Sunday School for Spirit West will be continuing this Sunday, September 27, see the details below in ZOOM into Sunday School.
We will be holding our annual Blessing of the Animals as part of the worship video for Sunday, September 27, again see the details below.
For Sharing our Celebrations in our worship videos, there has been a change in the submission deadline, see below.
This Sunday – The Third Sunday in Creation Time
The Scripture Readings are Exodus 17: 1-17and Matthew 21: 23-32. At the place where we usually have the Time for All Ages, we will have the Blessing of Animals. My sermon is titled, “The water test”
Although there will be a strong emphasis on our pets and animal companions this Sunday, I will actually be preaching on the passage from Exodus, which continues the narrative of the journey of the Israelites to the promised land. Where last week, the Israelites were hungry, this week the problem is thirst. And this week we hear that the Israelites are attacked. In both cases, God delivers. Moses is told to strike a rock, and water gushes forth. And when Amalek attacks the Israelites, the Israelites prevail with God’s assistance in a rather strange way. It is stories such as the battle with Amalek that often lead Christians to shy away from the narratives from what we have called the Old Testament. There are stories where God just seems mean, often in contrast to the “Abba” (Father) God of Jesus. But when reading the scripture we have to remember that these were stories told and then written down of a peoples relationship with their God. They stories tell us how a people, the Children of Israel, came to understand that there was one God, a big change from many of their neighbours. Through trial and error they had to recognize when God was at work in their lives as individuals and as a community. The tellers of the stories that became in Bible, needed to show where God has met the needs of the people. We probably are more comfortable with a God who creates a spring of water for a thirsty people, even if we have trouble with miracles, than with a God who helps one army win over another army. But like the Children of Israel, we would like to know that God is powerful, and can help us work against evil. Some part of us may still want to believe what the Veggie Tales song says: “God is bigger that the boogie-man. He’s bigger that Godzilla, or the monsters on TV. O, God is bigger than the boogie-man, and he’s watching out for you and me.” But more than that we need to understand our God as a giver of life, who is merciful and compassionate.
ZOOM INTO SUNDAY SCHOOL continues this Sunday, September 20 at 10:00am
If you have someone registered for our ZOOM into Sunday School, the ZOOM link from the message sent to you last week will work. A reminder message will also be sent to all registered households.
To register send an email to the church with your child’s (children’s) name and age, along with an email address to which the ZOOM invitation can be sent.
For those who are registered, the Craft Kits are ready for pick up or delivery.
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS – September 27
As part of the Worship Video this Sunday, September 27, there will be a “Virtual Blessing of the Animals.” You may want to have your animal companion(s) near you as you watch the video. If one of your animal companions is a horse that may not work so well. But there will be a time in the video when you will be given opportunity to give thanks to God for the animals in your life.
SPIRIT WEST CRABAPPLE JELLY
This year's batch of Spirit West Crabapple Jelly is now ready. The jelly is made from crabapples grown on the Spirit West property. You can pick up a jar at the church for $5. If you want curbside pick-up, just call the church before you head over and we will be ready for you. We can also deliver if that works best for you; just call the church to make arrangements. The proceeds of the jelly sales go to the church.
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 (change in submission deadline)
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 Thursday 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)
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 on our mortgage.
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.
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.
- Norma => Noon to 5:00 pm, Monday to Thursday
- Larry => 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church