Greetings in the name of Christ who was and is and is to come.
It’s the second day of Lent – are you tempted yet? When I was looking for images for the slides on Sunday, I noticed that most of pictures for temptation involved things that were not actually “sin”. Either they showed special food treats like cakes and cookies, sometimes compared with solid everyday foods like green vegetables, or they showed someone who appeared to be offering their enthusiastic consent to . . . close body contact.
Neither chocolate nor sex are in and of themselves sin, despite the fact that there can be exploitation with either one. Too often our society puts the focus on individual piety – whether in food, or recycling habits or relationships, and looks away from the way we do harm together. Too often we are silenced into thinking we can’t change the way the world is even though we carry the biggest vote of them all – our wallets. Perhaps for a Lenten ‘fast’ we can pay attention to some of the ways we spend our money, which companies we support, and how our spending reflects what is most important to us.
Please stop for a minute and think about what you value most about Spirit West United Church.
Why do you give money, or time to our church? Why did you bother to open this email?
Please hold those values close to your hearts as we consider the realities ahead of us.
As a congregation, we are facing our own difficult truths. We have the opportunity to face down the temptation to look away and stay comfortable, and move instead into uncomfortable spaces and difficult conversations. The future cannot continue in the same way as the past. With hope, we can carry the hard choices together, resisting the urge to let it be someone else’s responsibility.
It is an exciting time to be a part of Spirit West United Church because this is a time of choosing a direction and making plans to live into the future God is calling us towards. Yes we can have the coffee and the chocolate if we choose. Every good and perfect gift comes down from the Parent of heavenly lights after all.
Our scripture this week is the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness from Matthew 4:1-11. With the children, we will talk with the snake (a large toy stuffed snake) about the garden of Eden, and I will try (in a minute or two) to open the conversation about “the satan” (devil in Greek), and help them understand about being wary of – not terrified of - the voice that tempts and accuses.
(Rev) Eli Carter-Morgan (they/them)
Spirit West United Church
Proud to share the land through Treaty 6
Faith Exploration - Explore big questions – What do we mean when we say God, Who was/is Jesus and how does he matter? What is the Bible and how should it influence us? What are your big questions? The Study Group open to anyone wherever you are on your faith journey. This can lead to Confirmation or Re-Affirmation of faith. Please Let Eli know if you are interested.
Tentative Schedule - after Church/Lunch on Sunday and on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm
- March 5, 8 – God
- March 15, 19 – Jesus
- March 22, 26 – The Spirit and the Church
- March 29, April 2 – Live with respect in Creation
- April 12, 16 – Seek Justice, Resist Evil
- April 19, 23 – Life, Death, Life beyond Death
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – HOSPITALITY - Currently there are 5 teams. We are looking for a few people to join our current teams. Duties at this time will focus on bringing squares or cookies and helping out with beverages as well as cleanup. If you could help, please sign the sheet at the back of the church or call Carol C at 780-481-2662. Thank you!
WOMEN’S GROUP LUNCH AND ANNUAL MEETING TBD
The annual Women’s Group Lunch and AGM is being planned now. It will be held near the end of March, either March 18 or March 25. More information will be coming soon!
CONGREGATIONAL MEETING – Mar 12
There will be a Congregation Meeting following the Service on Sun, Mar 12 to review, through the Annual Reports, the mission and ministry of the Spirit West in 2022. We will also make such decisions as will determine our vision for the Congregation in 2023. You attendance and input at both these meetings is greatly desired.
DATES TO REMEMBER:
- Annual Congregational Meeting – Mar 12 after the worship service
EVENTS Happening in the CHURCH BUILDING Feb 27 to March 4, 2023
- Mon, Feb 27 – 6-8pm - Brownies
- Tues, Feb 28, 6-7pm – set up for Church of Christ service
- Wed, March 1, 7-10pm – Church of Christ service
- Thurs, March 2, 7-8:30pm – choir practice 7-8:30pm
- Fri, March 3, 6-7pm – set up for Church of Christ service
- Sat, March 4, 7-10pm – Church of Christ service
LEADERS FOR Feb 26
- Hospitality Team – Callas – Bill & Carol, Gerry & Sue
- Scripture Reader – Rhea Olson
- Projectionist – Terri-Lynn Hyland
LEADERS FOR March 5
- Hospitality Team – Doyle – Don & Daphne, Tony
- Scripture Reader – Peter K
- Projectionist – Bruce C
YouTube Videos Worship Services – February 26 – 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
Office Hours for February 17 to March 4, 2023
Norma => Wed => noon to 5pm
Tues & Thurs – 9am to 2pm
Eli => Eli will be working Sunday to Thursday this week. They will be taking some Fridays off as Study leave this winter to do an online course on adaptive leadership. They are happy to discuss both the course itself and the impact on working days.
- Please let Eli know if there is anyone you think they should call or visit.
- 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 people each week.
Spirit West United Church
7003 - 199st.NW Edmonton, AB T5T 3A8
phone: (780) 481-1406