Keith Love

Vivian McDonald

Val McIntyre

Fred Aoki

Katherine Abra

Carol Latter

Rudy Comeault

Bruce Linney

Grace Aoki

Ron Miller

Roy Halstead

Teresa Young
Keith Love - Chair of the Board
Vivian McDonald - Past Chair
Val McIntyre - Board Secretary
Fred Aoki - Ministry & Personnel
 
Katherine Abra - Christian Education
Carol Latter - Worship
Rudy Comeault - Budget & Management
Bruce Linney - Property
Grace Aoki - Membership & Pastoral care
Ron Miller - Fellowship
Roy Halstead - Communication
Teresa Young - Vice Chair of the Board


Call for Photos: The United Church of Canada is looking for photos to put on its bulletin covers. Photos, slides or digital images on CD. Deadline for submissions, June 30, 2005. $100 paid for each submission used. Contact our church office for a copy of the entry form and full details.

Coming Up in the Newsletter:
Way back at the end of January Bob Gilbert of West Broadway Community Ministry gave the sermon on the topic of his work and that of the West Broadway Community Ministry in our neighbouring community. Since many of you missed that interesting talk, I asked Bob to provide us with the feature article in our May edition on that same topic. Watch for it! Out on May 12th.


 

The debate over same-sex marriage is missing the point.

Opponents of same-sex marriage say it will give marriage a mighty whomp and drop it to the canvas. But they are overlooking this fact: Marriage is already on the ropes. You can't blame gays and lesbians for that. Heterosexuals have done dandy job of pounding marriage.

(I've just seen the fight movie Million Dollar Baby. Does it show?)

The condition of marriage today is summed up in a recent Statistics Canada statistic: two out of five couples will divorce by their 30th wedding anniversary.

A lot of people love to be married in a religious ceremony. They promise commitment, love, giving, forgiveness and reconciliation. They will remain married, they vow, "'til death do us part".

Obviously, many of them forget their vows as soon as they leave the institution, and they rarely return to where they were married.

This has some religions worried. Last year, Pope John Pall II commented on the perilous state of marriage. The Roman Catholic Church doesn't recognize divorce, but it does, in some cases, grant annulments. In February, the Vatican issued its first revised guidelines on annulments in nearly 70 years. More than 50,000 annulments are granted each year around the globe, about two-thirds of them in the United States. The new guide lines make it tougher to get an annulment.

Our minister Robert Campbell, says now is a good time to examine the whole issue of marriage. "No one wants to go back to the days when marriage left women powerless and open to abuse" he says. "But I'm not sure the present chaos is an answer either."

What's going wrong? National Post columnist George Jonas, who was married to Barbara Amiel, the wife of Lord (Conrad) Black, blames the nanny state. Government initiatives such as divorce reform and no-fault divorce, he writes, have undermined marriage.

"Societies can have civilized marriage or civilized divorce," he says. "Our society opted for civilized divorce, and we have been living with the consequences ever since."

Dr. Phil McGraw (I love Dr. Phil because he's smart and not namby-pamby) has a different point of view. He says "we're worse at being married than almost anything we do."

The reason: unrealistic expectations. "What happens when you violate expectations? People go into shock," he says. "They start looking around for something new. On of the biggest misperceptions in relationships is the idea that if you love each other, you shouldn't have to work at it. How crazy is that?"

He adds: "Love is like an ante in a poker game - it gets you in the game. But then you have to work at it."

My friend Garret, who is an amateur expert on being dumped, says: "People are no longer interested in the ideals of marriage. The marry because they think their partner is going to meet their important needs."

Right-wing Christian Americans have rushed into Canada's debate over same-sex marriage, spending millions and even lobbying Canadian MPs on the phone. It's nice they're worried about us. But, perhaps, they should remember that 20 percent of white and 50 percent of black children in the U.S. are born out of wedlock.

If we are going to look at marriage, we should define the institution. Today's marriages are no longer the "traditional" ones so beloved by some. Nearly 70 percent of American women with children under 18 works outside the home.

No question that marriage - what some consider out most important institution - is in trouble.

One thing is sure, though: We can't blame gays and lesbians for the mess we're in.

Tom Ford is managing editor of The Issues Network

 


WEBSITE OF THE MONTH

www.spirit-net.ca/united/forum/list.php?2 "United Forum" A place for friends and members of The United Church of Canada to exchange views on matters that interest them. Want an argument? Want to blow off steam? Want to let the World know where you stand? United Forum!

At our service of Holy Communion on Palm Sunday, March 20, you will have an opportunity to make a Communion offering in addition to your regular offering. Special envelopes for the offering will be placed in the pew holders on the 13th and 20th. Alternately, if you have a box of Sunday offering envelopes, you will find that Communion offering envelopes have been inserted. People who are unable to be out for our Communion service may place the envelope on the plate any Sunday or may mail it to the church office at 745 Westminster, R3G 1A5. The Communion offering goes not to meet the church budget but to the benevolent work of Westminster Church. It is one of the ways for the members of our congregation to do their part to address the needs of others.
The March Communion offering will be used to replenish the Westminster Church Session Fund, a discretionary fund for the use of our ministers to address cases of immediate need. When

the ministers give assistance, it is normally with a voucher that may be used for groceries only at the Food Fare across from the church. To avoid creating a cycle of dependence, they stress that normally assistance will be on a one-time basis. When circumstances warrant, people are also helped with bus tickets to get to medical or job interview appointments. We hope for a generous Communion offering as the Session Fund sustains a heavy demand throughout the year.

GARAGE SALE 2005

 

Get to know the people of Westminster, use your skills (or develop new ones), contribute to a big fund-raising/outreach project. This is what it means to participate in the Garage Sale. At this year's sale (Saturday, April 30), we will be offering, to people of the surrounding community and beyond, innumerable items at rock-bottom prices, all clean and in good repair. This event is the result of countless hours of volunteer labour [we call ourselves the "Bats"] and of very generous donations of goods from members of the congregation, families and friends.
The Bats work in the "bat cave", [the basement area under the sanctuary], cleaning, repairing, sorting, pricing and storing on Tuesday mornings from October to the sale day.
On Friday afternoon, April 29th, the huge set up will take place as we move the goods to the church gym, the main floor lecture hall, the library and a big chunk of space under the sanctuary used for furniture sales. On Saturday, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm a great volunteer staff will sell, secure, and fly around as only dedicated bats can. You may be called in April to assist with the garage sale. Please jump up and jump in- in the bat cave, cleaning, repairing and pricing goods, and at the sale itself, setting up, securing, and selling.
And keep those donations coming in! The earlier, the better! We sell lots of household items including linens, dishes, pots and pans, ornaments, pictures, jewelry, small electrical appliances, lamps, crafts, toys, games, puzzles, videos and tapes, books [no magazines, textbooks, readers digests, thanks], bicycles, outdoor tools, furniture [indoor and out] and the great category of miscellaneous! Very popular are our "treasures" and "silent auction" rooms where our expert fine-goods bat assigns those more valuable items. So search out those nooks and crannies so that this year's sale can be the best yet!

MARCH

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 15
Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. Thursday, 17
Hymn Meeting

2-4 p.m. Saturday, 19
Walk in the Garden
Family Fun Event

11:30 a.m. Sunday, 20
Fellowship Luncheon

7:30 p.m. Maundy Thursday
Holy Communion

7:30 p.m. Good Friday
Tenebrae Service

7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 29
Marion Abra Circle

 


GROUP GATHERINGS

Disciple Bible Study groups in the three levels are still very much in operation. Level I is led by Lisa Caldwell, Level II by Ron Miller and Level III by Jim Young. The groups are cemented not simply by an interest in the topic but by mutual respect and great lunches!
The Quilters: The pioneer art of making beautiful quilts is not dead. Under Sonya Wright’s guidance it is alive and well in our church library space each week. Quilts the group makes have two different destinations; quilts made for silent auction at our yearly garage sale and quilts done on commission. (The current commission is for Geraldine Palmquist.)
At the moment there are nine members in the group, some from Westminster and some from other churches in the city. Interested in joining this friendly group? Contact the church office (784-1330) for more information.
The Marion Abra Group: This group is mainly composed of young mothers with children. Their projects include providing cookies for hungry garage sale volunteers. They also provide a family with a Christmas hamper which includes toys, and a grocery hamper at Easter. New members are welcome. Please contact the church office (784-1330) for more information.
Unit 13 is now meeting nine times a year , monthly luncheon get-togethers at the University Women’s Club at 54 West Gate. Their projects for the year are to make the “famous” Westminster mincemeat for sale at Christmas time and to make after-church coffee during May and September. They also look after the sandwich fillings which, applied to fine buns, feed the volunteers working the garage sale. This busy bunch look after labeling your newsletters four times a year as well. Yes, new members are always welcome. Phone the church office (784-1330) for more information.
Unit 10 meets monthly at each other’s homes for lunch, chat and mutual support. While the group has new members in it some of the members have been in since the beginning, 1967! This unit’s projects include looking after after-church coffee twice a year, making cookies for Fellowship lunches, participating in the garage sale, both in the Bat cave and at the sale itself. A number of them, Liz Wijtkamp, Val McIntyre, Lynn Heise and Phyllis Reader lend a volunteer hand to International H.O.P.E., an outreach project supported by Westminster Church. New members are welcome to Unit 10. Phone the church office (784-1330) for more information.

MILESTONES

Mary Huband, sister of Charles, was back in Winnipeg to visit family, friends and Westminster late in February. Mary left Winnipeg 46 years ago to take up life in Ontario. Her visits “home” are always welcome.


Mrs. Mildred Huband, widow of Rev. Allan, celebrated her 100th birthday last June. She currently lives in a senior’s retirement home in Toronto.


Marie Edward, long time member of Westminster, recently celebrated her 96th birthday at Poseidon Lodge.


Archie Hay recently celebrated his 85th with a round of applause from the congregation on Sunday morning, February 27th.

Keith Richtik, son of Pat and Jim, having passed a number of mind-numbing actuarial exams has become a Fellow of The Canadian Institute of Actuaries. He is now Manager of Actuarial Financial Reporting at Wawanesa Insurance. Keith and his wife, Michelle, have two daughters, Taylor and Brooke.


Rita Menzies has been given a new elbow. Husband, Don, has been looking after her and he now has been offered the opportunity to look after Jim Richtik too. Jim has a new knee.
Best wishes to both Rita and Jim for a clean, quick recovery. Best wishes, too, to Don who has had to develop a whole new life-style. It’s called “housekeeping”.


Judy Hill is “back in the saddle” (car) after a broken arm and much painful physio.

Sam, the cat, is still around her place to take messages if you should phone.


Sarah Joyce is 100 years old! A member of Westminster since 1948, Sarah still lives independently (with the help of a once -a-day home care visitor) and is doing well.


Doris Perry, in her 80’s and also a long time Westminster member is now living in Toronto. If you wish to correspond with her call Marilyn Huband (284-5514) for Doris’s address and phone number.


Cynthia Goncalves has been visiting her aged mom in Barbados. Check with the office if you would like to see the postcards she has sent the church.


IN MEMORIAM

 
Joyce Bell - Born February 26, 1911 on the family homestead in Shellmouth, MB. Family moved to Winnipeg’s west end when Joyce was 16. On June 14, 1927 Joyce and her sister, Myrtle, joined Westminster Church. Joyce worked as a secretary with the Winnipeg Free Press and the CBC.
 
Anna Bertha Murphy - Angenora Murphy’s mother, died February 7th at the age of 99. She was born in Weyburn, SK, and grew up in Gretna, MB. She was predeceased by her husband Cornelious Vanderbilt in 1947.
 
Carol Sherman - beloved aunt of Candace Huntly (choir member).Carol, formerly of Winnipeg, has lived the last number of years in Ottawa where she died February 2nd.
 
Alice Burak - Mother of Judy and mother-in-law of Jim McEwan, Alice lived her life in Winnipeg. In her younger years she worked for Stirling Furs where she made fur coats till she retired at age 56. In her retirement years she continued to enjoy hand work and travelling.
 
Richard A. Harding - father to Linda and father-in-law to Bob Gold. Richard died January 10th in Columbus, New Mexico where he had lived since his retirement over 30 years ago.


Please submit story ideas for our next issue to the Communications Committee by: April 8th 2005

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