There is a lot of new information in this eMessage. Be sure to check it all out.
This Sunday – The First Sunday in Lent - “Time on the Edge”
We are now in the season of Lent (see next item “The Start of Lent at Spirit West.”) Lent is a season of the church year which is intended for thoughtful introspection and reflection about the place of the Divine in our lives. Lent is forty days long and ends with the celebration of Easter. The forty days are a reflection of the forty days that Jesus spent in the wilderness after his baptism, before he began his ministry. Forty days (and forty nights) is a biblical way of saying “a long time, and a significant time.” Remember Noah and the flood. Lent has long been associated with fasting or giving up something. In the past Lent was the time for giving up meat, some people still do this. But recently, people have starting considering other things to give up, things that seem to have become and unhealthy priority (addiction) in their lives. So we see people giving up chocolate, coffee, social media for Lent. But the point of Lent is also about choices, decisions, and focus. It is a time on the edge, moving from the past to the future. Although it is considered a hymn for Epiphany, “I Am the Light of the World” has a line in the chorus that can describe our journey through Lent. “If you follow and love you’ll learn the mystery of what you were meant to do and be.”
The readings for Sunday are Genesis 2: 15-17, 3: 1-7, and Matthew 4: 1-11. The title of the Sermon is “Time on the Edge”
THE START OF LENT AT SPIRIT WEST
Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, was yesterday, February 26, 2020. Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, sometimes called Pancake Tuesday, some of you may have actually eaten pancakes. Since Spirit West does not observe Pancake Tuesday or Ash Wednesday on their specific dates, we have combined their observance on the first Sunday in Lent, March 1. So the service this Sunday, March 1 will include the Imposition of Ashes for those who wish it. This will also be the first Sunday of the Month so we the service will include the Celebration of Communion. The service will be followed by a Pancake Lunch (no charge, donations accepted).
Please remember that our church is a “scent-free” zone because of some severe allergies and sensitives. We would ask that you refrain from using scented beauty or grooming products such as perfume, after-shave, etc. when attending services and programs at Spirit West.
CHURCH MEMBERSHIP EXPLORATION – Our Family, Our Stories
Starting on Sunday, March 1 after the Pancake Lunch, we will be have the first of a series on Church Membership Exploration. If you are not a member of Spirit West United Church or a member of United Church of Canada, and are interesting in exploring the possibility of membership, this is for you. The series is also open to those who are members of Spirit West and just want to learn more about what that means. This series which will run after church through the first five Sundays in Lent will look at membership through stories; God’s stories, Jesus’ stories, the Church’s stories, Spirit West’s stories, My stories. The exploration will end on one of the Sunday’s around Easter with a celebration of Confirmation/Membership for those who desire it. If you are interested talk to Larry.
LENTEN BIBLE STUDY 2020 – Embracing the Uncertain
Starting on Wednesday, March 4 at 1:30 in the Lounge, we will begin the Lenten Study – “Embracing the Uncertain.” The subtitle of the study is “A Lenten Study for Unsteady Times.
For those of you who would like to participate in a Bible Study but are not available on Wednesday afternoons, please see the sign-up sheet by the office.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER 2020 – this annual ecumenical worship service will be held at 2pm on March 6 at St. Matthias Anglican Church (6210 – 188 st). A reception will follow the service. The theme this year is “Rise! Take your Mat and Walk” prepared by the women of Zimbabwe. People from Spirit West will be participating in the service. Please join us in this meaningful experience.
GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER?
Join us in using cunning stealth and covert organization, to surprise our phenomenal Spirit West chefs. Only at the ring of their doorbell, should they discover who will join them for dinner on their chosen night of gastronomical delights!! This fund-raiser for the church will take place during the months of late March, April and May! It is a terrific time to enjoy a fabulous meal and fellowship. Those who wish to host a dinner are asked to contact Bill C or Colleen F. Hosts need to indicate the dates and times of their dinners and the number of guests they will be hosting. If there is a theme for the evening, this should also be provided. Guests will have the opportunity to select where they will dine and provide any dietary restrictions to the conveners (who will discretely pass your information, but not your identity to the hosts). A free will offering, in envelopes, will be collected by the host. A minimum offering of $25.00 per person is suggested. Please plan on attending one of these sensational evening parties and generously supporting our church.
IRISH PUB NIGHT - Come Eat, Drink, Sing and Be Irish!
Join us for a wee little celebration of St. Patrick's Day and all things Irish (or Celtic) on Saturday the 14th of March. Wear your green, enjoy some stew and mash, sip on a pint and join in the malarkey. Doors and Cash bar open at 5:30; Dinner at 6; Music and singing to follow. Adults - $20; Children 4-12 $10; 3 and under free. Only 80 tickets will be sold! Tickets must be purchased in advance. See Colleen (1st of March), or Lori (8th of March). Email Lori at LWalkhouse@gmail.com or call the church office.
PASTORAL CARE – Casserole Ministry
Dave S. would like to start a Casserole Ministry as part of Pastoral Care. Those making visits to members of Spirit West recovering from illness, or grieving the loss of family members, would visit the family and bring a casserole to leave with them. 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 speak to Dave S. so he can keep an accurate inventory of casseroles (not too many, not too few).
- Seasonal items continue to be collected for the Jasper Place Wellness Center and the Bissell Center – underwear, socks, scarves, mitts, refillable water bottles, hand warmers, etc. These can be left at the Giving Tree (in the sancturary by the Lounge windows) for distribution.
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED
For as many or as few Sundays as you wish. We continue to use Seasons of the Spirit curriculum. Right now we are looking for teachers for the March 22 and 29. If you want to teach on one of these Sundays, please add your name to the signup sheet by the church office. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a teacher, call Larry at 780-481-1406
Your Favourite Hymn
Do you have a favourite hymn that you’d like to hear included in one of our worship services? Please let Bonnie C. know your choice and she will make sure it is sung within the month.
A WAY TO CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY
You don’t have offering envelopes, you are not on PAR, and you don’t get to church as often as you would like, but you want to make a financial contribution to work of Spirit West, and receive a tax receipt. Now you can! Check out the online donation option on our website spiritwest.org and click on the Donate tab in the navigation bar.
RIDE TO CHURCH?
From time to time we encounter people who would like to come to church at Spirit West, but are unable to because they do not have means of transportation. Can you give a ride? If you would be willing to make yourself available to provide a ride to church please call the church office. Do you need a ride? Would you like to come to church at Spirit West, but are unable to because you have no ride, please call the church office. (780-481-1406)
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 email@example.com . You may also email a request for prayer to the same email address. If you would prefer to talk to someone, you can call the church.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Facebook: Spirit West United Church
- Norma => 11:00 am to 4:00 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