Traditional Lands of Treaty 6 First Nations and the homelands of the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4.

Westwood Unitarian Congregation

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Compassion Bank

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

The Compassion Bank of Westwood

Founded in 2014, the bank is one way to realize Westwood’s purpose as a compassionate community of free religious thought, inviting all people to rest, grow & serve the world. As a shared ministry of the congregation, it is available to members, friends & staff of Westwood congregation.

The Compassionate Connections Coordinator, as discreet banker, accesses offerings on account when requested or needed by Westwoodians, providing compassionate support & comfort during troubling times.

Members, friends & staff can deposit a service or request a withdrawal for any of the following offers:

Card Crew. Folks willing to circulate a card signed by the congregation acknowledging a significant event. Mailed to our member/friend/staff experiencing a family loss, injury, surgery, hospitalization or confinement.

Listeners. Folks willing to listen to a member/friend/staff sort through a troubling issue or dilemma. e.g. someone contemplating a challenge or change or decision.

Nourishers. Folks willing to prepare a soup or meal for member(s), friend(s) or staff in difficult circumstances. e.g. a family or individual suffering a loss or serious family illness.

Transporters. Folks willing to drive/accompany someone to an appointment, to church or deliver nourishment. e.g. to a homebound Westwoodian going through trying times.

Visitors. Folks willing to visit a Westwoodian confined in hospital or a care facility or at home. e.g. bring news of Westwood & check-in for the wellbeing of the person.

Handihelps. Folks willing to help with a repair or provide advice to Westwoodians for home, garden, auto or technology.

Special Offers. Folks with a unique compassionate offering for someone in the congregation. Or folks seeking help with a unique need.

Offers of compassionate action are held confidentially in the bank & shared only with permission among the parties concerned. As requests come in, folks with matching offers are contacted & given the option of participating. Depositors are always contacted first to ensure they are currently able & willing to provide a requested service.

All compassionate interactions remain private unless agreed to otherwise by the parties concerned to respect the privacy of anyone needing assistance & to honour the limits of a person providing care.

An exception to privacy & confidentiality between offerers & receivers happens when abuse or harmful actions are involved or potential. In a case of imminent harm, the situation must be reported, for the safety of all involved.

Westwood’s Board & Compassionate Connections Coordinator are available to all Westwoodians as supports regarding this congregational program. Need more information or to wish to become involved?

Compassion Log
Special Offers

Westwood’s compassion log is housed in the sanctuary & is one way for members, friends & staff to keep in touch beyond Sunday candles of concern & celebration. The purple notebook rests on a stand at the rear of the church.

The log is provided to address gaps in congregational connections. Members & friends expressed concern for the wellbeing of folks missing from Sunday services & other Westwood events.  And for not knowing when & if there is a need for congregational compassionate responses.

It serves those who prefer to write an entry, rather than light a candle, and is one way for Westwoodians to share information & updates on behalf of those unable to attend.

The log informs members & friends encouraging them to follow up with individual gestures & actions of compassion.

Westwoodians are welcome to make an entry at any time. Kindly date & sign your passage.

If you are writing on behalf of another member or friend, please be sure you have consent for a message on their behalf.

Queries about the log? Contact Westwood’s Compassionate Connections co-ordinator.

In addition to the bank’s standard offerings, Listeners, Nourishers, Transporters, & Visitors; Special Offers are available when & if a life “road bump” comes up.

Here are some examples:

Math lessons ~house, yard or garden work/labour ~minor home help ~solve computer issues ~play music or read ~do a small job (change that light bulb, hang a picture, hook up a TV)  ~a babysit for wee ones ~pick up & deliver items up to 50 pounds ~soothe a body with Reiki or Reflexology ~light a home candle~ send healing light or prayers ~help with knitting & crocheting ~ exercise a pet ~a conversation about panic, alcohol, co-dependency & physical or mental challenges.

The bank also responds to folks seeking a unique compassionate need. Donors have ~weeded gardens ~ cleaned for a member on the move~ walked a dog~ given a caregiver cook a night off once a week~ helped out at memorial services~ moved someone in a hurry~ & offered driving lessons.

When an immediate family member dies, or someone is hospitalized or confined, a floral crew creates & delivers an arrangement in a compassion mug.

A card crew arranges for group consolation messages to Westwoodians in difficult circumstances. A memorial card of recognition is also sent on the anniversary of a significant loss.

Compassion Cards, featuring a unique design & the logo “Lean on Us”, are available for congregants to use for a personal message.

Just some of the many ways Westwood keeps in touch with folks we care about.

For more information contact Westwood’s Compassionate Connections Coordinator


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