Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. In response to the tragedies we are seeing around the world, particularly the mosque shootings in New Zealand, I concluded the email I sent to the Spirit West Prayer Chain with this prayer:
Confront us, O Christ with the hidden prejudices and fears which deny and betray our prayers. Enable us to see the causes of strife; remove from us all false sense of superiority. Teach us to grow in unity with all God's children. Into your hands, O God, we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your mercy now and forever. Amen.
THIS SUNDAY – The Third Sunday in Lent
There are two stories in the Gospel passage for this Sunday. The one that will be the focus is the second story, often called “The Barren Fig Tree.” In this story a land owner comes upon a barren fig tree, and instructs his gardener to cut it down. The fig has not produced fruit for three years, and is wasting soil. But the gardener pleads with the landowner to let him nurture the fig for one more year. It might bear fruit. And if it doesn’t then it can be cut down. The landowner agrees to this plan. The fig tree has another chance. So where do we put ourselves in the story? Are we landowner, gardener, or the barren fig? It is important to note that the story that immediately precedes this concerns people who have suffered tragedy, which is attributed by those around them as having been caused by their greater sinfulness. But Jesus rebukes this attitude, he says of the victims, “Do you think that they were worse offenders that all the others living in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”
The Scripture readings for Sunday are Isaiah 55:1-9 and Luke 13:1-9. The story in the Time for Ages is a short video called “Frog and Toad Together – The Garden.” Sermon is titled “Who is the Gardener?”
Visiting us on Sunday will be members of the Intercultural Dialogue Institute, a Muslim organization in Edmonton, whose mission is to promote cross-cultural awareness, in order to attain peace and diversity with their neighbors, help establish a better society where individuals love, respect and accept each other as they are. They endeavor to bring together people of goodwill from all cultures and faiths on a common platform of love and tolerance to develop an understanding that can inspire peace and harmony in our community. During the Service, they will introduce us to the story of Noah’s Pudding, and after the service will share some Noah’s Pudding with us.
MUSIC MATTERS – A Spring Concert
Save the date, Friday, April 12, 7:00 pm, when Bonnie C. and friends present Music Matters, celebrating all things musical. Featuring bell choir, harp ensemble, violins, voice and ukulele ensemble. It will be a wonderful evening of music and you will have the opportunity to make a donation to support the ongoing work and witness of Spirit West. Pick up a poster at the church to put up where you live and move and have your being.
Inner City Pastoral Ministry (ICPM) Bissell Lunch
- Sun. April 14, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
- ICPM Lunch at the Bissell Centre, 10530-96th St (west side of street) to help feed the homeless and other folks in need.
- To do this we need:
- loaves of sandwiches, pieces of finger desserts (cookies and squares), whole fruit (oranges, bananas, apples), veggie trays
- 10-12 volunteers to help deliver the food and serve the lunch Sunday morning (a time commitment of approximately 8:30 am to 2 pm).
- Sign-up sheets are available at the back. Please let us know what you can contribute. Monetary donations are also gratefully accepted.
- Food drop off will take place Sat. April 13 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Spirit West Church kitchen.
- For more information, talk to Lori W. or call the church office at 780-481-1406
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner!
Join us in using cunning stealth and covert organization, to surprise our phenomenal Spirit West chefs. Only at the ring of their doorbell, should they discover who will join them for dinner on their chosen night of gastronomical delights!! This fund-raiser for the church will take place during the months of late March, April and May! It is a terrific time to enjoy a fabulous meal and fellowship. Those who wish to host a dinner are asked to contact Bill C or Colleen F. Hosts need to indicate the dates and times of their dinners and the number of guests they will be hosting. If there is a theme for the evening, this should also be provided. Guests will have the opportunity to select where they will dine and to provide any dietary restrictions to the conveners (who will secretly pass on the information to the hosts). A free will offering, in envelopes, will be collected by the host. A minimum offering of $25.00 per person is suggested. Please plan on attending one of these sensational evening parties and generously supporting our church.
CHURCH PHOTO DIRECTORY – 2019 Edition?
The Board thinks it might be a nice idea to do another Photo Directory for the church in this, our 10th anniversary year. There is no cost to the church or to you, unless you wish to purchase your family’s pictures. A sign-up sheet, (indicating interest) together with a sample of the 2013 Directory, is available by the office. If you can’t get to church very often, but are interested in a Directory call Norma at the office and let her know. We need to know how many people are interested by March 31!
Lenten Study – “Living Faith – Invitations from the Cross”
Our Lenten study “Living Faith – Invitations from the Cross,” continues on Wednesday, March 27 at 1:30 pm in the Lounge. Discover how the words spoken by Jesus as he was crucified are invitations to each of us – invitations to a dynamic, living faith. Each of the six Bible study sessions will explore one of the sayings of Jesus from the cross, and look at how we can respond in ways that will not only transform our relationship with Christ, but potentially the world around us. The third study is Invitation to hope – “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Even if you have not signed up, please join us if you wish.
SOCIAL MEDIA 101 (Social Media for Beginners)
Does the previous paragraph mean anything to you? Are you among those people who hear words like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat and think you are hearing a foreign language. When some of your friends ask you to “friend them” are you confused? Do you think you might be missing out when someone you know asks you if you have seen the post on Instagram of a mutual friend’s darling new grandchild? Is sharing what your church is doing beyond Sunday (with pictures), something you might like to do? If this might be you, help and hope is at hand. Aly L. would like to offer a session to introduce members of the Sprit West congregation to the possibilities of Social Media. Watch this space for details.
Your Favourite Hymn
Do you have a favourite hymn that you’d like to hear included in one of our worship services? Please let Bonnie C. know your choice and she will make sure it is sung within the month.
A WAY TO CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY
You don’t have offering envelopes, you are not on PAR, and you don’t get to church as often as you would like, but you want to make a financial contribution to work of Spirit West, and receive a tax receipt. Now you can! Check out the online donation option on our website spiritwest.org and click on the Donate tab in the navigation bar.
RIDE TO CHURCH?
From time to time we encounter people who would like to come to church at Spirit West, but are unable to because they do not have means of transportation. Can you give a ride? If you would be willing to make yourself available to provide a ride to church please call the church office. Do you need a ride? Would you like to come to church at Spirit West, but are unable to because you have no ride, please call the church office. (780-481-1406)
Spirit West Prayer Chain
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 the church or call Edina T. at 780-481-3508
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Our Website is at www.spiritwest.org .
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch
- Norma => 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Monday to Thursday *** change of hours ***
- Larry => 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church