Lent officially started yesterday with Ash Wednesday. And this Sunday you are asked to give up one hour of sleep, please remember to turn your clocks ahead one hour (spring forward) so that you can be sure to arrive at church for the service and not just the pancakes.
THIS SUNDAY – The First Sunday in Lent
We have begun the forty days of prayer and reflection leading us toward the celebration of the Resurrection. The model for Lent is the forty days which Jesus spent in the wilderness following his baptism by John. In the wilderness Jesus is tempted by Satan. In Luke’s Gospel, which is the reading for Sunday, Jesus is tempted to show off, to demonstrate his “power.” Satan basically says to Jesus, “If you are so special, show me.” But Jesus refuses, his power and ministry are for a specific purpose which does not include showing off. The important thing to notice is that the temptations are not horrible things. Jesus is not being asked to steal or murder, but he is being tempted to deviate from his God given purpose. Jesus does not succumb to the temptations in the wilderness, but that is not the end. Luke ends his narrative with, “ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him [Jesus] until an opportune time.” That is the challenge of true temptation, it does not just go away. We say that life and faith are a journey. Lent is a “defensive driving course” for this journey, giving us opportunity to reflect on the obstacles and challenges we might face on our journey and be able to safely navigate them to stay on the path that God has set before us.
The Scripture readings for Sunday are Deuteronomy 26: 1-11and Luke 4: 1-13. The Sermon is titled “The Journey Begins”
Ashes and Pancakes
Since Spirit West does not observe Pancake Tuesday or Ash Wednesday on their specific dates, we have combined their observance on Sunday. So the service this Sunday will include the Imposition of Ashes for those who wish it, and the service will be followed by a Pancake (regular and gluten free) Lunch prepared by the Spirit West Men’s Group. There is no charge for the lunch, (but a basket will be out if you want to make a donation to help defray costs)
Lenten Study – “Living Faith – Invitations from the Cross”
Our Lenten study “Living Faith – Invitations from the Cross,” starts on Wednesday, March 13 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 first study is Invitation to Forgiveness – “Father, forgive them.”
There is a signup sheet by the office, but even if you have not signed up, please join us if you wish.
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
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.
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.
SPIRIT WEST ON INSTAGRAM
In our church’s continuing efforts to be more widely known in the community, Aly L. of our Communications Committee has created an Instagram Account for Spirit West. But an Instagram account with no updates is not that useful. Aly would like to establish a small team of three or four people who will take pictures at Spirit West events to be posted on Instagram. Before this team starts posting, Aly would like to meet with them to set ground rules and policies so that the posts show Spirit West at its best and also protect the privacy of individuals. If you are interested please speak to Aly.
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 => 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Thursday
- Larry => 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church