I am starting off this week’s eMessage a bit differently.
Today is April 21, and it is HM the Queen’s 90th birthday. I am a monarchist, it’s in my family’s blood. In 1783 my ancestors came to what is now Canada as loyalist refugees after the American Revolution. I know that there are people out there who are not that big on constitutional monarchy as a good system of government. But, I personally would rather have as Head of State a well educated, articulate, fluently bilingual 90 year old women who has travelled the world and worked with 12 Canadian prime ministers from Louis St. Laurent to Justin Trudeau, than have someone like Donald Trump.
Happy Birthday, Your Majesty.
The focus of the Fifth Sunday of Easter is “something new.” In the first reading from the book of the Acts of the Apostles, Peter is challenged in a dream to eat food, that from his Jewish understanding is unclean, it’s not kosher. Peter tells God in the dream that he has never broken the food rules and isn’t about to start. You can just hear his indignation as he says, “nothing unclean has ever entered my mouth!” I can also hear a faint echo of “we’ve never done that before.” I am sure that Peter found God’s response somewhat unexpected. In the gospel reading from John, Jesus tells his disciples that he is giving them a new commandment – love one another! Jesus calls it a new commandment. It is a commandment that is not based on fear, reverence, purity or even identity. It is a commandment based on love. You do not love because of who you are, you are who you are because you love.
The readings for Sunday are Acts 11: 1-18 and John 13: 31-35. In the Time for All Ages, I will taking about “trying something new” I have called the Sermon, “A New Commandment.”
Hope Springs Forth – After action report.
Our Hope Springs Forth concert was a tremendous success. It appears that just over two hundred people attended, and the comments afterwards were all extremely positive. Many thanks to Bonnie C., the Spirit West Choir, Harpbeat, Two Harps, Glenn, and David who created such an enjoyable evening. On another note, the concert raised $2916.50. (yes, you read that right, two thousand nine hundred sixteen dollars and fifty cents) in support of Spirit West’s Outreach programs and ministry. (see James 2: 15-16)
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED
Our Sunday School is GROWING and it is important that we provide the children with a positive experience in their time together. We are looking for people who are willing to share some time with the children on Sunday. We have a great curriculum called Seasons of the Spirit which is quite adaptable and easy to use (you do need a computer and internet access for the preparation). If you are not sure, consider joining the class for a couple of weeks and learning with the children. If you have any questions, call Margery W. At 780-419-3224. A signup sheet is on the cabinet by the office.
Save this Date: On May 15, we will be having a farewell pot-luck lunch for Anne Dingwell who is moving to Bonneville in May. Please email the church office or signup on the sheets in the church to indicate if you will be attending and if you would like to bring something to contribute to the lunch. A card will be available closer to May 15. Please come to show your appreciation for all the Anne has contributed to Spirit West.
AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFRIBRILATOR Spirit West is looking at installing an Automated External Defribrilator (AED, automatic jump-start for someone in cardiac arrest) However, one of the conditions of installing such a device is that there be people available who know how to use it. So the call is going out to identify those within the congregation who are currently certified in CPR/AED, or those who will commit to take the four hour annual training session. If you fall into either category please call the church office.
RIDE TO CHURCH? From time to time we encounter people who would like to come to church at Spirit West, but are unable to because they do not have means of transportation. Can you give a ride? If you would be willing to make yourself available to provide a ride to church please call the church office. Do you need a ride? Would you like to come to church at Spirit West, but are unable to because you have no ride, please call the church office.
Emergency Food Hampers The Jasper Place Wellness Centre supplies basic emergency food hampers. At the present time their stocks are very low. A bin will be by the front door where you can leave donations of dry pasta, rice, canned beans, canned meat or fish, soup, crackers, peanut butter, hot chocolate, and tea bags. Your donations will be taken by Doreen to JPWC on Mondays. Your support of the work of Spirit West at the JPWC is greatly appreciated.
Spirit West Prayer Chain
The Spirit West Prayer Chain is a group of people who have committed to continue our prayers of concern from Sunday through the week. To be part of this ministry, email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org . You may also email a request for prayer to the same email address. If you would prefer to talk to someone, you can call Shannon F. at 780-481-5262, Marian T. at 780-487-2851 or Bonnie C. at 780-444-2230.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Our Website is at www.spiritwest.org .
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch
- Monday to Friday 9:30 – 2:30
- Norma => 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday to Thursday
- Larry => 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church