Thursday was really busy, so the Thursday eMessage is coming out on Friday (and it hasn’t been proof-read by Norma).
This Sunday – THE FifTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
This Sunday’s readings include two beautiful images, Jesus is the true vine and God is love. These two images are related and important. In the image of Jesus as the true vine, we have a picture of the follower of Christ as a branch growing from a strong root. And as we move towards spring this image of growth and life becomes more real. And being “rooted” in Christ, we are ‘rooted” in love. Recently someone I know was lamenting that “the Church” had lost its voice in society. In some ways I agree with him. But I suspect that the reason “the Church” has lost its voice is that much of what has been claimed as the voice of “the Church,” has been rooted in hatred and judgment. We need to be the followers of Christ who are rooted and growing in love. The reading from the 1st Letter of John clearly says “God is love.” We must bear fruit, that each of and all whom we encounter might know the sweetness of the depth of God’s love.
The Scripture readings for Sunday are 1 John 4:7-21 and John 15:1-8. In the Time for All Ages I will ask “How do you know it’s spring?, and my sermon is titled, “The True Vine.”
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.
THERE WILL BE A ZOOM COFFEE HOUR (this is a NEW Link!)
Join Zoom Coffee on Sunday at 11:30
Meeting ID: 828 7795 3866 Passcode: 738328
ARE YOU CALLED TO OVEN CLEANING
We are looking for someone, or a couple of people who have a passion for cleaning, and would like to have a go at the two stoves in the church kitchen. We would like to have them cleaned before the Day Care moves in. Call the church if you feel called to oven cleaning.
FROM THE BOARD
Although this is not much of an update, the Board wants you to know that the two Committees, the Pastoral Search Committee and the Supply Search Committee are hard at work and meeting regularly. The Pastoral Search Committee is tasked with finding a permanent minister for Spirit West. The Supply Search Committee is tasked with finding people who will offer supply ministry until the Pastoral Search Committee has successfully completed their search.
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
You may have gotten (or will get) a call from Diane H. our “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.
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 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
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church