Norma => Mon & Wed => noon to 5pm (on vacation Mon, Jan 23)
Tues & Thurs – 9am to 2pm
Eli => Eli will be working Tuesday, Wednesday, 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.
- Are you interested in exploring faith questions? Sign-up sheet available on the table at the back of the sanctuary.
Sunday, January 22, 2023 – Third after Epiphany
Happy Thursday everyone!
Bonnie and I had a great time taking part in a Zoom call out of Toronto with people in churches across Canada talking about how to bring our congregations back to the place of being vital parts of our neighbourhoods. Some questions that arose for me include:
What role can we play in the communities of West Edmonton?
Who might our partners be?
Some I thought of include – YMCA,
Lois Hole Library,
West Henday Promenade Library
West Edmonton Mall
Who else can you think of?
For the first time since I started here last summer, I’ve included a psalm as they are presented at the back of Voices United. Psalm 27 with a repeating chorus about God being our saving help, we shall not be afraid.
The gospel lesson this week is where Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James and John to be “fishers of people”. They will stop fishing for the benefit of the occupying Roman army, and start fishing for God’s Kin-dom.
Stories written in the Bible are often more like reading a play than reading a novel. We are given only the barest bones of information with a few lines of dialogue and are left to imagine the rest. Matthew 4: 12-23
1)Jesus returns from the wilderness where he was tempted by the accuser.
2)Jesus hears that John the Baptist is in prison by the Romans.
3)Jesus withdraws to the northern rural area of Galilea, and moves from his hometown of Nazareth to the fishing village of Capernaum.
4) Jesus starts teaching (as John the Baptist had taught) that the Kingdom of God is at hand (within you all , amongst you, between you)
5) Jesus walks up along the beach, calls for the disciples to fish for people, they leave their nets and follow.
Reading this passage of scripture certainly leaves me with more questions than answers, and I hope it does the same for you.
Right now, I am thinking about the water out of which we, as Jesus’ followers, are fishing people from. I think that water could be a story. We are told the story, from the first ads we heard on the radio, TV, or on our parent’s cell phones that it is our purpose in life to buy stuff. Not that we buy stuff to achieve a purpose, but we exist to acquire more things. In order to achieve this goal, we need to do well in school, extra-curricular activities, etc.
What if God has a better story for us? What if we are being pulled, terrified, from the waters we’ve always known to a purpose that has nothing to do with what we can buy, and the comfort and security that comes from having the resources to choose to isolate ourselves from people who are different into a world where our purpose is to build a community where everyone feels wanted and surrounded by enough resources that we are able to be bold and face our fears? What if we have been afraid of all the wrong things all along?
Following Jesus is far from safe – Jesus was executed by the state, and so were Andrew and Simon (Peter) – both crucified upside-down according to tradition, James and John both beheaded. Why are we following these gentlemen? Because God’s dream is worth it. They could have died in fishing accidents because Rome kept their profit margins were so tight they couldn’t focus on safety. They could have died of diseases made worse by the poverty that came from their resources being extracted to support the great Roman ‘Peace’ that came at the end of the sword. Instead, they lived fully following Jesus, and died because they threatened the status quo that suggested the ordinary way people were living wasn’t God’s dream for us. – The Kin-dom of Heaven in amongst us. We can live a better way. Thanks be to God.
(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. Sign-up sheets are available at the back of the sanctuary or contact the office (firstname.lastname@example.org, 780-481-1406),
DATES TO REMEMBER:
- Men’s Breakfast – Sat, Jan 21
- Board Meeting - &pm, Wed, Jan 25 via ZOOM
- Annual Congregational Budget Meeting – Feb 12 after the worship service
- Annual Congregational Meeting – Feb 26 after the worship service
LEADERS FOR JAN 22
- Hospitality Team – Hemmerling – Georgina, Doreen, Rhea, Glenna
- Scripture Reader – Bob Hoy
- Projectionist – Bruce Corbett
MEN’S BREAKFAST, 8:30 am, Sat, Jan 21
Gather with other men of the congregation in the Lower Hall for fellowship and a breakfast of pancakes, sausages and eggs. Come a few minutes early and help cook if you would like. All men welcome!
WOMEN’S GROUP LUNCH AND ANNUAL MEETING TBD
The annual Women’s Group Valentine Lunch and AGM is being planned now. More information will be coming soon!
CONGREGATIONAL MEETINGS – Feb 12 and Feb 26
There will be a Congregational Budget Meeting following the Service on Sun, Feb 12. 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, Feb 26 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
I NEED A GOOD HOME
The ficus (weeping fig) tree in our lounge is not doing well. It doesn’t get enough sunlight there. The tree is over 5” tall. If you are able to give it a good home, please feel free to come and take it.
YouTube Videos Worship Services – January 22 – 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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
Spirit West United Church
7003 - 199st.NW Edmonton, AB T5T 3A8
phone: (780) 481-1406