News from the Pews

By on May 1, 2022

Pelly Plains Parish
as submitted by Virginia Beelaert

Following the closure of their church, Christ Church, Roblin has gifted Christ Church, Russell with a Bible. The Bible had been presented to Roblin by the Rev’d Karen and Bob Binding “in loving memory of former members of the Parish.” 

Several members of Russell’s Christ Church and Knox United participated in a Lenten Bible study hosted by Grace Lutheran Church. Discussion followed readings from Voices at the Crossroads by Paul K. Peterson. 

The members of St. George’s Birtle have enjoyed the return of their coffee get-togethers following Sunday services. They had been halted due to Covid-19. 


Neepawa Anglican-United Shared Ministry
as submitted by the Rev’d Chad McCharles OSBCn

Throughout February, parishioners of the Neepawa United Anglican Shared Ministry challenged themselves to raise funds for the Vaccine Equity Fund of the PWRDF. As an outward and visible sign of these efforts, the Mission Service and Outreach (MS&O) Committee committed to posting one heart in the sanctuary for every $5 that was raised. By the end of the month, $2,762 was raised, which meant 552.4 hearts had to be cut out and posted on the walls of the sanctuary! This became such a task, that the MS&O Committee had to employ Sunday School to help with posting all the hearts. Across Canada, this PWRDF initiative has made a massive difference, with over $60,000 going towards ensuring everyone around the globe has access to the Covid-19 vaccinations. NUASM gives thanks to all who generously donated towards this initiative, both United and Anglican alike! Yet another outward and visible sign of the inner, spiritual ties that bind us together in love, with our ecumenical congregation, and our brothers and sisters around the globe. 


The Tri-Valley Parish (St. Mary’s, Virden; St. Mark’s, Elkhorn; St. John’s, Reston; Christ Church, Melita)
as submitted by the Editor

On March 24th, I celebrated my fifth anniversary in ordained ministry. I mentioned it to the parish secretary, who acknowledged it and went back to work. She eventually left the building to “run some errands.” About 20 minutes later, she returned with this cake that you see below. I wasn’t expecting it, 

and I’m thankful for the cake, the recognition, and my time here in Virden. Later that week, the article below appeared in the local paper, the Virden Empire-Advance. I include it below for your reading pleasure. 

Yesterday [the article originally appeared on March 25], I celebrated my fifth year of ordained ministry in Virden. On March 24, 2017, I was ordained as a deacon (the first ordination for many Anglican clergy) over at St. Mary’s. It was a day that was not only a long time coming, but it was also a day that I’ll never forget. However, all that being said, the first couple of months here I struggled. I wasn’t struggling because of anything anybody did (or didn’t do), but because I was going through culture shock. Some of you may know that prior to moving to Virden, I had really only lived in big cities. Sure, I had done a few stints in small towns in Saskatchewan and southwestern Ontario, but this was a different kettle of fish. I was moving from cities, where I could get anything I wanted at any hour to minister to small towns where the local grocery store closed at 6pm on weekends. 

I was ordained on the Eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, the Feast in the Church calendar where we reflect on the announcement that Mary was to become the mother of Jesus Christ. At the end of the story, we hear Mary say these words: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” As I was moving and starting out here, these words rattled through my head, as a kind of assurance that things were going to get better as I settled in. 

And frankly, dear reader, they did (but you probably knew that was coming.) I’ve been here five plus years now and I have learned that small towns have a charm about them that cities can never have. There is a sense of community here that isn’t present in cities – when I lived in cities, I didn’t know many people in the varied neighbourhoods I lived in. That isn’t the case in small towns – I’ve been made to feel very welcome here over the past five years. I feel like I’m part of this community and am known. 

So, thank you for opening my eyes to the charm of small towns. Thank you for welcoming this city boy with open arms and making him to feel like a part of the community. I look forward to more years in and around the town that means so much to many of us. 

Then-Deacon Matt with his very proud
parents following the ordination.


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