- Norma => Mon – 10:30am – 5pm, Tues & Wed – noon to 5pm; Thurs 7:30am to 12:30pm
- Eli => working Hours (subject to change) – Wed-Thurs. 11-9, Friday-Sunday 9-4 – Eli is trying to get to know members of the congregation and they would love to meet with you in your homes, their office, or a favourite coffee shop. They are hoping to meet with a few each week.
Sunday, December 4, 2022 – Advent 2 - Peace
The snow is flying and it definitely feels to me like advent is actually here. Maybe it’s the new page on the calendar, or the advent calendars that start on December 1st. While we are trying to shovel a straight path on our sidewalk, we are being called to prepare the way of the Lord and make a straight path through the desert. John the Baptist has separated himself from society and preaches that we need to change our direction and refocus on the way of God. In what ways are each of us caught up in the values of the society around us where we lose sight of God’s dream? Isaiah the prophet imagines a world where the poor and meek are judged with equity and the powerful no longer have the ability to harm them.
When I look at my calendar for the week ahead, I see a reference to a day for people with disabilities and a day to stop violence against women. Both of these acknowledged days tie right in to this week’s scripture. For people with mobility concerns, a literal straight, or easy path is important to be able to get to where they are going. Making things easier for everyone who has to overcome extra barriers is a part of the way we prepare the way for God among us. After all, God’s voice may come to us through those who live with many types of disabilities – if we can open our hearts to understand their message.
John the Baptist isn’t afraid to confront people who use their positions of power to harm the vulnerable. Religious leaders are watched especially closely both by John the Baptist and by our culture today, and both for good reason. Those of us who hold power must use and share it responsibly. As a trans-masculine person (I was assigned female at birth, but I identify as non-binary), I readily see the privilege society automatically gives to those perceived as male. Women, especially older women and/or women of colour step out of my way quickly to give me a straight path. That is the way of the world, we automatically make extra space for some people, without even thinking about it. Although we condemn violence against women with our words, we have a long way to go to change the way our society tolerates misogyny in various forms, so we continue to remember what happened years ago in Montreal. Like John the Baptist speaking out against abuses in his time, we listen for and challenge the lies brought forward to promote violence against women. We learn to make spaces safer for all people.
Over the years, how has our church helped to build up that dream of God’s vision for humanity? As a congregation we are grieving because one of our founding members has died. We will celebrate Janice Shield’s life on Monday at 2. Her dream for her church outlived her as we continue to imagine that a better world is possible, and we can be a part of making it come true.
Our scriptures are Isaiah 11:1-9 and Matthew 3: 1-12.
With the children we will talk about John the Baptist. I promise not to feed them grasshoppers and wild honey.
(Rev) Eli Carter-Morgan (they/them)
Spirit West United Church
Proud to share the land through Treaty 6
Janice Shields – it is with great sadness that we announce that Janice passed away early in the morning on Monday, Nov. 28. Janice was one of the founding members of our congregation and very active in the church. Her obituary will be in the Edmonton Journal on Friday. Janice’s Celebration of Life service will be held here at the church at 2pm on Monday, Dec 5. We hope that you can come to remember Janice and to support Terri-Lynn, Mike and all the family.
LIVING NATIVITY - A four week Advent small group study. Take a closer look at the figures in your Nativity Set and draw closer to the Mystery of the Incarnation. Join just once or for all four sessions. Each will be offered twice – Wednesday afternoon at 2 and Saturday Morning at 10. Coffee and snack provided. Please allow 90 minutes so we can enjoy our time together.
Session 2 – Feet on the Ground Sat Dec 3 and Wed Dec 7
Session 3 - At the Edge of the Creche Sat Dec 10 and Wed Dec 14
Session 4 – Is Everybody Here? Sat Dec 17 and Wed Dec 21
BISSELL CENTRE APPEAL - CHRISTMAS GIVINGS – in previous years the churches of Edmonton have supported the Bissell Center with White Gift Sunday offerings during Advent. This year the Inner City Pastoral Ministry (ICPM) has sent us an letter appealing for our help in other ways. Edmonton’s most vulnerable are growing in numbers and more are being forced to live in make shift tents on our snowy streets and many are dealing with the current painful shingella outbreak. As we all know the rising cost of food and utilities is difficult to manage and some of these folks are having to make decisions regarding a warm place to live or food on the table.
On the Advent Sundays of the 11th and 18th of December I will be collecting the following needed items from those of you that are able to give, and I will deliver them to the Bissell Center on the 20th of December.
- Urgent need: Gift Cards for Grocery Stores (Sobeys/Safeway/Superstore/Fresh Co/Walmart, etc.), Bus tickets
- Warm items: Gloves, thick socks, toques, thermal underwear, hand/foot warmers, blankets
- Basic items: Toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, razors, men’s and ladies underwear
Lori Walkhouse, Outreach Chair
DATES TO REMEMBER:
- Christmas Eve Service – 6:30 pm, Sat, Dec. 24
- No service Dec 25, 2022 and Jan 1, 2023
LEADERS for Dec 4
- Scripture Reader – Paul Fujishige
- Projectionist – Norma Balcombe
- Hospitality Team – Sather – Ramona, Isobel, Colleen
LEADERS for Dec 11
- Scripture Reader – Bill Callas
- Projectionist – Bruce Corbett
- Hospitality Team – Callas – Bill & Carol, Gerry & Sue
YouTube Videos Worship Services – December 4 – also, in person worship service
To watch online, you will need to go to YouTube and google “Spirit West United Church”. This action will bring you to the Spirit West United Church YouTube page.
SPIRIT WEST PRAYER CHAIN
Prayer is important. We know that people face challenges and difficulties and we cannot forget them. Our Prayer Chain continues to be active. If you have a prayer request, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. These requests will be shared regularly with the prayer chain and may form part of the Prayers of the People in our Sunday Worship.
Please remember to have people removed from the prayer chain if the prayers are no longer needed.
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 accept donations by eTransfer. The contact name for the eTransfer is Spirit West United Church, and the email address is email@example.com . If you include a security question with your eTransfer, please notify Norma at the church office by phone or email of the answer.
- And remember that if you are not on PAR(Pre-Authorized Remittance) or even if you are , you can mail in cheques to the church office (Spirit West United Church, 7003 – 199 St. NW Edmonton, AB T5T 3A8, include your envelope number if you have one.)
- You can drop off your offering/donation in the offering plate just inside the front doors or place it in the mailbox.
- You can also donate online by checking 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
Spirit West United Church
7003 - 199st.NW Edmonton, AB T5T 3A8
phone: (780) 481-1406