Prairie to Pine
Weekly News

The United Church of Canada
We acknowledge with gratitude the traditional territories of our Indigenous and Metis neighbours and their hospitality. We offer our respect and commitment to living into right relationship with all our relations.
September 23, 2020

Information that you would like included in the Weekly News should be sent to Cherry through this email by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesdays: 


We REALLY want to facilitate the sharing of news about pastoral concerns, celebrations, educational opportunities and events so PLEASE share them with us. Due to the volume of requests, we will be pleased to publish announcements about events on 2 occasions before the deadline for registration and/or the actual event.

NOTE: We will be aiming to send out the Weekly News on Wednesdays.

  • Our sympathies are extended to the family and friends of William Fulford especially his wife Rosalie and their four daughters. William died on September 15,2020 at the age of  81. A private family celebration of life was held on September 19, 2020 . William was associated with the congregation in Morris and was a lay preacher in the southern Manitoba. Obituary can be found at :
  • Our sympathies are extended to the family and friends of Ronald Kahlberg especially to his wife Mary and their three daughters. Ronald died on September 10, 2020 at the age of 87. A graveside service was held on September 20, 2020. Ronald was a delegate of MacGregor United Church and was a member of Agassiz Presbytery for many years. Obituary can be found at:
  • Our sympathy is extended to Rev. Susan MacAlpine-Gillis, and family, on the passing of her husband Paul Gillis on September 19, 2020 . Susan is know to many for her work on staff at the Atlantic School of Theology A copy of the obituary can be viewed:
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with the Communities of Faith at Killarney and Ninette as they begin a new pastoral relationship with Emmanuel Menyereye on October 01, 2020.

Registration for Prairie to Pine
Regional Meeting now open!

Registration deadline is Today, September 23, 2020

The moment you’ve been waiting for all summer (right?) is now here! Registration for the postponed meeting of our regional council is now open. If you are a delegate or plan to be a visitor, please use this registration link. There is no cost.

The meeting will take place on Zoom Wednesday, September 30, 6:30-9:00 PM and Wednesday, October 7, 6:45-9:00 PM. A separate, optional Zoom orientation and practice will be available. Details such as the Zoom link and agenda will be emailed to registrants directly, and the full workbook of documents will be publicly available on the website.

Many communities of faith experienced serious disruptions of their annual meetings because of spring COVID closures. In turn, this may have affected your ability to elect lay delegates to this meeting. If your ministry has not yet had a chance to choose your lay delegate(s), please do so as soon as possible.

The Regional Council co-chairs have issued a letter providing an update; Information on the Celebration of Ministries service, which has also been affected by COVID-related restrictions, will be coming soon.

Many thanks to members of the annual meeting planning committee, who moved with grace into planning a very different meeting. Together, we will make this work. Questions? Please email Cherry Abad at 

2020 Regional Meeting Workbook Vol. 1 &
Pastoral Relations Commission Report 

The 2020 Regional Meeting Workbook and the Pastoral Relaions Commission Report are now available. Please visit the Regional Council website for more information.

Vision Statement- Equity and Diversity Committee

On September 30, 2020, we will gather for the first night of Second Regional Gathering.
One of the main topics will be the proposed AFFIRMING MINISTRY VISION STATEMENT, which must pass by 75% in order for the Prairie to Pine Region to remain an Affirming Ministry.
The Equity and Diversity Committee urges all of you to read the document and be prepared to discuss it that night.  The vote will be  on the second night we gather.

In Memoriam

The Annual Meeting on October 7th will honour members of our church who passed away since our last Annual Meeting. Please let us know the names of those who have been at any point became lay representatives within the former structure (Presbyteries and the Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario) or within the current structure who passed away, so they can be acknowledged during the In Memoriam portion of the meeting. You can email Cherry Abad at

United-In-Learning Training Schedule  New

United-in-Learning has posted its fall schedule for webinars, including the upcoming offerings of mandatory trainings:

Boundaries Workshops:

Introductory ( October 24 ,2020 or January 29,2021)

Refreshers: Social Media ( October 15, 2020 or January 22,2021) ; Finaces & Gifts( October 30, 2020 or February 03,2021) Retiring with Grace ( November 12, 2020 or January 12,2021)

Racial Justice Training :

For White people: September 26,2020 or November 21, 2020

For Indigenous , Racialized or Bi-racial people: November 14,2020

Register online .

Sharing resources for re-engaging during COVID 19

During recent ZOOM meetings with leaders from Communities of Faith (September 15,2020) and Ministry Personnel (September 22,2020) requests were made from some for samples of protocols developed by Communities of Faith for worship in building, celebration of baptism in person, celebration of communion in person, celebration of virtual communion on World wide Communion Sunday and plans for Sunday School or ministry with children and youth (both in person and virtual). If you are willing to share any of your resources please send them along to Cherry Abad and indicate whether you are willing to have a link posted on the Weekly News or prefer that they be available to others only upon request from Regional Council staff.

A reminder that there are links to resources of various types on both the Prairie to Pine Regional Council website and the General Council website. Another website with resources for ministry with children and families is Messy Church at Home:
The next ZOOM gathering for Ministry Personnel is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. CT. The next ZOOM gathering for Lay Leaders and Pastoral Charge Supervisors in Communities of Faith is scheduled for October 27th,2020 at 7:00 p.m. For details and ZOOM links see the events calendar on the Regional Council website.

Ministry Personnel Support Gathering

A decision was made by those gathered together on August 25th,2020 in the Ministry Personnel support gathering on ZOOM that such gatherings would be offered every second week. The first gathering was held last Tuesday, September 08, 2020. Subsequent gatherings will be held on September 22, October 6 & 20 and November 3 and 17th, 2020. Here is the Zoom link information or you can check the Prairie to Pine Regional Events Calendar.

ALF Abridged …a new format for a new time!  New

One Day (Oct. 24th from 10am to 8pm)
3 Locations to choose from (Souris, Carman, Oakbank)
The fun of a retreat squished into a day, with in-person activities, plus opportunities to connect virtually with youth and leaders in the other locations.  For those who cannot attend in person, there is an opportunity in the registration to sign up for an online games portion in the evening.
We considered an additional location nearer our youth in Ontario, but in consultation with the leaders of CYU (Cambrian Youth United), it was decided not to try to gather those youth in person for ALF, encouraging the online participation instead.  I’m sorry also that we have not got a location for our youth further north, due to the majority of our young adult leaders, who provide the programming, being located in the south.  We welcome all youth and young adults who wish to register for the online portion to please do so.
In-person events will be following the guidelines of Manitoba Health.  We will need to restrict attendance to each host church’s safe Covid capacity, so please register soon to avoid disappointment.
For more retreat info and registration:  
Click here and scroll down to the Retreats section

New Wine: Western Intercultural Gathering

New Wine: Western Intercultural Ministry Network Gathering, online this fall with Eric Law and Tony Snow, Fridays on September 25, October 2, and October 9, 2020.
Join us for a cross-Canada gathering of people living out the United Church’s intercultural vision. Rev. Dr. Eric Law and Tony Snow will be our lead resource people.
Full information:

Expressing Wonder Conference

You are invited to participate in the fall on-line conference, Expressing Wonder, Seeing the World with Eyes Wide Open. October 2-4, 2020. Sponsored by SSUC – Spiritual Seekers United in Community, Edmonton and Saskatoon (Southminster-Steinhauer United Church).
Cost is $75 per viewing device. For all the information, the conference schedule and registration form, follow the link

United Church Rural Ministry Network  New

Workshop announcement – Join us on September 29th from 11 am to 1 pm (Toronto Time 10-Noon CT) to share your story about your COVID experiences. With help from Dr. Marvin Anderson, we will discuss challenges and opportunities you have experienced being the Church during COVID-19. This workshop will give you an opportunity to leave behind what is not helpful, and to surge ahead taking what is “life giving”.

This is a “story sharing” workshop using the idea of a “Rural Cafe” – where Rural folks gather around the kitchen table with coffee or tea in hand, and talk about what’s on their mind. Open to all rural folks – lay and clergy. For more information and resources to help you prepare for the workshop, visit

National call to action: New
Create a universal basic income program

Poverty is a reality for too many Canadians. A universal basic income would help address the persistent inequities within our country. Please see full information on this action, including perspectives from Manitoba, here.

Some pandemic-related relief programs (such as CERB) are scheduled to wind up at the end of September.  Moderator Richard Bott has written to elected officials encouraging them to seize the moment to roll out a guaranteed liveable income (or universal basic income) program in collaboration with the provinces, territories, and Indigenous leadership. A number of past Moderators have added their voices to the call: you can access all the videos here.

Here’s a guide for your letter to the federal government. Change it to add your own thoughts as you’re able! Nationwide vigils in support of the call were set for September 22, and others may take place in future.

Livestreaming Everything?!
Resources available 

Recently the United Church’s Edge network hosted a meeting on the sometimes difficult task of live streaming worship. Here’s a 50 minute video of that meeting; a summary of resources for live streaming best practices is here- you can download and share.

Zambia Global Partners Online

You're invited to join Zambia online Zoom Conference on September 16 and 17, 2020, 10:00 am in MB. A space to learn, share and create awareness on how UCC Zambian partners are engaged in the agenda of mending the world. Join at Please see poster for details.

World Week of Peace for Palestine and Israel, September 14-21

KAIROS, the churches’ justice coalition, invites us to “join in educating, advocating, strengthening solidarity and praying for an end to the occupation and a just peace in Palestine and Israel.” A range of prayer, education, video, and action resources are available on their website.

Prairie to Pine Church Church in the Wild
for September 

An outdoor worship and learning experience in the spirit of Wild Church
We encourage you to use this outdoor worship service anytime this month to experience the natural beauty and wonder around you!  Or join us on Saturday, September 19, 4 p.m. in one of two locations.
  1. At Stephenfield Provincial Park, west of Carman. We will meet outside at the enclosed picnic shelter just west of Bays 5&6 - turn right at the campground office and take the first road right to the shelter. 
  2. In Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg.  We will meet at the steam train station. There is parking across the road behind the Nature Playground.    
All ages welcome! Church in the Wild always happens outdoors so come prepared for the weather! Contact Karen Tjaden (204-745-683) or Lori Stewart (204-832-5310) for more information!
We are also planning to hold Church in the Wild on Sun Nov 1 in the afternoon, with an All Saints theme, locations to be confirmed, and Sat Dec 12 at a location near Winnipeg with guests from Manitoba Royal Astronomical Society to help us explore the night sky as we “behold that star”.

Archives Schedule

While the Archives will continue to be closed to the public throughout the remainder of 2020, staff will be onsite in a limited capacity to facilitate research requests through the consultation of records and the digitization of materials.

Up to an hour of research time will be devoted to each request. Archival material stored off-site, will only be accessed in extraordinary circumstances. There is a backlog of reference requests and very limited on-site time, so do expect a longer than usual response time.

CDI Loan and Grant Application

CDI (Church Development Incorporated) provides grants and loans for United Church congregations and United Church accountable entities within the boundaries of the former Winnipeg Presbytery. Please go to the Prairie to Pine website for more information and how to apply. 

Please email the completed application form and required documentation to CDI at:
Application for Grants: March 31 & October 15
Application Deadlines for Loans: Accepted at any time

ONLINE EVENT: Pathways to Awareness and Understanding – actions toward right relations

This online conference and webinar series presented by St. Paul’s (Bowmanville, ON) Circle of Indigenous Friends and Advocates is open to anyone who would like to participate. The Conference takes place September 25 & 26 There are additional webinars September 23, September 30, October 7, October 14, October 21 and October 28. Please see the posters for additional information. All welcome!

United in Learning online fall workshops announced

In the midst of COVID, it’s perhaps a relief to actually focus on something else. United in Learning is here to help us with that. From racial justice workshops to discerning calls to ministry, preaching to respecting boundaries, this fall’s line up has it all. Please have a look.

Orange Shirt Day September 30

On September 30, people all across Canada will wear orange shirts to remember and honour Indigenous children who were sent to residential schools right around this time of year. Indigenous Ministries and Justice at The United Church of Canada asks you to participate in Orange Shirt Day! Find out more about how you can mark Orange Shirt Day in your community of faith, home, school, or place of work.

Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble
Kitchen Sink open conversation series

Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble Kitchen Sink open conversation series, beginning Tuesday Sept 22 and continuing every second Tuesday. September 22: Affirming Show & Tell, 4:30-6:00pm Mountain Daylight, 5:30-7:00PM Central
Find an item that is part of your Affirming story and be ready to share the item and why you chose it in 1-2 minutes. An Affirming story is any experience you have had that has helped you learn or define for yourself your identity, sense of community, or understanding of Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ justice. Full information on the series is here.

St Andrew’s College Gala No Gala

St Andrew’s College Gala No Gala, online 29 September at 4:00PM in SK. 
Please join Tannis Schmidt, St. Andrew’s College musician, and Principal Richard Manley-Tannis as they engage in a conversation with Tannis’ music. Click here for full details and to register

Shared Recording Music (hymns/anthems/slideshows)

Many congregations have been recording music (hymns/anthems/slideshows) for use in on line worship.  Sharing our work is an effective way to be good stewards of our time and talents.  A small number of congregations have been sharing files through Drop Box and are now inviting others to do the same. (there is no cost to upload or download from drop box). There is no obligation to contribute material, but if you have music which can legally be shared (copyright is to be respected) that would be great. We are working on a simple spreadsheet which will serve as an index to the materials available.
Contact Don Schau ( for more information. 

Reminder: put your community event
on our website!

Reminder: you can still promote your local event through our website. Regular worship should be registered with the national church’s map and listings, but everything from bible study to a workshop to drive up pie or bannock fundraisers can be shared on our Communities of Faith events calendar through our community form. The event needs to be a United Church event open to the public. Give it a try!

Our newsletter comes out every Wednesday!

To make a submission of United Church related news to the Prairie to Pine Weekly Newsletter:

Subject line:


Tuesdays at 4:00 PM
"Prairie to Pine Weekly News"

TITLE of your news piece
BLURB or WRITE-UP to be included
Files or posters to be included (if any)

Thank you!

To see all of our previous issues, all in one tidy place, please click below:

Prairie to Pine Regional Council
1622-B St. Mary's Rd
Winnipeg MB R2M 3S7
Local Phone
Toll Free
General Inquiries

Prairie to Pine Regional Council

Shannon McCarthy

Executive Minister for
Prairie to Pine Regional Council
Living Skies Regional Council
Northern Spirit Regional Council

Jamie Mckay

Program Assistant for
Prairie to Pine Regional Council
Living Skies Regional Council
Northern Spirit Regional Council

Judy Hare

Pastoral Relations Minister
Prairie to Pine Regional Council

Twila MacNair

Minister of Young Adults And Youth
Prairie to Pine Regional Council

Cherry Abad

Administrative Support
Prairie to Pine Regional Council

Off-site Staff

Heather Dootoff

Financial Administrator for
Prairie to Pine Regional Council
Living Skies Regional Council
Northern Spirit Regional Council

Julie Graham

Regional Minister: Justice & Communication for
Prairie to Pine Regional Council
Living Skies Regional Council
Northern Spirit Regional Council
Phone: 306-244-2157

Erin Acland

Keeper of the Archives
Prairie to Pine Regional Council
Phone: 204-783-0708
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