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.
November 4, 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 condolences are extended to Wilma Shiriff, her extended family and friendship circle on the death of her husband Bill on Sunday, November 01, 2020. Wilma is a member of Prairie to Pine    Regional Council from McKenzie United Church in Portage La Prairie and the Pastoral Charge Supervisor for Gladstone United Church. 
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) in the Philippines, especially in the Southern Tagalog areas. May they be comforted in their grief and loss and may the find strength and hope as they recover from this tragedy.

From the Manitoba Government about COVID  New

Minister’s Office – Manitoba Infrastructure
Room 203 Legislative Building

November 03, 2020

Good day Faith Based Community Leaders   
Effective on Monday November 2, 2020 at 12:01am the Winnipeg Metro Region moved to Red (Critical Level) on the Covid-19 Pandemic Response System. The remainder of the Province of Manitoba has moved to Orange (Restricted Level) on the Pandemic Response System.
Read more

Input requested: COVID 19 Curfew  New

This week Engage MB issued a survey in advance of an announcement on Curfew during the pandemic.
On the list of people in positions who may be exempted from the Curfew, clergy are not listed. If you think that clergy should be exempt from the Curfew (in case of an emergency), please take the survey and add ‘clergy’ to the list.
Here’s the link to register and take the survey:

Community of Faith Events Calendar

Reminder: our Community of Faith events calendar is open 24/7 for online events! As long as the public is invited, you can post it. From workshops to worship, go for it. Here’s the handy form:

Sharing session: Reaching children, youth and their families during a pandemic
Time: Nov 10, 2020  2:00 PM 

Sharing session: Reaching children, youth and their families during a pandemic
Time: Nov 10, 2020  2:00 PM
How can communities of faith reach out to the younger generation during a pandemic?
How can we provide opportunities for faith formation and discovering the sacred?
Join us to dig into these hard but worthwhile questions. Whether you come with some ideas and excitement for the possibilities, or come feeling totally stumped, let's see what we can stumble across together!

Please join if you can, and invite others to come with you, or to go in your place, if you can't. Input would be helpful from parents, young people, leaders, and others with a general interest in creating some spiritual connections and a reminder to children, youth and families that their church is still there for them at this time.
Read more

Christmas Fundraiser  New
St. Charles Headingley United Church


St. Charles Headingley United Church has partnered with Shelmerdine Garden Centre for a Fundraiser selling Poinsettias, Door Swags and Gift Cards. We hope you can help sell them to friends and neighbours.

Due to Covid – we are using PAPERLESS ORDERING – Below is an online link direct to our customized order form with all the pertinent details for the order.

The deadline for placing orders and payment is November 22nd.

There is a Voucher Pickup program for the plants and door swags for people to go directly to Shelmerdine to pick them up – at pickup you will have a choice of what color of poinsettia to choose.

Vouchers and Gift Cards will be available to pick up from the church on November 26th (times to be advised).

For more information, please contact Ramona Crowther – (204) 782-1123 –

Home Street Mennonite Church
100th Anniversary 

Have you worshipped at 318 Home Street? Join Home Street Mennonite Church for worship as we mark the centennial of the church building where Christians (Presbyterian, United, Seventh Day Adventist, and Mennonite) have worshiped and encountered God for 100 years. The worship service will be live-streamed on Sunday, November 15 at 11:00 am Please join us!

An Opportunity Around Remembrance Day  New

As Remembrance Day 2020 nears, The No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation are working on a social media initiative to encourage people to wear their poppies, and to share with the world what they do. The initiative is called Pass the Poppy. It's a short video of clips strung together, of people passing a poppy from one to another. Your contributions would be welcomed. For more details and the deadline, please follow this link or contact Carol Fletcher at Transcona Memorial United Church

Advent and Christmas Preparations New

When the lay leaders from various Communities of Faith met via ZOOM last Tuesday and the Ministry Personnel met yesterday, there were some discussions about how to do Advent and Christmas in these pandemic times. There was discussion about various resources available online through the United Church website in Advent Unwrapped including a 2020 Advent Calendar, instructions for making an Advent wreath, various liturgies including a couple involving multiple hymns or carols that can be used for services at home or for those either worshiping in person or sharing worship with their communities through email, mailings, live streaming or YouTube taping. The link for these resources is:
Continue reading

A Few Important Deadlines Looming New

Earlier in 2020 the Canada Revenue Agency extended the deadline for submission of the 2019 Charity Returns. Just a reminder that those 2019 Charity Returns ARE due in by December 31, 2020. The failure to file these returns can result in your Charity Status being revoked and among other things an inability then for your Community of Faith to issue charity receipts for any donations. The governing body of your Community of Faith should check with your treasurer that this important piece of work has been completed.

As part of the steps to help Communities of Faith cope with cash flow during the pandemic, the United Church indicated that payment of assessments could be deferred or postponed. As the end of the calendar and fiscal year approaches, Communities of Faith are reminded that the 2020 Assessment payments are due in to the General Council Office.  Those with outstanding balances at the end of 2020 will have them added to 2021 assessments. These assessments are used to pay the governance costs of the Regional Councils and the General Council. For more information about assessments or any questions about your particular situation please contact:

Mission and Service Fund. Some communities of faith forward donations received locally to the national church at intervals during the year and others traditionally hold them until the end of the year. This year to manage cash flow many congregations opted to do the latter. A reminded that any donations received for Mission and Service Fund are considered designated givings and must be forwarded to the national church preferably by the end of the calendar year or as soon as possible thereafter. Monies in the Mission and Service Fund are used for mission and ministry of the United Church in Canada and around the world. For more information about ministries supported through that fund please see

Ministry Personnel Support Gathering

The next gathering for Ministry Personnel for mutual support and conversation will be held on November 17th, 2020. Here is the Zoom link information or you can check the Prairie to Pine Regional Events Calendar.

Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble

Kitchen Sink open conversation series

Affirm United/ S’affirmer Ensemble Kitchen Sink open conversation series, November 3 and continuing every second Tuesday: 4:30-6:00pm Mountain Daylight, 5:30-7:00PM Central. Full information on the series is here. A variety of conversation topics are offered, all of them a part of becoming and staying LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit-affirming in our church.

There Are No Closets in Tipis:
conversation with Jack Saddleback

Thursday November 5 2020, 5:30 in AB, 6:30 in SK and MB. Riveting, captivating, real, insightful, grounded, illuminated are just a few words to describe Jack Saddleback's presentation of his life as a Cree Two-Spirit Champion from Samson Cree Nation, Maskwacis. Many people across the Prairies have experienced Jack’s leadership in community and province-wide settings. This event live streams here: (A collaboration between The United Church of Canada's Indigenous Ministries and Justice Circle, Pacific Mountain Regional Council's Pollinate Ministries and LeaderShift, and the Shining Waters Regional Council.)
Our world seems smaller and more confined since COVID began. May these stories help widen it, and help us see where our prayers and actions from home can support those we may never meet in person, but with whom we are part of the Body of Christ.

Job Posting:  New
Community Capacity Development Office (CDDC)

Deadline for applications: November 6, 2020

General Council is in search of a Community Capacity Development Coordinator (CCDC) within the Indigenous Ministries & Justice unit with the United Church of Canada. This position has a geographical connection to our Regional Council.

For more information, please click this link:

Invite a global speaker to your

worship or community of faith!  New

People in Partnership invites you to learn more about the work and mission of partners around the world by inviting an individual to come and share their stories with United Church of Canada communities of faith. Find out more about these pilgrims, companions, co-workers and learners here. Although speakers are grouped by region below, many are available to present and share remotely with your community of faith online. Please contact to invite a speaker.

Stewardship update for November: New
around the globe and at home

God’s Mission, Our Gifts offers the latest stewardship news and resources. This month, stories include gratitude from Beirut, Lebanon for our gifts; the ongoing struggle for peace within and between some Asian nations; ideas for thank you letters at a time when people may struggle to give; a reminder of other resources, including offering prayers for November that are here. Read the whole (short!) newsletter here. If you or your community of faith want a snapshot of all of our Mission and Service givings and what they support, click here for the 2019 overview.

For the Love of Creation: New
climate change and sustainability events coming up

The United Church of Canada is part of a national ecumenical effort for Climate Justice called For the Love of Creation, joining with over thirty national church and faith based organizations. This effort focuses on theological reflection, local/congregational engagement, and political advocacy. There are a series of events coming up through November to help us engage in different aspects of the often difficult climate change conversation. Click here for an overview, and to register.

More details about For the Love of Creation, and many introductory resources, are available here, on their brand new website.

Olive harvest in the Occupied Palestinian Territories:
short video 

As Canada settles into winter, the Middle East also prepares for the close of the growing season. The annual olive harvest is a deeply significant time, culturally, economically, and spiritually. In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it is also a time of great tension and violence. Olive groves are frequently targeted by extremist Israeli settlers who are living in the Occupied Territories in defiance of international law. The World Council of Church offers this short video about the struggles facing Palestinian farmers:

Video licensing opportunity! New
Deadline November 18

The United Church has negotiated video licensing agreements that include Paramount, Universal, Alliance Atlantis, New Line Cinema, Miramax, Disney, Veggie Tales and many more! Public Performance Licenses enable your community of faith to show full-length or clips from movies or TV shows for public viewing as a part of things like worship, fundraisers, family nights, youth group events, or educational programs.

If you are interested in showing films or TV shows to a group in your building in any of these circumstances, you need a public performance license. The video licenses being offered here do not apply to live streamed clips. For more information about these licenses, the fee structure, and how to apply, please visit: You can also have a look at some frequently asked questions here.

The deadline for this round of applications is November 18th, 2020. We will offer another round of licenses to be available starting part way through next year. For any additional questions, please email or call Alexandra at or 1-800-268-3781 x4157.

Advent Unwrapped 2020 resources!  New

Get ready for Christ(mas)! Advent—a holy, four-week countdown to Jesus’ birthday—begins on Sunday, November 29! Get ready to make room for Christ and the radical, countercultural messages that Christ brings. Throughout the season, videos, prayers, family resources, and reflections on this page will introduce and explore the Christmas story. For more worship resources visit our Advent and Christmas worship pages. Follow our Advent Unwrapped Facebook page for regular updates on all kinds of resources.

The United Church supports
Mi’kmaq treaty rights

Being the church together means living into the 1986 Apology to Indigenous peoples together, and committing to understanding what it means to be Treaty People today.

Tensions remain very high in Mi’kmaq territory/ Nova Scotia, as the Sipekne'katik First Nation exercises its treaty rights to fish lobster over sometimes violent protest from non-Indigenous fishers. Regional Council 15 is asking for prayers from across the church and helped organize an interfaith leaders’ delegation to the area in late October. The national church shares the prayer and an update here.

Moderator Richard Bott and Indigenous Ministries Executive Minister Murray Pruden have responded with a letter to the church that says, in part, that “As a church that has repudiated colonial doctrines and committed itself to Indigenous rights, to the ongoing work of building right relations, and to opposing racism in all of its forms, we cannot remain silent.”  (Également disponible en français.)

Clusters and Networks update
(and reminder of $$!)

We know more online meetings may be the last thing on your mind. But just in case: If you are considering starting a new Network or Cluster, or if you’ve already been gathering, please take a moment to make sure that the Regional Council knows you’re meeting.

If your Cluster or Network is open to new members (and we hope it is) please make sure you’re listed. Please contact your Regional office (at the bottom of this newsletter) or Julie Graham ( to make sure we have contact information and a short description. And remember: there is money in the Regional budget to support your work. Maybe you want to offer to pay for event registrations or resources. Maybe you want to submit receipts for a get together lunch over Zoom to support a sense of community. Questions about this? Contact the office.

Latest webinars from United in Learning,
including congregational finances

Congregational Finances During the Pandemic, Wednesday October 28, 2020. 6:00PM MB and NW Ontario. Whether you're working on 2020 financial forecasts or a 2021 budget, all treasurers face more moving parts than ever before. Earlier this month, the federal government announced major subsidy program extensions which will likely impact both your current year forecast and any 2021 budgeting. Find out more and register here.  All this and more at United in Learning, the United Church’s continuing education and engagement service. See the summary here.

New Resource for Musicians and Ministry
and Personnel Committees

There is a resource now available online, which is specifically written for M&P Committees and church musicians. It was a collaborative piece of work between Adam Hanley of the Ministry and Employment Unit, Alydia Smith who resources the Worship Desk at GCO and some reps from Music United.  For those of you with a longer history in this work, you might want to know that it's a revision of a long out-of-print resource from 2004.   

Reminder: be careful with photo copyright!
Here are some tips

Photos are vital to our websites, social media, worship PowerPoints and much more. They add a lot to our online ministry and in-person PowerPoints. And they’re sometimes a little too easy to take and share. So please beware, and follow good copyright practices. Click here for some further information, resources, and ideas for copyright-free or fair use photos.

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:

Resources for re-engaging during COVID 19       

The United Church of Meadowood are offering their Pandemic Policy and Plan  as a sample for those who are in the process of developing one and could benefit from a sample. It has approved by their local governing body and been implemented.

For further information please contact :Sandy Katyrynuik Office Administrator at UCiM: 204-256-7002
Westworth United Church, Winnipeg is also sharing their Reopening Plan. For the month of October, the church has returned to online worship and beginning its Online Sunday School.

Prairie to Pine Covenant

The Regional Council Executive approved the Prairie to Pine Covenant. A copy of the document can be viewed here.

Greenshield Announcement

This past week a notice went out from Greenshield, the Benefits provider for the United Church of Canada to all members informing them of new requirements related to its Online Services. It requires members to log into their account and to share banking information. A few calls were received at the Prairie to Pine Regional Council Office inquiring about its legitimacy. Having connect with General Council the office, the Pastoral Relations Convener wants to assure the constituency that it is a legitimate invitation.

If you do have questions about the legitimacy of any notice that you receive requesting personal or banking information it is good to check it out with the Regional Council Office, General Council Office or the actual agency before opening the email. 

Stewardship update for November:
around the globe and at home

God’s Mission, Our Gifts offers the latest stewardship news and resources here. This month, stories include gratitude from Beirut, Lebanon for our gifts; the ongoing struggle for peace within and between some Asian nations; ideas for thank you letters at a time when people may struggle to give; a reminder of other resources, including offering prayers for November that are here. Read the whole (short!) newsletter here.

Being an Everyday Mystic

Find Wonder in Everyday Miracles. Presented online by Naramata Centre. Click here for details.  

New Episode of Open Out

The new episode of Open Out is now out! Our second season begins by looking at the 'edge effect' - a burst of creativity experienced by many communities who are actively welcoming folk who are somehow different, in the process of intentionally opening themselves to diversity.

The 'Edge Effect' refers to the fertile zone created when two or more ecosystems meet -  unique natural environments where new life forms can develop and old forms morph. We look at the edge effect in music - the vibrancy created when different musical forms intersect. Then we explore whether diverse faith communities have experienced something similar - in conversations with two United Church ministers serving in intercultural churches: Lesley Harrison of Knox Winnipeg, and Nobuko Iwai of Grosvenor Park Saskatoon.
You can download it from Itunes or [likely] any podcast service you prefer. Or you can access it directly from the host:
Open Out podcasts grew out of research sponsored by the United Church Foundation through its McGeachy Scholarship. The website is There is also an Open Out Facebook page. The podcasts are hosted by Bill Millar.

Music for Life

Music for Life is a Winnipeg-based volunteer project organized to support music programs for children and youth in Indigenous communities and inner-city neighbourhoods in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and northwest Ontario. For more information, please see attached poster.

Centre for Christian Studies - CCS Fridays

Join the Centre for Christian Studies for CCS Fridays—online conversations to help us all to respond faithfully to emerging issues in local contexts. 
These workshops are open to anyone who might be interested. Each session will be on a Friday from 12:00 to 1:00 CT and in the form of a Zoom workshop.  There will be a presentation that will be recorded for future viewing, plus opportunities to engage with the ideas in small groups.
Read more

Naramata Centre

Naramata Centre is offering Online Fall and Winter Programs. Please check their website for more information.

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.

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. 

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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