How have our experiences of God’s presence changed us, our worship, and our sense of community?
Here are the readings we’ll hear in this week’s service:
• James 1:17-27 (Instructions for living)
Two people named “James” play major roles in the New Testament: James the Elder (or Major), a fisherman, son of Zebedee, and brother to John; and James the Younger (or Minor), a brother to Jesus, and the first Bishop of Jerusalem. The Letter from James is generally attributed to the brother of Jesus.
The letter uses the classical style of diatribe, or instructional teaching, and encourages obedience as a response to God’s call. It emphasises the need for faith to produce good works, such as charity for the poor.
• Mark 7:1-23 (What makes us “unclean” or “clean”)
The passage from Mark’s Gospel relates a confrontation between Jesus and the religious authorities over the practice of the “cleanliness” rituals. In the time of Jesus, the rules about ritual hand washing were relatively new.
The passage says that the Pharisees and scribes wash their hands thoroughly before eating, and they also wash everything they get from the market. Today we would describe this as good sanitary practice. But, in the days before germ theory, the origins of the practice had little to do with sanitation, but more to do with ritual purity and spiritual cleanliness. The rules were intended to make each meal a time of thanksgiving and religious fellowship. (For further reading about Jewish rituals, look up “mezuzah” and “Shema”.)
THERE WILL BE A ZOOM COFFEE HOUR (this is the Link for July and August)
Join Zoom Coffee on Sunday at 11:30
Meeting ID: 875 1999 8529 Passcode: 009662
The plan is that this is a no-host gathering. Anyone with the meeting ID and Passcode can join. If there are any problems, please let Norma know on Monday.
ReOpening – It’s coming soon but first …
Celebrate the end of the summer vacation with our first in-person gathering of the year! On Tuesday, August 31 at 7:00 PM, bring your lawn chairs for an informal gathering on the lawn east of the church. Bring your own coffee, pop, water or tea. While masks are no longer mandatory, we ask for your support in protecting the vulnerable and cautious among us. Reconnect with the Spirit West family! In case of inclement weather, we’ll reschedule for Thursday, Sept 2 or Tuesday, Sept 7.
The Church Board is planning to reopen the church building for Sunday, Sept. 12. A communication from the Re-opening Committee was sent out earlier today outlining the procedures that will be followed.
FROM THE PASTORAL SEARCH COMMITTEE
The Pastoral Search Committee has worked diligently to complete all the required documentation for Spirit West on Church Hub. Church Hub is the central information sharing site for the United Church of Canada, and access is restricted. But now with the approval of the Northern Spirit Regional Council Executive, the position for minister at Spirit West United Church is now being advertised on Church Hub. This information is available to any minister who is looking, and the names of ministers who are looking are now available to the Spirit West Search Committee. The search is on!
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
You may have gotten (or will get) a call from Diane H. our “Greeter Co-ordinator,” asking you if you would record a greeting for our Sunday Worship videos. If at all possible, please say yes. Recorded greetings should be sent to our “Recording technician” (Paul W.) at email@example.com or at 780-419-3224. Or you can come into the church and we will record your greeting. Video greetings need to be sent in or recorded by the Friday before “your” Sunday.
Using the list of those who have volunteered to be Scripture readers, I have sent out a schedule of readers for July 18 to September 26. If you have read scripture for one of the worship videos, you will be on the schedule and will have received a copy. Readings can be recorded well in advance of the date required. Your reading can also be recorded at the church between 3:30 and 4:30 on Thursday afternoons.
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 noon on Wednesday for inclusion on the Sunday) During the opening section or our Worship Video, we will announce celebrations that have been shared with us.
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. Dave S has agreed to send out the request for prayers to the Prayer Chain group. He will do this as his schedule permits which may not be every Tuesday as in the past.
If you have a prayer request, please send it to email@example.com. These requests will be shared regularly with the prayer chain and will form part of the Prayers of the People in our Sunday Worship videos.
Please remember to have people removed from the prayer chain if the prayers are no longer needed. Our chain is quite lengthy at present so we will cleanse the list in a month’s time and start to repopulate it from scratch
YOUR BOTTLES FOR THE CHURCH
You may have bottles piling up for recycling. You can 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 and interest on our mortgage.
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 below…
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.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Facebook: Spirit West United Church and Friends of Spirit West Outreach
YouTube: Spirt West United Church, Edmonton
The Spirit West Church office remains open.
- Stuart => 9:30am to 2:30pm, Tuesday and Thursday
- Norma => Noon to 5:00pm, Monday to Thursday
Spirit West United Church
7003 - 199st.NW Edmonton, AB T5T 3A8
phone: (780) 481-1406