St. Andrew’s, DeWinton: Staying Connected

By Rev. Marie Wedderburn

St. Andrew's United Church, DeWinton
St. Andrew’s, DeWinton, participating in Easter and Birthday gatherings. Photos: Mark Dutkoski

  During the pandemic St. Andrew’s United, DeWinton, has stayed connected with one another in a variety of ways. At the beginning of the pandemic, we initiated a “buddy system” in which we agreed to stay connected either via phone calls or e-mails with our buddy.

      When we had services at the church, we celebrated peoples’ birthdays by having a cake and singing “Happy Birthday” to that person downstairs following the service. Then in the middle of June, we initiated birthday drive-bys for anyone celebrating a birthday where we gather at the church in our vehicles and proceed to the home of the birthday celebrant at which time we honk our horns and wave from our vehicles. We have done this through rain, fog, sunshine, and snow. When the birthday celebrant lives either in Calgary or in a multi-family building in Okotoks, we have a birthday park-and-honk at the church with the ringing of the church bell as the birthday celebrant stands on the church steps with his/her mask on and waves as we drive around the church honking our horns and waving.

      Another way this small community of faith has stayed connected has been through our times of receiving gift bags which are handed out at a distance at the church. Included in these gift bags have been various articles such as masks, sanitary wipes, soap, and hand lotion, all contributed by people within our community of faith.

     We also continue to stay connected via our Zoom gatherings on Sunday mornings where we see one another and share our stories of faith during these times of being apart physically.

Rev. Marie Wedderburn is a retired United Church minister who now participates in the St. Andrew’s, DeWinton Community of Faith