Does the name Aidan Conklin ring a bell?

For many Westminster parishioners, the answer is likely yes. The more difficult question for those who grew up in the western end of Winnipeg is, ‘What kind of bell?’
Aidan was a longtime Westminster congregation member whose involvement with the church included serving as its first chair of the board in the seventies and numerous other committee positions. He was also, however, an educational fixture in the St. James-Assiniboia School Division, where he served 35 years as a trustee. The division’s board office, better known as the Aidan Conklin Building, was renamed in his honour upon his retirement in 1980.
Aidan was a man who liked to get involved in the organizations he belonged to, his daughter Elizabeth Wijtkamp says, and the congregation at Westminster was just one of those organizations that benefited from his strong sense of community spirit.

Born in 1905 in Winnipeg’s North End, Aidan was initially a member of St. Giles United Church. He was persuaded by many of his friends to join Westminster though, and he quickly became a part of the church’s vibrant social fabric. In his twenties at the time, Aidan took part in many different activities and was a frequent drama production participant.
Aidan married his wife Gladys and the two raised a family that became heavily involved in Westminster. Aidan had quit the church’s choir to spend more time with his family, Gladys – now in her nineties – recalls, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t still busy at Westminster. Elizabeth remembers spending Sunday afternoons with her two brothers counting the collection offering as part of her father’s role as envelope secretary. Sunday lunches would end up being a cranky affair if things didn’t balance, she says, but such was her father’s devotion to making sure everything was squared away.
Over the years the Conklin family continued its involvement at Westminster. Gladys joined the women’s auxiliary, and Elizabeth began teaching Sunday school under the guidance of Mrs. Beatrice Leathers. Elizabeth was later married at Westminster to her husband, Peter Wijtkamp, in the sixties, and her three children were also

christened at the church. The Wijtkamps have also served on several committees and remain highly active at Westminster into the present. Elizabeth coordinates the food and beverages for funeral receptions in the church, and both she and Peter are active in the Garage Sale preparations. Considering Gladys’ parents were briefly affiliated with Westminster, four generations of the family have called Westminster their own.
The church was only one aspect of Aidan’s public life. While working at the corner of Portage and Main for Canadian Pacific Steamship Lines, Aidan was talked into running for the St. James-Assiniboia school board in the forties. First elected in 1945 – before Elizabeth even started school – he went on to serve for 35 years before retiring in 1980. Many of Aidan’s memories are contained in “Tales of a Trustee”, a book written about him and the Division after his retirement. History records his tenure as a progressive one, thanks to things like his introduction of a motion that allowed married women to continue teaching and his push to open board meetings to the public. He accomplished both items shortly after becoming a trustee and he went on to oversee other initiatives like the introduction of instructional television in 1967.

The Conklin living room has several mementos that are a testament to Aidan’s tremendous involvement in public life. One of those mementos is a collection plate given to him by the Westminster congregation in 1990 in honour of years of service and stewardship. Over 15 years later, the Conklin tradition at Westminster carries on.
(Written by Andrew Buck)

Year 2005 for The Thompsons (Bob & Lorraine)

Their Christmas letter report of their 2005 suggests a couple with real non-standard lives!
Lorraine spent last March and April in Romania as a volunteer in a nursery looking after orphan babies. Back home she set about raising money to pay for Romanian workers to take over her volunteer work! In August both Bob and Lorraine were off to Japan to the city of Nayoro on the island of Hokkaido. To do what? To teach classes of English
working as subs for a missionary friend of theirs who had to be back in Canada for a time. They spent 80 days there, in part, working in the friend's rice fields harvesting (Bob spent his 65th birthday in the rice fields). Of course Bob had his bagpipes with him (he plays in a pipe band.) and everyone there said how good he was (No one there had ever heard bagpipes before!)

From Villa Rosa, our neighbors at 784 Wolseley who received knitted items

from our Mitten tree at Christmas

Pictorial Church Directory: All interested persons who would like to form a committee to look into the possibility of a 2007 Pictorial Church Directory please contact Boyd Rausch and Ron Miller (784-1330). The last directory was in 2000 and there have been many changes and growth within our congregation over the last 7 years.


Tuesday, February 21st at 8:00 pm, a recital by MALCOLM ARCHER, organist and Master of The choristers at St. Paul's Cathedral, London. Mr. Archer brings with him a wealth of experience as a concert performer in Europe, the U.S., Canada and Great Britain. His program will include works by Boellmann, Bach, Franck, Schumann and Saint- Saens. Tickets are $22 ($17 in advance). Ticket information - 786-4882.
“Food, Food, Glorious Food!”
TODAY, February 19th
, is Fellowship Sunday at Westminster, which means a great lunch for an after-church-get-together. The run of these excellent occasions for fellowship in the congregation has been made possible through the efforts of Boyd Rauch and Ron Miller, co-chairs of the Fellowship Committee who provide us with interesting food, sprightly decorations and a relaxed atmosphere to help us get to know each other better. Our hats off to these gentlemen and long may they cater!

Lenten Devotional

Sunday, March 5th, marks the beginning of the season of Lent. You might want to get a copy of the book "Living Waters: daily reflections for Lent", the United Church's Lenten devotional for 2006 which uses the metaphor

of water to explore "the river of Christ" flowing through us and for us. The book, created by Ian Macdonald and Bob Haverluck was 'presented' at McNally Robinson Book Store last Monday and is on sale there now. It includes a CD of water-related songs by Common Cup Company.

Mark It On Your Calendars The XIII Westminster Classic Bridge and Dessert Gathering will take place Monday, April 24 at 12:30 pm in the Lecture Hall. Maureen Macdonald is in charge once again. Please call the church office (784-1330) for more information
Website Of The Month
In our recent Sunday bulletins there have been invitations to be involved in "Song Circling All The Earth". If you're interested in more complete information about the event go to the Transcona Memorial United Church website- http://tmuc.ca/content/view/49/35/- for the complete picture.
Curling News Of Great Import

Westminster's indomitable team WON (one game out of three). Our team, John Moore, Skip, Jim and Teresa Young and Joan Jarvis were part of the annual Chaplains' Bon Spiel, held at Heather Curling Club, January 16th. As Teresa puts it, "We won the wrong game which put us up against the real stars of the league." Never mind. They had a great time.

Ice Hockey in Nairobi
Almost a fantasy, but a report in The Winnipeg Free Press last week confirms it’s true. And Westminster Church is involved. The builders of a new hotel and shopping mall in Kenya’s
capital installed an ice skating rink on the third floor of the building. The rink was originally intended for leisure skating but its management was persuaded by someone to include hockey as a possibility. Enter Keith Fowke, of this congregation, who plays recreational hockey with his co-workers. By convoluted happenstance he got a call from a friend in Kenya proposing a game between the “Winnipeg Jets” and a make-up team in Nairobi.
Keith came to our Garage Sale people and got skates (then to a thrift store for more.) He traveled to Nairobi with the most basic equipment; the game was held - Winnipeg won! - and the people in Nairobi are now looking to make ice hockey happen regularly in that African land.

Meet The Sandersons

Sel and Virginia are a handsome couple who sit in the middle of the sanctuary, just under the balcony on Sunday mornings. They’ve been attending Westminster for roughly 10 years and joined the congregation formally some three years ago.
Virginia was born and raised in Oxford House, in the north eastern part of the province. (Oxford House was, in the 1700’s, a Hudson Bay post midway between York Factory
and Norway house) She completed high school at Cranberry Portage. Her first vocational choice was teaching school but after she and Sel were married and moved to Winnipeg, she found employment with the Federal Government working in the Department of Health and Welfare with First Nation and Inuit peoples. She has been with the Department for 27 years and spends part of every year traveling throughout the Province.
Sel was born and grew up in Fairford, Manitoba, a 2 1/2 hour drive north of Winnipeg. (One of the attractions of Fairford is a 150 year- old church built by missionaries from Fairford, England.) Sel finished Grade 12 in Selkirk. He has worked for
the last 19 years as a surveyor. He has served as Vice president and President of the Manitoba Survey Association and is currently Vice President of the Canadian Council of Land surveyors, a post which takes him across Canada meeting with provincial associations.
The Sandersons belong to a diminishing part of the congregation living within walking distance of the Church. They tell us that they come here because they like the sermons, the music and the friendliness of Westminster. And Virginia is also a member of our Outreach Committee.


This year 2005 has been a very exciting and productive year for International H.O.P.E. The organization continues to grow at a phenomenal rate with approximately 54 volunteers that have put 2,983 hours into our organization in a variety of ways. We continue to receive support from many sources throughout Manitoba: hospitals, clinics, home care facilities, citizens at large, Hutterite colonies, and businesses from warehousing, transportation companies, printing, packaging, airlines and the many donors who contributed monetarily throughout the year.

We have sent four forty foot containers this year. Two went to the island of St. Vincent’s in the Caribbean with the able assistance and fund raising of Bryon Jones. Two containers went to Zaporizhzhyia, Ukraine thanks to the funding and active involvement of Louie Sawatzky and the INTERNATIONAL H.O.P.E. (CANADA) INC.
This year 2005 has been a very exciting and productive year for International H.O.P.E. The organization continues to grow at a phenomenal rate with approximately 54 volunteers that have put 2,983 hours into our organization in a variety of ways. We continue to receive support from many sources throughout Manitoba: hospitals, clinics, home care facilities, citizens at large, Hutterite colonies, and businesses from warehousing, transportation companies, printing, packaging, airlines and the many donors who contributed monetarily throughout the year.

We have sent four forty foot containers this year. Two went to the island of St. Vincent’s in the Caribbean with the able assistance and fund raising of Bryon Jones. Two containers went to Zaporizhzhyia, Ukraine thanks to the funding and active involvement of Louie Sawatzky and the 5) Several people locally transported supplies to Uganda with the Children’s Hunger Fund from California. President and founder, Dave Phillips also toured our warehouse this spring.
6) Dr. Cheryl Simmonds a member of our organization traveled to Mbale, Uganda last winter. She took supplies with her and toured several hospitals and clinics in the area she

had previously worked in, in the 1970’s. She raised $4,500 at a fund raiser held at the Unitarian Church on Nov. 19th to send more medical supplies to that country.
7) Dr. Juan Aveiro took supplies to the Fundacef Foundation in Paraguay. They were well received by Dr. Federico Guggiari for spina bifida and meningocele patients.
8) Irene Osinchuk, a member of International H.O.P.E. sent numerous boxes of supplies and pieces of equipment to Help Us Help The Children out of Toronto. These shipments went to Ukraine for orphan children that were affected by the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl.
9) Dr. Ahmed Farooq and several doctors locally took supplies with them to the devastated areas in the earthquake tragedy in Pakistan.
These are just a few of the doctors and shipments that have left our warehouse this year.
Some of the highlights of the year:
Recently the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) has completed policies and guidelines to release appropriate medical and surgical supplies to our organization.
The local film industry has started using our inventory for film sets as needed. We have some archival pieces that are hard to come by and are used in period films. This will also be a source of revenue that we had not anticipated. Thiswill assist us in subsidizing shipments in the future.
I believe we have been very successful as an organization because of the loyalty and commitment of our volunteer base. Whether it has been traveling to recipient countries and seeing first hand the results of sending supplies or reading letters and seeing the photographs of grateful beneficiaries, the result has been the same. Recycling and making a difference in other people’s lives is most rewarding.
We appreciate the ongoing support from the Outreach Committee and the church. This year $600 went to assist the St. Vincent’s community with their container shipment in October. The Caribbean communities had raised $6,000 across Canada to send the container and the remainder $1,000 was picked up by Westminster United Church and International H.O.P.E.

(by Phyllis Reader)
A few authentic examples of small children at prayer:

Dear God, Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now. Amanda

God, I read the bible. What does beget mean? Nobody will tell me. Love Alison

Dear God, I bet it's very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it. Nancy

Dear God, Is it true my father won't get in Heaven if he uses his golf words in the house? Anita

Dear God, How did you know you were God? Who told you? Charlene

Spaghetti on Broadway - Our Outreach Committee along with other churches in our Presbytery cluster group have agreed to offer tangible support to West Broadway Community Ministry, during the month of March. We encourage the congregation to embrace this project by bringing your donation of pasta and/or spaghetti sauce to the church. There will be collection boxes in the narthex, lecture hall and church office for your much appreciated offering. The sauce will be used in various ways – to be given out to individuals / families in need of groceries, to be used in preparing food for the lunch program / drop-in centre, or to be stored in the cupboard for emergency needs. “Whatever you have done unto the least of these you have done unto me.”
Tuesday, 21 8:00 pm Organ Concert
Thursday, 23 7:00 pm Board Meeting
Sunday, 26 - 11:30 am Annual General Meeting
Sunday, 2 - 10:30 am Sacrament of Communion and Covenanting of Church Board Members
Palm Sunday, 9
Thursday, 13 - 7:30 pm Maundy Thursday Service
Friday, 14 - 10:30 am Good Friday Service
Easter Sunday, 16
Sunday, 23 - 8:00 pm Organ Concert
Monday, 24 - 12:30 pm Dessert Bridge
Saturday, 29 - 9:00 am Garage Sale
What is Presbytery?
What are its Responsibilities?

The United Church of Canada is a connectional church. That means, on the one hand, our congregations aren't simply independent units entirely on their own, making voluntary associations with other churches, seminaries, and mission organizations. On the other hand local congregations are not simply part of a large organization which exercises authority over them.
The United Church's has four units of government. Firstly the local congregation is concerned with worship, education pastoral and outreach life. Secondly 91 presbyteries across Canada concern themselves with the oversight of congregations and ministers. Thirdly, the 13 conferences are primarily concerned with the ordination and commissioning of ministers and ensuring that pastoral charges have a minister. Finally we have the General Council, the church's legislative body which is primarily concerned with developing doctrine, providing resources for the church and speaking on the
church's behalf to the wider society.
Winnipeg Presbytery: is composed of 36 pastoral charges and 6 outreach ministries: West Broadway Community Ministry, Augustine Oak Table Ministry, the Joint Inner city Volunteer Coordinator Program, the St. Matthew's-Maryland Community Ministry, the North End Community Ministry, and the Rainbow Ministry.
Presbytery Membership: is composed of ministers, including the Chaplain at the Remand Center, Professors in the Faculty of Theology at University of Winnipeg, Chaplains at Wing 17, retired ministers and ministers such as Doug Martindale (MLA), Bill Blaikie (MP) and Karen Toole (Free Press columnist). Also in membership are lay persons appointed by congregations, staff associates etc.
Presbytery's Responsibilities: to receive and read Annual Reports and Congregational minutes; to organize inter-congregational visits to ‘take the pulse' of congregations; ensure that ministers are properly paid; to be involved with congregations where

there is reason to fear that all is not well with a pastoral charge. The Presbytery may form new congregations, receive existing congregations into the United Church, and amalgamate or disband congregations. It also has responsibility for the disposal of disbanded congregations' property and assets.
Presbytery receives and considers applications for incorporation from pastoral charges of other bodies whose objectives are in accord with the United Church of Canada (for example the Fred Douglas Society which has built and manages seniors housing).
Presbytery also has responsibilities for the moving, placement and conduct of ministers within the Presbyteries congregations. It arranges search committees, approves new calls and appointments, organizes covenanting services, arranges for interim ministers, and cares for retired ministers. It is also involved, in a supervisory role, for the recruitment and preparation of new ministers.

(To be concluded in the March Newsletter)


ERNEST PAUL ZIPP – Ernie died January 8th. He was born December 12, 1928 in Winnipeg. Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Averill, his daughters, Lesley Zipp of Saskatoon and Deana Reimer (Allen); his son Danny Gauld of Calgary. He is also survived by his sister Aileen Fred (Charlie) of Westminster Church. Ernie was raised and educated in Winnipeg, attending Elmwood and Gordon Bell Schools. He graduated in 1945 and spent his working life, first at Dominion Fruit in branches at Winnipeg, Edmonton and Swift Current until 1956. He then returned to Winnipeg and joined Investors Syndicate, later The Investors Group, where he occupied a variety of positions until retirement in 1989. Ernie was a kind and thoughtful man who enjoyed and appreciated the natural things in life. He had a life long love of golf, being a member of St. Charles Golf Club for over 40 years. Other interests were gardening and woodworking.
Call For Photos

The United Church is seeking photos, slides or digital images on CD with high quality color printouts for 2008 United Church Bulletin covers.
Payment of $100 will be made for each photograph used. Deadline for submissions will be June 30, 2006. Subjects: Canadian Scenery only; Life and Work of The Church; Seasonal Celebrations (Easter, Christmas etc).
For further information and entry forms please contact our church secretary (784-1330).
From the Stewardship Committee

The Stewardship campaign for 2006 has been completed and we are pleased to report that a total of $313,173 has been raised through pledges, including donations from those who do not wish to pledge. This amount is the largest ever raised and we wish to thank all who have made this possible. We have 43 members currently utilizing the PAR system and this generates approximately $5,100 to the church on a monthly basis.

Some statistical information from this campaign is as follows:
Total number of pledge cards returned 282
Total number of pledges 236
Total number of non-pledges
Note: Some non-pledgers donate.

A break down of the 236 pledges by pledge category is as follows:

Pledge Category
No. of Pledges
over $2,000
$ 147,830
$1,000 - $2,000
$500 - $1,000
under $500
$ 285,233

The difference between the total of $313,173 and the above comes primarily from those who do not wish to pledge but do support the church financially.

Of concern to the Stewardship Committee are those who do not meet their pledge. Over the past five years the total amount short, averaged $16,000 annually. This past year we were able to reduce this amount to $8,900 through the utilization of statements as well as personal contacts.

When you receive your statement at the end of each quarter and it indicates you are behind on your pledge, please try to bring it up to date. Also, if you do not currently make a pledge, please consider doing so as this will help tremendously in our budgeting process.

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