Conference Weekly News - December 20, 2018

Conference Weekly News

December 20, 2018


 The Conference of Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario website:

Please note: the vacancies in pastoral charges and community ministries are available on the new website under Ministry Personnel: Vacancies 

Prayers of Concern

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the Reverend Murray Wenstob who died on December 12, 2018 at age 87.  A Funeral Service was held on Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at St. Andrew’s United Church, Swan River with Rev. Kathy Highmoor officiating. Murray was ordained in 1959 and was on the Roll of Northland Presbytery of the Conference of Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario as retired ministry personnel.

The Office of the Conference of Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario will be closed as of noon on Friday, December 21, 2018 for the Christmas Break.

The office at 1622B St. Mary’s Road, Winnipeg will re-open as the office of Region 5 of the United Church of Canada on Tuesday, January 2, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
The staff of the Conference of Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario extends blessings to one and all for a merry and meaningful Christmas and a Happy New Year !


Upcoming Dates

January 18 – 25, 2019
Annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

February 12-13, 2019
Death, Funerals, and the Christian Hope

March 11-April 1 (Mondays)
Interfaith Dialogue at Westworth UC

May 14-16 - Region 5 UCW Rally - Rally

      New This Week                     New This Week    

A Song for Advent from Moderator Richard Bott

Moderator Richard Bott has written a song for Advent which can be sung to Beethoven's "The Hymn of Joy." 

Joyful, joyful, we adore you,
Mary's Child, Beloved One!
Candles lit and prayers are spoken
as we rise in Advent's sun.
May our hope be lived in fullness,
embodied peace, incarnate love,
as, with you, we dance in holiness,
wrapped in wings of the Holy Dove.
Find the full song on the Moderator's Facebook page



Remit Implementation Newsletter -  Final Issue

 Please subscribe to E-ssentials e-newsletter to keep receiving regular updates on events, campaigns, actions, new resources, and more from the General Council Office and beyond.

Where to Find Information in 2019
Updates on ongoing work at the General Council level—including pastoral relations, candidacy, and the new assessment process—are being posted on

For information on staffing and structures at the regional level, contact your regional council. Contact details are in the United Church Locator Regional Councils section, which will be updated as more details become available.

Questions or comments can continue to be sent to until June 30, 2019.


Opportunities for Service/Volunteer Needs within Region 5

>> More Information

We are now less than two weeks away from transition to the new structure within the United Church of Canada. The Transition Commission for Region 5 is still working through the details of the full structure and more details may be known even by next week’s Conference Weekly News.  In the meantime, we wanted to make you aware of some of the volunteer needs/opportunities for service in certain areas so that you can do some thinking and discerning.  In the new structure of Region 5 will likely include the following: Pastoral Relations Liaisons, a Pastoral Relations Commission, a Committee on Community of Faith Support, a Committee on Lay Ministry Support and a Committee on Ministry Personnel Support.  For more information about these opportunities, please see the attachment.

What To Do With Records & Documents

As the United Church of Canada transitions its structure effective January 01, 2019 and the work of presbyteries and their committees shifts to other places in the structure, there are records from the past that do need to find their way to those who will require them in the new structure or to Archives.
At this point the following materials need to find their way to the office of the Conference of Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario at 1622B St. Mary’s Road, Winnipeg (Office hours: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.):

  • All Presbytery Pastoral Oversight Files must come to the Conference Office as they must be culled for use in the new system.  If there are things we have duplicates of or things way back that should go to Archives now the Conference Office will send them along asap.
  • All Presbytery Pastoral Relations Files (including Calls/Appointments forms held by the Presbyteries) must come to the Conference Office for incorporation into Personnel Files that we will shared between region and office of Vocation.
  • Any files regarding the processing of Reviews/Complaints /SMPRPP matters held by ANYONE in the Presbytery including the Presbytery Secretaries must come to the Conference Office for culling and forwarding to the General Council Office ( Legal Staff ) for culling or storage.
  • All Presbytery Education & Students files  including files on Inquirers, Candidates and DLM Applicants – present and past-Licensed Lay Worship Leaders and Sacraments Elders for culling and forwarding to the General Council Office for use by the new Board of Vocations and Assessment Boards and use by the region in its work support and clustering of LLWL and Sacraments Elders.
  • Presbytery bank records (for the obligatory 7 years) will come to Conference Office for labelling and storage here.  Any documents that are to be kept in perpetuity will be sent to Archives.
  • Other materials i.e. presbytery minutes and correspondence, materials related to property committee or other presbytery committees will ultimately make its way to ARCHIVES but can come to the Conference Office for storage for now.
  • Any materials that are coming from congregations that are closing as of December 31, 2018 (we do have a few) can go directly to ARCHIVES or we could store them here until you are ready to receive them.  (I usually expect that any Ministry & Personnel Committee records would be sent back to me if they are found in these materials)

ALL boxes need to contain of record of what they contain and must be labelled clearly on the outside when they are dropped off (name of presbytery- type of records –years covered by contents).
For assistance with sorting records please see one of the guidelines below available on the General Council website:
Guidelines for Archiving Presbytery records (direction for depositing some records at Conference Office rather than destroying them takes precedence for now)  >> Guidelines for Archiving Presbytery Records
>> Guidelines for Archiving Congregational records
Questions about records can be directed to Erin Acland, Conference Archivist ( or Judy Hare, Conference Personnel Minister (                    


NEW Resources now available online through the General Council website:

1) The Manual 2019 is available at:

2) Updated Ministry and Personnel resources are available on the M&P Committee webpage:

On the M&P page is the updated policies, procedures and practices document and the Resources for M&P Committees (which contains checklists and additional help for the committee) and a vacation/study leave tracking template file. 

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Attention Those in Search Processes
We received notice this week from General Council Office that as of October 15, 2018 there will be no new materials posted on what was known as the national Vacancy and Availability Lists through the Church Leadership Network.  Those of you who received copies of these lists through our office will no longer receive them.
Vacancies declared in this Conference by the Settlement Commission will continue to be posted on the MNWO Conference website ( under Vacancies.  Ministry Personnel searching for ministry positions/opportunities will need to be proactive and visit each Conference website to determine how and where ministry opportunities are posted in that Conference.  This will remain the case until the new Pastoral Relations Hub becomes available on or before January 1, 2019.
If you have questions about this please contact the Conference Personnel Minister, Judy Hare (

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New Marriage Officiant Registration Policy for Conference of MNWO
If you have not already been made aware through your presbytery representatives to the Executive of Conference of Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario, the Conference passed a new Marriage Officiant Registration Policy at its conference call meeting on June 22, 2018. Because of some matters related to the interpretation of current regulations in the Province of Ontario by Vital Statistics, we were asked to clarify our current protocol and practices by creating a policy. In doing so, there were some expectations that we consider a level of consistency with the policies that the other United Church Conferences in Ontario have at present. This policy understands that officiating at a marriage/wedding with a license issued by the province and under the oversight of the denomination is exercising a function of Ministry as these Licenses are issued by virtue of office/role.
Please note the following which may not have been practices in all locations but will now be Policy throughout the Conference of MNWO for Ministry Personnel wanting to be a Marriage Officiant:
*ministry personnel not in a Call/Appointment must be in a covenant relationship with a presbytery accountable or presbytery recognized ministry;
* Ministry Personnel must be and remain up to date on the denominations requirements to exercise the functions of Ministry;
* Ministry Personnel must register all marriages conducted under their license (whether onsite or offsite) in a congregation/pastoral charges marriage register.
Communications will be going out within the next month to all those who don't currently meet the above criteria around when licenses will be officially withdrawn.  
Questions can be directed to the Conference Personnel Minister, the Conference Executive Secretary, Presbytery rep to the Conference Executive or Settlement Commission.
Please click here for the policy >>  Marriage Officiant Registration Policy for Conference of MNWO


Generosity Giving & Gratitude –
December 2018

To view the December 2018 Generosity, Giving & Gratitude message from Kathryn Hofley, Stewardship and Gift Officer, please click here
Generosity, Giving & Gratitude


Weekly News

As of December 1, Jamie Mckay will be looking after the Weekly News.  If you have anything you’d like included, please send to or with "Weekly News" in subject line. 

The Manual, 2019, is now available online. It is effective January 1, 2019.


Week of Prayer 2019

From January 18 – 25, 2019 will we celebrate the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity here in Winnipeg.  The theme for 2019 is “Justice and only justice you shall pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20a).  A City-wide Ecumenical Worship Celebration will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 20, 2019 at The Salvation Army Heritage Park Temple, 825 School Road, Winnipeg.  All are cordially invited to this celebration.  For further information on this and the ecumenical choir being formed for the occasion, please see the Week of Prayer poster on the church bulletin board. Read more...

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Ecumenical Choir for City-wide Celebration

An ecumenical choir is being formed to lead music at the forthcoming celebration on January 20th during the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  No audition is required.  Anyone who can carry a tune and wishes to sing in the choir is welcome!  Rehearsals will be held at The Salvation Army Heritage Park Temple, 825 School Road, Winnipeg, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 6, 2019 and on Sunday, January 13, 2019.  A short final rehearsal will be held immediately before the Ecumenical Worship Service on Sunday, January 20, 2019.  For further information, you may call Michele Barr at 204-453-5016 or contact her via email:

Repeat News

MNWO Regional Kairos group requesting donation and/or musical instruments to support a joint project entitled 'Music for the Soul'. Further info available from Ellen Wood,

Read more...Music for the Spirit
Read more...Spirit of Music


Thank You for Supporting Partners in the Caribbean
Thank you to all those who supported relief efforts for those affected by the 2017 Caribbean hurricanes and earthquakes. Read more...

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United Church Supports Rohingya People in Bangladesh
United Church people have given $86,000 towards humanitarian relief in Cox’s Bazar and Kutupalong, the largest refugee camp in the world. Read more...

Save the Dates!
 Mondays, 7-9 pm, March 11-April 1

>> Poster

Interfaith responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action, hosted by Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian communities.  Note that the speaker for each Monday evening will be from a different faith community than the hosting community so as to help us have a greater combined interfaith response to the TRC.  Westworth United Church will be offering two training sessions on Sunday afternoons, January 20 & 27 for facilitators for small group discussion at these 4 sessions.  If you are interested in being trained as a facilitator and make either of these dates, please contact Loraine MacKenzie Shepherd at (204) 489-6974 ext.22 or  Please see the attached poster for more information.


Region 5 UCW Rally
May 14-16, 2019
>> Poster
You’re invited to a Region 5 UCW Rally May 14-16, 2018 at St. Benedict’s Conference Centre.  Registration forms will be out in early December.  For more information, please see the attached poster.


February 12-13, 2019
Death, Funerals, and the Christian Hope

ReNew 2019 is intended for ALL involved in ministry, whether in a congregation or in a chaplaincy. 
For more information,


 ChurchHub is a family of portals that allows communities of faith, ministry personnel, staff, and church members who are serving on denominational committees to communicate with the denomination. For communities of faith and ministry personnel, the pastoral relations system has moved online to be part of ChurchHub.  The introduction to ChurchHub webinar is available to watch on, aired November 19, 2018 >> ChurchHub   This page includes the webinar, a FAQ page, and the slides included in the presentation.

Moderator's Advent Message 2018

This Advent, Moderator Richard Bott invites us to reflect and realign our lives with Christ's calling for us. 
Read more . . .


With every new system there are glitches or unexpected delays . it is HOPED that Ministry Personnel should receive their invitations later this week or next week to join CHURCH HUB with instructions on how to upload information to your profile when the site becomes active. Invitations to and instructions for Communities of Faith ( Congregations and Pastoral Charges) will follow after all Ministry Personnel have their materials. The timeline on that is a bit uncertain at present.

Until notified that the new system is up and running, in the Conference of MNWO, we will continue to approve vacancies through our current system and post vacancies on the Conference Website ( All Applications will continue to be received through the Conference Office so that credential Clearance can be assured ( Email: ).

New: Call UCRD, Talk to United Church Customer Service
Need help finding the right United Church resource or book? Call us. Read more...

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New Worship Resources, Video Licensing, Upcoming Webinars
Three new Prayers for Times of Change are available to help communities of faith through the remit-related transitions and changes in governance structure.  Read more . . . 

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Thank You for Supporting the Extreme Hunger Appeal
The United Church continues to support efforts to build peace and resilient communities that can tackle the challenges of climate change. 
Read more . . .

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Mikisew Decision: Expand the Duty to Consult
Ecumenical leaders write Prime Minister Trudeau concerning duty to consult with First Nations.
Read more . . .



>> December 2018 Edition

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