EASTER WORSHIP VIDEOS
There will be a Worship Video for Good Friday, April 2nd, which be uploaded to our YouTube channel later tonight.
The Worship Video for Easter Sunday, April 4th will include Communion.
We have typically observed the Sunday after Easter as Holy Humour Sunday, and our Worship Video for April 11th will reflect that.
The Worship Team and I are then taking some time off. I will not be in the office from April 12th to 19th inclusive. There will not be a Spirit West Worship Video for April 18th. As we get closer to that date I will provide you with some options for worship on that Sunday.
This Sunday – Easter Sunday – the Feast of the Resurrection
We have arrived at the central celebration of our Christian faith, the Feast of the Resurrection which we call Easter. And this is our second Easter celebrated within the restrictions of a global pandemic. And so in a time when many are tired, frustrated, depressed and perhaps angry, we are called by our faith to celebrate new life. But we cannot celebrate the way we usually do. “Church” is an online video, and we can’t have everybody and his uncle over for dinner. In fact we can’t really have anybody over, because that implies that they are not in our household or bubble. But lets think back to the first Easter, the day of the Resurrection. The followers of an intinerant preacher and healer had witnessed the crucifixion of their leader, whom they thought was the Messiah. Then three days later they are told that their leader has risen from the dead. Was there a celebration, not really, some of the followers had gone into hiding for fear of the authorities, others had left town. One of the women who first discovered that Jesus was not in the tomb, was so confused that when the risen Christ approached her, she thought he was the gardener. It would be years before those who followed the way of Jesus could celebrate the Resurrection. I spent Easter 2006 in Afghanistan, a war zone. We were able to have a worship service for those who were not “outside the wire.” And dinner in the Dining Facility had a few extra things added. But we were cut off from family and friends. And our gatherings always had the potential of being interupted by a rocket attack. But Easter happened nonetheless. (In fact, so did Passover. I was invited by the visiting Rabbi to join the small community of Jewish soldiers for the Seder. A Christian chaplain celebrating the Jewish passover in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) For many of us, these limited celebrations were a reminder that God’s love is much wider and deeper that we can really understand. And fortunately for us, the Good News that is made manifest by the Resurrection is not dependent on our ability or opportunity to celebrate. I am reminded of the closing words of the United Church “New Creed,” “We are called to be the Church:…to proclaim Jesus, cricified and risen, our judge and our hope. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.”
The Scripture readings for Sunday are John 20: 1-18, 19-29 and Acts 10: 34-43. .
Communion this Sunday
This Sunday, we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The celebration at the Church will involve only three people from the congregation and me, but I would like you to be able to participate as fully as you can. So I would suggest that, if you can, watch the video at our usual church time of 10:30 on Sunday morning and that you have some bread and grape juice (or wine) for each member of your household. Follow the service and share together at your table, be it the kitchen table, dining table, coffee table or the TV table you have put in front of your television. And as you share the bread and cup in your home, know that others are sharing at the Table of Christ in their homes and around the world.
THE WILL BE A ZOOM COFFEE HOUR ON EASTER SUNDAY
Join Zoom Coffee on Sunday at 11:30
Meeting ID: 833 3662 6819 Passcode: 309861
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com . 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Reverend Larry K. Wright
Spirit West United Church