ed, but now, with recent legislative initiatives like Bill C-27, regulations applying to the approval of GM and other novel foods could even be weakened."

The United Church of Canada believes the moratorium should remain in place until a new independent agency and regulatory regime for GM foods has been implement-ed, and all GM food varieties that are currently approved for consumption have been retested.




Please submit items for our next issue to the Communications Committee by: Friday, September 9, 2005.

back to top

back to Happenings

 

Worship | Our StaffMembership & Services
 Outreach Programs | History | Contact Us
 Links | Back to Main Page