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Monday, April 21, 2003

  • Fever and cough symptoms? Stay home
  • PowerPoint church meets tonight
  • Other notes as exams wind down
Chris Redmond

Alabama salutes Canada

[Crouching beside snowbank]

Radar measures the speed of cars passing on the ring road and displays it instantly on this sign. Operating it for the UW police is Chris Pinnock, a co-op student from Kitchener's Cameron Heights Collegiate. (Photo by Barbara Elve.)

Fever and cough symptoms? Stay home

UW's health services issued a bulletin just before the weekend, based on advice from the Ontario ministry of health, advising people who are ill, but have no links to possible SARS exposure, to stay home from work, school or other gatherings: Since doctors and hospitals will be overburdened if everyone seeks doctors' notes, it says, these guidelines should be followed at UW: People who are ill and have links to possible SARS exposure include those who have travelled from a SARS endemic area (China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore); contact with a SARS patient; contact with a health care facility closed because of SARS; contact with the Toronto-based BLD Covenant Community. These individuals should phone their physician or emergency department, or UW health services (888-4567 ext. 3544) for advice.

PowerPoint church meets tonight

"We're just trying to do church for a young generation," says Brandon Malo of The Embassy -- and that's why there will be a five-piece band, and a crowd of perhaps several hundred worshippers, at Federation Hall for two services tonight.

At the high point during the winter term, The Embassy was drawing as many as 900 people a week, says Malo. "To put something other than top quality music out there, we know we're going to lose them."

So tonight's listeners will get "songs that you hear on the radio about people searching", as well as The Embassy's version of the Christian answers to the questions of life. "We stand by the essentials of the Christian faith," says Malo, who started the "student church" five years ago and is now its full-time minister. His credentials are from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, which sponsors The Embassy as an alternative to its more traditional congregations in Waterloo and Kitchener.

"People are looking for so many different things," Malo says. "We're trying to provide a place to worship, to get to know friends, an environment for people who are looking for answers -- to do that in a no-pressure way, in an environment where the language doesn't scare people off."

Put together informal language, music with "a top 40 feel", PowerPoint technology for the message, and lots of participation, and you have what churches typically call "contemporary worship", Malo says. "Our community comes from a very diverse theological background," he adds, stressing that The Embassy considers itself "nondenominational". Another low-pressure factor: there's no expectation for people to sign up as members. "Just come and be a part of it!" (Still, Malo acknowledges that The Embassy won't be for everybody, and points out that there are many other Christian organizations at UW for those with other theologies or other tastes in music.)

This month, before and after Easter, his messages are on the theme of "Famous Last Words", the things the Bible records that Jesus said as he was dying. Today, Easter Monday: "It is finished." Services are at 7:00 and 8:30 on Monday nights (just 7:00 during the summer months) and 10:30 Sunday mornings.

Other notes as exams wind down

Tomorrow is the last day of exams for the spring term, and then it'll be pretty quiet across campus for a week and a half. With the exam period coming to an end, today is the last day of extended hours for the UW libraries. Tonight Dana Porter is open to 2 a.m. and Davis to 3 a.m. Tomorrow, Porter will close at 11:00 and Davis at midnight; for the rest of this week, both libraries will be closing at 6 p.m.

The UW senate meets tonight with an agenda that includes the long-controversial issue of what authority in the university should have the right to change grades if the marks assigned by a professor are seen to be unreasonable. There should also be news tonight of who will receive honorary degrees at spring convocation ceremonies, June 11-14. The senate meeting starts at 4:30 p.m. in Needles Hall room 3001.

I have a correction and apology to pass along as the result of an item on the front page of last week's Gazette. A paragraph in "The Week" described the "Lady Sings the Blues" event being sponsored by the staff association on April 29, and says the performer will be Katrina DiGravio. Well, no. It's somebody else altogether -- I'll give the name, and a few more details, later this week, since the association's social committee is trying to run a contest in which people find out who the performer will be.

Another correction from last week's Gazette: it said the recent "Two for Blue Day" was a fundraiser to combat juvenile diabetes. In fact, the annual event is about juvenile arthritis.

"Training & Development has a brand new look!" writes Renee Rahamut of UW's human resources department -- talking about the section of the HR web site with training and development resources for staff. "Here you can find Get Up & Grow and Skills for the Electronic Workplace course offerings as well as a listing of all our library videos, audio tapes and books. The Training & Development questionnaire (due back April 16) is also posted on the web site for those who wish to maintain anonymity or forgot to send the questionnaire back by the due date."

Scheduled for noontime on Wednesday is a session on "Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy: A new approach to preventing depression relapse". Psychologist Theresa Casteels will talk about "an innovative, clinically proven approach that unites Eastern mindfulness meditation practices with Western cognitive therapy. Mindfulness practice involves developing a capacity to allow (distressing) feelings, thoughts, and body sensations to occupy awareness, but to 'step out' of one's reactivity to them. Originally researched as a treatment to prevent the recurrence of depression, MBCT is now being used to treat stress, anxiety, binge eating, pain, chronic fatigue, as well as other health problems." The session is sponsored by the Employee Assistance Program, and preregistration is with the green flyer that was distributed on campus last week -- the attached form should be returned to Johan Reis in health services.

Monday, June 16, is the date set for this year's Matthews Golf Classic, an annual event "aimed at faculty, staff and retirees". The event starts at 12:00 noon and winds up with dinner, all at the Grand Valley Golf and Country Club. It's a "scramble", which means that all members of a four-person team tee off at each hole and the team decides which of the four balls will be played for the second shot. Cost is $46 for the day, $26 for golf only, $20 for dinner only. The registration form can be found on the web and must be returned to Jan Willwerth in the information systems and technology department by May 30. Willwerth (jan@uwaterloo.ca, phone ext. 2376) or Jason Greatrex (jgreatre@uwaterloo.ca, ext. 6494) can provide additional information.


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