This Sunday, I will be looking at the story recounted in Acts 8 about Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. This story is very much one about inclusion. The Ethiopian eunuch, a court official to Queen Candace, has been in Jerusalem and has become interested in the sacred stories of the Jewish people and the God at the heart of these stories. He is travelling on the road between Jerusalem and Gaza. Philip, a disciple, catches up to the eunuch’s chariot and hears him reading from Isaiah, (reading silently is actually a fairly recent development). Philip asks if the official understands what he is reading. The reply is, “How can I unless someone guides me?” Philip is invited into the chariot as the journey and the discussion continue. Philip outlines his understanding of the prophets in the light of the coming of Jesus, and within the growing community of those who have been baptized as followers. They come to some water and the eunuch asks, “What is to prevent me from being baptized?” This question is posed as something of a challenge to Philip. As an Ethiopian and a eunuch there would be barriers to prevent him becoming part of the Jewish community. But Philip finds no barriers to him being baptized. Even in our day there are many who feel they must ask the question of the church. “What is to prevent me...?” What is our answer?
The Scripture readings are Acts 8: 26-40 and John 15: 1- 8. In the Time for All Ages, I will talk about “Listening.” The title of the sermon is “What is to prevent me?”
MESSY CHURCH – This Saturday, April 28, 4-6pm: God saw that it was good!
On Saturday we will be looking at the story of Creation in the book of Genesis. We will learn how the people of the early Bible understood God’ creation and we will hear that God saw that it was good. We will be singing songs and making crafts that remind us of the goodness of the world that God created. And we will have dinner together. There is no charge for this, and dinner is provided. This is an event for the whole family.
SPIRIT WEST BLANKET EXERCISE – Sunday, May 6
In keeping with the call by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to churches to learn more about the historic and broken relationship between Indigenous and non- Indigenous peoples in Canada, on Sunday, May 6th, after Church you will have an opportunity to stay for a stew and bannock lunch and then participate in a Blanket Exercise. The Blanket Exercise is a teaching tool to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. It is interactive, and requires at least 15 participants who can commit to about three hours. Part of this time is the exercise itself, but there is also time for discussion and debriefing afterwards. Each participant is asked to bring a blanket that you don’t mind putting on the floor and stepping on. If you would like to participate please sign the sheet by the office or call Norma at the church.
the stations of the RESURRECTION Bible Study – Wednesdays at 2:00 pm
We are continuing the 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 next session will be on Wednesday, May 2. The story for this session is the Upper Room, John 20: 19-23. If you have not signed up, but would like to participate, call the church office.
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 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
- 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