Watch this week’s service on YouTube by clicking:

May 7 Worship Service Video



Join us for worship on Sundays at 10:00



  • Please join us after the service in the Van Roon Community Hall for HeBrews Café, refreshments and fellowship after worship.



  • Are you interested in the wider work of the church? Charleswood United Church is a member of the Prairie to Pine Regional Council of the United Church of Canada. The Regional Council’s Annual Meeting is being held June 1 – 4 in Winnipeg at the United Church of Meadowood. If you have interest in attending, please contact Michael Wilson for more information.


  • Michael Wilson’s book “A Pastoral Pandemic: Remaining Connected in a Time of Disconnection” is now available in store and online through CommonWord Bookstore (Canadian Mennonite University). “A Pastoral Pandemic” is a collection of letters chronicling the two years Charleswood United Church suspended in-person worship. For more information visit:



Dear Friends

Welcome to worship for Sunday, May 7, 2023.

There are many ways to approach the coronation of King Charles III which is taking place this weekend. I heard a report of a survey that said only 4% of Canadians intended to watch the ceremony which may indicate that this is “much ado about nothing.” Apparently, there was a rude, if not humorous song sung at a Scottish soccer game last week which would seem to indicate no one there was going to watch it.

Questions can be asked about the cost for such an event. Cynics scoff at ways that money may have been otherwise used. It is true that “couldn’t this money have been better spent on the poor?” is a biblical question. It is also true that the question is asked by Judas so take that for what it’s worth.

The relationship of the monarchy to Canada also rises to the fore when events like the coronation approach and there are good questions and good opinions on all sides. That Canada’s Head of State should be Canadian is a worthwhile topic for discussion. What is the relationship of the Crown to First Nations is also an important consideration. And what to replace the monarchy with is something for which there is nothing near a consensus. But what harm can come from questions and conversation.

What interests me regarding the coronation is the ceremony or ritual of it all. Unlike a lot of other public ceremonies in Canada and elsewhere, this is an indisputably religious ceremony. It is stewarded by the Church of England. It takes place in a church. God is invoked in prayer, readings, and liturgy. Charles will simultaneously become sovereign and head of an ecclesiastical body. There’s communion in it for heaven’s sake.

That religious aspect may be largely a consequence of tradition and a vestige of history. By law there is no other way to have a coronation. And the coronation does not make Charles King. According to the British constitution he actually became so the moment Queen Elizabeth died. The coronation therefore, is about something else. Something old. Something eternal. And that is our human need for ritual.

Of course, the rituals of the Royal Family are over the top. The need I speak of is something that can be met in simple and subtle ways. Crown jewels need not be involved. But marking the transitions of life, personal and national lives, is inherently important. And I suggest, vital to our collective well-being. It is why we gravitate towards birthday parties and holidays and family customs. One dear friend of mine has a family tradition of gathering for the Kentucky Derby, wearing hats and drinking mint julips. They all get into it and look forward to it all year long. They have made it a family ritual. The race is unimportant but the binding of this small group in this fun way meets an inherent need.

The church is a wonderful place to exercise one’s need for ritual. We have time honoured ways of celebrating birth, love, and death. The sacraments and ceremonies of the church have been tested and found to be true and trustworthy over two millennia. They include those we know well and those with whom we are less acquainted which gets to the shared human need we are expressing. Beyond that, our rituals invoke the love of God which surrounds us and fills our lives with joy and hope.

It is a crowning achievement.


Grace and peace,




  • The reading for this week’s service can be found here:


  • Did you know you can support this ministry by e-transfer, automatic withdrawal (PAR), and gifted securities, in addition to weekly or monthly cheques? For Offering Information please visit:  Thank you for your generous support.


  • For news and events, please have a look at Life & Work on our website: Life and Work


  • For more information on earthquake relief efforts in Turkey and Syria please visit any of the following:


Mennonite Central Committee: MCC Earthquake Relief

The Canadian Red Cross page link: Canadian Red Cross Earthquake Appeal

The United Church Response link: UCC Earthquake Relief