- Norma => Mon & Wed => noon to 5pm
- Eli will be working Wednesday to Sunday this week
- 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
Sunday, January 8, 2023 - Epiphany
What are your great ideas for the New Year? Tomorrow is the feast of Epiphany, when we celebrate the visit of the Magi, and imagine Jesus as the light of the world from whom all light gets its beginning. Are there places in your life where you need the light to shine more brightly?
This Sunday, we remember Jesus’ baptism, in whom all our baptisms have their beginning. Part of this service can include splashing us with water while encouraging us to “remember our baptism”. (For the unbaptised, anticipate your baptism). Like many of you, I cannot remember my baptism because I was 3 months old at the time, but remembering our baptism is really about reclaiming our baptism.
For those of us who were baptised when we were too young to make our own choices, we follow in the tradition of people in the Bible who were baptised “with their whole household”. Following Jesus isn’t only an individual choice, it’s a choice we make for our families to raise them as we follow in Jesus’ way together.
When we become old enough to make our own decisions (at least 12 in our tradition – I want participants in confirmation class to be able to really argue and disagree, and debate), we can choose to claim the faith as our own. If we were not baptised, we are baptised at this time. If we were baptised, we re-affirm the faith of our baptism.
When we are baptised as ‘adults’ (12 or older) or confirmed, we become “full members” of the church – allowing us to vote at all meetings on all matters, serve on the board and take on other responsibilities.
What does profession of faith mean to you? Surely it is more than being ‘allowed to vote’ about hiring a new minister, or adopting a mission statement.
This Sunday, we hear the story of Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3: 13-17) , and how Jesus and John have a debate about whether or not Jesus even SHOULD be baptised. We also hear some words of the prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 42:1-9) This servant of the Lord would represent not only the one who came in Isaiah’s own day, and would come to modern Jews to mean the whole nation of Israel. Since New Testament times, Christians have seen Jesus reflected in this text. I believe it also describes who Christians, as a community are called to be.
We are called to bring equity to the nations, to protect the bent reed, bring fresh insight to the complacent, freedom to the captives. To me, that is the duty of our baptism – the task we claimed when we were confirmed, or when we had our own children baptised. Blessed Be.
We will also have communion on Sunday, so if you will be joining us via YouTube, please have your own communion elements (bread and some fruit of the vine as you prefer it). We continue with rice crackers and grapes in the sanctuary.
If you are interested in re-examining the big questions of faith either for interest’s sake or to be confirmed or to publicly re-affirm your faith, please let Eli know. I am intending to run a class/group study at a time that is suitable for people who work or go to school, so please let me know what evening or weekend times would work for you. The class is open to anyone who wants to examine these questions, again or for the first time.
If there is enough interest for a separate teen confirmation class, I will offer the opportunity for separate and together time. A quick look at our baptism book does suggest that we have quite a few people who were baptised as children and are now at an age to make this decision for themselves. If you know some of them, they may be your grandchildren, you can plant the seed and tell them more information is coming. I will attempt to reach out to those born 2005-2010.
(Rev) Eli Carter-Morgan (they/them)
Spirit West United Church
Proud to share the land through Treaty 6
DATES TO REMEMBER:
- Men’s Breakfast – Sat, Jan 21
LEADERS for January 8, 2023
- Scripture Reader – Sheila Hoy
- Projectionist – Norma Balcombe
- Hospitality Team – Callas – Bill & Carol, Gerry & Sue
TAX RECEIPTS – the 2022 tax receipts will be prepared soon. If you have any receipts from 2022 for which you want a “gift in kind” donation to be reflected on your tax receipts, please get them to us asap.
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!
YouTube Videos Worship Services – January 8 – 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
Spirit West United Church
7003 - 199st.NW Edmonton, AB T5T 3A8
phone: (780) 481-1406