December 4, 2022
Dec. 11, ADVENT 3 Joy: White Gift Sunday Pink Candle
Dec. 18, ADVENT 4: Love Purple or Blue Candle
Dec. 11, 3pm Blue Christmas, Hanson Arbor
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE AT 10AM
December 24, Saturday
AT HANSON ARBOR
December 6: 11am-1:00pm: Meditation using photos to reflect on the four themes of ADVENT Registration required, contact church office by email or phone, lunch provided. Event at St. George’s Anglican Church.
Dec. 15, 2022 @10:30 Coffee and Conversation at Youth Club, formerly boys and Girls Club, beside Lions Hall.
Care Facility Worship
Dec. 6 @ Lakeview Lodge @2pm
Brookhaven Dec. 21 @ 2pm
NO WORSHP SERVICE DEC. 25-22 OR JAN.1-23
Minute For Mission
Is there someone on your Christmas list who is hard to buy for or doesn’t need yet another gadget or figurine? Do you long to sidestep the consumerist trappings of the season for something more meaningful?
Gifts with Vision(opens in a new tab)—the United Church’s giving catalogue—is the answer.
Gifts with Vision is full of gifts that will help transform people’s lives throughout Canada and across the world. While Gifts with Vision continues to feature gifts for Ukraine and COVID-19, we have been busy adding new gifts to support people across the world who are experiencing the effects of climate change, economic instability, and war. Particularly children. There are several new gifts for children in this year’s catalogue.
We have added a new category, too: anti-racism. Projects in Nunavut, Guatemala, and Palestine—just to name a few—support the rights, culture, and dignity of people who experience racism daily. In addition, several gifts that have been very popular in the past, like Operation Backpack, Help Build a Well, and A Safe Place to Heal, are returning in this year’s catalogue.
And that’s only the beginning!
Mindful of the environment, the print catalogue continues to be small—but there are a lot more gift choices on the Gifts with Vision(opens in a new tab) website. Stories of our partners’ projects are also available there.
Every Gift with Vision provides support for a specific Mission & Service partner offering a unique project. Without Mission & Service, Gifts with Vision projects would not be possible. Thank you for supporting both.
When Christmas rolls around, remember that a meaningful gift is a simple click away. If madly dashing around the mall on Christmas Eve is your gift-buying style, kick back and relax. Gifts with Vision has you covered!
Minute For Mission
People facing the worst crisis of their lives urgently need our support.
While some refugees are returning to Ukraine, over 6 million are still displaced and have no home to return to.
COVID-19 cases are starting to rise again, and some countries still have no access to vaccines or boosters.
In Africa, food prices are soaring, leaving 146 million people hungry.
Entire communities in Pakistan are left without shelter, farmland, healthcare facilities, and basic necessities of life because of flooding and landslides.
After the headlines fade, the emergency remains. You can help. November 29 is Giving Tuesday, a day that is all about generosity. This year, Giving Tuesday gifts will support the United Church’s vital emergency response work. Your gift will help provide critical support like food, water, shelter, personal care, rebuilding efforts, and trauma counselling.
Your gifts will be put to work as soon as they are needed in the areas where they are needed most. And your support will be there to help rebuild long after the headlines fade.
Every gift counts. Make a life-saving gift this Giving Tuesday.
Minute For Mission
On November 20, countries around the world celebrate Universal Children’s Day. The date marks the anniversary of the UN General Assembly adopting both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights. On the same day, Restorative Justice Week kicks off.
It’s a perfect time to raise up the needs of children with incarcerated parents―the all-too-often forgotten, invisible, or ignored victims of the criminal justice system.
No one knows how many children in Canada are affected by the incarceration of a parent. Back in 2007, the guestimate was 357,604.* But advocates think that with the increase in the prison population, the number is much higher. Many children with incarcerated parents face trauma, family instability, social isolation, and economic insecurity. On the inside, parents struggle to stay connected to their kids, let go of shame, and deepen parenting skills so they can successfully unite their family when they are released. That’s why Parkland Restorative Justice―a Mission & Service partner based in Prince Albert, SK―runs an eight-week parenting course for male inmates called Dad HERO (Helping Everyone Realize Opportunities).
The course is designed to educate dads about parenting, how to communicate with their child, and how to work with a co-parent. Following release, the dads meet regularly for support. Some men don’t see themselves as heroes but they do want their children to know they have worth and value. The program wants the men to come out of prison with skills that will help them reconnect back into society in a well-balanced life.
No one is disposable, and no child should feel forgotten. Thank you for helping to build stronger families and for believing everyone can be a hero.
Killer robots sound like creepy sci fi. But they are real, and the World Council of Churches―a Mission & Service partner―is taking them seriously. So much so that in 2021 it released a campaign guide for churches on the topic in six different languages.
The free guide introduces churches to “killer robots,” or lethal autonomous weapons systems, and help raise awareness of the need for Christians to advocate for a pre-emptive ban on the future development of such weapons.
Calling the weapons a “unique menace,” the Right Rev. Dr. Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry, underscores the urgency to act in the guide’s foreword: “They are a futile and sinister attempt to sanitize war…and contravene fundamental principles of international law. They simply make killing easier,” he writes. Armed drones are nothing new. But unlike existing semi-autonomous weapons like drones, fully autonomous weapons have no human-operated “kill switch” and instead use artificial intelligence to make decisions over life and death. These machines can both select and attack targets.
And they already exist. In an article published last May, Foreign Policy notes that Israel, Russia, South Korea, and Turkey have reportedly deployed weapons with autonomous capabilities, and Australia, Britain, China, and the United States are investing heavily in their development.*
Around the world, churches are joining the call to raise awareness about the risks posed by killer robots and urging their governments to take steps to ban such technology.
Your generosity through Mission & Service supports the work of organizations like the World Council of Churches that are urging governments to put a pre-emptive ban on autonomous weapons systems and developing awareness tools like the campaign guide.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Mission & Service partners have been responding to the needs of those impacted by the war. Here’s an update about some of the ways your generosity is helping to provide life-saving support through our global partnerships:
Church leaders are also on the ground providing spiritual comfort. Father Eugen Omu is a Romanian Orthodox priest who is staffing a refugee welcome centre in Sculeni, Romania. “It is important to have priests here,” he says. “When someone sees a priest, it reminds them of God and gives them courage to face what is to come.”
Our church partners are at the forefront of the emergency response in Ukraine with help from faithful supporters like you. Your generosity serves as a reminder of the loving spirit of God, providing care and encouragement when and where it is most needed. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Who was Jesus referring to when he advised his followers to pray: “Give us this day our daily bread?” Who is the “us”?
“When we say the prayer, we often think ‘us’ refers to ourselves; after all, we are the ones praying. But I think Jesus, who had a broad view of neighbour and family, meant all of humanity,” explains Sarah Charters, Director of the United Church’s Philanthropy Unit, adding, “so I take it to mean ‘Give every one of us our daily bread.’”
God has already come through on that petition. There is enough food on the planet to feed everyone. The problem is that some have too much and others not enough.
It’s never been more urgent that we share. Food security has always been an issue, but the pandemic as well as wheat shortages resulting from the war in Ukraine have catapulted us to the brink of a massive hunger crisis.
Right now, more than 50 million people are facing starvation―almost double the number in 2019. One person is dying of hunger every 4 seconds.
In this critical time, your meaningful gifts through Mission & Service are put to work right away helping people meet immediate needs by providing emergency food hampers in times of crisis, stocking shelves at food banks, and serving good, healthy meals through various outreach agencies.
Your gifts also provide longer-term support and systemic change by teaching agricultural techniques, seeding community garden initiatives, and helping neighbourhoods set up systems to cope with the impact of conflict and climate change on their food systems.
As we teeter on the brink of a global hunger crisis, your generosity has never been more needed.
Please choose to do something meaningful this World Food Day, and make a gift through Mission & Service to help those who are most vulnerable.
Together as a United Church we can help build the world Jesus envisioned when he taught us to pray—a world where every one of us has our daily bread.
How To Be Unscammable is a 10-episode TV series created by Gluu founder Linda Fawcus that will be streaming on TELUS Optik TV and YouTube this fall. This series shows older adults how to secure their digital life so they can stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.
Linda has also created an email-based course to accompany the TV series, which delivers each episode with a bite-sized lesson straight to your inbox every Tuesday for 10 weeks—no password or online account is required.
You can learn how to secure your digital life right from your inbox.
Power Pioneer members and their friends receive exclusive early access to the How To Be Unscammable Course.
Each Tuesday, starting November 15, wake up to a new lesson delivered to your email inbox. Emails are delivered Tuesdays at 8 a.m. PST.
Share the link to help your friends and family learn to secure their digital lives.
Lessons take about 30 minutes to complete. Fun, knowledge-testing quizzes and lesson completion certificates help track your progress. Share your certificates to inspire your friends to be unscammable, too. Each lesson email includes:
The TV and lesson series include:
1. Secure your Home Internet Network
2. Tame Your Smart Devices
3. All About the Dark Web
4. Passwords Made Easy
5. Secure your Email
6. Avoid Social Hacking
7. Protect Your Identity
8. Protect Your Devices
9. Surf the Web Safely
10. Safely Manage Apps and Online Accounts
Participants at this event will find themselves immersed in the history of Canada’s First Peoples through first contact, colonization, land entitlement issues, residential schools and current day challenges bringing understanding to the need for reconciliation. All are welcome.
For more information on the “Kairos Blanket Exercise” please visit
This is a free event facilitated by Peachland United Church and with the assistance of the Ki-Low-na Friendship Society and Kairos. Pre-registration is encouraged as there is limited seating. For general enquiries please call Rev. Ian McLean at Peachland united church @ 250-767-2206. To register for this event please contact Louise Corbeil @ 778-754-9031 or by email at email@example.com
An Opportunity to discover God as you go through your summer days, meeting friends and families, bbq’s and garden conversations, meet ups in coffee shops, at the Food Bank and Thrift shop, painting and weeding, enjoying the sun and rain.
What is this picture? Maybe it is a God moment; something unusual, mysterious, a wonder moment, a call to take time to just be quiet and reflective.
In September I will reveal what this picture is. It brought hope when I was feeling despair. Over the summer I invite you to capture a moment of wonder, a moment of hope. God Spotting as we journey in the summer.
Write a poem, capture a photo, paint a picture, make a cloud and put words into the cloud of your summer experiences, knit or crochet, make a small patchwork quilt, and remember all the tools you use over the summer, how do they speak to you. Share your favourite summer tools.
In September this photo will be revealed to you and I hope we will have many brilliant discoveries that you will share with the congregation. Maybe it will be a spoken word, maybe a photo, painting any of the things mentioned above or not even mentioned. Use your imagination. Look out for God works over the summer and one Sunday in September we will reveal all the God Spotting’s.
Enjoy your summer God Spotting, as you enjoy time with family and friends, exploring your gardens and walking trails, car show and camping. God is with you.
Please get your God Spotting’s August 31, 2022.
Linda M. Ervin
We gathered July 12 to place over 30 flags on the Ginko Tree. We welcomed the Mayor and blessed the flags, sang a song and placed the flags on the Ginko Tree. We had over 20 people in attendance sharing reconnecting with each other and having great conversation, lots of great food and lemonade. Thanks to the Worship Team who put this all together.
Sunday Morning In-Person Worship @10:00AM:
Worship gathering is currently at Hanson Arbor, 2541 Churchill Rd, West Kelowna, BC V4T 2B4
Rev. Linda M Ervin is the minister for Westbank United Church. Linda will be available for pastoral care. Please contact office or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org for pastoral care when needed.
Church admin office has been temporarily moved to Rutland United Church, 1370 Rutland Rd N, Kelowna, BC V1X 4Z3, Office hours is Monday to Friday (09:00am to 14:30 pm) and telephone remain the same (250-768-4426).
REMEMBER THE UNITED CHURCH CREED
We are not alone,
we live in God’s world.
We believe in God:
who has created and is creating,
who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others
by the Spirit.
We trust in God.
We are called to be the Church:
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.
In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.
Even though we may not gather on Sunday morning to Worship, we are still the Church. Please reach out to us and one another, help us help others.