This Sunday is the third Sunday in the Easter Season, and as we move into this season, the Bible readings tell us of the impact of the resurrection of Jesus on his followers. This Sunday the focus will be on the story of Jesus’ appearance to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. In one of those weird biblical moments, the disciples do not recognize their new companion on the journey as the risen Jesus. The disciples have been discussing recent events, and the strange asks them what they are taking about. One of the disciples, Cleopas, actually says to him,” Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?” The response, “What things?” elicits from the disciples a detailed summary of the life, death and apparent resurrection of the prophet Jesus. But it is not until they have asked the stranger to dine with them at their destination that they recognize their guest as Jesus when he takes bread, blesses and breaks it, and gives it to them. Do we recognize when the Divine is present and at work in our lives. What sign will open our eyes?
The scripture readings for Sunday are Acts 2: 14a, 36-41and Luke 24: 13-35. In the Time for All Ages, I talk about, “I need a sign” The sermon is titled, “How do we know?”
SPIRIT WEST SPRING CONCERT – Abundant Love
Come out and enjoy an evening of music that focuses on the Abundant Love of God. Immerse yourself in the rich sounds of the piano, the flute, the harps, the setar, the drums and the human voice raised in song. There is no charge for the Concert, but free will offerings will be accepted and used to help those in need in the West End. The Concert is on Friday, May 5, at 7:00 pm.
BEATITUDES BIBLE STUDY in two Sessions
The second edition of the Beatitudes Study will be on Wednesday, May 3 and Wednesday, May 10. We will start at 1:30 pm (note time change) each day. This is a fascinating study of the Beatitudes from Matthew 5:1-12. The video presenter, Dr. Kenneth Bailey, offers unique insights into this familiar passage, and in many ways challenges what we think we know. There is a sign-up sheet by the office.
SPIRIT WEST SPRING PLANT SALE – May 19 and 20
Keep on the lookout here for details of Spring Plant Sale, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, May 19 and 20. We will be needing people to volunteer to help set up and clean up. We are also looking for people who would like to take a shift or two as our “sales associates.”
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, and pray. There is no “sign-up” for this, just come as you feel the need. If you are interested, join us on Thursdays.
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.
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 => 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Thursday for the months of May and June
- Larry => 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church