11135-65 Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T6H 1W3 · Traditional Lands of Treaty 6 First Nations



A compassionate community of free religious thought, inviting all people to rest, grow, and serve the world.


Meet Our Story Corner Friends!

Image shows Director of Religious Education, Ilara Stefaniuk-Gaudet, smiling with a squirrel hand puppet. The Puppet's name is Spruce.

Image shows Director of Religious Education, Ilara Stefaniuk-Gaudet, smiling with a squirrel hand puppet. The Puppet's name is Spruce.

Although many of you have met today’s feature Story Corner friend in the fur, Spruce wanted to share some things about ermself that you may not know yet, and introduce ermself to those of you that e hasn’t met yet! Spruce has A LOT of backstory! In fact, Spruce has so much backstory that I often finds myself as surprised as anyone else by some of the things Spruce comes up with. Spruce is a very unscripted squirrel, and we love erm for it.

Spruce wants to to share a bit of erm backstory for anyone new to our community. Spruce has been a part of Westwood for a few years now, and is a very beloved community member. Spruce’s stories began in the Westwood RealiTree, which was an incredible living sculptural piece that changed every single Sunday to match what was happening in nature. Here is a photo of the RealiTree from this time in a year past!

This was Spruce’s original home, as well as the roots of Spruce’s stories! During our year of time with the RealiTree, I used it for our monthly Sunday Stories for All Ages, so folks got to know Spruce and a few other story friends very well! Originally, Spruce was a little felted squirrel that lived in the RealiTree, but them erm dressed as a puppet of ermself for Halloween one year…and now erm is magically transformed into the puppet version of ermself! Spruce has even changed erm pronouns within our Westwood community and is forever grateful for the loving response e has received.

Now that Spruce has shared a small portion of erm backstory, e tells me e would also like to reveal some NEVER BEFORE SAID OUT LOUD parts about erm life! E hadn’t even told me what I’m about to tell you until this very minute! I, for one, can hardly contain my excitement to hear what e is going to tell me! You folks all ready for this? So, apparently the pouch that Spruce always carries in erm paws is a MAGIC pouch! It’s made to look like an apple, and at one point it held soft things to help line another squirrel’s nest, but in reality it can hold anything that Spruce wishes for inside it! Wow, I can’t believe Spruce hadn’t told me that before! Imagine the story possibilities with a magic wishing pouch!

Speaking of stories, Spruce would love to see you at our Saturday Story Corners! We gather in our Zoom Room to settle in and get comfy at 2:45pm MT, then there is a 3pm story on our Facebook Live! After our story we pop back into the Zoom Room so you can visit with our puppet friends! All are welcome to join us on either platform; Spruce LOVES seeing people commenting on erm stories!

See you all soon!

Much love from me and Spruce!

Ilara Stefaniuk-Gaudet, Director of Religious Education


Meet Our Story Corner Friends!

Shows Religious Director Ilara with one of the Children's Weekly Story Corner Puppets, a fairy named Elm with a green leaf skirt and a bee on her head.

Spruce recently brought it my my attention that it is very likely many of you may not have met erm yet, and that made me realize that if you haven’t met Spruce yet (you will!) then you definitely haven’t met our other puppet friends. So I’m going to do a little mini feature on each of our …

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Online Programming for Children and Youth Now Available!

Our world has changed overnight, and we are working hard to make sure that we have programming and supports in place to meet new needs, including for children and youth. For families with elementary aged or younger children, Director of Religious Education, Ilara Stefaniuk-Gaudet (they/them pronouns) will be hosting a weekly story session with our …

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Happy New Year from Westwood Children’s Program!

Happy New Year! Our theme for January is our fourth Source: Jewish and Christian teachings of God’s call to love our neighbour. In the children’s program, we will be exploring some of the messages from the Jewish tradition on January 5 and 26, and messages from the Christian tradition on January 12 and 19. We will do so through story telling, games, crafts, and conversations about what kindness looks like in our lives and in the world.

Many Blessings for the year ahead!

Ilara Stefaniuk-Gaudet, Director of Religious Education

Experiencing Our Sources

December is often filled with feasting, the wonder of luminous holiday decorations in the darkest days of the year, and time with loved ones. It’s a full month, and we will be Experiencing Our Sources all month long! We have a lot of All Ages Events we are looking forward to this month, including our …

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Words and Deeds which Inspire Us to Love

November is an exciting month in the Westwood Children’s and Youth Religious Education Programs! Our Sunday programming is going to be a fun, creative exploration of our monthly theme. We will be learning about voices and deeds of both historical and contemporary people that inspire us towards loving each other. There will be games, children’s …

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This Week in Westwood Children’s Program…

October’s theme is our First UU Source: Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life. We will be starting upstairs with our adult friends for a Rainbow Story for All Ages exploring our monthly theme created by Storyteller Extraordinaire, Rev. Anne Barker! Our program time together will be spent exploring the “awe” in autumn in a fall leaf activity on gratitude in celebration of Thanksgiving.

New Year, New Connections!

A new year at Westwood, new connections to be made! Cosmic Connections Youth will be back in action this October, so stay tuned! Our theme this year is Connection, Action, Reflection, and we will be exploring how to balance play with these important concepts in our lives.  For more information on Cosmic Connections, click here. …

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Thank You BBQ Hosted by Bruce MacPherson’s Family

On Sunday, June 30, after 3pm, Marina, Ainsly and Tenyson will be hosting a thank-you BBQ for all the help and support we received with Bruce’s passing. Please phone 780-918–3366 if you need the address. Please feel free to extend this invitation to all who were touched by Bruce’s life.

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