Westminster News 
1 March 2020

Lord, let me be an instrument of your peace

Piano keys, acrylic, St Francis of Assissi prayer on plywood board, by Robert Burton 2020

Rev Burton reflects: “I have been a recipient of Friar Richard Rohr’s meditations on his website for several years. In his meditation for February 2, 2020 he reviews, in part, St Francis of Assissi’s rule of life to simply “live the gospel.” Within that context I have used his famous prayer to give some direction to that living midst its pain, confusion and disorder.

“The rule of life of the Friars Minor is to simply live the Gospel” (St Francis of Assissi (1182-1226)). Put another way, “Life is more important than doctrine” (St Thomas Of Acquinas). Rohr notes that one of the things about the Franciscan tradition is lifestyle and right practice. Francis loved God above all and wanted to imitate Jesus in very practical ways. Action and lifestyle mattered much more to him than mentally believing dogmatic positions to be true or false. Francis directly said to the first friars, “You only know as much as you do”. Like Jesus, he taught his disciples while walking from place to place and finding ways to serve — to observe and to love the world that was right in front of them. Rohr would follow Francis’ way, “the way of simplicity, non-violence, contemplation, solitude and silence, earth care, nature and other creatures, and the “least of the brothers and sisters.” These are our true teachers.

I have set the prayer of St Francis of Assissi within a spiralling maze-square of piano keys that moves to a centering space for contemplation of life that includes “pain, confusion and disorder.” The prayer, however, must not remain there. It needs to move beyond contemplation and prayer. It needs to be acted upon in order to be relevant. This prayer, by the way, has been set to music: “Lord, let me be a channel of your peace …”

Karen Armstrong in her book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life underscores Rohr’s Franciscan background here: “We urgently need to make compassion (love) a clear luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is a path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.” Armstrong is also on website, ‘Charter of Compassion.’

Thank you Bob for sharing your creativity and wisdom with this community. We are truly blessed.

Prayers & Praise

Please keep the congregation and staff of Cromer-Hargrave Pastoral Charge in your thoughts and prayers this week.


The Annual General Meeting of Westminster United Church will be held, Sunday, March 29th, 2020 during the morning worship service.

This Week at Westminster

  • Sunday, March 1
    • Morning Worship, Sanctuary & Chapel: 10:30 to 11:30 am
  • Monday, March 2
    • Winnipeg Music Festival, Sanctuary & Lecture Hall: 10:00 am to 2:30 pm, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
    • Sparks, TBA: 6:30 to 7:30 pm
    • Brownies, Concert Hall: 6:30 to 8:00 pm
    • Guides, Gym: 6:30 to 8:00 pm
    • Pathfinders, TBA: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
    • Property Committee, Library: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
    • Ministry & Personnel Committee, Chapel: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
  • Tuesday, March 3
    • Winnipeg Music Festival, Sanctuary & Lecture Hall: 10:00 am to 2:30 pm, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
    • Knitters, Chapel: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
    • Staff, Library: 12:00 to 1:00 pm
    • Tai Chi, Gym: 5:30 to 6:30 pm
    • Beavers, Concert Hall: 6:30 to 7:45 pm
    • Cubs, Gym: 6:30 to 8:00 pm
    • Venturers, Board Room: 6:30 to 8:30 pm
  • Wednesday, March 4
    • Wpg Music Festival, Sanctuary & Lecture Hall: 10 am to 2:30 pm
    • Families Anonymous, Library: 1:00 to 3:00 pm
    • Scouts, Gym: 6:30 to 8:00 pm
    • Lenten Study, Rev. Dr. James Christie, Lecture Hall: 7:00 pm
  • Thursday, March 5
    • Wpg Music Festival, Sanctuary & Lecture Hall: 10 am to 2:30 pm
    • Quilters cancelled Worship Committee, Chapel: 1:30 to 3:30 pm
    • Tai Chi, Gym: 5:30 to 6:30 pm
    • Choir, Sanctuary: 7:00 to 8:30 pm
  • Friday, March 6
    • Wpg Music Festival, Sanctuary & Lecture Hall: 10 am to 2:30 pm
    • Bell Tower Community Café & Winnipeg Harvest Food Bank, Lecture Hall, Chapel, & Concert Hall: 6:30 to 8:00 pm
    • Rovers, Gym: 7:00 to 8:00 pm
  • Sunday, March 8
    • Morning Worship, Sanctuary & Chapel: 10:30 to 11:30 am
    • Winnipeg Music Festival, Sanctuary: 2:00 pm

Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike Project

Thank you to everyone who has taken time to provide feedback of the Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike Project. In Phase 3 (January 6 – February 9, 2020) we asked you to help us refine the project design and identify barriers to the way you currently use the neighbourhood. We heard from a wide range of citizens; receiving over 1,100 online surveys, participating in several neighbourhood and stakeholder discussions and talking to more than 320 people at the in-person open house.

We hear you. You told us some parts of the design for the Wolseley to Downtown Walk Bike balance the safety and needs of all road users, and that other parts leave you concerned – particularly one-way streets and their potential to increase traffic and decrease safety along some residential streets.

This spring, we will have an updated project design based on your input, including a plan to conduct additional traffic modeling scenarios throughout the Wolseley neighbourhood. The City will conduct further meetings and provide further communications before completing the project design.

Office of Public Engagement City of Winnipeg Telephone: 204-986-4243 Email: City-Engage@winnipeg.ca Website: winnipeg.ca

Date Change

Please join us for The Great Canadian Hymn Sing Gala concert March 29 @ 3 pm at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, 525 Wardlaw Ave. Special guests Rosemary Siemens, violinist and award-winning tenor group, Tenore will be performing along with massed singing. Tickets are at Hulls in Winnipeg and Steinbach or at the door.