I hope you all had a good summer enjoying your favourite activities in our beautiful valley. As the warm weather continues, it’s hard to believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone and Christmas is in the offing!
Summer was a time for Management Team members to take a break and recharge their batteries. I know several of us travelled, often visiting family, to a number of interesting places…Europe, Malaysia, Eastern Canada, Vancouver Island, California and Washington State, to name a few.
September saw the Team reconvene and start planning for West Bank United Church’s next steps along the road of our faith journey. Where our we going? That remains to be seen, but with Reverend Linda guiding us I’m sure there will be great adventures in our future. We will continue to update you as information becomes available and plans are made.
In the meantime, please reach out to any of us on the Board and we will do our best to respond to your questions and concerns.
In closing, I recently read the following quotation and thought we could all use the reminder.
Joy is wherever you are!
We think we have to go searching for
happiness, but it's always within reach
no quest required! The secret: opening our
hearts and minds to the blessings each
day brings. Joy never goes on vacation or
even takes a day off. It's just waiting to be
Bev. Kolosoff, Chair
Greetings Westbank United Church Folks
We had an interesting summer. Many folks participated in A Summer Project, My Brilliant Discoveries. Below is a collage of photos that were shared with those in worship from Westbank United Church folks summer discoveries of God in their lives.
I had several funerals from June until late September and many pastoral Care visits by phone and in person. I am now doing services at Lakeview and Brookhaven once a month for each of the Care Facilities. If any of you want an in-person visit, please call me or Saibun and I can arrange the visit, either in a coffee shop or at your home. We do not have an office and so drop in is going to be difficult. I will be at the monthly Boys and Girls club (now called Youth Centre) which will be on the third Thursday of every month. I can always meet you at the Youth Centre right by The Lions Hall. See more information about the Coffee Conversation later in the newsletter.
We now have a regular meeting time for our Management Committee Meeting which is the third Monday of every month. We are currently setting up a Men’s Gathering. Tim Kolosoff is taking the leadership in setting this up. Probably a coffee gathering at some point in the future. So, if any men would like to connect with Tim, please call Saibun and he will get the number for you.
Helen Reid will report on the ministry she is doing to assist those with personal care items at the Turning Points facility in West Kelowna. Earlier this year we provided bus tickets for the residents. See the picture of us all on a very windy day.
I took some vacation and study leave time. My study leave involved Diaconal Ministers Conference of the United Church of Canada. At that conference we became aware of the Calls from the United Church Aboriginal Community to a relationship of mutuality and respect based on an understanding of how the Aboriginal community want to be involved in their ministry objectives in the United Church. It was a very powerful experience. This past year the United Church commissioned the first Black Woman to Diaconal Ministry. We had a long discussion about why it took so long for a Black person to be commissioned. We asked the question do we want Blacks in ministry leadership, what have we done to support and encourage and how have we closed doors. We learned what it is like for BIPOC People (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) to experience being in a room with white people. It is always good to experience new learnings about how we live with people from many cultures and how we can build relationships with respect and inclusion. Here are some photos from my study leave. We call ourselves DUCCS.
My vacation time involved travel to Cape Breton where we experienced Celtic Colours, the turning of the leaves and great fiddle music, a highlight was hearing the Men of The Deep.
Management focus for the next few months is discerning where God is calling us in this time. Ministry these days is so very different. At the last meeting of Management, the members made a decision to follow up on some ideas. Once we know more, we will share with you. We are exploring potential partnerships and other ways we can provide support in the community.
Hanson Arbor has installed a new sound system in the facility, and we are working out the glitches. We have about 15 to 20 people each Sunday. We are honouring birthdays and anniversaries with great enthusiastic singing Please join us.
Sunday October 30, Westbank will join Peachland United Church for worship and November 20, Peachland will join Westbank at Hanson Arbor worship where we will focus on Palestine and Israel with guest Debbie Hubbard who sits on the national United Church committee relating to Palestine and Israel. Our worship services lately have involved some drama with various congregation members taking part as well as some readings, lighting a candle for peace. If any of you would like to volunteer to read, light candles or take part in a drama which requires no rehearsals please let me know. Maybe one day we can have someone sing a solo for us. And recently we felt safe enough to share the peace.
November 6 will be Food Bank Sunday and Communion. Communion both bread and juice is shared in small cups passed around on a plate. We will also celebrate All Saints. November 13 we will have a short Remembrance Service. ADVENT begins November 27 and we will be lighting candles each week of ADVENT. I will be doing ADVENT weekly reflections on the website. We will have a copy of the reflections sent out to those who do not have email. Beginning October 24, we are sending out the worship services to those who do not have email.
Please let me know if there is anyone you want me to be in touch with and I will follow up. I am enjoying my time with you and look forward to meeting you in person one day.
May God bless you. May you remember you are God’s beloved.
May you know, we are not alone; God is with us.
Linda M. Ervin, Diaconal Minister,
Contact Information: Home: 250-493-5333; Cell: 250-462-3998
Inspired by the Gospel, Westbank United Church seeks to work for God’s vision by serving others, acting for peace and justice, loving kindness, as we seek to know and be people of God.
Westbank United Church will journey in the presence of God in faith that we may grow, change, make a differenc