This Sunday – Indigenous Day of Prayer and Fathers’ Day
This Sunday is both the Indigenous Day of Prayer, which always falls on June 21, and Fathers’ Day, which falls on the third Sunday in June.
The Scripture Readings are Genesis 32: 22-31 and Luke 19: 36-40. These readings are not from the lectionary, but come from a United Church resource for the Indigenous Day of Prayer.
During the Time for All Ages on Sunday, I will be sharing some thoughts about Fathers, and some advice from Fathers. The advice comes from members of the Spirit West family who were asked, “What is one important or strange piece of advice that your father gave to you?” My sermon title, reflecting on the Indigenous Day of Prayer, is “Monumental Change.”
As a white person, reflecting on the importance of the Indigenous Day of Prayer is a challenge. But here are some of my thoughts. Since the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, we have seen world-wide “Black Lives Matter” protests calling for an end to systemic racism in our communities and institutions. We have seen these protests in Canada, and we have been reminded that the relationship between our indigenous and non-indigenous populations continues to be damaged by mistrust and systemic racism in our institutions. We have also seen calls for the removal of statues of people, who though famous for some things, were in their day associated with or promoters of slavery or other forms of racism. In Canada the concern is with those who, for example, promoted policies or legislation designed to push our indigenous population to the edge of society, or to remove the “Indian problem” altogether. Even in our own denomination, we are hearing stories from our indigenous and black siblings of racism practiced within the church, sometimes unintentionally, but often not. For those of us who are not black or indigenous, what we are hearing around us can be frightening and threatening. But perhaps it is because we are now hearing, maybe for the first time, the stories of pain and humiliation experienced people of colour. Pulling down a statue will not change the past, though it is a powerful way of showing that stories of our history are not complete. We are here today as we are, for good or not, because of the actions of those whom we have memorialized. But there are many who have no memorial, the children who died at Residential Schools. How many of us knew the story of Viola Desmond before her image appeared on our ten dollar bill? Perhaps what would be even better, would be to begin honouring those persons whose stories have not been heard or listened to. As the United Church we have, since 1968, proclaimed that we are called to be the church “to seek justice and resist evil.”
Northern Spirit Region Worship Video for Sunday, June 14
For those of you who wanted to watch the Northern Spirit Regional Worship Video, but were unable to access it last weekend (there were some problems with the platform on which it was loaded), it has now been uploaded to the “Spirit West United Church, Edmonton” YouTube channel and can be found at: https://youtu.be/SmUtHEy0YH4
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Facebook: Spirit West United Church and Friends of Spirit West Outreach
YouTube: Spirt West United Church, Edmonton
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
To volunteer to be a scripture reader for one of our worship videos, send an email to Norma at email@example.com We will include you in the schedule and we will send you all the information you need about the options you have for recording your segment.
The Scripture Reader for this Sunday is David Sutherland.
Sharing our Celebrations
In this time when it is important for us to look for signs of hope and joy, opportunity is being given for folks to share their 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 10:00 am on Friday for inclusion on the Sunday) During the opening section or our Worship Video, I will announce celebrations that have been shared with me.
We are continuing to invite members of the congregations to share virtual greetings as part of our Sunday Worship Video. It is a way for us to see each other. Bonnie C. is spearheading this program, and has been doing the recording. You may get a call from her asking if you want to be a “Greeter.” If you have not heard from Bonnie and want to be a greeter, you can call the church and your name will be given to Bonnie, or you can record you own greeting. Record a 10-30 second greeting on your phone (record in “landscape,” hold your phone horizontally, this way ‘---,’ not this way ‘I’) and email your video to email@example.com . We will only be using three each week, so your greetings might not appear, the Sunday after you send them.
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.
ZOOM BOOK STUDY – Wednesdays, at 1:30 “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”
We will be discussing chapter 4. “No Exceptions for Nice People” at our ZOOM gathering next Wednesday, June 24 at 1:30. Digital and print versions of the book are available on line (Kindle, Kobo, Amazon etc.)
To join the gathering, save this email and on Wednesday click (you might have to ctrl-click) on this ZOOM Link
Because this is a “recurring event,” the one ZOOM link will work for all sessions of the study. If you are not familiar with ZOOM, give me a call at the church and I will walk you through the process. You can also join the study by phone, but you will have to call me before Wednesday so that I can give you the numbers you need. I will also be posting the information about this study to our Facebook page.
We would like to offer a big thank you to those of you who have been able to support the work of Spirit West during the time of isolation.
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 ANOTHER WAY TO CONTRIBUTE… below.
OUTREACH – Underwear and Face Masks Needed at Bissell Centre
There is still a need at Bissell for UNDERWEAR. Ladies and Men’s - sizes Medium and Large.
If any of you would like to shop and deliver undies to the church, Lori will pick them up and deliver them to the Bissell Centre. If you would rather have your donation picked up, call the church office to arrange it.
They are also taking donations of FABRIC FACE MASKS. So any of you crafty people out there - We know there are a few quilters out there with a good stash of fabric - if you would like a little project to do in your self-isolation (patterns can be found online) ..... Again - these can be dropped at the church (or call the church office to arrange pick-up) and Lori will deliver them to the Bissell Centre.
YOUR BOTTLES FOR THE CHURCH
Now that you are spending more time at home, and perhaps (though I hope not) drinking more, you may have bottles piling up for recycling. You can still 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.
PASTORAL CARE DURING A PANDEMIC
A team has been put together to begin a phone ministry. We will be reaching out by phone to members of Spirit West to remind ourselves that we are a community of faith, even if at the moment we have to practice social distancing, and in some cases self-isolation. The team will initially target those whom we believe are most likely to be isolated. We may not always get it right. If you get a call, and think you really didn’t need it, thank the caller anyway. If you don’t hear from anyone in the next week or so, and really would like a call, let me know. We are playing this by ear in an “interesting” time.
If you are self-isolating for whatever reason (you are not feeling well, you are in a susceptible population, or you are just not taking chances) and you cannot get out to do shopping, let us know. There are people in the congregation who will do your shopping and deliver it to your home. Mention this to the caller from the phone ministry, or call or send an email to the church to let us know.
If you would like to volunteer as a “shopper” let me know by phone or email.
David S. has started a Casserole Ministry as part of Pastoral Care. Volunteers from Pastoral Care at Spirit West will deliver a casserole to someone in isolation, recovering from illness, or grieving the loss of family members.
We would need a supply of three or four casseroles made by members of Spirit West in tin foil pans and frozen in the church freezer available for delivery. The casseroles should be dated and labelled with all ingredients and the instructions for reheating. The supply of casseroles can be replenished as needed. If you are interested in providing a casserole please call David S. so he can keep an accurate inventory of casseroles (not too many, not too few).
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.
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.
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