Today is not an easy day for our congregation. If you have not read it already, our budget document has been circulated, and we seem to be approaching a time of hard decisions in the face of a substantial budget deficit.
It is my task to call you from fear to faith, so please hear me out. I don’t have the answer, but I know that God is close at hand during difficult times. I am not trying to advocate any particular path forward, but I want, I hope, I dream that you will see that there are more possibilities before us than we have ever imagined before.
Our scripture this week relates directly to times of change. You have heard it said . . . but I say to you. . .
You have heard it said “If you build it they will come” but I say to you “go into the world and make disciples”
You have heard it said “a few wealthy donors would really help our budget” but I say to you “money follows mission.
It is time for us to consider what are the most important things. Perhaps it’s time for a game of “would you rather”. You might know the tabletop/party game – would rather have all traffic lights you approach be green or never have to stand in line again?” - for me an easy one green lights!! I’m British, I love to queue.
Would you rather keep church always at 10:30, or always have a minister live in person with you?
Would you rather be a congregation of 50 people who know each other well with little programing, or 200 people who get to know each other as you participate in programs together
It’s in the air – people are whispering about it so let’s talk about the elephants in the room.
Would you rather sell the building and have money in the bank or keep the building and give more of your time energy and resources to meet the budget?
Jesus opens up new possibilities. Matthew 5:21-37 Jesus offers new ways to think about old questions with extreme options offered to open people’s minds to possibilities. These teachings about divorce in particular have been used and abused to keep people in horrible situations, where that was never Jesus’ intent any more than that we gouge out our eyes.
In Deuteronomy 30:15-20 we are offered the choice of life. What does choosing life mean for you today?
With kids we’ll talk about rules and when they are good, and when they are harmful.
(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
- March 5 – God
- March 12 – Jesus
- March 19 – The Spirit and the Church
- March 26 – Live with respect in Creation
- April 2 – Seek Justice, Resist Evil
DATES TO REMEMBER:
- Family Day – Mon, Feb 20 – office closed for the holiday
- Annual Congregational Budget Meeting – Feb 26 after the worship service
- Annual Congregational Meeting – Mar 12 after the worship service
EVENTS Happening in the CHURCH BUILDING Feb 2 to 8, 2023
- Mon, Feb 13, 6-8pm – Brownies
- Wed, Feb 15, 7-10pm – Church of Christ service
- Thurs, Feb 16, 7-8:30pm – choir practice
- Sat, Feb 18, 7am-12 noon – Church of Christ service
LEADERS FOR Feb 12
- Hospitality Team – Hemmerling – Georgina, Doreen, Rhea, Glenna
- Scripture Reader – Paul F
- Projectionist – Rebecca W
LEADERS FOR FEB 19
- Hospitality Team – Sather – Ramona, Isobel, Colleen
- Scripture Reader – Bill Callas
- Projectionist – Bruce Corbett
WOMEN’S GROUP LUNCH AND ANNUAL MEETING TBD
The annual Women’s Group Lunch and AGM is being planned now. More information will be coming soon!
CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS – Feb 26 and Mar 12
There will be a Congregational Budget Meeting following the Service on Sun, Feb 26. At this time we will review and approve the 2023 budget for Spirit West. Then 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.
YouTube Videos Worship Services – February 12 – 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 13 to 19, 2023
- Norma => Mon & Wed => noon to 5pm
Office closed – Mon, Feb 20
- Eli will be working Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday this week 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.