This eMessage starts with important information from the Church Board.
What about in-person worship?
Re-opening the church for in-person worship was a topic of consideration at the Spirit West Church Board Zoom Meeting last Tuesday evening. After thoughtful discussion, the Board decided that we cannot reopen the church for worship at this time. However, a Committee is being formed that will develop the plan for our re-opening. There is much that needs to be taken into account in developing a re-opening plan and Northern Spirit Region has developed a guide to assist congregations in preparing a plan that works. Our committee will be using this document.
Among the various considerations that need to be taken into account are the feelings and concerns of the members of the congregation. In order for you to have input with regard to our re-opening plans, a questionnaire has been prepared. This questionnaire will be emailed to you AND mailed to you early next week. We ask that you take the time to fill out the questionnaire and return it to the church by email or mail by September 14, 2020. If you do not receive a questionnaire by the end of next week, please call the church office. We may not have the correct address for you.
We have heard from some of you that you would like to try a worship service outdoors. This is a possibility, but requires some work. If you are interested in helping plan and set-up an outdoor worship service please email or call the church. Among the things that we will need for such an occasion is a portable outdoor sound system, so that I don’t have to shout. If you know where we can borrow one, please let the church know.
This Sunday – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
The Scripture Readings are Exodus 3: 1-15 and Matthew 16:21-28. In the Time for All Ages, I will be asking “What do we need?” My sermon is titled, “Equipped for discipleship”
In the reading from Exodus this week, we see Moses encountering God in the burning bush, and receiving his call to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses, of course, has questions and concerns. And God answers all of Moses questions and concerns. And as we will see later, continues to provide Moses with all that is necessary for him to accomplish his mission. The Gospel reading follows immediately after last week’s reading. In that reading, Peter recognized and named Jesus as the “Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” In this week’s reading, Peter is not so astute. Jesus talks to his disciples about the suffering he will endure. Peter immediately takes Jesus aside to tell Jesus that “this must never happen to you.” Jesus then has to rebuke Peter for setting his mind on the wrong things. Jesus says that to be a disciple, a follower, one must deny themselves and take up the cross. Jesus has provided all we need to be disciples, we don’t need anything else.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Facebook: Spirit West United Church and Friends of Spirit West Outreach
YouTube: Spirt West United Church, Edmonton
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
We are looking for people to read the scriptures for our videos! To volunteer to be a scripture reader, send an email to Norma at firstname.lastname@example.org We will include you in the schedule and we will send you all the information you need about the options you have for recording your segment.
We are continuing to invite members of the congregations to share virtual greetings as part of our Sunday Worship Video. It is a way for us to see each other. Bonnie C. is spearheading this program, and has been doing the recording. You may get a call from her asking if you want to be a “Greeter.” If you have not heard from Bonnie and want to be a greeter, you can call the church and your name will be given to Bonnie, or you can record you own greeting. Record a 10-30 second greeting on your phone (record in “landscape,” hold your phone horizontally, this way ‘---,’ not this way ‘I’) and email your video to email@example.com .
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the church. (must be sent in before 10:00 am on Friday for inclusion on the Sunday) During the opening section or our Worship Video, I will announce celebrations that have been shared with me.
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.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT (and this is not a Scam)
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 ANOTHER WAY TO CONTRIBUTE… below.
OUTREACH – Underwear and Face Masks Needed at Bissell Centre
There is still a need at Bissell for UNDERWEAR. Ladies and Men’s - sizes Medium and Large.
If any of you would like to shop and deliver undies to the church, Lori will pick them up and deliver them to the Bissell Centre. If you would rather have your donation picked up, call the church office to arrange it.
They are also taking donations of FABRIC FACE MASKS. So any of you crafty people out there - We know there are a few quilters out there with a good stash of fabric - if you would like a little project to do in your self-isolation (patterns can be found online) ..... Again - these can be dropped at the church (or call the church office to arrange pick-up) and Lori will deliver them to the Bissell Centre.
YOUR BOTTLES FOR THE CHURCH (with an update)
Now that you are spending more time at home, and perhaps (though I hope not) drinking more, you may have bottles piling up for recycling. You can still 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 the principal on our mortgage. The latest run to the Bottle Depot resulted in $181.00 for the church.
PASTORAL CARE DURING A PANDEMIC
A team has been put together to begin a phone ministry. We will be reaching out by phone to members of Spirit West to remind ourselves that we are a community of faith, even if at the moment we have to practice social distancing, and in some cases self-isolation. The team will initially target those whom we believe are most likely to be isolated. We may not always get it right. If you get a call, and think you really didn’t need it, thank the caller anyway. If you don’t hear from anyone in the next week or so, and really would like a call, let me know. We are playing this by ear in an “interesting” time.
If you are self-isolating for whatever reason (you are not feeling well, you are in a susceptible population, or you are just not taking chances) and you cannot get out to do shopping, let us know. There are people in the congregation who will do your shopping and deliver it to your home. Mention this to the caller from the phone ministry, or call or send an email to the church to let us know.
If you would like to volunteer as a “shopper” let me know by phone or email.
David S. has started a Casserole Ministry as part of Pastoral Care. Volunteers from Pastoral Care at Spirit West will deliver a casserole to someone in isolation, recovering from illness, or grieving the loss of family members.
We would need a supply of three or four casseroles made by members of Spirit West in tin foil pans and frozen in the church freezer available for delivery. The casseroles should be dated and labelled with all ingredients and the instructions for reheating. The supply of casseroles can be replenished as needed. If you are interested in providing a casserole please call David S. so he can keep an accurate inventory of casseroles (not too many, not too few).
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.
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.
The Spirit West Church office remains open.
- Norma => Noon to 5:00 pm, Monday to Thursday (vacation August 31)
- Larry => 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church