I’m back. The Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City was an amazing experience, which I hope to be able to share with you in some way in the future. My time last weekend with the DeMolay boys at their Convention in Drumheller was also rewarding.
This Sunday is actually All Saints Day. And although our Church as a rule does not mark saint’s days, if you celebrate Hallowe’en, you really need to remember All Saints ( All Hallows) Day. Throughout history, people have been regarded as saints because their words and actions indicate that they are in some way close to God, or to the Kingdom of God. This developed in some parts of the Christian Church into a recognition after death of certain people who had displayed particular “sanctity” during their life, and by miracles after death demonstrated their place in heaven. The biblical understanding of sainthood was much broader. Paul address most of his letters to the “saints” (ἁγίοις) in the communities to which he is writing. (cf. Ephesians 1:1) In the Christian scriptures, a saint is one who is attempting to do the will of God in life. Anyone can be a saint. In the Gospel reading for this Sunday, Jesus is challenged to name the most important commandment. Jesus names it. His challenger agrees. Jesus last remark in the conversation is to say to his challenger: “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
The Readings for Sunday are Psalm 146 and Mark 12: 28-34. In the Time for All Ages I will explore the question, “What is a Saint?” and the title of the sermon is “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
TIME CHANGE THIS WEEKEND
Before you go to bed on Saturday night, remember to set your clocks back one hour. Daylight Savings Time ends at 2:00 am (0200 hrs) on Sunday, November 1st. If you forget, you will have an hour to help the hospitality team set up coffee before the Service.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, ANNOUNCEMENTS (in church)
The Worship Committee is asking that in order to facilitate an effective and efficient process, please have your announcements in to the church office by Wednesday at noon so that they can be included in the Sunday announcements sheet and in the Thursday eMessage.
We have resumed Sunday School. Come join the fun as we learn together the stories of our faith through the Seasons of the Spirit.
We could still use a few people who are willing to give some time as teachers or helpers. If you are interested call the office or sign your name on the Sunday School sign-up sheet by the church office.
Movie Night – Our next Movie Nite is Friday, Oct. 30 at 7:25 pm at the Cineplex Odeon Theatres, South Edmonton Common, 1525 99 St, to see “Remember” starring Christopher Plumber, Bruno Ganz, Martin Landau. You are all invited back to Marian’s house, 345 Westridge Road, after for light refreshments & good chatter. If you wish, bring along a small snack to share. Note correction of date and theatre address from earlier email.
Croissants and Cinnamon Buns:
The order forms for the purchase of frozen unbaked Croissant and Cinnamon Buns are available on the information table. The cost is Croissants $7.50 per dozen and Cinnamon Buns $7.50 per 1/2 dozen. The orders need to be in by TODAY Sunday Nov. 1 for delivery to the church for pick up Wednesday Nov. 25. Any questions, please contact Diane Ludlow at 780 444-0284 or Carol Callas at 780 481-2662. This is a major fund raiser for the Spirit West Women's Group. With our profits from the sale we are able to help our church financially, sponsor a foster child and support outreach initiatives such as WIN House, the Youth Emergency Shelter, Bissell Centre and the United Church Mission and Service Fund.
If you've never tried the croissant or cinnamon buns, give them a try this year, they are delicious!
SPIRIT WEST LADIES GROUP
The next Ladies Group gathering will be held Mon, Nov 2 at 7 pm in the Sanctuary. All women of Spirit West are invited. We will be making centre pieces and party favours for the Ladies Group Christmas Dinner on Dec 7. No crafting experience is needed. There is a signup sheet on the table in front of the office. Please sign up as soon as possible so we can be sure we have adequate supplies. Questions? Contact Daphne at 780-455-5537.
Advent is just around the corner and it is time once again to order poinsettias to adorn our sanctuary for Advent and Christmas. If you are interested in ordering a plant to support the Worship Committee, please see Margery or Rebecca Wright. Various sizes, colours and prices are available.
The next Messy Church – Messy Advent – is being held on Saturday, Nov. 28 from 4-6 pm. Volunteer opportunities available: crafts, kitchen, set up! Please see Larry if you are able to volunteer!
UNITED CHURCH RESPONSE TO THE REFUGEE CRISIS IN SYRIA
As you know, the conflict in Syria has led hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in search of a better and safer life. This massive migration of people has created huge challenges in Europe and around the world. As Canadians and as people of the United Church we have a wonderful history of welcoming the stranger and refugee to our country even when the government was not as eager in its welcome. Some weeks ago the Globe and Mail did a editorial piece that looked at Canada’s official response to refugee crises. At the government level, and the party in power seems to make little difference, the Canadian response has been mixed at best. A Brief History of Canada’s Response to Refugees can be found at http://ccrweb.ca/en/brief-history-canadas-responses-refugees . It appears that the welcoming of the dispossessed to Canada has been, in large measure, the result of public pressure and action.
There is opportunity for us to act in the current situation. Both our Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell, and the Alberta and Northwest Conference, the Rev. Paul Walfall, has written open letters to churches calling on us to act in the current crisis.
From the Moderator: http://www.united-church.ca/communications/news/moderator/150911
From the ANW Conference President: http://albertanorthwestconference.ca/13921-welcoming-our-neighbours/
The Conference President has asked that each Presbytery in the Conference sponsor two Syrian families. He recognized that there are Congregations which, while willing, would not have the resources to raise the $30,000 - $35,000 required for the sponsorship of one family. Edmonton Presbytery at their most recent meeting, agreed in principle to this request. However, the details of how this will be done is still being worked on.
At the meeting last night, your church board agreed in principle to participate in the Presbytery’s plan once finalized, and that members and adherents of Spirit West would be given the opportunity to support this project through a onetime special offering a some point in the near future.
If you are moved to a more immediate response, please check out the this page at the United Church of Canada website: http://www.united-church.ca/communications/news/response/150911 This page offers a link so that you may donate directly to the United Church’s Emergency Response Fund and designate your gift for “Syrian refugees” And as noted on the page “As part of the United Church’s Emergency Response Fund, 85 percent of your donation will go directly to Syria relief, while 15 percent will be used to support emergencies that do not receive intense media coverage and response. No administration fees will be deducted from your donation. Regular donations to the Mission and Service Fund enable the United Church to absorb staffing and administration costs of emergency response work.”
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 Shannon F. at 780-481-5262, Marian T. at 780-487-2851 or Bonnie C. at 780-444-2230.
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 => 9:30 am to 2:30 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