As you read through this eMessage, please take note of the information about the Men’s Breakfast, the Extreme Hunger Appeal, the call to Truth and Reconciliation, and the Community Spring Expo.
This Sunday is the second Sunday in the Easter Season, and it has been the custom of Sprit West that this Sunday be Holy Humour Sunday. After the darkness of Lent, the Season of Easter is a time to focus on new life, possibilities, of resurrection and joy. Now, there is no way as humans that we can be upbeat and cheerful all the time. I remember that years ago, I would occasionally watch a Christian TV show out of Toronto. What I noticed was that the host and guest always had these sweet syrup smiles on their faces. I cannot smile all the time. However, when I was in the military, I apparently had a reputation for, if not always smiling, at least having a “positive” look on my face. I only know this, because when I did not have my signature positive face on, the soldiers worried and mentioned it to me. Apparently, if the Padre didn’t look “happy,” then something really bad was happening. Sometimes, it was because I wasn’t feeling well, but I was usually asked. I only tell you all this because I want to point out that for the soldiers, as their Padre, I was a sign, a touchstone of better things. They might be in the midst of a really @#$% &#%$ situation, but I was able, perhaps only for a moment, to remind them of greater things, that the @&#^$% that they were in was not all there is to life. For me Holy Humour Sunday is one of those touchstones in our lives, a reminder that in the midst of a very trouble world there are signs of hope, joy and new life.
The scripture readings for Sunday are Psalm 126 and John 20: 19-31.
In the Time for All Ages, I will ask the question, “Does God laugh?” There sermon is titled, “The joy of the Lord.”
MEN’S BREAKFAST – April 22
The Men of Spirit West will be not gathering for Breakfast this Saturday, April 15, (the usual 3rd Saturday) but will gather on Saturday, April 22 at 8:00 am in the Lower Hall. Breakfast is open to any man who wants to come out for a great breakfast. As a note, each man usually put in $10 dollars, this covers the breakfast supplies and the surplus is put into a fund that offsets the cost of minor repairs around the church.
We have started our Prayer Circle. We gather at the church on Thursday mornings at 10:30. We share a reading, share our stories, and pray. There is no “sign-up” for this, just come as you feel the need. If you are interested, join us on Thursdays.
BEATITUDES BIBLE STUDY in two Sessions
our Beatitudes Study will be on Wednesday, April 19 and Wednesday April 26. It will be repeated again Wednesday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 10. We will start at 2:00 pm each day. There is a sign-up sheet by the office.
EXTREME HUNGER APPEAL – United Church of Canda
The United Church of Canada is launching an Extreme Hunger Appeal as the humanitarian crisis in Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen reaches grave levels.
Starvation and extreme hunger are rapidly reaching a scale the world has not seen before in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. There is also extreme hunger, malnutrition, and starvation in Kenya. Vulnerable people are most impacted, including children.
Small-scale farmers supply the majority of food in Africa. But climate change has created a devastating and prolonged drought, resulting in both water and food shortages. Farmers are unable to grow crops and their livestock have died. Ongoing conflict is also contributing to the crisis as many families are forced to flee their homes, farms, and livelihoods.
The people of Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya urgently need your help. All donations raised for this appeal will go to our long-term Mission & Service partners, including ACT Alliance, which is saving lives in the region.
Online via the United Church of Canada’s secure donation page.
Phone 416-231-5931 or toll-free 1-800-268-3781 ext. 2738 and use your Visa or MasterCard.
Send a cheque, money order, or Visa or MasterCard information with donation amount to:
The United Church of Canada
Philanthropy Unit - Emergency Response
3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 300
Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4
Please be sure to note "Emergency Response—Extreme Hunger Appeal" on the face of your cheque.
Note: As part of the United Church’s Emergency Response Fund, 100% of your donation goes directly to emergency relief with 85% of your donation responding to this designated emergency and 15% responding to future emergencies that do not receive intense media coverage. Donations to Mission & Service enable the United Church to cover all of the costs of emergency response work without deducting any fees from your donation.
Pray for the millions of people in Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen facing extreme drought, food insecurity, malnutrition, and conflict, and for our Mission & Service partners working on the ground to meet the needs of those affected.
CALL FOR WITNESSES FOR TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION
The Living Into Right Relations Committee of Alberta and Northwest Conference has invited each pastoral charge to appoint and support two people who will act as facilitators and witnesses for the ongoing work of truth and reconciliation in our local communities across Alberta, Northeastern British Columbia, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories. The role of these facilitators is to help our congregations and other ministries to keep moving forward in right relations. Witnesses in the Bible and Indigenous culture play a key role in helping us to remember what happened and to share the truth as they heard it with succeeding generations.
On the weekend of May 5, 6 & 7, 2017 at Kasota East Camp near Red Deer, we will be inviting all appointed witnesses and our committee members to meet one another; and to support, educate and share resources for the right relations journey we are all on. Therefore we encourage you to consider this request and send names and contact information as soon as possible to Norma at the Church Office to be forwarded to the Conference Office.
SPRING EXPO – NW Community Recreation Gathering – Saturday, April 22, noon to 3:00 pm at the Edmonton Valley Zoo
This is a free, family-friendly event. Registered participants will receive admission to the zoo. Children are welcome as kids will have the opportunity to take free guided tours with hands-on opportunities to meet the animals (Children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult.)
Noon – 1pm – A community Recreation Network Gathering where folks will be invited into round-table discussions regarding a range of topics including community gardens, engaging youth, special event supports and more.
1pm – 3pm – Community-focussed Recreation Exhibitors will share information and provide demonstrations to enrich your next community event or program.
Registration is necessary to receive admission to the zoo and access to the guided tours. Register at nwspringexpo.eventbrite.ca Password YEGRec .
CHALLENGES TO MOBILITY?
Spirit West has a Walker (Evolution Xpresso Lite) that is available for use at the church. The walker can also be borrowed by those whose mobility is temporarily challenged. For more information about the Walker, please contact the Church office (780-481-1406).
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. (780-481-1406)
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 the church or call Edina T. at 780-481-3508
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 => April, May and June – 11:00 am to 4:00 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