Please note the information below about Lent 2021 for Spirit West. It contains information about our Lenten Group (ZOO) Study – Practices of Releasing.
This Sunday – TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY
his Sunday is the last Sunday in the Season of Epiphany. Next Wednesday is the start of Lent. This Sunday focuses on an episode in the life of Jesus that was only witnessed by three of his disciples. The event has come to be called the Transfiguration. Jesus takes three of his followers, Peter, James and John “up a high mountain apart, by themselves.” Jesus was “transfigured,” his clothing became dazzling white and Moses and Elijah appeared with him. This Sunday we will also hear the story of the prophet Elijah being taken up to heaven. In both stories something spectacular happens that is meant to confirm to the witnesses of the event the divine origins of the messages proclaimed. But there is a bit of a difference. In the story of Elijah, his companion and follower Elisha is left alone to continue Elijah’s mission. In the story of the Transfiguration, Jesus comes back down the mountain with the three to continue their mission together. It’s all about bringing the message of God’s presence to the world, even after an experience that we would like to remain in. But “we are not alone, we live in God’s world.”
Sunday is also Valentine’s Day, and I will be talking about St. Valentine in the Time for All Ages.
The Scripture readings for Sunday are 2 Kings 2: 1-12 and Mark 9: 2-9. I am calling my sermon, “From the mountain top.”
ZOOM COFFEE HOUR CONTINUES THIS SUNDAY
Join Zoom Coffee on Sunday at 11:30
Meeting ID: 847 0730 4114
LENT 2021 FOR SPIRIT WEST
Shrove Tuesday, February 16
Shrove Tuesday is that last day before the beginning of Lent. In many places it is now known as Pancake Tuesday. Perhaps pancakes could be a part of your menu on Tuesday. For an extensive explanation of Shrove Tuesday go to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrove_Tuesday
Ash Wednesday, February 17
Lent begins on Wednesday, February 17 and in years past we have observed the Imposition of Ashes associated with Ash Wednesday on the Sunday following, which this year will be Sunday, February 21. I would like to continue this practice, recognizing the restrictions posed by Covid-19. To this end, I will be mailing out packets of Palm Ashes tomorrow. I am hoping that you receive them by Ash Wednesday, or at least by February 21. The packets of ashes will come with an explanation and suggestions for use.
Lenten Group Study – Practices of Releasing
There will be a ZOOM Lenten Study starting on Wednesday, February 24 at 1:30 pm and continuing each Wednesday in Lent. During the six sessions, we will virtually join Janice MacLean, of the Prayer Bench, and wise friends as they explore original goodness and name the practices that release us from fear, grief, sense of scarcity, violence, and patterns that harden our heart and tarnish the goodness that is always staring back at us. Using metaphors from the Lent gospel readings, stories, poetry, art and music we rub away at all that limits the human spirit, and dulls our life, and suggest authentic spiritual practices to claim again original goodness.
Please let me know at email@example.com or by calling the church if you are interested in participating so that I can send you the ZOOM link as well as the participant resources for each week. Remember, if you are interested but are not sure if you can attend all the sessions let me know. You can still receive the weekly resource packages to study on your own.
YOUR TAX RECEIPT FOR 2020
The Charitable Tax receipts from Spirit West for 2020 were mailed last week. You should have received your receipt by now. If you have any questions about your receipt please call or email the church.
2021 OFFERING ENVELOPES
If you have been regularly using Offering Envelopes for your offering, either mailed in to the church or dropped off, your 2021 Envelopes are now available at the Church. We would prefer if you could pick them up. Call Norma at the church, so that she can have your envelopes ready for you. If you would rather that they be delivered to you, you will also have to let Norma know.
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
You may have gotten (or will get) a call from Diane H. our new “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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, Norma has drawn up and sent out a schedule of readers for the next couple of months. If you have read scripture for one of the worship videos, you will be on the schedule and will have received a copy. Please confirm with Norma as soon as possible that you are available to do your reading. Readings can be recorded well in advance of the date required. Your reading can also be recorded at the church between 2:30 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 email@example.com 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.
Prayer Requests If you have a prayer request that you would like included in the Prayers of the People that are part of our worship videos, your request needs to be into the church by Thursday at noon for inclusion on Sunday. The best way to send in your request is to email firstname.lastname@example.org. During the Prayers of the People, only the first name of individuals will be mentioned, and the specifics of the request will not be shared. The prayer requests are also forwarded to the Prayer Chain.
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.
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 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 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 and will form part of the Prayers of the People in our Sunday Worship.
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