Please take note of the information about the Holy Week Schedule, the Beatitudes Study and the NW Community Network Gathering.
This Sunday – April 2nd
The readings for Sunday point to new life. In the reading from Ezekiel we have the wonderful image of the valley of dry bones coming to life. If you think about it, it is a very strange event. Think of looking out on a valley of dry bones, perhaps wondering or remembering the event that caused such destruction. And then you are asked if the bones can live. It does not make a lot of sense, and yet we see new life, unexpectedly out of a vision of devastation. In the Gospel reading, Jesus learns that his very good friend Lazarus is very ill, but does nothing about it. The next message is that Lazarus is dead. Jesus goes to see Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha. He is greeted by Martha, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” As you read this, add the tone you think appropriate to the occasion. Again in the face of tragedy, we encounter new life. In both stories we have images of despair, and perhaps the cry, “If only God had…” The lessons for this Sunday point to the presence and power of God even in the face of death and despair. We may be unsure what God can do, but we can open ourselves to the possibility of breath being breathed into dry bones, and Lazarus emerging from the tomb.
The reading from John contains the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11: 35, “Jesus began to weep” (in Greek ἐδάκρυσεν ό Ἰησoῡς )
As part of the Service, we will be gathering at the Table for the celebration of Holy Communion.
The Readings for Sunday are Ezekiel 37: 1-14 and John 11: 1- 45. In the Time for All Ages I will be sharing a story of Winnie-the-Pooh “Where Pooh Goes Visiting and Gets Into a Tight Place.” I have called my sermon, “If you had been here…”
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
Palm Sunday, April 9 – Sunday Service at 10:30am with Palm Procession.
Maundy Thursday, April 13 – A Maundy Thursday Liturgy at 6:00pm. This Liturgy is based around a simple supper that moves into the celebration of the Last Supper. A light supper featuring soup and bread will be provided as part of the Liturgy. This is a service for the whole family.
Good Friday, April 14 – Service at 10:30am. At the Cross through John’s Gospel. This service of prayer and reflection will be guided by the words of John’s Gospel as we gather in the presence of the Cross.
Easter Sunday, April 16 – The Feast of the Resurrection 10:30am. This is the celebration of the central event of the Christian faith, the joy of new life.
GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER
Join us in using cunning stealth and covert organization to surprise our phenomenal Spirit West chefs. This fund-raiser for the church will take place during the months of March, April and May. Check the display board at the back of the church, if you see a dinner opportunity that strikes your fancy, talk to Bill C. to make your reservation. (unless the reservation is for the dinner at Bill and Carol’s, then talk to Coleen F.) Bon Appetit! (as a further note: Bill is still open to folks volunteering to host a dinner)
We have started our Prayer Circle. We gather at the church on Thursday mornings at 10:30. We gather, perhaps 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.
MESSY CHURCH IS BACK!
Messy Church is coming back to Spirit West. We are going to have a Messy Easter on Saturday, April 8, 4-6 pm. For those of you who have not experienced a Messy Church, it is a time for families to gather at the church to share a bible story, sing songs, make some fun crafts (one for Messy Easter involves chocolate) and have dinner together. There is no charge for this, but children are asked to bring parents, grandparents, or guardians with them. Come and enjoy the fun!
BEATITUDES BIBLE STUDY in two Sessions
The “votes” are in. The preferred day and time for our Beatitudes Study seems to be Wednesday afternoons. So, I have scheduled the study for 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.
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 => 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