Well, Lent has started. Please note below some of the special things that are happening at Spirit West as we begin this new season of the church year. Note in particular the World Day of Prayer service tomorrow, and the Pancake Lunch on Sunday.
This Sunday – March 5th
Lent started on Wednesday (Ash Wednesday), so now we begin the 40 day period (not counting Sundays) that leads us toward Easter. Lent is usually associated with fasting, something we in the United Church have on the whole let drop. But fasting was only a discipline within a season that was intended to focus on spiritual growth and development. The focus is on feeding the needs of the soul rather than the body. Much of the imagery associated with Lent comes from the story of Jesus’ 40 day period in the wilderness. Jesus faced temptations, but resisted. The readings for this Sunday highlight the contrast between the situation in the Garden of Eden and in the Wilderness. Genesis describes Eden as a wonderful garden where our newly formed first parents had everything they needed. But they wanted more, and yielded to temptation. Jesus in the wilderness had nothing, and was offered everything, Jesus resisted temptation. We often assume that those in need will be the ones who yield to temptation. We hear fears expressed that “poor people” might be cheating “tax payers” on welfare or EI. And what we know is that it is the very wealthy who are cheating “tax payers” through tax havens, and off shore investment. What temptations do each of us face that we might want to examine during Lent.
Because Spirit West does not have services through the first week of Lent, they are being combined on this first Sunday in Lent. We will have the Imposition of Ashes during the service, and following the service we will share a Pancake Lunch. This is also the first Sunday of the Month so will also be celebrating Communion. (Just a note, the First Sunday in Lent and the first Sunday of the month will occur again in 2022, 2028, 2033 and then not until 2044)
The Readings for Sunday are Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7 and Matthew 4:1-11. I have called my sermon, “Temptation.”
PANCAKE LUNCH AFTER CHURCH SUNDAY
As noted above, there will be a Pancake Lunch following the service on Sunday. Please come and enjoy a time of food and fellowship together. The preparation for the lunch is being coordinated by Don D. and the Spirit West Men’s Breakfast Group. If you would like to help with preparation or clean-up (you don’t have to be a man or part of the Breakfast Group) call or email Don or the Church office today or tomorrow.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER
Tomorrow, Friday, March 3, at 2:00 pm, Spirit West will be hosting the World Day of Prayer Service for this area of Edmonton. This service is part of an international day of prayer, spearheaded in Canada by the Women’s Interchurch Council. The resources for the 2017 service have been prepared by women of the Philippines. Everyone is welcome (it’s not just for women)
GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER
Join us in using cunning stealth and covert organization to surprise our phenomenal Spirit West chefs. This fund-raiser for the church will take place during the months of March, April and May. Offer to host a dinner and be surprised by who shows up. Check the display board at the back of the church, if you see a dinner opportunity that strikes your fancy, talk to Bill C. to make your reservation. If you wish to host a dinner should contact Bill C. at church on a Sunday or call 780-481-2662. Please see full details in the church announcement sheet, or contact Bill C. Bon Appetit!
MESSY CHURCH IS COMING BACK!
Messy Church is coming back to Spirit West. We hope to have a Messy Easter during the weekend of April 6-8. If you are interested in helping please see Edina or Larry at the Pancake Lunch on Sunday.
GENERAL COUNCIL REMITS 3, 4 & 6
At the Congregational Meeting last Sunday, it was decided that Remits 3 and 4 will be dealt with at a Congregational Meeting later in the spring. The responses to Remits 3 and 4 must be in to the General Council office by June 2017. Remit 6 must be voted on by February 2018 so it will be dealt with at a later date. (There are also Remits 5, 7 and 8, but they are only dealt with by Presbyteries and not congregations.) Information about all the Remits can be found online at gc42.ca/remits.
CHALLENGES TO MOBILITY?
Spirit West has a Walker (Evolution Xpresso Lite) that is available for use at the church. The walker can also be borrowed by those whose mobility is temporarily challenged. For more information about the Walker, please contact the Church office (780-481-1406).
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
- 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