This Sunday is a bit different from other Sundays in Lent, both locally and historically. At Spirit West, because of the Sunday’s proximity to St. Patrick’s Day (and St. David’s Day) we have marked it as Celtic Sunday, with the music and many of the prayers coming from or influenced by Celtic tradition or the ancient Celtic church. Historically, this Sunday is Laetare Sunday. The term "Laetare Sunday" is used by most western rite liturgical traditions (including the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches), and by some Protestant denominations with western-rite origins. The word translates from the Latin laetare, singular imperative of laetari to rejoice; a word that opens the traditional mass introit of the day. The full Introit reads:
« Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuistis: ut exsultetis,et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae. »
«Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. »
This Sunday is currently also known as Mothering Sunday in the UK, Refreshment Sunday, Mid-Lent Sunday (in French mi-carême), and Rose Sunday because the use of rose-colored vestments instead of violet ones was permitted. The day is a day of relaxation from normal Lenten rigours; a day of hope with Easter being at last within sight. Traditionally, even weddings, otherwise banned during Lent, could be performed on this day, and servants were released from service for the day to visit their mothers (hence 'Mothering Sunday').
With changes in the practices of reformed churches such as ours and in the lectionary, the observance of Laetare Sunday is a thing of the past. The story focus for us this Sunday is the story of Moses and the bronze serpent from Book of Numbers. We don’t hear much from the book of Numbers, it’s mostly a collection of censuses of the children of Israel. However, this story relates to an ongoing problem with those journeying to the Promised Land, complaining, constant complaining. The way the story tells it, God got really tired of the complaining and basically said, “If you think this is bad...” The next thing the children of Israel know is that their camp is overrun with poisonous snakes with a fatal bite. Moses pleads on behalf of the people and God has a change of heart and provides a remedy for snake bite, a remedy that the Church has seen as a foreshadowing of the crucifixion.
The readings for Sunday are Numbers 21: 4-9 and John 3: 14-21. During the Time for All Ages, we will be looking at, “Snakes!” The Sermon title is “I am so mad I could...”
On Wednesdays at 1:30 in the Lounge we will continue our Lenten Study using as our resource a book called: "Give it UP!"
A Bit of Fun in the midst of Lent
Court Whist Event – Friday, March 20 at 7 This is a night for the adults to come out and have a bit of fun at a Court Whist Event. If you have never played Court Whist (a card game) this is your chance to learn. No skill or experience is necessary. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased through Janice S. or Anne D. If you want to have tickets put aside for you, call the church office.
Community Family Fun Night – Saturday, March 21 from 7 – 9 pm. We want the neighbours around Spirit West to get to know us, so bring your friends, your family’s friends, your friends’ families, any one to a fun night of family games and snacks.
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER SERVICES
Palm Sunday – March 29 On this Sunday we remember the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem for the last time and being welcomed with crowds waving palm branches. We will be waving palm branches. The Service is at the usual time of 10:30 am
Maundy Thursday – April 2 On this day we remember Jesus’ Last Supper and the start of what we know as The Lord’s Supper, Communion, or the Eucharist. At Spirit West we remember this with the celebration of a Seder, the traditional meal that marks Passover. Our Seder is a pot-luck supper surrounded by story, song and ritual. The Seder starts at 5:00 pm. More information will follow in future emails.
Good Friday – April 3 With a service of quite reflection and meditation we will remember Christ’s crucifixion. The Good Friday service is at 10:30 am
Easter Sunday – April 5 The Celebration of the new life proclaimed in the Resurrection of Jesus. The highest point in the Christian year, and the Sunday of Sundays.
Decorating for Easter Sunday – We are not selling Easter Hydrangeas this year. We are asking that if you want, you can purchase an Easter plant or basket elsewhere and loan it to the church on Easter Sunday. One warning, no lilies please, their scent is very strong and can trigger allergic reactions.
We will be having a Messy Church on Saturday, April 20 starting at 4:00 pm. The theme is Jonah and the Whale! For those of you not familiar with Messy Church, it is a concept first developed in the UK. The idea is to provide an opportunity for families to learn the stories of the Bible in a setting that is not like Sunday church. So Messy Church is composed of a song and story time, where we hear and celebrate a biblical story. Then we make crafts (and some are MESSY) that relate to the story, and we end our time together by sharing dinner together. Everything is provided. It is expected that children will bring their parents with them so that the whole family can enjoy the fellowship, fun and food. So, come bring your family and friends! If you have any questions about Messy Church call me at the church.
Spirit West Prayer Chain
We have a new Prayer Chain Co-ordinator, Shannon F. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org . You may also email a request for prayer to the same email address. If you would prefer to talk to someone, you can call Shannon F. at 780-481-5262, Marian T. at 780-487-2851 or Bonnie C. at 780-444-2230.
Check out our New Website at www.spiritwest.org . Thanks to our Webmaster: Bonnie S.
- 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
Remember to check us out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch
See you on Sunday!
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church