This Sunday – Fourth Sunday in Lent
This Sunday, the Fourth in Lent is perhaps more significant this year, than it has been in other years. As a country, as the church and as a congregation this Sunday marks some significant anniversaries and events. This Sunday is first anniversary of our last social event as a congregation. It was our fun, successful and lucky Celtic Pub Night. The next day was our last in-person worship service. Because of the shifting date of Easter, this Sunday is the Fourth in Lent and this marks the one (church) year anniversary of our first Worship Video, which was created for the Fourth Sunday in Lent last year, March 22, 2020. Paul and I made the video using the camera of a cell phone propped up with a Bible on a music stand. In the wider church this Sunday is sometimes called Laetare Sunday. This is the Sunday in Lent when things can be eased up a little. Traditionally the colour associated with Laetare Sunday has been rose. But at Spirit West, it turns out that Laetare Sunday this year is also our Celtic Sunday, (closest to St. Patrick’s Day) so the music and prayers for this Sunday come mainly from Celtic Christianity.
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is from the third chapter of John. It contains the well-known passage that begins, “For God so loved the world…” For God so loved the world, not just part of it, not just the “good” people, not just the religious people - the world - that he sent his only Son. That is sacrificial unconditional love. Unfortunately, as I look around our world I see too many examples of selfishness and hate. What is particularly distressing is when these examples come from people who call themselves “Christian.” In the First Letter of John, which may have been written by the gospel writer, or by someone who knew the evangelist, we find this phrase, “Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” What does it mean for each of us to love the world?
The Scripture readings for Sunday are Ephesians 2: 1-10 and John 3: 14-21. My story in Time for All Ages is called, “A really big hug.” I am calling my sermon, “For God so loved the world.”
ANNUAL CONGREGATIONAL MEETING
There will be an Annual Congregational Meeting of Spirit West United Church this Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 11:30. This will take place on ZOOM and here is the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87082908960?pwd=Z09mamZRRmlTeTdsYktSWGxPanNvUT09
Meeting ID: 870 8290 8960 Passcode: 361704
You should have received a copy of the Annual Report by email on Monday, March 8. If you did not please let Norma know immediately.
There is no ZOOM Coffee Hour this Sunday
ADDITIONAL NEWS FROM THE BOARD
Pastoral Relations – (Finding a New Minister)
The Pastoral Relations Search Committee for Spirit West has been formed. There are seven members and they had their first meeting on Tuesday evening. If you have any questions about the Committee or the process, please contact Colleen Fox, Board Chair at 780-487-5178 or email@example.com.
Reviewing the Minister’s Job Description
A important document in the search for a new minister is the Job Description. What are the duties and responsibilities of the minister who serves Spirit West United Church? The current job description needs to be reviewed, and will be by the board. However, the input from members of the Spirit West community is also important. If you would like to review the Minister’s Job Description and provide input to the Board, a copy of the document will be sent to you. Just call or email Norma at the church.
A REQUEST FROM THOSE WHO CREAT THE WORSHIP VIDEOS
The folks who create the Worship Videos are asking for everyone's help on Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings when we record the various portion of the Sunday service. The music team is in the building starting at 12 noon every Thursday to practice, prepare, and record music. As well, those who have volunteered to read scripture and want to record at the church come in on Thursday after the music has been completed. On Friday morning, the “talking bits” of the service are recorded.
All of these activities require a great amount of attention on behalf of the music team, the scripture readers, the minister and our technician Paul.. It would be very helpful if other business that requires a drop in at the church could be done at times other than Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
You may have gotten (or will get) a call from Diane H. our new “Greeter Co-ordinator,” asking you if you would record a greeting for our Sunday Worship videos. If at all possible, please say yes. Recorded greetings should be sent to our “Recording technician” (Paul W.) at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can come into the church and we will record your greeting. Video greetings need to be sent in or recorded by the Friday before “your” Sunday.
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. Your reading can also be recorded at the church between 2:30 and 4:30 on Thursday afternoons.
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 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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 email@example.com. 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