OUR WORSHIP VIRTUAL WORSHIP SERVICE
As I begin this eMessage I want to talk about our virtual services. Last Sunday, we celebrated our first ZOOM Communion Service. It seemed to go relatively well, although there were problems with lag in the pre-recorded music portions. This is a problem with ZOOM. Unfortunately, to overcome this problem requires upgrading the internet at the church. The other problem we ran into was in recording the service so that it could be uploaded to YouTube. We ran into an unforeseen technical glitch that prevented the recording. Paul and I even did a trial last week, which of course worked fine. We had a ZOOM connection set up between the church and my home, with Margery and Rebecca on separate computers being “the congregation.” We checked and have a wonderful recording of twenty minutes or so of sound checks, camera angles, and hymn recordings (where we first noted the lag). But on Sunday, well…. nothing.
The Worship Committee has agreed that we will only use ZOOM for worship on Communion Sundays, the first Sunday of each month. And Paul and I will do our best to work out the technical challenges, though a lag in pre-recorded elements will be an ongoing problem.
The Service for this Sunday will be a “regular” YouTube video. We have come quite a way in the past 10 months with regard to our “regular” video services. Our first services were recorded using Margery’s cell phone propped up with a Bible on a music stand, and only the phone’s microphone for sound. Now we are using a digital single lens reflex camera on a tripod with fluid mount with video input directly to Pauls’ computer and the sound is recorded on a separate track with the church’s sound system connected to Paul’s computer. And we constantly try to improve.
Greeters – So far I do not have any for this Sunday
For our pre-recorded YouTube services, we have had, thanks to Bonnie C., people from the congregation offering greetings at the beginning of the videos. It is not possible for Bonnie to continue this. So, if you really liked the greetings you saw at the beginning of the videos, it’s now up to you. We would like at least one greeter for each video. You can record a greeting on your phone (as some of our families did) and send it to Paul, our video editor, at email@example.com or you can come into the church and we will record your greeting. Video greetings can be sent in at any time, and we will include them in the worship videos, though if we get a number of greetings, you might have to wait a week or two to see yourself. If you have a greeting which you would like to send out for a particular date, call the church. Don’t wait for someone else to do.
This Sunday – tHE SECOND AFTER ePIPHANY - The Call of God
Within the Lectionary of the Church Year, the end of December to the middle of January is a bit of a rush. In less than a month we move from the stories of Jesus’ birth to the story of his Baptism by John when Jesus was thought to be about thirty years old. And this Sunday we recognize the start of Jesus ministry as he calls his disciples, in this case two of the lesser known disciples, Philip and Nathanael.” It turns out that Nathanael is a bit skeptical about this Jesus of Nazareth, about whom his friend Philip has talked enthusiastically. He is not quite ready to jump up and follow Jesus. In fact Nathanael says, in a reflection of the attitude of the time, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” He come round when he actually meets Jesus. We are also reminded of God’s call in the reading from Samuel. In that passage, the young Samuel hears the call of God in the night but does not understand what he is hearing, or how to respond, until it is explained to him. Do you think you have been called by God? How do you know? What does the call of God “sound” like?
The Scripture readings for this Sunday are 1 Samuel 3: 1-10 and John 1: 43-51. In the Time for All Ages, I am going to talk about “No Caller ID.” The title of my sermon is “The Call of God.”
ZOOM COFFEE HOUR CONTINUES THIS SUNDAY
Join Zoom Coffee on Sunday at 11:30
Meeting ID: 865 4688 2689
2021 OFFERING ENVELOPES
If you have been regularly using Offering Envelopes for your offering, either mailed in 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 mailed to you, you will also have to let Norma know.
CHRISTMAS EVE OFFERING – last day is tomorrow
In what my daughter calls the “before times,” when we gathered at the church for Christmas Eve, we took up a special offering. For a number of years now this offering has been divided between the needs of Spirit West United Church and the No Room in the Inn program of the Edmonton and District Council of Churches. This year No Room in the Inn has chosen Catholic Social Services - La Salle Shelter and St Katharine Drexel Place for their 2020 campaign.
This campaign’s focus is domestic violence and the need for women’s shelters. We are appealing for support for two women’s shelters, LaSalle Shelter and St. Katharine Drexel Place, which are in need of backyard upgrades so that the children in care can safely play outside on the properties:
- La Salle Shelter, a second-stage shelter, annually helps more than 30 women and their children escape domestic violence, and transition into stable housing. La Salle shelters those who are fleeing abusive relationships, where they can stay for six months to one year.
- St. Katharine Drexel Place supports dozens of women each year to stabilize their lives by helping them pursue career and educational goals, focus on family, and find permanent residence in the community. This is subsidized, transitional housing for women in crisis and their children. Clients are homeless, vulnerably-housed, or at risk of homelessness.
SPIRIT WEST OUTREACH - Jasper Place Wellness Bagged Meal
Our first date to provide lunches for the Jasper Place Wellness Centre is Saturday, January 23rd. Due to Covid-19 restrictions they have asked for pre-packaged items to be provided (no sandwiches).
The suggested items for this bagged meal is: individual commercially wrapped muffins or banana bread, granola bars, fruit cups, puddings, cup of soup or noodles in a cup, cheese sticks, crackers, juice boxes and “peelable” fruit like bananas and oranges.
Lori, Bill and Adam will shop, put the bagged meals together and deliver them We have been asked to create 25 bags. Lori is budgeting approx. $ 125 to create these meals - $ 5.00 each. If you are able, please make a donation to the church and designate the funds as “Outreach.”
The Centre will also take donations of warm winter clothing, re-fillable hot beverage containers, bus tickets, and coffee gift cards. (Please no scarfs. Cowls or infinity/joined scarfs only) There will be a bin at the church where you can drop off these items between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday. It is best to call the church to let us know you will be bringing items in and please follow the Covid-19 restrictions when coming to the church - wear a mask, social distance, and complete the log.
Lori will come by the church on January, 21st to collect any items that have been dropped off at the church.
MORE ON OUR SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
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.
Sharing our Celebrations (note the submission deadline)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com . 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church