This Sunday – January 22nd
Yesterday marked the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. From the very earliest days of the movement that was to become the Christian church there have been problems with internal divisions. Paul, in his first letter to the Christians at Corinth, complains about the divisions that marked that community. Paul asks them, “Has Christ been divided?” Well, if we look at our church and our world today, we would probably have to say yes. But there are signs of hope. And one of those signs is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Unfortunately, this time does not get as much coverage as it might, but it is a positive sign none the less. So much of our disagreements centre on interpretation, authority and organization: What is the message we have been called to proclaim? Who decides? How do we organize our community to take into account the first two questions?
The Readings for Sunday are 1 Corinthians 1: 10-18 and Matthew 4: 12-23. In the Time for All Ages, I will be using a visual that can be interpreted different ways depending on the angle it is viewed from, calling it “I’m right?” I have called my sermon, “Perspective.”
WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY SERVICE
To mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, there will be an ecumenical service at 7:00 P.M. , Jan 22, at Trinity Lutheran Church (10014 – 81 Avenue NW, Edmonton). Reception to follow.
This year’s liturgy for the Week of Prayer will have a particular reference to Ecumenism in Germany: The Land of the Lutheran Reformation. The theme for the week is Reconciliation: The Love of Christ Compels Us based on 2 Corinthians 5: 14-20.
“It was in the context of [the Reformation Anniversary in 2017] that the Council of Churches in Germany, invited by the World Council of Churches, took up the work of creating the resources for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”
GENERAL COUNCIL REMITS
Every three years, the General Council of the United Church of Canada (500 people from across Canada) gathers to enact policy and shape the direction of the church at a national level. From time to time the decisions of the General Council are such that the whole church, represented by the Presbyteries and sometimes the congregations/pastoral charges, has to agree with the decision. The will of the church is decided by Remit, a mail in vote. At General Council 42 held in August of 2015 there were a number of decisions made that require Remits. Five of these Remits require the approval of the pastoral charges/congregations, through their Church Boards. These Remits will be dealt with by the Spirit West Board over the next few months. At the Spirit West Board Meeting on January 24, we will be looking at Remit 1 – Three Council Mode. At the present time, the United Church of Canada has four levels of governance or councils. The first is the local congregation and their Board; the second is the Presbytery which for us is Edmonton Presbytery; the third is the Conference, which for us is Alberta and North West Conference; and the fourth is the General Council at the national level. Remit 1 asks if we are in favour of moving the United Church of Canada to a “three council model” of governance; Congregational, Regional and Denominational. For complete information and background on this and all the Remits please go to gc42.ca/remits. If you have thoughts you wish to share about Remit 1 please forward them to the church before January 24. If you wish to be part of the discussion, you may attend the board meeting. The covering letter from General Secretary of the United Church says in part:
It is vitally important that every pastoral charge cast a vote on all five remits, as an absolute majority is needed for them to pass, not just a majority of those who vote. If passed by an absolute majority of pastoral charges, plus an absolute majority of presbyteries, each remit will then go to General Council 43 for approval in 2018, to be held in Oshawa, Ontario.
Please note: If a pastoral charge does not vote, this is considered a vote AGAINST the remit question.
The Men of Spirit West will be gathering for Breakfast this Saturday, November 19 at 8:00 am in the Lower Hall. Breakfast is open to any man who wants to come out for a great breakfast. As a note, each man usually put in $10 dollars, this covers the breakfast supplies and the surplus is put into a fund that offsets the cost of minor repairs around the church.
Volunteers Needed for Jasper Place Wellness Centre
As has been our practise at Spirit West Outreach during the last few winters, we will again be cooking and serving a hot meal on Saturday evenings to those in need during January, February and March at Jasper Place Wellness on Stony Plain Road and 152 St. Our church, together with five other churches, will be sharing the preparation and serving of these meals. We need help cooking and serving on Jan. 21 and 28 and March 4 and 11. If you can help with this very worthy cause, please call Doreen Olynyk at 780-487-5372. For those who cannot participate on these dates but still want to be involved, a cash donation is always appreciated.
Court Whist Night
Sat, Feb 4, 7:00 pm; snacks, coffee, tea & punch provided to enjoy during the games. Tickets are $5.00 per person, available from Doreen O. No experience with whist necessary! Loads of fun! If you have a card table that could be used that night, please contact the church office.
CHALLENGES TO MOBILITY?
Spirit West has a Walker (Evolution Xpresso Lite) that is available for use at the church. The walker can also be borrowed by those whose mobility is temporarily challenged. For more information about the Walker, please contact the Church office (780-481-1406).
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 or call Edina T. at 780-481-3508
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Our Website is at www.spiritwest.org .
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch
- Monday to Friday 9:30 – 2:30
- Norma => 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday to Thursday
- Larry => 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church