Holy Humour Sunday
The Easter Season is supposed to be one of joy and celebration. The celebrations of the significance of the Resurrection cannot be confined to only one day. In the writings of early church theologians, there are references to the “risus paschalis,” the Easter Laugh. Some theologians suggest this comes from the famous Easter midnight sermon of John Chrysostom (344-407 A.D.), who described a vision of Christ confronting the devil and laughing at him. In some parts of Europe in the Middle Ages, there was an Easter tradition also called risus paschalis, or “Easter laughter.” After Vespers and Benediction, (the last services of the day) the priest would regale his congregation with comical stories and jokes, often fables with a moral point to make. Many places observed Easter Monday as a day of special festivities. The festivities included: games, songs, dance, Emmaus walks in the country, picnics, pranks, practical jokes, and “drenching customs” — boys drenched girls with water, and the girls retaliated by drenching the boys. After the somber weeks of Lent, the laughter was both a reward and a release. These traditions died out or were suppressed by the church in the 16th century because in some places the frivolity had gotten out of hand. In recent years, many Christians tried to “resurrect” Easter Monday as “the Day of Joy and Laugher” but found that the day after Easter was not the best day to observe the custom so they initiated “Holy Humour Sundays” on the First Sunday following Easter.
We will be observing “Holy Humour Sunday” at Spirit West on Sunday. Come celebrate with us the joy and laughter of our Christian faith.
The scripture readings are Psalm 129 and John 20: 19-31. In the Time for All Ages we will hear the story (from the Bible) about a young man named Eutychus who fell asleep during a sermon. And there will be a new twist on the “drenching customs.” The title of the sermon is “Risus Paschalis.”
the stations of the RESURRECTION Bible Study – Wednesdays at 2:00 pm
We did not have a Lenten Bible Study this year, but are having an Easter Bible Study. Using the book the stations of the RESURRECTION, written by a Methodist minister from London, we will reflect on eight Gospel stories of encounters with the Risen Christ, from the empty tomb to the ascension. Our first session will be on Wednesday, April 11.
Fill Your Bucket – Spirit West Spring Concert: Friday, April 20 at 7:00 pm
The Spirit West choir and guest musicians are preparing the third annual spring concert. Always a concert of inspiration, Fill Your Bucket is full of promise on the topic of giving and supporting one another! The choir, and musicians on piano, guitar, violins, and harps as well as the narrators are working hard to give you a night of joy – word and music for thought! A freewill offering will be used to support the homeless and those in need in the west end of Edmonton. So put the date on your calendar: Friday, April 20 at 7:00 pm!
NEW PASTORAL CARE INITIATIVE – “CARE CALLS”
In order for us to be current with the pastoral needs of members of the congregation, the Pastoral Care committee of Spirit West is planning on introducing “Care Calls.” What is a “Care Call” you ask. A “Care Call” is a call you receive from a member of the congregation appointed by the Pastoral Care committee to check in with you, particularly if we haven’t seen or heard from you for a while. We are not trying to be nosy, but we know of people who have been ill or confined at home and would like to know that the church is thinking of them. Sometimes they would have liked a visit, but that word never got to the minister. We want to make sure that no one is forgotten.
How can you help? The Pastoral Care committee is looking for people who would be willing to make “Care Calls” on behalf of the congregation. Are you good on the phone? Are you willing to take a bit of training? Can you keep private conversations private? Would you like to be a “Care Caller?” There will be a meeting for those interested in becoming Care Callers on Sunday, April 15 after church.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? – Join us in using cunning stealth and covert organization, to surprise our phenomenal Spirit West chefs. Only at the ring of their doorbell, should they discover who will join them for dinner on their chosen night of gastronomical delights!! This fund-raiser for the church will take place during the months of March, April and May! It is a terrific time to enjoy a fabulous meal and fellowship. Those who wish to host a dinner are asked to contact Bill C. at 780-481-2662. Hosts need to indicate the dates and times of their dinners and the number of guests they will be hosting. If there is a theme for the evening, this should also be provided. Guests will have the opportunity to select where they will dine and to provide any dietary restrictions to the conveners (who will secretly pass on the information to the hosts). A free will offering, in envelopes, will be collected by the host. A minimum offering of $25.00 per person is suggested. Please plan on attending one of these sensational evening parties and generously supporting our church.
Outreach at Spirit West
We are still collecting mitts, hats, hand warmers, coffee cards, hot chocolate packages, coffee travel mugs, etc. for both Bissell Center and the Jasper Place Wellness Center. You can bring these items in and put them on the giving tree or leave them in the baskets on the table.
A NEW WAY TO CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY
You don’t have offering envelopes, you are not on PAR, and you don’t get to church as often as you would like, but you want to make a financial contribution to work of Spirit West, and receive a tax receipt. Now you can! Check out the online donation option on our website spiritwest.org and click on the Donate tab in the navigation bar. It was suggested at a Board Meeting that everyone give the donate button a try (just to make sure it works, of course)
Security Access codes
The church access code for the alarm system has been changed. Each of our renters will have their own code. Members of the Spirit West congregation who have a key to the church (choir, Ladies’ Group, Men’s Breakfast etc.) need to see Norma or Larry to get the new code. You don’t want to set the alarm off, by using an outdated code.
There is now a Spirit West Prayer Circle. We gather at the church on Thursday mornings at 10:30. We share a reading, share our stories or concerns, and pray. There is no “sign-up” for this, just come as you feel the need. If you are interested, join us on Thursdays.
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 email@example.com . 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.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Our Website is at www.spiritwest.org .
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch
- Norma => 11 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