This Sunday – THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – HOLY HUMOUR SUNDAY
The Sunday after Easter is known as Bright Sunday or Holy Humor Sunday and has its roots in history. For centuries, in Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant countries, Bright Sunday was observed by the faithful as "a day of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus' resurrection. Parishioners and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, sang, and danced. It was a time for clergy and people to tell jokes and to have fun. These celebrations were rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. Easter was "God's supreme joke played on death."
So in spite of, or to spite, the challenges of the world around us we will honour this ancient tradition, and this Sunday’s service will pay homage to Holy Humour, celebrating the joy of the Lord. As the prophet Nehemiah says, “… this day is holy to the Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
The Scripture readings for Sunday are Psalm 133 and John 20: 19-31. In the Time for All Ages I will talk about Bright Sunday, and my sermon is titled, “Holy Humour.”
I haven’t received any Celebrations for this Sunday. If you have a celebration, please send it to me at email@example.com by tomorrow (Friday) at noon.
THE WILL BE A ZOOM COFFEE HOUR ON HOLY HUMOUR SUNDAY
Join Zoom Coffee on Sunday at 11:30
Meeting ID: 833 3662 6819 Passcode: 309861
THE WORSHIP TEAM TAKES A BREAK
The Worship Team (those people who put together our Worship Videos) is taking a brief break. I will be away from the office from Monday, April 12 to Monday, April 19 inclusive. There will be no Spirit West Worship Video for Sunday, April 18, 2021. ZOOM Sunday School and ZOOM Coffee Hour will continue on April 18. Worship Videos will resume for Sunday, April 25. For ways to worship on April 18 please see the next paragraph...
SUNDAY SERVICES LIVE-STREAMING ACROSS CANADA
There are a number of United Churches (and some Presbyterian) across Canada who are able to live-stream their Sunday services. A number of Edmonton churches are doing this including: Millwoods, Robertson-Wesley and Southminster-Steinhauer. Check out this interactive map for livestreaming services across Canada: https://arcg.is/1TaKqS (and remember to take into account time zones for churches outside of Alberta)
ICPM SUNDAY LUNCH – APRIL 18TH
Spirit West United Church is one of 80+ faith communities that support the Inner City Pastoral Ministry Lunch Ministry which is celebrating 43 years of ministry within the Inner City of Edmonton. Our 2021 ICPM Sunday Lunch date is the 18th of April.
In previous years we have been able to provide a Sunday Lunch at the Bissell Centre which included sandwiches, fruit/veggie trays, and deserts. With the present COVID-19 health restrictions volunteers and community members are not allowed to congregate inside the Bissell Centre.
As we have with Jasper Place Wellness Centre, the lunches we provide will be made up of commercially pre-packaged items. We are responsible for 75 bagged lunches. Our partner church, St. Mary’s Anglican Church, will also be contributing 75 bagged lunches. Bissell staff will distribute these in the community.
Items requested in our lunches: Juice boxes, protein bars, packs of peanut butter and crackers, fresh peel-able fruit (oranges, bananas), potato chips, cheese strings and bottled water. We will also provide coffee, tea, coffee mate and sugar to the Bissell Centre. The Centre offers these beverages to the community members and are always in need of these staples.
To simplify the process and to limit the traffic in/out of our church - the Walkhouse family will shop, package and deliver these lunches on our behalf. We are looking for cash donations to help cover the $600 budgeted for this lunch.
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
You may have gotten (or will get) a call from Diane H. our new “Greeter Co-ordinator,” asking you if you would record a greeting for our Sunday Worship videos. If at all possible, please say yes. Recorded greetings should be sent to our “Recording technician” (Paul W.) at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can come into the church and we will record your greeting. Video greetings need to be sent in or recorded by the Friday before “your” Sunday.
Using the list of those who have volunteered to be Scripture readers, Norma has drawn up and sent out a schedule of readers for the next couple of months. If you have read scripture for one of the worship videos, you will be on the schedule and will have received a copy. Please confirm with Norma as soon as possible that you are available to do your reading. Readings can be recorded well in advance of the date required. Your reading can also be recorded at the church between 2:30 and 4:30 on Thursday afternoons.
Sharing our Celebrations
In this time when it is important for us to look for signs of hope and joy, opportunity is being given for you to share your celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, new grandchildren etc) with the wider community. If you have a celebration you want to share please email email@example.com or phone the church. (must be sent in before noon on Thursday for inclusion on the Sunday) During the opening section or our Worship Video, I will announce celebrations that have been shared with me.
Prayer Requests If you have a prayer request that you would like included in the Prayers of the People that are part of our worship videos, your request needs to be into the church by Thursday at noon for inclusion on Sunday. The best way to send in your request is to email firstname.lastname@example.org. During the Prayers of the People, only the first name of individuals will be mentioned, and the specifics of the request will not be shared. The prayer requests are also forwarded to the Prayer Chain.
I appreciate all the positive feedback that we have received about the Worship Videos. We (Margaret, Bonnie, Glenn, Paul W. and I) are trying our best to provide you with something that will assist you in your faith journey during this “crazy” time. We would also like to hear from you if you have suggestions on how we could make the videos better or more helpful (like Scripture readers, Greeters, music with the hymns …). Email your comments to me email@example.com or post them on our Facebook page.
YOUR BOTTLES FOR THE CHURCH
You may have bottles piling up for recycling. You can bring them to the church (or you can call for pick up). If you want to bring your bottles (and any other recyclable beverage containers) in during our office hours and put them directly in the Bottle Shed (by the garage), give us a call, and we can have the shed open for you. All money raised from the return of bottles goes towards paying down the principal on our mortgage.
We can now accept donations by eTransfer. The contact name for the eTransfer is Spirit West United Church, and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . If you include a security question with your eTransfer, please notify Norma at the church office by phone or email. And remember that if you are not on PAR(Pre-Authorized Remittance), you can also mail in cheques to the church office (Spirit West United Church, 7003 – 199 St. Edmonton, AB T5T 3A8, include your envelope number if you have one.) The church office is open and you can drop off your offering/donation in the offering plate just inside the front doors. You can also donate online, see below…
ANOTHER WAY TO CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY TO SPIRIT WEST DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
You are stuck home, Spirit West is not holding services, you are not on PAR, but you want to make a financial contribution to the work of Spirit West, because the church has bills to pay even when we are not gathering on Sunday. Check out the online donation option on our website spiritwest.org and click on the Donate tab in the navigation bar.
Spirit West Prayer Chain
Prayer is important. We know that people still face challenges and difficulties not related to Covid-19, and we cannot forget them. Our Prayer Chain will continue to be active. If you have a prayer request, please send it to email@example.com. These requests will be shared regularly with the prayer chain and will form part of the Prayers of the People in our Sunday Worship.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Facebook: Spirit West United Church and Friends of Spirit West Outreach
YouTube: Spirt West United Church, Edmonton
The Spirit West Church office remains open.
- Norma => Noon to 5:00 pm, Monday to Thursday
- Larry => 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday to Friday (on a break April 12-19, 2021)
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church