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 Andreas hopes for the future
are to attend university in another city, see the Seven
Wonders of the World, and be successful in life.
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 dont
mind selling the things they produce mostly they create
for the joy and relaxation that lies in the act itself.
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.
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
Lurosss 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
yearly with other Club artists in such places as The Conservatory
at the Park, the Centennial Concert Halls 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.
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
5) People who wish to receive a particular month's edition by
mail can request this service by phoning the church office at
PARIS REFLECTION. . .
Pam McLeod Arnould
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
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. Around
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
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
anyones home: the RRSP analyses stacked
on the homework beside the hockey schedule; or
the dinner conversations about concerts, Grandmas
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
childrens yearly growth, dints from the
time I tried to move the piano alone, the puppys
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 Gods people. (As long as they
dismount before entering!)
Creating For Pleasure . . . .
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 Bobs
paintings can also be seen at the United Church Conference
offices here in Winnipeg.
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
his own pieces in the style of the art studied. James especially
enjoys cartooning and has recently
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
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.
Its just for fun.
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.
Harrisons 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
Its 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.
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.
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
of the MONTH
May thy ball lie in green pastures...and not in
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 whos relevance? Relevance to those whose comfort
is found in tradition - ritual, theology, confession, sin,
repentance and salvation through the teachings of the institutional
Relevance to those who find their comfort in unritualistic
services, feel-good services with people who smile a great
deal , clap their hands joyfully
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
In the world of alternative worship Relevance is a smorgasbord
of tradition, trendiness, yesterdays fads, tomorrows
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
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
worship might be, what experiences people are having with
alternatives and how congregations might make it happen.
Some of the discussion and peoples 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
or to email@example.com
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
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).
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,
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.
Church Calls for Moratorium on New Genetically Modified
Wednesday, June 1, 2005 Toronto
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
outlines the genetically
food policy recently approved by its General Council Executive.
policy's recommendations are the result of nearly four years
of work involving study and consultation with United Church
congregations, theologians, ethicists, agronomists, and
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 promotedirectly or indirectlythe 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